I have never caught a carp in the lead, because I believe that this fish is more bottom, deep-water and loves a stationary or slightly fluttering bait in one place, and not floating with the current. Of course, in the summer carp can “hover” or walk half-water and at the very surface, but it feeds mainly in the bottom layers, especially in autumn. Therefore, for catching large individuals (weighing more than 2 kg), in my opinion, bottom reel tackle is most acceptable. At the same time, I must note that, taking into account the violent “character” of our hero, it seems to me not very convenient to fish this fish, with the exception of undersized, rods like plugs, feeders, pickers, as well as an ordinary float rod with blind rigging.
As for a large carp, which easily crushes insufficiently strong gear, I dare give some advice. To win the fight against such a serious opponent, first of all, you should definitely use a tackle that has been thoroughly tested for strength. Only in this case, after hooking the fish, you will feel like the master of the situation. Special match carp rods (“glass”, composite, “coal”) up to 3 m long when fishing from a boat and longer when fishing from the shore are the best option. Their test for the conditions of the Lower Volga can be up to 50-70 g, and when fishing in a strong current up to 100 g or more. If you are using braided line, the rod should have good cushioning properties, while monofilament as the main line, due to its extensibility, allows the use of rods with a more rigid action.
Braids such as the 0.17 mm Fireline can hold a dead weight of 10.2 kg. This is enough to use it as a main line. Monofilament lines are usually used with a diameter of 0.3 to 0.45 mm, depending on the extreme playing conditions and the size of the intended trophies. The leash can be used both from “braid” and from monofilament. The first is better, since it is less alarming for the carp tasting the bait first. Especially if it is not located on the “hair”, but directly on the hook. If the bottom is dark (silt with clay), I put the leash in black, dark gray or dark brown; for a sandy-clay bottom – tobacco color or light brown. If it is impossible to determine the nature of the bottom, it is appropriate to use a leash made of colorless monofilament. Where there is a carpet of algae at the bottom, it is advisable to place green leashes.
Just remember that the leash should always be less strong than the main line. When fishing with match rods, both blind and sliding weights are used in the rig. In moderate and strong currents, flat, ribbed ones are preferable. Such a sinker seems to stick to the bottom, and when the tackle is re-cast, it is pushed upward by the current, which reduces the number of hooks. Such sinkers are available, for example, in the assortment of the firms D.AM., Zebco, etc. A heavy sinker sometimes has to be used not only on the rapids, but also in areas with very weak currents, in the case when there is a shallow water from the coast and a strong crosswind creates surface water movement. With a heavier lead in this situation, the required casting accuracy is achieved, and the line forms an arc to a lesser extent due to the surface current.
Carp rarely has to be caught in places with a rocky bottom. Therefore, there is no need for a “tear-off” sinker, except for cases when there are silted snags at the bottom. It is better to use special carp hooks. This is not a deficit today. When casting, you should always make sure that the leash does not get tangled with the main line. After casting, the lead sinks to the bottom first, dragging the lead along with it, no matter where it is located, in front of the lead or behind it. The overlap can be eliminated if you smoothly hold the flying sinker before water landing of the rig, braking the line coming off the spool with your index finger. And then, when it sinks, do one or two short pulls on yourself. Most often, this will release the leash. You need to be especially careful when there is a headwind or side wind. The system is more “prone” to tangling: the main line of the braid is a braid leash. This problem occurs less frequently with monofilament. Fishing for carp with bottom fishing rods with the use of special cake equipment is very effective.
WHAT DOES IT TASTE?
The times when carp fish were attracted to the place of fishing by the smell of kerosene or, sorry, fresh horse manure, seems to have sunk into eternity. Today, the angler has a wide selection of scientifically based ready-to-use feed mixes. They are produced by many well-known companies, among which one of the leading places is occupied by products with the Mosella brand. In our case, any dry groundbait designed for fastidious carp is suitable. Its main features are attractive aroma and stickiness. But you can also use not very sticky ones, adding ground Hercules flakes, oatmeal or even semolina as binders. It’s also a good idea to think about adding chopped worms, maggots, pearl barley or other animal feed to your bait. And you will also need weighting components such as clay, small pebbles or sand.
For a moderate and strong flow, the balls must be sculpted into heavier and larger ones. In a weak current and in stagnant water, it is better to throw lumps the size of a walnut. In the lower reaches of the Volga, it makes no sense to feed a carp in the evening. During the night, creepers, silver bream, roach sabrefish, crucian carp and other fish quickly destroy a bucket of bait. And in the morning the bottom at the place of fishing has its original appearance again. I personally lure not before, but after casting the tackle, having previously installed the buoy at the fishing spot as a guide if I use a boat. When fishing from the bank, the main reference point is the mark with a waterproof marker on the main line. Other carp fish not only quickly deal with bait. Roughly the same applies to baits that do not hold well on the hook. The fish eats them on the way to the bottom or barely touching it. Therefore, no matter how you experiment with nozzles (and, according to my conservative estimates, there are at least three dozen), the autumn carp most of all “sinks” on a tablet of fresh sunflower oil cake.
Its dimensions: diameter – 2-2.5 cm, thickness about 1 cm. A hole is drilled in the center of the tablet into which a leash is threaded. Leaving the “tail” (with a bare hook) 2-3 cm long, the leash is fixed in the tablet using a wooden pin. It is extremely rare that out of 10 bites, one is empty. The carp is usually pinpointed reliably. An earthworm in spring and autumn is also an excellent bait, but too often you have to make re-throws due to gnawing on small things or after catching bream, bersh, perch and other undesirable fish in this case. Sometimes, when fishing with weak baits, I use a rig with two hooks (fig. 90). I use special needles for inserting soft baits.
Even stationary fishing on bottom gear with the simplest or electronic bite alarms, I would not dare to call passive. The sports part of the program begins immediately after the cut. For curious people, this is an amazing sight. The carp, in all likelihood, has a lightning-fast reaction to pain. Feeling the prick of the hook, he, first of all, makes a powerful and long throw towards the opposite bank or towards the saving shelter. And, God forbid, if the coil clutch is tightly tightened or too loose. In the first case, a carp weighing 5-8 kg is able to crush the tackle, in the second – in the blink of an eye, entangle it in a snag or other “strong” place.
It often happens that the lured place is located immediately behind a steep edge with clay boulders, driftwood and other obstacles. In this case, after hooking, you must quickly move the rod to a vertical position. And try to “pass” the fish over the edge or, without loosening the tension of the line, provide a carp, especially a large carp, with an opportunity to escape. After that, play the game in such a way that the fish walk in circles, but above dangerous obstacles. A somewhat different situation arises when a carp throws itself under a steep bank, where many roots protrude or there are trees that have fallen into the water. In this situation, it is very difficult to keep the carp in place, and then direct it in the opposite direction. In order to exhaust a solid bream, usually 3-5 minutes is enough. This number does not work with a carp. 10-15 minutes of fighting seems like an instant. And if the trophy ends up in the landing net, there is no limit to joy.
author: V.A. Kazantsev “Fishing in open water”