Conventional Carp Angling Tips And Information... Catching Carp The Easy Way!

Carp Fishing In South Africa Using Conventional Methods

Large Common Carp Caught ConventionallyIn South Africa we have a few methods of Carp angling: Conventional Carp fishing (Which I will discuss on this page), float Carp fishing (Similar to sea float fishing), match Carp fishing and Specimen Carp angling where you cook and make your own baits and feeds, you use longer rods, heavy tackle, big reels and very specific methods of targeting fish. But I prefer conventional methods and I have fallen in love with this type of angling.

My definition of conventional carp angling is fishing light tackle, with small hooks and shorter rods, 7-9 feet in length and fishing for species such as Common Carp, Mirror Carp, Grass Carp and other Carp species that occur in South African waters.

My favourite Trace/Rig

2kg Common Carp caught conventionallyThere are many Carp rigs and traces out there and the best one to use would be without a doubt the hair rig... But the rig I use is a bit more simpler and easy to tie. It catches a lot of fish but occasionally relies on the angler to set the hook (Strike) whereas when fishing with a hair rig, 99% of the time the Carp gets auto-hooked. Lets call this the "conventional Carp trace". See more here and have a look at this Sliding Rietvlei Trace...

What you will need:

Two small swivels, a mielie bomb feeder (Anyone, any colour) and 2 hooks preferable between size 6 and size 2... You can use normal J hooks, Van Der Merwe carp hooks, bass hooks or circle hooks, they have all done the business for me in the past...

Steps To Follow When Tying The "Conventional Carp Trace"

  1. You tie the first swivel to your main line and then get some 10lb-18lb line/leader depending on how confident you are and tie a figure of 8 or improved clinch knot to the first swivel...
  2. Tie a length of anywhere between 12 and 25cm of line to the swivel.
  3. Take your mielie bomb feeder (Where you stick your mealie bomb on, this also acts as a sinker) and thread it through the end of the line you have just tied to your swivel.
  4. Now tie your second swivel to the end of the line so your feeder runs up and down the line like a sliding sinker would.
  5. Take some more 10-18lb line and tie it to the first swivel...
  6. Measure how far down your mealie bomb feeder goes until it reaches the second swivel, say 15cm...
  7. Tie a piece of line the same length as this so when your feeder is in the water the feeding Carp will pick up your bait as soon as they get close to the feeder.
  8. Attach a short piece of 10-18lb line onto your second swivel, no more than 20cm in length...
  9. Now just tie on your hooks and your rig is set up and ready!

Conventional Carp Rig Or Trace

Conventional Carp Angling Recommended Tackle

The tackle I normally use is an 8 foot rod (Rated 2-3 ounces maximum), that's sensitive but has a bit of backbone, a size 4000 reel spooled with 10lb to 18lb line. I normally take two rods with me as it easier to create a feeding area with two feeders in the water and you can also try different baits and dips to see which one works for the Carp during your fishing session. I have fished conventional Carp methods before with 4 foot, 6 foot and 7 foot rods with size 2000 and 3000 reels with 10lb main line, lots of fun but I prefer to make sure I will be able to land a big fish if it does pick me up but still have fun at the same time! So whatever suites you, go for it!

Going On A Fishing Trip

Conventional Carp FishingWhen setting out for your carp angling trip make sure you have 2 pairs of stays, which are rod holders you place into the ground where you rest your rod (See picture on left), lots of feed (Mealie bomb) a few different types of bait and dips and all your other fishing equipment and a camera to capture that personal best fish!

Very Good Conventional Carp Baits

There are so many baits, dips, feed on the market these days and I am sure they all work very well but some work better than others from my experience...


Conventional Carp AnglingTry stay away from buying pre scented/flavoured mealies as they have never worked for me and the normal Koo mealies work unbelievably well and you can always add some dip onto them for scent and taste. The flavoured mealies are often very pricey and have been sitting on the shelves of a tackle store for ages, so rather head over to your local Pick and Pay or Spar and purchase some Koo or No Name Mielies. If you do insist on buying pre flavoured mealies the best flavours from my experience are caramel and honey. What are the best Summer Carp baits and dips?


Carp Feed (Mealie Bomb)

Baiting up & Casting

With the mealies, floaties and bread baits all you need to do is just slip them onto the hooks you are using and make sure they are secure and I guarantee they will stay on until a fish takes them or you reel in your line...

Thierry Fuchslock with a 2kg Common CarpWith the mealie bomb; pour some into a container/bowl, add some of the dam water you are fishing in and mix it until you can mould it into a ball or cylinder... Mould this onto your feeder and make sure it wont come off when you cast by seeing if it is stable on the feeder... Add your selected dip to your baits and put some on the mealie bomb. Now you are ready...

You do not need to cast very far, a lot of the time Carp feed quite close to the side... Don't try cast too hard or too far as your objective is to fish almost the exact same spot every cast (As you are creating a feeding area and attracting carp from all over the body of water you are fishing). Depending on the depth of the water, the clarity and the size of the dam will determine your cast and the distance you will need... I normally throw between 10 and 70 meters... This is also determined from where the carp are feeding you can occasionally see them jump out of the water or 'tail' close to the surface. Just remember cast in the same area every time! Generally the bigger the dam or river the further the cast will be, you could also use that as a factor when casting.

Other Conventional Carp Angling Information

The first Carp bite might take a while to come but after the first bite you will almost certainly keep getting more as they have found your feeding area... When you put your rods down on the stays, loosening your drag to a quite loose setting so the fish can take line easily... Make sure your line is tight and ad a small piece of bread or a strike indicator onto your lines about 30-60cm from the tip of your rod, this will act as a bit indicator. Now your are basically set... Sit down, relax and wait for the fish!

A lot of the time during your conventional Carp fishing session you will hook into other freshwater fish species which builds the excitement as you are never 100% sure what the fish is... The species you could encounter are Vlei Kurper, Red Breast Tilapia, Barbel, Mudfish, Moggel, Makriel, Yellowfish and Trout... More pictures of Common Carp...

Common Carp 3.5 kgs The Result: 2 beautiful 3.5 Kilogram Common Carp... 3.2 Kilogram Common Carp