5 Tips for carp shallow

Fish shallow and you can catch for the full five hours of a match – provided you get a few basics right first!

by Angling Times |

Reach for a bristle

Shallow fishing used to be all about using dibber floats with no bristle. While these still work, a dibber is effective only when you’re fishing a maximum of 12ins deep. Any deeper than that and you won’t really be able to read the bites correctly, and a bristled float is needed to show indications better.

Set up two rigs

We may say we’re fishing shallow, but this doesn’t mean we’ll catch at 6ins deep, for example. No two days are the same. You may catch just under the surface one day, only to find the fish at half-depth 24 hours later! Set up two rigs to cover all bases, one for going up to 18ins deep and the other at half the depth of the swim. Begin at half-depth and move on to the shallower rig once you start missing bites or foul-hooking fish.

Be a marksman

Spraying bait all over the swim is the last thing you want to do, because it’ll stop the fish from being concentrated in one area and make catching them harder. Grouping the feed tightly is down to technique with the catapult, and something that only comes with practice. As the day goes on, you should get more and more accurate. To help, use a cone-shaped catapult pouch and don’t pull too hard on the elastic. This will only make the feed fly all over the place.

Line length

Try to fish a short line between float and pole-tip when fishing for F1s – sometimes as little as 4ins, as this will help you to hit fast bites much quicker. Only if you are fishing for carp alone should you go for a longer line to keep the pole off the water as much as possible.

Casters will catch the lot!

Casters can be a brilliant shallow bait and feed. Little fish love them as much as the big ones, however, that’s part of their appeal. Because they catch everything that swims, casters are great when you want to keep putting something in the net if the lake is fishing hard.

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