Where to Fish for Carp

An article helping you to choose the right fishery as well as help on choosing a good swim.

Choosing a Fishery

The following are a list of questions you should consider asking when deciding which fishery to fish:

Man fishing on a lake

What fish are at the fishery? - Make sure the fishery has the fish that you would like to catch, not every fishery has the same species of fish.

How big are the fish? - If you are just starting out and haven’t caught many big fish, you may want to fish a fishery where there are lots of smaller carp so that you can get to grips with playing fish.

How big is the fishery? - The size of the fishery can determine the tackle you will need, if the lake is very large you will probably need some large ledger weights, or a heavy surface feeder float so that you can cast long distances, if the lake is small you will probably only need lighter tackle.

What features does the fishery have? - Most fishermen like a lake that has lots of features such as: lily pads, reeds, overhanging trees and bushes, water inlets, water outlets, gravel bars, as these are prime places to find carp.

What facilities does the fishery have? - Does the fishery have a carp park near the lake or are you going to have to walk miles – if so you may want to travel light and take only the bare essentials with you. Does the fishery serve food? If not make sure you remember your packed lunch.

Choosing a Swim

Choosing the right swim can be the difference between a great days fishing or a poor days fishing. When you arrive at a fishery, don't just pick the first swim you come to, have a walk around and look for the following:

Look for signs of carp:

Carp cruising the surface of a lake

Surface – can you see any carp cruising the surface? Can you see carp jumping out of the water? Can you see carp feeding off of the surface? Try throwing out a few dog biscuits here and there and watch to see if there are any takers.

Signs of Feeding – can you see bubbles appearing on the surface? This usually indicates a fish is feeding off of the bottom but this is not always the case, sometimes it is just bubbles being released from the underwater plant life. Can you see small areas where the water is becoming murky? This can indicate a large fish is in the area.

Features: Carp can usually be found lurking at a number of water features. Carp can be found at these water features because the features offer them protection and a sense of security, the feature offers them a good source of food, or a combination of both.

Features that attract carp include:

- Overhanging trees and bushes
- Lilies
- Weed beds
- Reeds
- Island
- Water inlets
- Water outlets
- Gravel bars


Difficulty of swim: You also need to assess how difficult the swim is to fish, if you are going spend the whole day untangling yourself from the trees and bushes, maybe it is worth finding another swim.

To help identify the difficulty of the swim, try asking yourself the following questions:

- Are there lots of snags?

- Have you got room to manoeuvre when casting or when you hook a fish? (trees and bushes - how wide is the swim etc)?

- Is there room to play the fish if you catch a big fish?

- How strong is your tackle (line and rod)? - have you got strong enough tackle if you caught a large carp and could you land the fish or will you end up loosing it?

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