A trip to the dark side – surface carping

What can I say … the other evening I fell to the dark side and gave the local carp quarry a go – was I mad?

I was rather dubious to start of with and had only gone down with my lighter Illex 3.5-14g lure rod loaded with 14lb braid with the intent on trying for of the resident brown trout but after a while it was quite obvious nothing was going to move for my plugs and small shads so I decided to try an ambitious plan of catching a small carp or tench on a lure.

I did manage a few bites and knocks but from absolutely tiny fish.

We had been feeding with bread and dog biscuits for a while to not much success when all of a sudden a few bigger fish moved in and started to hoover up our offerings off the surface.

I took a quick look at what limited gear I had an made a Frankenstein rig which consisted off my 6lb fluoro leader a hook and 2 split spot squeezed onto my braid.

I was using a larger dog biscuit which floated so I set my split shot depth to very lightly anchor me to the bottom whilst the biscuit floated just on the surface film.

I stood back and waited until the carp made another smash and grab run in the corner where I was standing and then at the first gulping sound I flicked my biscuit out …. it was actually quite cool to watch them feed off the surface waiting to see my offering disappear next which to my amazement it did – I struck and off it screamed right into some structure and snapped me off.

Credit where credit is due they do run hard and fast.

I was determined this time to nail another one so I rigged up again and stood back and waited patiently for them to make another pass – this time I was ready.

One fish cruised in front of me and as he passed I flicked out the biscuit, he turned and just took the whole lot down in one and with a quick flick of the wrist he was on!

It went screaming off into the middle of the lake this time and I knew with some patience and tactics I would have him in the net …. it was awesome fun on the sub 7 foot lure rod.

Eventually landed it and I think (with no scales with us) it was around the 8lb mark.


Anyway, it was my first proper carp!

Can’t say I would ever go and target them over other species but the method of stalking, sight fishing and surface style baits was very cool and right up my street.

So there you go even the dedicated lure fanatic still managed to get his hands dirty in the pursuit of some rod bending sport whilst I wait for the tides to build for some more bassing!

I am sure you are as shocked as I am ….. Got some sessions planned over the next week for some bass and maybe work some of the deeper water for pollack so stay tuned!


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