Top tips to catch a mega weight!

Some huge weights have been taken this weekThere have been some monster weights of carp taken in the last week, with bags well over 200lb reported. But how do you get the edge when fishing commercials? Follow these tips and catch more this weekend…

Many commercials are now home to ‘proper’ carp – ie fish into double-figures. This means heavier line is essential. The stresses and strains of battling lumps will weaken lighter mono in key areas like the hook-hold.

Strike corn off to help feed the swim

Strike corn off to help feed the swim

If you’re fishing the likes of meat or corn at range with a waggler, strike your bait off before reeling in. This enables you to add a little feed to swims that are out the range of a catapult.

We all know meat is a superb commercial bait but it can be difficult to keep on the hook – especially if carp are in an aggressive mood. Try using gammon steak instead. It’s super tough and will stay on the hook for ages.

When the carp are really on the feed and tearing up the bottom looking for free morsels, foul-hooking can be an issue. Combat this by fishing slightly over-depth. Remove a little weight from the rig to make the float more buoyant. Only strike when the whole tip disappears – and not at slight knocks which are likely to be liners.

Paste is a brilliant bait on commercials but some anglers struggle to keep it on the hook. Try fishing a couple of inches over depth. This way the tow of the lake won’t cause the paste to come off.

Fish the margins

Fish the margins, especially later in the day

The margins can provide the best fish-catching areas of any swim so they should never be ignored. Keep dropping feed in every hour or so and then drop in as they day wears on. The results can be spectacular!

However, when it comes to margin fishing, there a few rules you need to remember. Look for swims with cover. This will give the fish additional confidence and enable you to sneak your pole among it to avoid it waving above the heads of the fish.

Many anglers love using sweetcorn on commercials – and rightly so. But missed bites can be a problem with the grains masking the hookpoint. Try removing the kernel and just fish the skin instead – your bites-to-hit-fish ratio should increase rapidly.

Features like islands and the far bank are brilliant fish-holding areas but many anglers struggle to get super-tight for fear of snagging up. Bury your hook in your hookbait and any overcasts should simply drop in the water without getting caught on debris.

The Method is one of the all-time great commercial tactics

The Method is one of the all-time great commercial tactics

The Method is one of the great commercial tactics but it’s only ever at its most effective when used with a very short hooklength. Check fishery rules first, and use as short a length as is allowed. The fish home in on the feeder and you want your bait as close as possible.

Wind can play havoc with presentation when pole fishing. Try adding a BB between pole tip and float – this will provide an ‘anchor’ and steady the float.

You are unlikely to catch from the same part of a swim throughout the day so look to feed different areas. Pick a spot in the margins, one at full pole length and one about half-way between. Rotate between them to keep in touch with the fish.

This might sound obvious, but marking the depth on your pole sections is a must. If you suffer a breakage, you want to get back in the water as soon as possible without the hassle of plumbing up.

Loosefed groundbait is deadly when fished down the margins on commercials

Loosefed groundbait is deadly when fished down the margins on commercials

One of the deadliest commercial combos is loosefed groundbait over dead maggots. It’s especially good fished in the margins. Feed the groundbait via a pole cup and choose red maggots – for some reason carp seem to prefer them!

As the weather warms up, so the fish will come up in the water. Pellet seems to be the most effective way of catching these fish – but be prepared to keep your hook bait moving by lifting and dropping your pole tip. The carp are actively looking for food and a more likely to take one that is agitated.

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