Do These 5 Things Every Carp Fishing Trip And You Will Never Blank AGAIN!

We are bound to have got your attention with that headline, nobody likes a blank, right? Well, avoiding them is easier said than done, almost everyone goes home with a dry net sometimes. But, if you can manage to get these five things right, your chances of catching nothing on your next carp fishing trip will be significantly reduced...

Carp Fishing Net


You can't catch what isn't there. Simple and obvious words that ring true time and time again. This process starts before you even leave your home, as picking the right venue for your trip will determine your chances of catching or not.

How well stocked is the venue? Is it busy with other anglers, which therefore will make it harder for you to position yourself on the fish? Are you able to access everywhere the fish might be hiding? All these questions play a massive part on if you will meet the end goal of putting a carp in your net.

You don't have to visit an out and out 'runs water' every time you go carp fishing, but if all you want to do is catch fish regularly, picking a 100-acre pit with 50 fish in it isn't for you. Blanking on these waters is very much part and parcel, even if you got all the other steps in this article bang on.

Carp In Net

Once the venue has been selected, you then need to do the real graft of finding where the carp are actually situated. Get those Peekaboo Sunglasses on and a Splash Camo Cap, it's time to go carp hunting! 

The location process isn't just about finding some carp. On some lakes they can at times be everywhere. What you need to look for is behaviours and patterns that might give you some clues as to where the fish are most likely going to take a bait.

Are they constantly patrolling the same margin? Maybe, they are showing consistently over an area out in the lake. Where are other anglers catching? Or, are the carp grouped up in an unpressured quiet area?

Locating Carp

Even if you can't see the fish directly, there are always other signs and clues to their whereabouts. Can you spot any bubbling caused by fish browsing the lakebed? Is there an area of the lake particularly more coloured than elsewhere? And what about the other wildlife? Birds can often give some massive clues to where the carp are, either chasing them or spooking off them. Birds diving on spots can also be a useful indicator that some food and maybe even a carp or two might be down there. All things worth a closer inspection. 

As much and as many observations you can make on the carp, the better prepared you will be to catch them. We know it feels like you need to rush to get the rods out straight away, but trust us, 10 minutes in the right place trumps 10 hours in the wrong one every time!

Carp Feeding


Having trust in your tackle is key if you are to land fish as powerful as carp every time you go fishing. You can't leave anything to chance. A bad hook, hooklink, mainline or poorly tied knot will cost you fish and knock your confidence. 

Hooks are an interesting talking point amongst carp anglers. There's plenty of subtle differences between the various patterns available that make them work better with certain materials, but the real debating points are picking Barbed or Barbless, Straight or Beaked.

The first of these choices is largely dictated by the rules at your chosen venue, but given the choice, a majority of anglers would likely pick a Micro Barbed hook over a a Barbless on most occasions.

Carp Hook

Luckily, for One More Cast fans, we have both Barbed and Barbless options available for anglers - so you can always use one of our mega strong and super sharp hooks no matter what the rules dictate.

One thing you will notice with our Barbless Lock and Horseshoe options, however,  is that they both have 'beaked' points. This is important, as the 'beak' essentially holds the hook in place to stop fish coming off. 

In a nutshell, the debate around 'beaked' and 'straight' point hooks is: straight points prick the fish and essentially go in better, but are easier to slip back out. Whereas a 'beaked' point might not prick as efficiently but holds in place far better.

OMC Horseshoe Carp Fishing Hook

There is loads more to look for in a hook too. They need to be sharp, strong and if you want multiple fish in testing circumstances, resilient. If you are happy with changing your hooks after every fish, then our Colne-V Needle Point and Lock Hooks are the ones for you - they are stupidly sharp, hooking everything that dares go near them! The downside to this level of sharpness, however, is that once they have done their job of hooking and holding in the mouth of a carp all the way into the net, the points can blunt.

OMC Lock Carp Fishing Hook

In contrast, our Surrender Range of hooks might not be quite as extreme in sharpness as the two previously mentioned but are as tough as old boots. Certainly the preferred choice on really busy waters, where you just want to get the same rig back out as fast as possible.

