Atmospheric Pressure and Locating Carp

To me location is the most important factor that you need to get right whilst carp fishing. You can have the best baits and rigs in the world, but if you don’t place them in the correct place they will count for very little.

I am sure we all take weather conditions into account when deciding where to fish at any given time of year. You know, such things as fishing into a nice warm South Westerly blow or fishing on the back of a cold North Easterly, but how many of us actually take into account the atmospheric pressure when deciding where to place our baits? We all know that a low pressure front will usually get carp feeding well on the bottom, but what about high pressure?

This question came into my mind has I was just sorting through a few photographs and I was really reminded of a week I spent in France on the Angling Lines venue Le Monument at the end of March 2012.

Easy to see where it gets its name from!

The forecast was for really high pressure all week and cold clear nights with warm clear sunny days – not really the best of conditions.

Arriving at the venue at about 11.30am we were met by Mark Walsh (the owner) under cloudless skies with an air temperature already of 23 Deg. C. Mark gave us a quick tour around the lake and left us to it. I then spent the next couple of hours walking around the lake with a marker rod to see what I could find. The lake was more or less split in half by a large central island. It proved to be relatively shallow with depths ranging mainly from 2 to 5 feet with the odd deeper area up to about 8  or 9 feet if I remember correctly. It has often been said that carp will feed in the shallower area’s of a lake during periods of high pressure, so with this in mind I placed two rods in just three feet of water and the other one in about 6 ½ feet of water.

The first night I just fed about 20 boilies over each rod, not wanting to put much bait in until I had more idea of where the fish were feeding. Apart from a couple of bream, nothing else happened, but I saw a couple of fish roll in the area between my two shallow water rods so I was happy enough where I was. After seeing these fish, I introduced some more boilies, plus hemp and lake pellet. With the really high pressure I would keep 2 rods tight to the island (in 3 feet of water even at night when the temperature dropped sharply) and try my third one in more open water and at 6 ½ feet deep.

My first fish came at about 7.30pm on the Sunday (a mirror of 24lb +), and was followed by 2 more the same night, all the fish coming to one rod tight to the island. The same thing happened the following night and so a feeding pattern was beginning to emerge. With this in mind I decided to reel all my rods in at 12pm, introduce a bit more bait and then not recast the rods again until 5pm. This ‘rested’ the swim for a good while, but also meant that I would be making no disturbance before the start of the first feeding spell.

There were some nice commons!

This worked well through the week, and by feeding the 2 island rods consistently I got them both producing well, whilst the open water rod (only about 40 yards away), produced just 1 fish all week. I suppose I could have moved my open water rod but I was catching enough to keep me happy and felt that by leaving it where it was, it may prove a point. The whole week was ‘wall to wall sunshine’ and amazingly for the time of year, I never saw a cloud all week. The theory about high pressure and shallow water feeding, certainly seemed to have been proved correct during this week. It could have been expected that the carp would feed in the deeper water during the cool clear nights, but maybe the high pressure kept them in the shallower water!

Never saw a cloud all week!

I ended up with 20 x 20lb + carp (with 6 x 30lb +) and a catfish of 26lb. All the fish being caught on the Quest Baits Rahja Spice shelf lifes (first time they had been used at the venue), and all between 8pm and 8am.

carp fishing feature finding

Two fleeces, the mornings were cold!

carp fishing feature finding

The biggest of the week at 33lb+

Coming back on the ferry, there were a lot of anglers moaning about the week they had (on a wide variety of venues) with most of them struggling for 2 or 3 fish each and blaming the weather conditions. So although my week was far from spectacular by French standards, I was more than happy with the results.

Pat Gillett



3 thoughts on “Atmospheric Pressure and Locating Carp

  1. Paul Cooper says:

    Hi Pat
    I think that early in the season, temperature has more to do with feeding spells rather than air pressure and moon phases.
    As you are aware I was on Monument the week before you arrived. As I arrived at the there was low pressure and it was cold wet and miserable and the lake was still in Winter mode with water and air temp being well down into single figures.
    I picked up 2 carp over the 1st 4 days and nights but sat through hail, sleet, heavy rain and maximum temperatures of 7C and freezing at night. The Lake was dead.
    By Wednesday I was down to my third move into the pads swim(shallowest part of the lake). It was 10C with the forecast for high pressure coming in and warm weather. As I left the lake on the Saturday morning the temperature was up to 20C with a beautiful clear sky and high pressure. If the weather had not turned to high pressure I would have ended up with only a handful of carp but instead the last couple of warmer days produced a further 10 carp for me, which included the then lake record of 47lb 5oz. I believe that If you get a warm spell over the colder months make the best of it, as invertebrates, and some of the insect life spur into action which in turn get our carp feeding.
    Your week’s fishing was during one of these spells, and I had the 1st few days of it, so we both benefited with a few fish.

  2. Pat Gillett says:

    Hi Paul,
    It was probably down to a combination of both, if it was purely down to the suns warmth then i reckon i would have picked up quite a few fish in the daylight hours has the water warmed up. This wasn’t the case, all my fish came in roughly the period between 8pm and 8am. The nights were cold and yet the fish still fed in the shallower part of the lake whilst i had nothing from the deeper area. Although i reeled my rods in at 12pm the two guys i went with continued to fish and they didn’t catch.
    It’s all down to opinions and none of us can ever say for sure.

  3. Shaun Harrison says:

    There are some interesting comments on this Blog here also

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