How to fish carp ‘runs waters’ – Finley Todhunter

How to fish carp 'runs waters' - Finley Todhunter

by Chris Haydon |
Published on

THERE are countless carp lakes across the UK, all varying in size, shape and difficulty, and each angler has their own preference as to which type they prefer.

When I go fishing, I like to have fun and catch plenty of carp, and because of this I tend to favour venues with a good stock, often known as ‘runs waters’. They have a reputation for being easy, and are therefore ideal for newcomers to carp angling or for just getting a bend in the rod during the colder months. So, here’s my advice on how to turn a good session on this type of venue into an unforgettable one.

Follow these tips and you will catch more day-ticket carp


Normally, the average size of the fish in runs waters is double figures to low twenties. It’s rare to find one full of big carp due to there always being a lot of competition for food, but you can use this to your advantage.

You can use a spod, catapult or throwing stick to introduce bait on to your chosen spot. Sound travels a long way in water, and the sound of the loosefeed hitting the water will elicit a response from the carp, especially if you bait up regularly.

Doing this also ensures there’s constant attraction in the water column to further entice those hungry carp! Generally, at the start of a session, I’ll introduce enough bait to get a response, and then introduce bait every couple of hours or after every bite.

Carp in these venues can be very competitive


When the carp get on the feed, it’s likely there’ll be numbers of them on the spot, and one way of increasing the frequency of pick-ups is to use a high-attract hookbait.

My favourite is a pink 12mm Citruz pop-up, glugged in matching Plume Juice. Standing out amid the feed, I believe it will get picked up quicker than a bait matching the freebies, which could be a bit of a needle in a haystack.

Use high attract baits and bright colours

Saying that, I won’t cast all three rods out on the same hookbait from the start. Rather, I’ll put three different colours on and see which gets the best response. Some days, there won’t be much difference whereas on others, you may only get bites on yellow hookbaits, for example.

If I find a colour which works better than the rest, I’ll change all the rods to that.

To add further attraction around your hookbait, you can use PVA bags to deliver a small parcel of pellets, stick mix or crumbed-up boilies, but just before casting out, I’ll also cover the PVA bag in Plume Juice to really ramp up the attraction on my spot.

12mm Citrus pop-ups get lots of bites


If you’re turning up to a runs water expecting to catch multiple fish, the saying ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ certainly applies. Once you’ve baited up, got your rigs out and started catching, you want to keep the momentum going.

If you only have a few spare rigs tied, you’re going to go through these quickly and then have to waste valuable time tying more when you could be fishing or baiting up.

Before any session at a prolific venue, therefore, I’ll prepare for days in advance, tying multiple rigs, spare leaders and PVA bags, so if the fishing proves to be hectic I can get the rod back out as soon as possible.

Have plenty of rigs ready

A good ‘work ethic’ is also central to success. If you can’t be bothered getting a couple more spods on to the spot after a bite, or are too lazy to recast the rods, don’t expect to catch much!

I’ve never seen anyone turn up to a runs water and catch loads just because they were lucky. Introducing bait through the night, changing hookbaits on every cast and changing rigs if the hook feels slightly blunt are just a few examples of extra commitment.

When you’re fishing, think about the reasons why you’re there, and what you want to achieve. If you want a successful session, then make it happen!

One in the net, time to get the rod back out
Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us