Regardless of which hook you pick, checking the point regularly with the nail test is essential before casting a rig out in the pond. This one thing could be the difference between catching and blanking.

OMC Redesmere Carp Fishing Hook

Moving on to hooklinks, it's obvious they just can't break and let you down. Sometimes this is caused by user error, however. Try to make sure you are tying the best knots for your chosen material, always wet those knots thoroughly before tightening and give them a good old pull with the Cool Tool to check them.

OMC Cool Tool Fishing Multi Tool

When picking a breaking strain for your hooklink, you can be certain that all the hooklinks in our range will land the biggest of carp. The variations in the strains have more of an impact on the rig's behaviour and rigidity, but obviously, for huge fish in challenging conditions like snags, the stronger the better.

The same message applies to mainlines, and our NEW Dancefloor Monofilament has been designed and tested to cope under some real tough circumstances. Its high abrasion resistance means that you can be confident you will keep that big fish on the end, no matter the battle it gives you.

For big casts, it is worth dropping down to the lower diameter 12lb breaking strain but for hard-hitting action at close to medium range, opt for the heavier 15lb or 18lb spools. Having spare spools for your reels so you can change as the circumstances require will 100% benefit you in this area and ensure you are always fishing at maximum efficiency.

Dancefloor Fishing Line


If you really want to avoid those painful blank sessions, making sure you are fishing at prime bite time is essential. There are no doubt periods when carp feed harder than others, and these can be dictated by all manner of things. The wind, the moon phase, the air pressure and light levels can all play a massive part, as well as the changing seasons.

This is a tough area to get right every time, as although there are some general trends, every carp fishing water behaves slightly differently. With that said, here's a few 'prime' times to be on the bank...

Carp Fishing Weather

Pressure Drops - A low pressure front which falls below 1000mb can not only bring some pretty miserable weather conditions, but often gets the carp feeding very, very hard!

Full and New Moons - A proper carp angler's debate this one and worthy of many a full article. Some anglers swear by fishing on and around the full and new moons. The moon certainly has an influence on tides due to its gravitational impact and many believe this encourages the fish to start feeding more aggressively too. There is also likely some impact of the changing light levels during these phases on the carp's behaviour. 

Strong Warm Winds - A new and warm wind that blows hard to one end of the lake will almost certainly be followed by some, if not all, of the carp. These winds can become stale and less enticing to the fish after a few days, so get on them early. The warmest winds are from the South and West. Try to avoid sitting on the end of cold winds from the East and North. 

Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter - Carp can and will be caught all year round, all over the world. They are no doubt easier to catch throughout the warmer months, however, when they are feeding and moving around the water far more regularly. On lightly fished waters, the carp can go some what dormant over the colder months, but as we said previously, there are a lot of variables and few golden rules.

Overcast, Sunny or Wet - These conditions tie in closely to air pressure, but carp can be caught in all of them with some slight adjustments made to the angling approach. Generally, if the conditions are bright and sunny, the fish are likely to be found in shallower water or closer to the surface, where zigs and floater tactics can score. When it is wet and overcast, fish are more likely to be found feeding lower in the levels and on the bottom. 

Day or Night? - Carp feed at all times of day or night, and again, every water is slightly different for many reasons. With that said, at certain times of year fish can feed harder in the hours of darkness and lightly in the day, or the other way around. Generally, the best times to be on the bank are first and last light, which is why night fishing for carp is such an effective strategy.

Night Fishing


This is something so many anglers don't pay enough attention to. If the carp doesn't want to eat what's on your hook, you won't ever catch them! There's so many ways to make your hookbait attractive, some more subtle than others, but all produce the same result - more bites!

Making your hookbait attractive could simply be picking the best colour, and this can change on different days. There are anglers who fish a different colour bait on every rod until they find the one the fish want that day. Consider how contrasting lakebeds and light levels might emphasise your choice when deciding what colour to cast out. On clear lakes, a black foam zig rig stands out more than anything else and continues to catch thousands of carp every year - it's not all about bright yellow pop-ups! 

Tweakers Eyed Bait Screw

With pop-ups and boilies there is no doubt an advantage in boosting the attractors and leakage coming from the bait. There's loads of ways this can be done, including adding products like Goo and Smart Liquid, but don't rule out pastes or powders either. Combinations that use all of these in a 'curing process' over time can end up creating some of the most stimulating carp baits imaginable.


