Avoid Making These 9 Silly Carp Fishing Mistakes...

Stupid mistakes when fishing can cost you that chance of a personal best fish that may well make your season. In this article, the OMC Team take a look at some of the biggest mistakes in carp fishing and how you can remedy/avoid them...

Every carp angler on the planet, experienced or otherwise, makes mistakes or misjudgements on almost every session. It's a fundamental part of carp fishing, even the very best make the wrong call regularly.

There's a difference, however, between picking the wrong spot or casting the wrong bait out and some of the howlers we are about to share. These are the silly carp fishing mistakes you need to avoid at all costs...

Ali and Bobby Funny Carp

Being Lazy

We are without a doubt all guilty of this one but the UK's very best anglers keep this mistake down to an absolute minimum. But what is lazy fishing?

To be successful with your carp fishing regularly, you have to do some fundamental things; be on the right venues, locate the best areas to fish and present a rig properly, with a bait the fish want to eat - it's that simple!

How many times have you settled for the swim closest to the car park? Decided on a classic 'pub chuck' instead of finding a good spot? Not cast or moved on to showing fish even when you know you should? Or simply not left the bivvy for the entire session, totally oblivious to what is going on in front of you?

Carp Jumping

Nobody gets it right all the time and you will on occasions still be rewarded for a more laid back approach. But being meticulous with your location, rig and bait placement, and monitoring of the carp's behaviour, will 100% increase your catch rate throughout the season.

If you are able, always spend plenty of time walking the lake prior to the session to try and establish the behaviour of the fish and their preferred location. Then, when you're in the swim, make the most of it by exploring the hotspots within it. Before applying your rigs and bait as accurately as possible.

On longer sessions, take some time to 'marker up' or use an echo sounder device. It may seem like hassle, but every bit of information you learn will go on to help you either later in the same session or on your next trip to the venue.

There's going to be occasions quite regularly when your initial calculations were wrong. You might suddenly be in the wrong spot because the fish have moved. Maybe they were feeding on the bottom but now they are cruising on the top and a Zig would be the better bet. Never be afraid or too lazy to change direction. That might even mean leaving a swim you have caught from to follow the fish. Don't wait for them to come to you, get after them!

Carp Fishing Barrowing Moving Kit

Making Too Much Noise and Disturbance

Sometimes we forget that we are trying to capture a wild animal. It's easy to do when we have enormous bivvies with flat screen TVs and Cool Boxes full of beer on hand for a long session. But, even in more commercial fishing circumstances, keeping the noise down, especially around key feeding times, will work in your favour.

This largely depends on your venue and the situation you are faced with. On huge waters where the fish may be several hundred yards out into the lake, you can get away with a bit more bankside commotion. But on a small and intimate lake, you might not just ruin your own fishing, you could kill the chance of a bite for everyone else too, as the fish will just switch off completely. 

There are many classics anglers make regularly in this area. Firstly is on arrival. Now, we all like to have our bankside home set up for maximum comfort, but, if the swim is intimate and the fishing at close range, does that really require beating the living hell out of the ground with a rubber mallet? Don't think you have to bivvy up right on top of your kit either or have your rods right out over the water. If you're fishing in close, tuck yourself back a bit and stay hidden.

Deciding when to cast and feed bait is also a crucial consideration in this area. How many times have you seen anglers get up during that morning bite time and proceed to smash the water to bits with a Spomb? More often than not this just totally kills your chances of a bite and can even impact the chances of those around you. It's far better to wait and feed when the fish are not in the swim or aren't actively feeding in the area.

Carp Fishing Cast

Using The Wrong Rigs

There are loads of different carp fishing rigs out there and nobody can be a complete expert in all of them, but understanding how your rig is behaving is key if you are to get the most from it. A rig is not just the hook end, but the complete lead system too.

The choice of rig and lead system should be determined by two factors; the lake bottom it will be fished over and the baiting approach. What might be a great rig in one spot, might turn out to be a complete duffer in another. Whilst a presentation that works wonders over a tight bed of particles, might be easily ejected by the fish when cast amongst a spread of boilies.

Spinner Rig underwater

As a general rule, an Inline Lead System works better on a firmer bottom like gravel or clay, unless presented inside a Solid PVA Bag. Helicopter Systems are the best choice on softer bottoms like silt or silkweed, as the beads on the leader allow the lead to plummet into the bottom debris and the rig slide up the line out of harms way. Lead Clip systems are a good all-rounder, particularly when the angler adjusts the hooklink materials and length to counter varying bottom substrates.

