July was unusually hot this year and the last few days were particularly scalding. That was when my friend Marcin and I decided to go on a carp fishing trip.
Our chances of catching a carp were, quite frankly, pretty low. The water temperature was 27 degrees Celsius, which meant the fish wouldn’t be feeding much. Still, we weren’t about to give up. We set up our camp and sat down to analyze the situation and discuss tactics and fishing methods. The main thing was to choose our final rigs.
We chose three spots to bait - two in shallow water (1,5-2m), each with a different bottom. One was close to the weeds and the bottom there was hard and plant-free. The other one was among lilies and it had a thick layer of mud on the bottom. The third spot was also muddy but closer to the middle of the body of water and about 5m deep. As usual, we put a rod each in every spot, 5-6 meters from each other. This makes baiting easier and gives us similar chances.
Because the spots were very different from each other I decided to use a BLOW BACK RIG on the "MOLLIA SINKING" BLACK/GREEN leader braided line and a a D-RIG on the same braided line but combined with NIHONTO fluorocarbon. I used an oval rig ring, a hook aligner, a sinker clip mounted on a SHOCK LEADER 0,55mm casting line and the GRAVIS 45lbs braided line with a lead core, a swivel and, to connect these two lines, weight the leader down and make it more effective, I added 2,90 g EXTRA SOFT shot. I made both leader with a muddy bottom in mind. The most important part of both of them were LONG SHANK hooks from the Mikado Territory range. I chose size 4. They are incredibly sharp and very effective but also light so they are perfect for floating boilies. I put my third rig together using the same braided line in a BLACK / BROWN color and a Mikado MUSA hook from the Territory range. This one has a short shank and a wide bend, which is great for an 18-millimeter sinking boilie. This leader was for the hard-bottom spot.
A knot tightening tool is crucial in order to make a good knot - I always use two. You can get them from Mikado.
The BLOW BACK RIG proved to be the most effective, perhaps because the carp were only feeding in deeper water, and it got me some beautiful fish. This meant my other rigs didn’t even get a chance.
My first bite came at 4:10. It was so delicate that it seemed like a trashing bream wrestling the sinker on the rig. We sometimes get bream as by-catch and they usually aren’t small fish. After a moment the line started going out of the spool faster. I was right there when it happened and I immediately lifted my rod. I felt very strong resistance. My opponent was “stuck” to the bottom but it gave up after a moment and I was able to get on a boat and go get it. I had it in my landing net not log after.
The second carp bit around 6:00 a.m. on the next day. Once again, it was a very delicate bite. The haul was a struggle as the fish was heavy and well built. Of course, I had a significant advantage and my BLOW BACK RIG was a huge help. As I was taking out the hook I noticed that, despite a harrowing haul, the fish didn’t suffer any major wounds - it barely had a scratch. I’m sure many factors contributed to that fact - the bend of the rod, the setting of the reel’s drag system, the line, etc. The final rig was also crucial - the hook was set as it should be, in the lower lip, and it was sharp enough to stay securely set. Finally I’d like to add that both fish went right back into the water after a few pictures and they were in prime condition.
I’m not going to write about the types of boilies, grains I use because that’s not what I wanted to say. I wanted to tell you about preparing rigs and how to utilise your tackle. If you have an assortment of reliable hooks and leader lines you can make any number of rigs, depending on the conditions on the fishery. If you have good, reliable accessories in your tackle boxes you can stop worrying and focus on fishing. If you take care to prepare the best stuff you can - like boilies, groundbait, lines, rods, etc.) you can rest easy knowing you did all you could.
Mikado Fishing Team