Chris Wilby - Consultant.

So, where do I start? The first thing I would take into consideration, choose a lake that holds the stamp of fish you’re after or a target fish you’d love to catch. This could be a high or low stock venue. Once you’ve chosen your water, the next plan of attack is to find the fish and learn about their patrol routes and movements. If you’re targeting a certain fish and you’ve done your homework on the venue thoroughly, that fish may well come out of one area more than others, this information will give you a better chance of putting it in your landing net. The best time(s) to find fish is first light or at night, depending on the time of year. Finding fish will get easier the more time you spend on the bank. Once you've located fish and found their regular haunts, its then time to find some spots where you can present bait. Take time to do this and ensure you’re confident with your findings. Generally, the harder the drop (when the lead hits the lake bed) the cleaner the spot, meaning this could well be a great area for feeding carp. But if the swim is weedy, I would rake a spot and bait it with T1 for a few weeks; this will allow the fish to gain confidence eating in the area without getting caught.

Carp fishing has never been plain sailing; fishing for big fish on harder venues can get a little frustrating, especially if you find yourself blanking more than you do catching. Beware, don’t change anything, this could be your downfall. Many times I’ve heard of anglers changing everything in order to get a bite, if the truth be known, sticking with it is probably the best solution. Believe me, it will come good!

Below is a picture of a fish I wanted called Twisted Scale; I would see her appear quite often under a tree. I decided to feed T1 boilies so she would get a taste for the bait. After a few weeks, I managed to get in the peg where I’d seen her regularly but the tree had a raft of weed around it, I couldn't get close enough. So, out with the spod rod and a fox grappling lead, I spent an hour clearing the weed from around the tree so I could get to the baited spot. The first night I ended up losing a fish in weed away from the tree. The second night I had a stunning 36lb common and on my third night I had a 40lb 14oz common, I was thinking this session can’t get any better. I put the rod back on the spot and a few hours later the rod was away again, unfortunately, it locked me in a raft of floating weed. A lad next to me asked if I wanted him to get in. So I asked him if he had waders, he said no. Anyway that didn’t stop him; he stripped down to his underwear and jumped in. He got as close to the weed as possible and with the landing net, netted as much as he could. As he started to pull the weed out searching for my prize, I said ‘’is it in?’’ he said, “Yes, it’s big too!” As soon as we got her on the bank we knew it was Twisted Scale, what fish, she went 41lb on the nose. What a carp – what a session.

Thank you T1!