Fishing for carp in open water. Part 1

Among the carp fish in the southern waters of Russia, in terms of their habits, tenacity and strength of resistance, the carp is perhaps of the greatest interest. And I must admit that every year the number of anglers who prefer to catch it purposefully increases. So, you decided to go for the carp, realizing that this is not an easy catch, requiring patience, endurance and composure. And, of course, the first question arises before you: how to decide on the place of fishing so that sitting for many hours in a boat or on the shore does not turn out to be an empty pastime. Of course, on the Dniester there will be some conditions, on the Don – others, on the reservoirs and lakes – the third, and so on. But in this case, we will consider the main features of fishing in relation to the numerous channels in the lower reaches of the Volga, such as Akhtuba, Mitinka, Kharabalyk, Buzan, etc.

What should you first of all pay attention to here when looking for carp sites? Usually these are suvodi, formed at a steep “canyon” coast, more often clayey; areas where there are fallen and half-sunken trees; steep banks with underworlds, from which tree roots stick out; zagruzhennye ledges of the bottom, extending from the coast in depth. If you find yourself on an unfamiliar body of water, do not rush to choose a fishing spot. Sometimes the morning or evening dawn is enough to choose from, and sometimes it’s worth spending the day. Despite its strength, caution and cunning, the carp is a very vulnerable fish. He gives himself out with characteristic splashes, thrown out of the water. Carp headings can be in the early morning or in the evening twilight, and in cloudy warm weather, sporadically throughout the day. How to explain this behavior of fish, no one has yet intelligibly explained. But, of course, the carp is thrown out of the water not in order to find a fisherman on the shore.


I will give you a specific example from my practice. That spring we came to the Kharabalyk river as savages. About seven or eight people. I don’t remember exactly now. The next morning my companions departed for erik to shoot down the hunt on pike and perch. I, who had dreamed all winter of fighting a worthy carp, went down the river, taking with me everything necessary for such a catch. The sun had just risen, and the glare from the dawn reflected on the fast flowing water. Before me was a whirlpool, the so-called “return”. I assembled a running bottom (three-meter spinning rod, braided line 0.14 mm, a trapezoidal sinker weighing 40 g, a leash made of strong transparent monofilament with a diameter of 0.24 mm and carp hook No. 4).

While I was adjusting the tackle and settling down on the shore, there were two hops over the whirlpool. And the carp were serious. I acquired a lobe of worms, abandoned the tackle and decided to wait until the bitter end. After about half an hour – a bite (rather a strong jerk). Hooking. And I feel – there is! The carp (and this was him) rushes downstream. It’s good that I slightly loosened the coil friction beforehand. After fifteen minutes of struggle, a carp of five or six kilograms at the shore. A real handsome man! With my left hand I reach for the landing net, and I hold the index finger of my right hand on the side of the spool. What a foolishness you cannot do in excitement! My opponent turns over three times heavily from side to side and frees himself from the hook. In a moment, he disappears into the depths of the pool. It was just time to drown myself … That day I still caught a couple of carp, but these were not so worthy rivals.

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In the lower reaches of the Volga, the carp takes well throughout the summer, and he does not care about the heat. However, in my opinion, it is most interesting to catch this fish in September-October. If in the summer months the carp quite often adheres to relatively shallow places rich in vegetation, then by autumn, with a cooling of the water, it can most often be found on rugged dumps in deep pits. But be sure to close to the shelters and next to the main stream. In part, such a “dislocation” can be explained by the fact that at depth the water for some time remains warmer than in shallow water. Be that as it may, the local carp is very active in September, and with prolonged autumn heat, its bite is quite good in October.


Fishing from a boat is usually practiced on large rivers and reservoirs, as well as on rivers 100-150 m wide, in those places where it is impossible to fish from the bank because of dense vegetation or steep banks. If you use a boat, in any case, it is preferable to choose sections of the river with a weak or moderate current, since the fish will have to be fished out against the pressure of the stream, which increases the chances of a carp being cut down to get rid of the tackle. In addition, having anchored and feeding the place on a quiet early morning, you have no guarantee that a strong wind will not start in an hour or two (this is not uncommon in the Astrakhan region), and then another problem arises. No matter how competently you set up the boat, it will sway and shake on the wave. The bumpiness when fishing on the donk, naturally, is transferred to the rig, which alarms the cautious fish, as well as the creak of oarlocks, knocking, as well as the impact of waves on the side.

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At the final stage of playing, you should be extremely careful so that the carp does not start the line for one of the anchor ropes, or even for both at once. Fishing from the shore also has its pros and cons. If the distance from the feeding point is 50-70 m, you need to master the skill of accurate casting. And the greater the distance to the carp and the stronger the current, the more the line after casting will “sail” under the pressure of the stream. And this, in turn, makes it difficult to recognize careful bites and make a timely strike. The same problem arises when using feeders instead of a sinker. But if you manage to find a calm section of the river inhabited by good carp, success is usually assured. With all the drawbacks, fishing from the shore is not only more comfortable, but also not so tiring as from a boat.

author: V.A. Kazantsev “Fishing in open water”