IT’S spring, and Chris Ponsford, the Korum sponsored ace, rates it as a great time to start stalking for carp. He explains how...

This is usually the time of the year I go up to a local pool and try and stalk a few of the bigger resident carp, most of whom have fallen to simple tactics – no pre-baiting and just simple baits.


Tackle? That is not expensive nor is it taking up much room in the car.

So why am I such a fan of this approach? Well for a start, I lead a very busy life and have lots going on. Plus I’m not a fan of night fishing and like to get home to my humble abode.


This pretty mid-20 common fell to a prawn hook bait and light tackle. A great way to spend an afternoon this spring!

This pretty mid-20 common fell to a prawn hook bait and light tackle. A great way to spend an afternoon in spring!

Prawns are my current favourite bait for carp and perch. They are soft, juicy and have a distinctive odour that makes them irresistible to quite a few species.

They can be hooked on or threaded on using a Quickstop and needle or band, the latter was my choice on the day as I was keen to try out some new Korum Power Band Hooks to Nylon.

All you need to do is thread the needle provided through a section of prawn, and hook the band onto the needle, stretch it, and pull the bait onto the band, removing the needle – easy and effective. A Quickstop works just as well, but the band gives options of using a small banded pellet.

Baits and tackle

My stalking baits are usually bread, maggots, worms, corn or prawns and attraction is provided by the introduction of a mix of Sonubaits pellets, both Halibut and Fin Feed pellets, casters, a few maggots, Sonubaits sweetcorn and some Sonubaits Hemp .These are all mixed with a little Hemp and Hali Crush groundbait. Deadly!

My chosen tackle was my Korum barbel rod, Preston PXR 5000 Power Reel loaded with 8lb Xpert Reel Line, and a 1.1oz flat lead down to a Quick Change Bead and Power Band Hook to Nylon. Extremely simple and it will land the biggest of carp on most fisheries.

Chris keeps his tackle and tactics simple for spring stalking.

Chris keeps his tackle and tactics simple for spring stalking.

I just grabbed my two-rod quiver which had all the bits I needed for a quick smash and grab – a Pons-type session. It was bright and sunny upon arrival, and a quick walk round the lake with polaroids revealed two distinct areas where I could see fish – one group, who I named the S Club Juniors, were distinctly smaller than the other brethren.

First job was to mix up a bit of attraction, as above, and stealthily introduce a bit trying not to spook them before withdrawing to give them time to have a munch.

Luckily, they did not flee but the water was so shallow that two mallards also thought it was too good to miss out on, and repeatedly dived on the bait, grrh!

On the feed

The water was soon colouring up with fish and bird action, so I crept back and introduced my hookbait to the busy melee.

Hissing at the ducks made a bit of difference, and luckily my prawn hookbait was soon taken by a fish which made a very strong run towards the far bank.

All hell broke loose for a while and I nearly had the fish over the net a couple of times, but the hook was holding firm as smaller hooks invariably do.

It was relief to slide the net under a fabulous mid-twenty common, which also proved very obliging for a cracking photo in the sunshine (see pic at top of this blog).

Photo tip

As an aside, I am finally comfortable with my self-take pictures, and mode of operation for taking them using a Nikon D7100 DSLR, 16-85 Nikon zoom lens with pop-up flash, supported on a Korum Bankstick and Gardner adapter for camera to bankstick, setting the camera on P, pre-focusing in manual focus onto the middle of my unhooking mat.

Then setting the camera to take a series of five quick images after an initial 20-second delay to give me time to pick the fish up and compose the picture. Also, make sure you allow plenty of room around the shot, and crop later. Job done.

Tight lines, Pons

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