Spring is on it's way so we asked Mainline's Adam Reed to share his top tips with you!
Spring is without doubt one of my favourite times to be out on the bank. Everything is waking up from its winter slumber, the birds are in full voice and the lakes begin to blossom back to their full glory, making it a special time of year to be on the bank. To top all that, the fishing is often incredible! As the carp become more and more active they begin to feed harder and harder as their metabolism speeds up after that long winter break.
As far as spring tips go, I follow the same pattern every season. When the sun starts to get some real heat behind it, late March, early April, I love to fish Zigs. The carp crave that sun that's been missing all winter and the upper layers are obviously first to benefit from the lovely rays making that the place they want to be.
The biggest mistake I see people make when Zig fishing is being uncommitted and only fishing one rod. Don't get me wrong this can catch fish, but identifying what layer of the water column carp are swimming at by committing all three rods, is definitely the difference in making a good session into a great one. Find the depth, commit all three rods and the action can often come thick and fast.
Another point I've spoken about before is the hookbait choice. Black foam seems to be the most popular these days and I often use it myself, but I will always fish a bright Mainline pop-up on at least two rods, my favourite is a Mainline Pineapple Juice in 15mm and I'll always glug in a matching Hook Bait Enhancement for added attraction in the water column. My thoughts behind this are simple, I feel I've got a little more in my favour if I'm using a bright hookbait like a pop-up and not just a piece of foam. Sounds silly as we've all caught countless carp on black foam, but I feel with that, the depth is absolutely crucial but with the bright pop up being larger I feel this is seen better from further away, possibly making carp swim up or down to take it. I've based this on the slightly different hook holds I've had fishing the two methods over the years, I can imagine carp just mouthing the foam as they swim past but actually sucking in the pop-up with more commitment. This might sound odd but it's a confidence thing for me and I can vouch for landing more carp on pop-ups than I have foam.
Another little tip I'd give, again this is based on water temperature; do not ignore the margins or shallower water. I've had some great success stalking in the spring, a tactic often only associated with the summer months. Carp will spend lots of the day when the sun's bright in the margins or on shallow plateaux. If it's possible on the lake you're fishing, bait up some marginal spots early in the morning that you can fish later in the day when the sun's up. I'd be using crumbed up Cell boilies, pellet and a few handfuls of 10mm Cell. I like the crumb because if I'm cleared out they'll always be crumb in the sediment or gravel making the spot intriguing for carp to visit. Again, the hook-bait will be bright, something for them to home in on. My favourite when stalking is a 12mm Mainline Pineapple Balanced Wafter.
I hope some of that will help you this spring, I certainly can't wait for it myself, lets hope 2020 is successful for us all.