Floater fishing and stalking Carp on a hot summers day is, in my opinion, the best way to catch them.
Spotting them is the first step. Watercraft is the most valuable skill an angler can posses, and part of that is understanding fish behaviour. As any angler knows, the first thing to do is find the fish. If the fish are cruising the top and upper levels, then fish for them there. After all, we all go fishing to catch fish! I always travel light so I can wander the banks finding any signs of fishy activity. A pack of hooks, two sizes of floating pellets, some zigs, one rod & reel, a mat and a net is all you need.
It is fishing in its simplest form. Fishing the drift of a warm summer’s breeze on most carp lakes can almost guarantee a few fish on the bank. Once I have spotted fish, I get some small pellets up wind of them and let them naturally drift their way. As soon as feeding commences I introduce my hook bait, which will be a larger pellet. It never usually takes more than a few minutes for a big pair of rubber lips to break the surface and gulp down the goods.
This moment is really the only time you can go wrong. It’s easy to get over excited when the bait it slurped off the top. As a rule all you need to do is wait for the line on the surface to tighten up, that is the moment to hit the fish. Carp have huge mouths and can easily spit out any bait that they feel isn’t just another free offering. Nicely balanced tackle can ensure a great fight.
Playing any fish is a huge part of the fun and it’s easy to over gun your tackle and just pull the fish to the net. Give your fish a chance, just not as much as a chance as you. Kevin Nash has a great video on how to fish the drift with pellets and zigs, which also shows how effective fishing as a pair can be.
So try it out! Even if you can’t do without all your usual carping tackle, have another rod with you, and if you see some fish, get a floating bait over the top. It’s great fun!