Catching large carps on rivers that spilled in the spring is an art. It is owned by few. It is often claimed that catching carp on large rivers is a vain effort. If you are standing on a dam – you see a magnificent pond in front of you with many good places for fishing. When you go down to the shore, then doubts begin to prevail over you. Success depends on how you get to business. For those who are used to sadly sitting by the water, carp fishing here will be a real disappointment. And the one who is set up for luck and is ready to overcome all difficulties for this will be rewarded. There is a mass of nuances that you should definitely keep in mind when fishing for carp in high water.
A bit about hydrodynamics
A few words about the course. Here we are dealing only with two of its species: with a powerful main stream in the middle of the river and with a weak reverse current along the coast, which occurs at small ledges, half-dam, backwaters and brow. In these places, whirlpools are formed – water swirl zones, which indicate the boundary of the current. Most fish accumulate near such whirlpools on the edges of slopes rising from the bottom to the shore. This happens because this is where the most feed is located. Only at extremely low water do fish search for food throughout the river channel.
During fishing at the flow boundary, the edge of the slope may not coincide with the visible swirl zone. When the water rises, it floods the shore, that is, the edge is actually a little further from it. If the water level drops, the opposite picture is observed: the swirl zone passes farther from the coast than the edge of the slope. The change in water level in summer on small rivers often occurs several times a day. The river bed may also change. After each flood, meadows are flooded with water. The current demolishes sand banks, algae, shrubs, tree trunks, branches, leaving them in completely different places. The beginning of my fishing season is largely dependent on spring fluctuations in water level. In most cases, it is almost impossible to fish on the river at this time. The river on my site, very narrow and shallow, overflows from the banks during the flood season.
I use this time to prepare boilies and watch the water level. After the flood, the water border is 4 m above the normal level. Then the river returns to its channel and flows for some time below the summer low-water level. Despite the fact that the current is still strong, in some places you can already fish with one fishing rod and a long fishing line. With a small rake I go around the places where I already caught last year. I encounter rakes against a piece of wood floating against the stream at different distances from the shore and observe their rafting. The speed with which these fragments float characterizes the strength of the current.
Boil Immersion Test
After measuring the depth in the place of fishing, I can determine where and at what distance it is necessary to throw the boilies so that they are at the bottom in the right place. For this purpose, I equip a light fishing rod with a float with a lifting capacity of 5 g. At the end of the fishing line I fasten a sinker weighing 5 g. The distance from the float to the sinker must exactly match the depth of the pond. After that, I throw the tackle several times 3-4 meters upstream and check how far the float will carry downstream before it stands upright. If the float stops right in front of me, then I know that boilies must also be thrown 3-4 m upstream so that they reach the bottom exactly at the point of fishing. If the float, before taking a vertical position, swims a little further downstream, then the descent of the fishing line should be increased.
From the total stock of boilies prepared in the winter, for the first bait, I take 25 kg with me and distribute them over a large area near the place of fishing, so that carps can notice the bait on a large section of the river. After that I leave the feeding place for two days. On the third day I again lure, however, now I cast only 4 kg (two per fishing rod). Then I feed my place daily until the spring water temperature reaches + 10С. From this moment on, only three days a week I toss 3 kg of boilies per bait to train the fish at a specific feeding time. As soon as the water drops and it becomes possible to catch a place, I increase the amount of bait by sending 3 kg of boilies per fishing rod every day. I take all other decisions depending on the catches: if the fish bites well, I increase the number of boilies, if it’s bad, I toss no more than 3 kg.
On the day of fishing, 3 kg of bait boilies per fishing rod is enough. While I am sitting with a fishing rod waiting for a bite, I toss another 20-25 boilies per hour every hour. Extra bait is needed to keep carps migrating upstream in place. You might think that I overdo it with bait. Based on more than 20 years of experience, I can firmly say that, at least on my favorite river, it takes at least 6 kg of bait per day. The fact is that in strong currents, carps consume a lot of energy. In addition, large ides, chubs and barbel are also taking their share.
Off the coast
During high water I catch near the shore. I place the first fishing rod on the edge of the slope, which is 4-5 m from the coast, the depth is about 1.5 m. I catch the second fishing rod at a depth of 3 m, exactly at the border of the main stream, which is located here a good 10 m from the coast. It is impossible to catch in floods further than 15 m. And not because the boilies are immediately washed away, but because high water drives grass, algae and branches to the line. The pressure on the fishing line is so increasing that no sinker can lie for a long time in place. Only when the worst "phase of floating objects" takes place should you try to enter the operational space. If in summer my bait spots in the slope zone stop working, this indicates that carps now feed all over the river channel. Then I try to find the food routes of fish, catching places at different distances from the coast.
Rods, reels and fishing lines must also be suitable for fishing on the river. Rods with a weight test of 2.75 pounds are quite suitable, but I personally prefer 3.5 pounds. For the fishing line, not only the carrying capacity is important, but also the abrasion resistance and elasticity. I choose fishing lines with a diameter of 0.40 mm. An elastic monofilament fishing line is more abrasion resistant than a “braid”, even with slight damage it retains sufficient strength for reliable fishing of fish. I usually use a sliding sinker. If necessary, it can always be fixed with a hundred times. In most cases, I use an In-Line sinker weighing 180 g, but without hard plastic tubes. The fact is that plastic tubes vibrate over the course, which serves as a warning for carps.
During floods and strong currents, I rely on blind mounting of a sinker with a leash 12-20 cm long, to which I attach a hook No. 2 of a type with a boil attached to it. In summer, when the water drops and the flow becomes barely noticeable, I lengthen the leash 40 cm and return to the snap with a sliding sinker. In these cases, as a rule, I move the stopper 20-40 cm above the sinker.
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