Carp Fishing In Weed
As we all know weed can be a real pain in the backside when you are carp fishing; whether it’s the floating stuff that wipes out your lines or the dreaded silkweed that covers your rig. In this article I will go over the different types of weed and the tactics I’ve employed when carp fishing in weed & weedy lakes.
First off I will start by encouraging you not to be scared of getting amongst the weed. Upon arriving at a lake and trying to locate the carp I will always look in the weed beds for activity. The facts that the weed is full of naturals and people rarely fish in weedy areas is exactly why.
Blanketweed, also known as silkweed, is an algae linked up in long strands. This silkweed catches on everything and is the stuff that causes you to spend ages trying to get off of your rig after you have reeled in. Canadian pond weed is a plant type weed and comes in various forms. Canadian pond weed has stems that shoot up from the bottom, this weed can be very long in length, meaning it is incredibly troublesome to present a bait properly.
Nearly all gravel pits will have weed beds, with mountains of weed usually stretching from top to bottom. Big weed beds are a problem as hooking a carp means you can very easily get weeded up and the end result is usually a hook pull and a very upset angler.
Carp fishing in weed can be a great idea as the weed beds do hold carp. Weed offers plenty of natural food, provides cover and gives off oxygen in the daytime. For these reasons I recommended not to shy away from weedy areas but instead position a hookbait nearby the weed, on clear spots. When carp fishing in weed you sure always make sure you are using a tight clutch & always be on your rods, dropping your lead can also help to land your carp.
When fishing weedy lakes there are a few rig options. I like to either go with a ‘Solid Bag Rig’ or a pop up rig (usually the ‘Chod Rig’) when carp fishing a weedy lake (both pictured to the left). A solid bag involves putting all of the end tackle into a solid PVA bag and filling up with bait. The great thing about a solid bag is that you know your hook is not masked by weed; the bag will smash through the weed on the descent and will land nicely, with your hook bait inside ready to be taken.
A pop up rig is another fantastic rig for catching carp in weed, this is due the hook point not being on the lake bottom but instead popped up a few inches higher than the weed. A good tactic I like to use on light weed is a long and simple pop up rig (like the ‘Multi Rig’), I also cover the hook point in PVA foam for extra security. The ‘Chod Rig’ is one of the most versatile rigs out there and is a fantastic pop up rig for weed which has seen it gain mass popularity over the last few years. Simply set the upper bead high up on your leader/line and you can be comfortable knowing that your rig is spot on. It is worth noting to make sure the bead furthest from the lead (upper bead) can move freely and pass off the line in the event of a break.
When fishing for carp in weed it is wise to use strong tackle. Weed can be very abrasive so using a strong mainline is recommended. If using a barbless hook I recommend using a hook with a beaked point so that the hook holds firm, should you get weeded up. When fishing weedy lakes it can be wise to have your rod tips up high; this can help with indication but it also helps to land fish as it causes the carp to rise up through to the upper layers.
If your lake really is chocka block with weed and it is near impossible to fish then you can always create clear areas to fish on; this can be done in several ways. One way is by putting out large beds of particle onto your chosen spot, all species of fish and birds will feed on this and after a few days you should be left with a nice clean patch to present your bait on, you have also pre baited the area by doing this so have further increased your chances of catching a carp.
You can also use a weed rake to clear areas trying to deal with a weedy lake. This is more suitable for clearing large areas of weed in-between your spot and the bank. There are a number of rakes on the market that you simply clip onto your line, all you do is cast it out and then proceed to wind it in as weed gathers around it. You can also use a weed rake for surface weed. Simply take a spod and push loads of sticks through the holes, this creates a floating weed rake that can be casted out easily.
I hope this article on carp fishing in weed has been helpful to you and hopefully you picked up a few tips that I have used successfully in my own fishing when faced with a weedy lake.