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Top Tip's

Here are Carpland we decided to put our heads together and document what we feel are some of our most valuable and productive 'Top Tip's'. They are things which we use as part of our Carp fishing and which we believe have caught us regular bonus fish.

We hope you find them of use to you in your Carp fishing, tight lines.



Bait   Tony Knill

When fishing new waters for the first time, don't ignore a 'good-old' readymade boilie on at least one of your rod's. I have found that by using a PVA bag or stringer cast into a likely looking spot, will often produce a bonus fish or two. I have used this approach for a couple of years now, sometimes not 100% confidently - when other anglers take the piss 'cos your using a readymade!, but it usually produces the goods. So that's the last laugh for me! Last year my biggest fish fell to a readymade with a five bait stringer. I like the range of readymades produced by Richworth, (maybe that has something to do with all the Broadlands fishing I used to do!), but I have used baits from Nutrabaits, Nash & Huchy, all with success.

Readymade boilies - a Top Tip!


Leading about    Tony Knill

When you are leading about, trying to find a hard bottom instead of weed or silt, try the following. When you cast out, if the lead hits a hard bottom like clay or gravel, the rod tip will bounce sharply when the lead hits the bottom. If the lead hits a soft bottom (i.e. weed or silt) the rod tip will not bounce sharply, it will come back slowly and the line will slacken. No bounce at all.

Get on the hard stuff - a Top Tip!


PVA Stringers    Tony Knill

This tip can make a difference when either fish are shy of stringers or if you are trying to reach further distances.

Thread your baits onto the stringer in the usual way but instead of tying the stringer onto the hook, tie it on to the swivel end of rig (next to the lead). This allows the bait to stand slightly away from the stringer (it may intice a fish that is shy on feeding on a long line of baits). It also allows you to cast that little bit further. I have no explanation as to why it increases casting distance but I am running a few tests to see.

Tie your stringers to your lead - a Top Tip!


PVA Bags    Tony Knill

I learnt this tip at one of the most famous PVA Bag waters in Britain. It is, of course, Broadlands. Start, by putting a small amount of pellet or groundbait into the bottom of the bag. Place your lead in the centre of the bag, and slowly start to fill the bag with more freebies. As you are filling the bag, lay your hooklink into a sort of ‘Z’ shape up the Bag so that the hooklink cannot tangle itself. When the bag is full, tie the top with either Nylon or PVA String. Next make a number of small holes in the bag (I use a nut drill for this). Take the bottom corner of the bag and moisten it, (I usually just give it a bit of a lick!), then fold it onto the bottom of the bag. Do the same for the other corner.

This makes the bag into a nice round shape that will allow you to cast further and more accurately and it will also make the bag hit the bottom a lot faster thus keeping the baits in a nice small pile.

Give it a good lick! - a Top Tip!


At the end of the day   Tony Knill

The spread of Bacteria and Viruses is a growing concern. Especially with the threat of illegally imported carp stocks and the movement of fish between fisheries.

When you have finished your session, and your nets, slings, sacks etc are all wet and smelly, it is essential to make sure that they are totally free from bacteria. The best way of doing this is to hang them out to dry (if possible in the sun) for 3 to 4 hours. Viruses are particularly vulnerable to relatively short exposure to ultraviolet rays.

It is also worth noting that it has not yet been proved that bacteria, viruses or parasites can be carried on angling equipment BUT better safe than sorry.

Sunburn those bugs! - a Top Tip!


Get the beers in!    Tony Knill

This tip is for the safety of anglers. Most people enjoy a beer or two (or five!) when there doing a night or a long session (if there allowed to on that particular water). I certainly do!

But be warned… alcohol actually causes your blood vessels to dilate. This causes an initial felling of warmth but in the long term, actually can lower your core body temperature. On those long winter nights, having a beer or two may seem like a good idea, but, make sure you are rapped up warm as you tend not to feel the cold until its too late. My father, who incidentally works at Southampton General Hospital, gave this information to me some time back and it is definitely worth keeping in mind.

Stick to the Hot Chocolate lads! - a Top Tip!


Throwing Sticks    Tony Knill

I fish a few BIG waters in Hampshire and the surrounding counties. Most of the time, the only way to get baits out to where you are casting is by using a throwing stick. However, if your baits are relatively soft or uneven, you will find most baits spilt as they come out of the stick. This is because of the amount of spin the Stick causes when the boilie is on its way to the horizon.

The way to get round this is to lubricate the inside of the throwing stick with water before you start. This causes the boilies to skid out the end of the stick. You will find that most baits will withstand the force.

Lubricate your stick! - a Top Tip!


Wind!!??    Tony Knill

This isn’t really a tip, its mearly for information purposes. A question that I used to ask myself was about wind speed and how it was measured. I found the scale below in Jim Gibbinson’s excellent book ‘Gravel Pit Carp’.

Calm Less than 1 mph
Light 1-12mph
Moderate 13-18mph
Fresh 19-24mph
Strong 25-38mph
Gale 39-46mph
Severe gale


Storm Force 55-63mph
Hurricane 64+mph

Measure your wind! - a Top Tip!



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