A little bit of surface fishing

I will put my hand on heart and admit that I do not do a lot of surface fishing for Carp. Why this is I have no idea, but this year i decided that I would put that that right and I am so glad that I did. Whilst I have not set the world alight with the numbers of fish I have had off the top they have been about the most exciting captures I have ever had.

So on my latest trip to my syndicate I started out on my first lap of the lake to try and find the fish. I was very surprised that by halfway round I had not seen a single sign of a fish. When I was nearly back at the carpark I found that there were numbers of fish cruising around on top in front of 2 swims in the South West corner of the lake. I thought to myself that this is a prime opportunity to get the floater kit out and try for them off the top.

Well it didn’t take long to get them feeding on the mixers, in fact they were straight onto the first pouch full that I catapulted out. Things were perfect, I had around 15 carp feeding on my mixers and somehow how had not attracted the resident ducks or seagulls that all so often ruin a surface fishing session. This is where the perfection ended, I could not get a single bit of interest in my hook bait. I was using foam to try and outwit the carp but it was not working, I tried different colours, sizes and presentations but they were not having it. The carp were now not feeding as eagerly on my free offerings and I was starting to think that my chance had gone.

It was not long until fellow syndicate member and good friend Steve Kent turned up. Steve did not like my choice of dog biscuit that I was using and shot of to the local supermarket to purchase some different ones and a bottle of ground nut oil. We soaked a bucket of new mixers in the oil for around 15 minutes. The fish were still in the area but really showing no interest in feeding. After around 30 minutes of a constant trickle of the oiled up mixers the carp started to feed again.

Instead of the foam we decided to try an Enterprise Tackle fake dog biscuit mounted on a Nash Fang X hook. I cast over the feeding fish and slowly wound my hook bait into the middle of the free offerings, almost immediately a Carp took my hook bait and I struck far too early and pulled the hook straight out of the carps mouth. The air was, as you can imagine, blue for a while as I used a few choice words to vocalise my disappointment.

Luckily my stupidity had not seemed to spook the Carp and they were quite happy still feeding. Steve catapulted some more free offerings out whilst I once again cast out. It took a little bit longer this time to tempt one to take the fake biscuit but on the 4th cast another carp fell for the trap and this time it was hooked. After a fight that seemed to take an age and I was sure I was going to loose it on more than one occasion, I eventually ended up with a gorgeous looking Linear in my net weighing 18lb. I later found out that it is a named fish called the Drop Scale Linear.

A fish called the Drop Scale Linear caught off the top

A fish called the Drop Scale Linear caught off the top

After weighing and photographing the fish I watched her swim strongly back to her watery home. As much as we tried the commotion had been too much and we could not get them to feed off the top again.

After deciding to set up my stall for the rest of the weekend in the swim to the right of where I had the fish off the surface I saw a few fish on the top again and after 2 hours of patiently feeding them I was rewarded with another surface caught Carp this time a Mirror of 18lb 15oz

18lb 15oz surface caught mirror carp

18lb 15oz surface caught mirror carp

Fishing for Carp off the top can be the most frustrating and testing type of fishing you can ever try but get it right and it is the most exciting and rewarding way to catch one.

All the best


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  1. Fishing If Time November 17, 2017 at 16:29 #

    Drop Scale Linear is a real beauty with all those markings down the side. Nice job!

  2. Carp Fishing February 21, 2018 at 17:00 #

    I love a spot of surface fishing and looking forward to seeing the carp in the water again. Bring on the spring! I think about your striking too early thing I have had this myself too. I now wait for the line to visibly start to move and then gently start to lift the rod rather than striking, until I feel its there then the hook will set ol rubber lips.

    • ian brooke March 26, 2018 at 11:04 #

      Yes i know what you mean but i think excitement gets the better of me sometimes

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