The long hot days of summer often mean relatively short feeding spells for the carp (and for many other species come to that) between hours of simply basking in the upper layers of water enjoying the warmth of the sun on their backs.
For this reason I bait sparingly during the warmest period of the year and pay particular attention to the times I introduce bait. If the carp are only going to be feeding for a short period I certainly don’t want to be baiting and risking spooking them at this time. I generally find the heaviest feeding will take place sometime between midnight and the first couple of hours of daylight when the temperatures are at their coolest. Because of this I will generally create my baited area around lunch time during the hottest part of the day. This gives the swim plenty of time to settle down again ready for the carp moving in to feed during the cooler parts of the day.
Bait placement is also very important at this time of the year and seeing the carp basking in weed beds during the daylight hours can be very misleading as those oxygen giving plants do the total opposite in the dark and the fish will usually move away from them. So, even if the carp appear to be spending all of their time in the weed I would definitely advise you bait one area away from weed – you may be surprised how many more fish will slip up away from where you think they are going to be feeding.
I work at simply trying to tempt a fish into having a little feed rather than pile the bait in hoping for a big hit. Once the bait is in you can’t take it out again and certainly during scratching times I would rather have just a few tempter baits in the swim than kilos of bait and small baits are always my choice when I don’t think the carp are going to be feeding heavily. Over the years I have found that particle baits really come into their own during the hot weather.
I prefer to blend my particles combining seeds, beans and peas along with broken bits of boilie. The Quest Baits Garlic Feast blend that I originally put together for the Mangrove carp contains 20 different particles. This gives a different sort of visual stimulation for those fish that have ‘seen it all’. Carp are like many other animals in as much as if you can encourage them to eat just one morsel of food they will often carry on feeding. The trick is to get them to sample something in the first place and the more varied the presentation the greater the chance of achieving this.
If the nuisance species are a problem with particles then I bait lightly with broken boilies and present a boilie which I cut bits away from (apple cored) on the hair. Quantity wise I am more than happy with whatever I can hold in one hand.
Roll on the low air pressure and slightly cooler weather when the carp feed for longer periods of the day and I can start baiting more heavily.