The frogs have returned in volumes to my garden, which always means that I no longer need to work so hard to catch carp and now is the time to start moving on from my various cold water winter approaches to the methods that have caught me so many spring fish in years gone by.
With the daylight hours stretching on so much longer and the sun rising so much higher, the carp increase their activity and start to cover a lot more ground than they perhaps have been doing these past 2 ½ months.
So, how do I approach spring fishing?
Fortunately I have a lot of years behind me to look back on and see the trends of what has worked for me at this time of the year and what hasn’t worked for me.
Generally speaking the natural food is starting to emerge again as are the fresh stems of weed. There isn’t suddenly a massive increase in food so I don’t suddenly start piling kilos and kilos of bait in my swim. I always look at nature and try and work with it preferring to slowly increase the amount of food I am feeding. I prefer to have a few small traps scattered around than one large trap at this time of the years. As I have said, the carp are becoming more mobile, cleaning off parasites and generally exploring their homes more than they have for weeks.
I will always have a rod I refer to as my roving rod this time of the year and will explore a fair bit with it casting to any signs, even if I’m not 100% it was a carp as I have had plenty from those. I don’t wait for the second or third show and will keep the lead as small as I can to reach the fish. A single bright pop up or bottom bait such as the Magnum White or double Pimple Pops are excellent in the spring.
I always like to have at least one rod fishing on bait and that will often be a slightly duller coloured bait although pockets of Magnum White certainly drag the fish down as well, not a massive load of bait Spombed in at the beginning of a session, just a few free offering that will be noticed. I would rather trickle feed this time of the year than put a load in at once. I can still get through as much bait but I’m not in a rush to get rid of it and certainly prefer to scatter it with a catapult if I can reach rather than use the dollop pile baiting of a Spod or Spomb.
Areas I am looking for at this time of the year are new fresh Canadian pond weed. The young bright green stalks the carp are attracted to. A lot of the areas which will become seemingly impossible to fish in just a few weeks’ time, are usually my most productive areas now.
So, in summary, don’t be afraid to cast a single bait at anything, don’t pile large amounts of bait in one go and look for that young fresh Canadian, the carp certainly will be.
As the natural food sources start to increase as the water warms, then my baiting will increase, but for now, little and often, trying to be natural with nature.