In this big fish blog, popular Nash backed carp specialist Julian Cundiff tells us what we should all be focusing on when fishing late winter and early spring days - location!
ALTHOUGH locating carp is always the priority you should concentrate on when fishing at this time of year, it is important that on many, if not most waters, that the carp will still be pretty lethargic. A miss is as good as a mile in February and now into March!
In the warmer months when carp are generally more active even if you do get your location a little wrong there’s a good chance that sooner rather than later they will come across your end tackle and hookbait. In the colder months carp certainly travel and feed a lot less so you must go to them not expect vice versa.
Much of the information I see about location seems to be about turning up, looking and finding them and then getting in the swim…yeah right. From my own experience unless the water is really prolific signs of fish can be few and far between especially in deep waters which are coloured. Yes by all means look, and look hard but what if you don’t find them what next?
The answer is inspired guesswork and the more experienced you are the less guessing and more predicting it becomes. All waters are different but in the colder months of March and April all my experience has pointed me to light levels, warmth and sunlight.
Unless I knew better the first place I would look would be where the sun first rose, hit and warmed the water. Remember this never changes year in year out so the carp will know that and carp loving sun will head for and take advantage of such areas consistently.
Warmth encourages food growth and I don’t need to tell you that carp love to harvest natural food especially after many months of little or no food on some waters.
All you need is one morning at the lake and you can soon find, draw and map the areas that get the sun first, most and least. What carp certainly don’t like is cold and barren areas and will avoid them like the plague in the spring.
My second favourite place to look is any areas sheltered from the wind especially when that wind blows north or east in its direction.
In fact I would go as far as saying I avoid fishing into the wind at all in March unless I actually see carp there topping or colouring the water. So areas shielded by islands and bankside deviations are perfect to check out. The calm water does not need to be huge to hold the carp so I often expect to find them in small bays and recesses in the edge or against islands. Think: where would you choose to sit and sunbathe on a day like this?
Watch cattle in a field in the spring. They will position themselves to catch the rising sun and literally follow it round certainly in the first few hours…. I love to Spomb out the Nashbait Riser Pellets to such areas to see if I can’t catch them off the surface. Failing that a nice single bright Instant Action Coconut Creme pop up on a multi-rig is definitely worth a try.
So in the next month or so don’t panic if you can’t find the fish straightaway as Mother Nature will lead you to them if you follow my advice.
PS. Feel free to get in touch with me on social media!