Tea For You... Biscuit For Carp!

Thursday, 4 August 2022  |  Sarah

Carp Takes Your Biscuit!
A heatwave in summer often sends trout into the doldrums when we’re restricted to one hour of frantic sport at last knocking, which is fine if you live close to a fishery, but no so good if a long drive is endured....

On the other hand, Carp thrive in hot weather and will actively feed at the surface even through the hottest of days, especially in undisturbed areas. 

With that, it’s worth searching out a Carp fishery near you and investing those sweltering days to staking them out using a fly rod.

However, Carp do have a reputation for surface feeding when they can be coaxed to the top using bread, dog biscuits and other free offerings that float

Granted, you’re not presenting them with a natural looking fly now, though a pattern fashioned in the shape of a floating biscuit will give you memorable sport with a fly rod.
The first things to do is arm yourself with the aforementioned patterns.  These are best tied using deer hair then clipped to shape. 
Don’t worry if you’re not a fly tyer, you’ll find all you need here:
We highly recommend the dog biscuit / pellet type dressings
 

As carp grow large and pound for pound pull harder than most other fish (including trout) then strong tippet material is required

Nothing less than 12lb should be considered in open water and where snags occur, this should be stepped up to 15lb.
Naturally, your average trout outfit isn’t up to dealing with the sheer brute force of carp, so a heavier rods need to be used.
An 8-weight rod will cope with small to moderate carp and open water situations.
Where larger carp lurk and lilies sprout up then you’re better off with a 9-weight rod.


A weight forward floating line should complete the outfit as in essence there’s no need for highly engineered reels.


Carp prefer to slog it out using their strength rather than long sheering runs.
 
Aim to position yourself on the windward (exposed) bank with a wind blowing into your face.  The reason being that any offerings (bait) you fling out are always drifting towards you, rather than away from you and out of casting range. 

The added bonus is that your fly will also drift back in your direction, just like floating dog biscuits and therefore appear more convincing to feeding carp.
It’s then a matter of flinging out some dog biscuits and waiting for the carp to find them. 

This usually doesn’t take very long and by then chances are those biscuits will have edged back towards you, so remember to maintain a low profile by crouching down

Once carp are on the feed, cast your fly into the area and wait. 
As carp principally feed by touch, they might “mouth” your fly for a few seconds, so don’t be in any immediate hurry to strike, otherwise you’ll pull the fly right from a carp’s mouth

Instead wait a second or two for the leader to draw away before you tighten.  Once a fish is hooked, be prepared for fireworks.

Following a tug of war, with luck you’ll be drawing your first carp over the net. 
 
As we’re returning carp, please respect your catch by handling them carefully with wet hands and using barbless hooks that can be removed quickly with a catch & release tool. 

 
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