Short Session Carp Fishing & Why You Should Try It

These days I spend less and less time on the bank and appear to be catching the same amount of carp as I was doing a few years ago when I was concentrating my campaigns on night fishing. Not too many but enough to satisfy my interest. 

In 2014 I spent 2 nights in total in a bivvy in England with the rest of my time being spent on short day sessions of 2 hours or more. I am fortunate enough to run my own syndicate on a private estate only minutes away from my home, so watching the water and fish movements is not a problem.

It,s easy to move with this set up

It’s easy to move with this set up

The tackle that I use for my short session fishing is a far cry to the amount that I take on a weeks session in France. I can either throw my gear on my back or on my barrow, with the latter being easier. With a 3 rod limit and most of the fishing being conducted at short range, my tackle easily fits into a small tackle bag, with my rods into a sling.

I have a small light chair to relax on, a new light 60 inch umbrella to get away from any inclement weather and there are unhooking mats positioned around the lake, so my own mat can be left at home. 2 bank sticks, 2 buzz bars with my 3 compact ATTX indicators and receiver, everything is designed for a quick move.

I caught this fish from the shallows at Margot. Three rods, bank sticks and a pocket full of tackle was all that was needed.

My tackle bag contains my weighing scales, camera, tripod, air release system, a small tackle box which has my bait needles, stops and some other odds and ends. I have any spare hook rigs made up and keep them in a small cigar tin. Catapult, PVA nuggets, drying cloth, sandwiches and flask, what else do I need. Oh yes, bait!

Small tub of assorted pop ups and a small bucket with my choice of Quality Baits boilies. The bucket is not only a container but also used for wetting down any captures when on the mat.

This was one of a multiple catch on Grenville from following a shoal of carp around the 72 acre lake.

This was one of a multiple catch on Grenville from following a shoal of carp around the 72 acre lake.

The beauty of fishing this way, is that if I have started off in the wrong location and I see fish moving in another part of the lake, within 5 minutes I can be on the move. Being mobile has caught me lots of extra carp that if I was sitting bivvied up in a swim, I would have missed. I have fished this way even on some of the bigger lakes such a Grenville. By following the shoals around the lake I get the opportunity of trying to get just in front of the shoal as they forage the natural hatches.

I started to get into this type of fishing around 30 years ago when I was fishing a 17 acre reservoir. Armed with a catapult, landing net and just 1 rod with a small tackle bag on my back, I was stalking carp with either bottom baits or flavoured and coloured chum mixers. I caught dozens of carp, much to the annoyance of the campers set around the lake. Some of the best anglers that I know fish this way and they catch on a regular basis. You certainly learn more about a water and feeding areas.

Find the fish and you have a better chance of catching them than sitting and waiting. Thin down your tackle and give it a try. I find it more pleasurable than camping.

Paul Cooper
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