Before targeting the largest specimen, we have to first find the carp!
You will see that this is not necessarily true…. the largest and therefore the oldest fish often behave differently to their young counterparts. First we will outline the areas where they reside and feed and then explain how to target them with your rig.
2. What is a Large Carp?
We always dream of that record sized carp out there waiting for us to catch, but we will never forget our first carp caught with boilies. It was very often small, but it remains a carp fishing moment we will never forget.
A 10 kilo specimen is already a large fish and catching it will be a huge thrill. To reach such a weight, this carp has dodged many dangers, thanks to living in a shoal. Through illness and fishing this shoal will become smaller and smaller. So an old fish of more than 20kg deserves all the respect such a long living memory requires.
3. Where to Set Up Your Rig
The feeding routes of the oldest fish often have many obstacles, providing a varied food source and sense of security. So you should fish near these obstacles, ideally between two feeding areas. These areas are easier to identify in rivers, since carp generally feed swimming against the current along the banks. Larger carp are also more often found in deeper water, no doubt again for safety.
As you are in a feeding area, there is no need to use large amounts of bait. The quality and visibility of your boilie bait are the most important factors. Baiting in a round plate pattern with your rig in the centre is recommended for carp fishing.
When there is mass baiting, smaller fish in the shoal compete ferociously, making them hurl themselves at the bait. The big carp remain just outside the area, observing the frenzy. They will come and finish off what is left once calm has been restored. In this case, we recommend you position your rigs in the surrounding area and be careful to make sure they are discreet.
A big carp means a big mouth. Therefore the best way of choosing the size of your future catch is to use large bait. It is with boilies 24mm and over that we can start targeting the larger fish. Some fishermen have no hesitation in choosing boilies over 35mm and even use 2 giant boilies to catch “the big one”.
Pay extra attention to the strength of your rig when you know that you could be dealing with large specimens. Check knots and the sharpness of your hooks!
Above all we recommend you check your rig is sound. This means that it should be in tip top condition and the hook perfectly sharp. Why? Large carp are cautious and test boilies by spitting them out several times before swallowing.
The “snowman” rig is particularly good here because the combination of a dense and a floating boilie makes your bait neutral and your trap almost impossible to detect. What’s more, it is more quickly visible as it floats slightly.
The floating boilie should be fixed last for the “snowman” rig to work
These are a few tips to give you the best chance of increasing the size of the fish you catch. It goes without saying that knowing the water you are fishing is vital for catching large specimens.
It’s for this reason large carp ponds attract so many carp fishermen!
With these strategies you will perhaps get less bites, but certainly more thrills once that large carp does bite.
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