My Top Five Match Fishing Tips

Top match ace and England STAR Billy fLOWERS often finds himself with just 48 hours to catch as many carp as he possibly can. Here’s how he does it..

Rigs tied ready

Rig tying is by far the most time consuming part of carp fishing, especially when the bites are coming thick and fast. When my main aim is to catch as many fish as possible, I need rigs in the water as often as possible, and back in position after a bite as quickly as possible. If you don’t prepare your rigs in advance then you’re going to waste a lot of your fishing time getting the rod rigged up and back in position. I always have a healthy stock of rigs in my Rig Safe, tying them up at home or even on my lunchbreak in advance of the match. The extra effort undoubtedly puts those bonus carp on the bank and has contributed massively to my success over the years.

High-attract hookbaits

The use of highly attractive hookbaits can make a huge difference to your catch rate. I utilise these hookbaits in many different scenarios from single hookbait fishing to use over large areas of bait. The great thing about these baits is that they’re so easy for the carp to detect, and that will often lead to a bite. This makes them great for casting at showing fish, but also extremely effective when positioned over a large area of feed. The big baited area is used to draw the fish in, at which point, the carp spots the bright bait and snaffles it up. This will lead to much quicker bites than a bait that matches the rest of the food.

Keep topping up

If you’re going to fish over a baited area then one of the most important things is that you’re ready and willing to keep the area topped up between bites. If you can create a baited area, build a feeding situation and then get a bite as a result, there’s no reason why you can’t keep that going. Topping up the spot is absolutely key to keeping the carp visiting the area. The less bait that you put out initially, the more important it is that you top it up again quickly. Carp are aggressive feeders and can demolish a lot of bait in no time at all. Once the bait is gone there’s no need for the fish to come back – don’t let that happen. I generally put between four and ten Spombs of bait out after each fish, depending on how large a baited area I have.

Be prepared

Every day is different and you can never be sure what will be your most productive method on the day. My match partner, Jamie Londors, and I always try to visit the venues prior to our matches for a practice, but things can still change. The best laid plans don’t always fall into place and sometimes a complete change of tactics is necessary. We always go prepared for every situation we can think of, taking far more than we will probably need. The floaters are the biggest game changer at times, as on occasion the fish will be well out of reach of normal tactics. The key is to go with a plan A, B, C and D.

Accuracy is key

Being consistent is extremely important and a huge part of consistency is accuracy and rhythm. Making sure that your spots are marked and the distances logged is a big edge. If you catch from an area then you want that rod back out there on the money as quickly as possible. On the odd occasion, you’ll be able to cast to the spot without a clip, etc., but this is a rarity. On most occasions there will be little or no chance of being able to get back on to the same spot both accurately and consistently. When fishing up against an island for example, the use of the Distance Sticks and a line clip is invaluable. This simple process will make your life 10 times easier, and it’s very rare that I go fishing without them these days.

Apply this mentality and these tactics to your fishing and you’ll catch yourself plenty of carp too. These tips don’t just work in match fishing scenarios!

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