Each carp rig behaves slightly differently below the surface, but the key elements they all must have is a sharp hook and the ability for that hook to turn and catch hold in the mouth of the carp. This process is aided by additional Terminal Tackle components such as our Dazzlers, Shrink Tube and Putty

Extensive underwater filming has shown that another crucial element for rigs is that they can reset themselves after being ejected by the carp. Nearly every rig other than one we found recently, can be spat out by the fish several times before hooking them. You can boost the resetting properties of your rig by using a stiffer hooklink like our Kickback or Blend Flurocarbons. Coated Braids like our Blend Coated Hooklink are a good compromise between resetting properties and suppleness for uneven lakebeds. 

All these traits are all well and good, but it is pointless if your rig is delivered in a tangled mess. The same materials mentioned above will boost the anti-tangle traits of your rig but no rig, other than a Chod, should be cast out without the addition of one of our Anti-Tangle Sleeves. Keep up to date with these blogs for a full article on how to prevent tangles soon.

OMC Carp Fishing Underwater

The final piece of the rig puzzle is deciding on the baiting approach that will be applied with it. There are no hard and fast rules in carp fishing, and every situation is different, so don't be afraid to change if things aren't working.

For bottoms that are a little choddy or rocky, a pop-up is arguably your best hookbait choice, with rigs like the Spinner, Hinged Stiff, Chod or Withy Pool good options.

When fishing on clean and flat ground, a bottom bait or wafter style hookbait is likely to be received with less caution by the carp. The Blowback, Slip-D, German and D-Rig are all sound choices here.

It's worth considering how the fish will be feeding on your spot too. With tighter patches of finer particles like hemp, pellets and corn, the fish likely won't be moving far between each mouthful. In these scenarios, a bottom bait or wafter on a shorter hooklink should work best. If you are using a wider spread of larger baits like boilies, a pop-up or critically balanced bait on a longer hooklink offers better hooking mechanics, as the fish move with more speed between each bait.

Carp Fishing Bait

Not Being Prepared & Organised

Preparation is key. How many times have we all heard that one? There's plenty of truth in it though. Forward planning your sessions so you are prepared for anything the fish and the elements throw at you is essential.

Watching the weather forecast is a useful way to determine how you might approach your session. What way has the wind been blowing prior to your trip? Is it old and stale? Or is it a strong and fresh breeze? Is it going to change during your session, if so, do you want to get ahead of it? All of these are useful questions to have the answers to. Knowing if a torrential downpour is coming is also pretty useful when determining which Jackets you're going to bring with you too!

OMC Splash Camo PB jacket

Time is everything on the bank. If you don't get out fishing as much as you would like, you will notice that sessions just fly by, so you don't want to waste a minute. There's loads of prep you can do with your kit at home, including mixing/glugging bait for the trip, tying rigs and organising your kit so everything is to hand when you need it. Here at OMC we have designed several great products to increase the speed and efficiency of carp fishing for everyone...

Rig ReadyThis unique product allows you to store your perfectly tied rig, hook, lead and lead system strapped to your rod, so you’re ready to fish with perfectly conditioned rigs right from the off.

One More Cast Rig Ready

Ready Rigs - On limited time, there's no need these days to waste a second tying rigs. Our Ready Rigs are beautifully tied and won't let you down. Simply open the packet, tie to your mainline and add your lead and bait - easy as that!

OMC All In One Rigs

The Cool Tool - All your essential fishing tools in one place. The Cool Tool is 10 tools in one. No more losing your needles or drills. Everything you need is on this easy-to-use gadget.

OMC Cool Tool Fishing Multi tool

Poorly Tied Knots

This one applies to all forms of angling, as a bad knot can be the difference between getting that huge fish in the net and it just snapping you off entirely. There are loads of different knots out there, each with varying pros and cons, with the best choice often determined by the materials used.

No matter if you use a Blood Knot, Grinner or Palomar, there are some fundamentals to remember when tying them. First, is to always make sure you wet your knots before pulling them down tight. This reduces friction on the line as the knot pulls together. The second essential when knot tying is to always make sure you test them thoroughly. Our Cool Tool has plenty of side pullers that allow you to test knots to destruction. A poorly tied knot will pull apart easily. Even experienced anglers can tie a bad knot when they are in a rush, so remember to check them!

You will find that some knots are easier with specific materials, whilst other hooklink options, like our Kickback Fluorocarbon, are better crimped than knotted. In a similar fashion, you will discover some knots when tied with braid slip easier, and loops when tied in some fluorocarbons can reduce the breaking strain quite significantly. It's therefore worth learning a few different knots to use with the various hooklink products.

