Tony's Carp Fishing Guide --- Float Fishing For Carp
It was said that a float is one of the few things that is more pleasing in its disappearance than its appearance ! Using a float is one of the most efficient and sensitive methods for fishing for carp.With a float you get a real feel for what is going on under water. The slightest knock is recorded sending your heart racing. Choosing the right float for the job is most important. Where i am at the moment you cant seem to get hold of light weight floats very easily. In fact the ones i have seen are about as sensitive as a baseball bat ! In the uk there are lots of nice floats available but i tend to make my own out of peacock and porcupine quills I have several "lucky" floats which i always use :-) The Floats i use have one thing in common , they are of a slim design with small sensitive tips.They normally take between 2 BB shot and 2 AA to sink them. The method i use most of the time is "laying on"or the "lift method". This involves attaching the float to the line with silicon rubber bands so it is tight on the line but is free to move with some effort Its important that you have no weight near the float. You tie a hook on the line (with or without hair rig) You deliberately set the depth(by sliding the float) well under the (approx) depth of the water. You then add enough weight so the float just sinks! You move all the weights to about six inches away from the hook. You then keep increasing the depth by sliding the float up until the float no longer sinks but has about 1 inch out of the water. This means the weight (2 BB) are exactly on the bottom. With the last six inches of line with the hook along the bottom. When you get a bite the float will rise upwards !
As a general rule, during the warmer parts of the year large carp are very much at home in shallow water. I've often seen carp around 20lb feeding in water little more than a foot deep. Carp tend to look for warm water, so a rough guide would be to fish shallow water during the warmer months and deep areas through the winter. A quiet, weedy bay with about 3' of water and just enough on-shore breeze to ruffle the surface takes a lot of beating for summer carping!
A limiting factor on the depth at which you might find carp would be the depth of the thermocline. During the summer months, the deep reservoirs typical of the Ozark region stratify by temperature, with a pillow of warm, well-oxygenated water floating on top of a body of much colder water underneath. The two bodies of water don't mix much. Organic decay eventually depletes the oxygen in the lower layer of water, which makes it tough for fish such as flatheads and carp to survive for long in that layer. We generally see them congregated just below the line of temperature difference (the thermocline), where they can quickly move up into the warmer layer to feed or breathe. In the winter, when falling surface temperatures equalize the temperature between the two layers, mixing again becomes possible, oxygen reaches the depths, and fish can go where ever they like.