It ain't all about boilies either. There are plenty of occasions when the carp will find a natural hookbait in the form of a bunch of maggots or worms far more attractive than anything else you can offer them. Worms in particular have become super popular in the last few years and accounted for some ridiculous catches in challenging conditions when all other baits have failed.

If you are going with the live baits option, make sure there aren't many nuisance fish in your venue and always use the freshest bait. We really rate Willy Worms for our live feed. Combine them with our Wormurai Sprig Stops and Revibed Imitation Worms and you'll have the best carp fishing worm rig possible. 

Worms Carp Fishing Rig

Next we have pellets and particles, which as we head into the summer months, carp absolutely love to eat! But few anglers fish them as a hookbait...

Tiger Nuts - Are arguably one of the best carp baits of all-time and in very minimal quantities will catch some of the hardest fish in the country. 

Sweetcorn - Bright and easy to digest. Carp love the stuff. Fish as a stack on the hair, or if nuisance fish are an issue, use our Revibed Corn Caves and stuff them with paste for added attraction!

Pellets - Tricky to fish on the hair but a bait the carp love to eat a lot of. They know how good these are for them. Try our Revibed Pellet Caves loaded with a fishmeal paste for as close as possible match to the real thing!

As a final note, we have the supermarket classics, bread, luncheon meat and dog biscuits. For surface fishing, bread and dog biscuits speak for themselves, but don't rule out a cheeky 'bread bomb' on the deck either, created with our Revibed Bait Orbs. You can pack these with meat and anything else you fancy too. A stupidly underused tactic which allows you to fish baits the carp will never have been hooked on before - nothing makes you standout from the crowd more than that! 

Revibed OMC Tackle Plastic Baits


You'll struggle to find a carp rig that works in every single situation, although there are some that come very close.

The rig that you use should be determined by the lakebed it will be fished over and the baiting/feeding situation. With that said, some rigs are more capable all-rounders than others. For avoiding blanks, you really want a rig that can reset if interfered with and present over most lakebeds.

The Solid Bag is a great choice that works on all venues. Not only does it present your hookbait in a protective and attractive pile of pellets, it can be fished over all lakebeds - even weed! The only downside to the presentation is, that once it has be messed with or rejected, it is pretty much a busted flush. With regular casting, however, you have one of the best blank saving rigs there is.

Solid Bag Ali Hamidi

The Hinged Stiff Rig has previously been called "one of the most effective hookers of big carp there is", and whilst it has lost a little favour in recent years to the Ronnie/Spinner Rig, it still catches more that its fair share. It can present over any lakebed and is incredibly difficult for fish to deal with due to the stiffness of the hook section. Whilst carp can spot and avoid it over a gravel bottom, if you can get fish grazing over a wide spread of boilies, the Hinge takes some beating!

Hinged Stiff Rig Carp Fishing

Both the Ronnie and Hinge offer superb resetting properties when fished with a stiff boom section like our Kickback Fluorocarbon. This makes them perfect blank avoiders, as you aren't wasting a second of time with one of these cast in the lake! Add to that their ability to 'spin' and hook carp from multiple directions and you have two stupidly effective rigs - it's almost unfair! 

With all that said, there are times when fish will actively avoid and suss pop-up hookbaits. This is when the phenomenal Fluorocarbon D-Rig should come into play. This rig needs to be fished over a clean lakebed like gravel, but if you can manage that, you have an aggressive hooking and resetting rig that carp really struggle at times to deal with. For quick-hit fishing and beating blanks, this rig really is a beauty.

Fluorocarbon D Rig OMC

Of course there are loads more rigs out there that are also superb carp catchers, but if you want to beat the blanks right from the off, these mentioned above are superb and simple starters. Just remember, if you can keep your hookbait and sharp hook accessible to the fish at all times, you're in the game! 

And that's it! We told you we weren't lying... pick the right venue, conditions, tackle, bait and rigs, and you won't fail to catch carp! It really is that easy... make sure you let us know how you get on trying it!

Big 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.