Nash's carp guru Julian Cundiff reckons surface tactics aren't just for middle-of-the-day summer sessions...

AS a younger carp angler one of the golden lessons drilled into me by those more experienced was the importance of getting there before dawn and watching the water for carp. It’s still just as applicable now and summer and winter alike that’s what I do.

However, another bit of advice I was told was that carp take floaters in the warmth and in the daylight hours only! Let’s be honest the majority of surface fishing is done when the sun is up and usually if nothing is happening on the bottom.

However, for the last twelve months I have been putting the same effort into my surface angling as I have been putting into my bottom bait fishing which means getting up before dawn and firing Risers and Slickers out even before I have my first coffee of the day.

Numerous occasions have seen carp taking them off the surface almost immediately and often after a blank night where bottom bait rigs in the same spots have laid undisturbed…


No doubt those carp were there all the time and just simply didn’t want to feed on the bottom. Remember that at dawn the light levels will be lower and if you do get them taking they are less likely to be able to see your surface presentation, which can only make it easier.

In the day with bright sun even the finest of surface presentations will stand out but in the half light you have a massive edge. Almost certainly they won’t have been surface fished for at this time and that’s a big plus to catching them unawares.


Many anglers will still be in their beds and whilst they are sleeping you have an edge on them too… So all you need to do is get out of bed early, get some surface baits out there and with coffee in hand let our eyes do the work…

When they start taking (they will) you’d be amazed at how quick they make mistakes with that hookbait… Make sure it’s yours!



After months of continual summer angling pressure, the carp I’ve been fishing for are becoming more and more reluctant to pick up hook baits. Some anglers are turning to more advanced or complicated rigs, others are trying hard to conceal their terminal tackle.


I’m confident that my rigs will still do the job so instead I’m switching to boosted hook baits that give off potent ‘eat me’ signals. Most bait companies make ready-to-ho dips and soaks that are well proven and can be used with confidence, but when the fish are proving to be really tricky I sometimes find that something different provides an edge.

My favourite alternative summer combination is Amino Liver Concentrate, Marmite and cod liver oil mixed together in equal amounts. This mix has an impressive nutritional profile and creates an amazing food signal that permeates the water, carp just can’t resist.


For best results I coat my hook baits in the mix and then freeze and defrost them 5 or 6 times. Each time the baits thaw, more of the liquid is drawn into the skin creating a long and consistent leak off of attraction. Try it and I guarantee you’ll catch bonus fish!