Mainline carper, Roman Buczynski gives an insight into one of his favoured challenges - catching river carp!
River fishing is increasing in popularity both at home and abroad, as anglers search for untamed beasts away from the maddening crowds, and why not? Rivers offer un-trodden banks, bivvy free and virgin fish. However, the nature of these fluvial waters presents significant challenges to the carp angler.
Rivers are changing annually, with the bottom of rivers never being the same year in year out, as floods and flows move riverbeds and snags are deposited or discarded by humans. Nuisance species such as chub, barbel, roach and bream, as well as crayfish and poisson chat on the continent also present challenges for carp anglers. In recent years the abundance of catfish has also presented another factor that needs to be considered in the approach and tactics and used.
Rivers are also unpredictable and for that matter tides in deltas or floods upstream can render spots unfishable within hours! My 12 years experience in big river fishing from the Thames in the UK right through to the larger rivers in Europe and off the continent have been an amazing voyage of discovery and learning. With many failures along the way, but with successes that black out the difficult despairing and often-dangerous times I have experienced. In this piece I hope to give you an idea on some of the lessons learnt and how I have used Mainline products to bring river success.
The large Cell and High Impact baits are to keep the carp coming back. These two exceptional food baits are never refused by river carp and they zone in on them quickly. Once they have a taste for it they keep coming back for it.
Once I have my area primed, normally a larger zone. My further baiting sessions will be more on spots or smaller zones, during the fishing situation it will be usually 3-5 groundbait balls and 50-100 baits, and I will put in a groundbait ball every hour or so if I am fishing in fast water - just to keep the scent flowing downstream. Once the fish arrive its hard to put enough in. And I have used 25kg of groundbait and 10kg of boilies in a day session!
To summarise, I like to get the fish in my zone with smelly groundbait. Once in the zone they find balls of nutrition which keeps them coming back.
Rigs are always kept simple, strong and big for obvious reasons. Hookbait wise I like to fish with a 24mm Cell topped off with a Milky Toffee or Pineapple pop-up. I have found that yellow or white toppers the best colour. If the chub are being a nuisance then I will use a double 24mm Cell topped with a pop up. The fish have huge mouths, so no issues with them getting the hookbait in the mouth!