As a final note on knots. Don't fish with a new knot unless you are 100% confident tying it correctly. Practice at home and only cast it out when you know it is strong enough to work reliably. Confidence is everything and even if one knot is supposed to be better than another, if you've tied it incorrectly, you won't see the benefit.

Fishing Knot

Not Feeling The Lead Down

This one tip will go on to catch you hundreds, if not thousands more carp. Understanding what your rig has landed on is crucial. You can do this by trapping the line with your finger on the spool or hitting the clip before the rig hits the water, then with the rod in hand, feel that lead down to the bottom. If you feel it hit with a firm thud or 'donk' you can be confident you are on presentable ground. If the drop is softer, you are likely in silt, but if you can't feel the lead falling through the water and there's no drop at all, there's a good chance you're in weed!

Carp Fishing Hitting The Clip

You can exaggerate the feeling transmitted through the rod to aid this process in two ways; first is to use a braided mainline. The second is to pick the right lead. Our Donky Pear Leads have a wider profile base which helps emphasise the drop through the rod. A small thing that makes a big difference.

OMC Donky Pear Lead

Too Much Bad Bait 

How much we feed is one of those variables that can change from day to day depending on the conditions, and is something we as carp anglers don't always get right. The best rule to follow is "you can put it in, but you can't take it out" and "feed little and often." One excuse we can't make, however, is the quality of our baits and these days there really is no reason for using below standard free offerings.

The majority of the OMC Sponsored Angler Team use Mainline Baits and Willy Worms for most of their fishing, but there are many other long-standing and reputable companies offering high-quality baits too. It is easy to see some great deals on bulk baits from a company you might not have heard of and think the more you have the better, but with boilies in particular, quality 100% tops quantity.

Buckets of Boilies

Keeping your bait fresh and in good condition is important too, dead worms and floating turning casters are not the one. With boilies you can choose either to soak your freezer baits in oils and salts, or air dry them in our Rat Bags to prevent them going off.

No matter how good your baits are, giving them that little boost is always worth the effort too. Goo, Smart Liquid and other additives may seem like a gimmick to some, but underwater filming has shown they can make a massive difference when it comes to generating a feeding response - Ali won't cast out without them anymore! 

Goo and Smart Liquid

Applying Too Much Line Pressure

How many times have you been on a busy lake and seen the one spot without an angler become absolutely stuffed with carp? Without a doubt carp can become very cautious around tight fishing lines and seek to actively avoid them. This subject is worth many full articles in itself, but the basic premise is to disguise your lines as best as possible, at the very minimum, pin them down near your rig.

Carp Fishing Line

Slack, semi-slack and tight lines all come with their pros and cons, but there is a time and place for each. If you do have to fish a tight line, consider how it is cutting across your swim. If you are fishing in a small bay, for example, try to make sure the outer rod is not cutting off the fish from reaching the inner rod. Too many lines all over the place can be more alarming to the fish than pressure concentrated on one area. Picking a fast sinking mainline like our new Dancefloor will help get the section closest to your rig pinned to the lakebed so the fish can't detect it.  

OMC DanceFloor Carp Fishing Mainline

At the rig end, the addition of leaders and tubing will help this process too, so the fish aren't hitting line whilst feeding in the swim. Our Blend Leadcore and Corefree Lead Free Spliceable Leader materials are both great choices that stay camouflaged and sink hard to the bottom. If leaders are banned at your venue, the Blend Tungsten Tubing is a phenomenal alternative option.

OMC Corefree Carp Leader

Not Using A Sharp Hook!

Everyone makes this mistake when they start carp fishing, then it seems the more experience we get, the more and more paranoid we get with hookpoints. Luckily, for our fabulous OMC customers, we have loads of great hooks to choose from...

For the very sharpest point straight out the packet, our Colne-V Needle Points and Lock Hooks are a fantastic choice. There is a compromise to be made with hooks that are this sharp, however, and that is, after they have done the job of hooking and landing that massive carp you were after, you might need to change them. 

If changing your hook regularly isn't for you, our Surrender Range of hooks are far more resilient and whilst still sharp, are not quite as needle fine on the point as the two patterns previously mentioned.

Always check the points of your hooks before casting your rig out with a quick nail and finger test. The hook should hold in place with minimal pressure and not slide across the nail. If the point is blunt, you either need to swap the hook for a fresh one or give it some TLC. Keep up to date with the site, as we have an unbelievable new product that will help in this area coming very soon!

OMC Lock Hook Carp Fishing

Author Chris Haydon has just joined the OMC Family after six years working for the UK's number 1 fishing publication, the Angling Times. He is a keen coarse and carp fishing all-rounder, fishing in the South West region, including the famous Cotswold Water Park.