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Highy

Confidence in Carp Fishing

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What gives you all the Confidence to go (Carp) Fishing ?

It seems that a lot of people out there who read the mags, take the advice from all forms of literature, buy the items of tackle and bait that they have taken a decision on through reading the articles, go to their venues and don’t do as well as they thought they would. Then what happens is that doubts start to creep into the mindset (we are all human after all) and this is a natural reaction for anyone. The cycle then repeats itself with more bait and tackle, new rigs, etc., and along the way we may catch a few, we may blank? and so on and so forth.

"Every Blank is another step closer to Success"

So, how do we gain that confidence? 

Personally, i don't really do anything. What I try to do is be confident everytime qhen fishing. The rigs, bait and tackle haven’t changed. Simply become confident in what im doing, which leads to success, which leads to more confidence.

confidence = success = confidence.

It only takes one bite...

Be confident and success will always follow...

Thoughts welcomed 🎣🎣

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For me I am confident in my bait and my approach (multi rigs or chods). Really the only part of the puzzle left for me is location, and that's where it's all down to me. I sometimes make the wrong decisions but as long as I act on it by moving or keeping a note of it for next time I am happy. I think the biggest downfall in an angler is stubbornness, I've fallen foul of it a couple of times, determined to get a bite from an area or a swim when I know i'm p*ssing in the wind and should be elsewhere. 

I am confident that I know what I'm doing though and I know how to find the fish. Sometimes you just cant though and you have to make you're best judgement on previous knowledge and the conditions, if that is the case and I blank then I dont worry too much about it.

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Confidence has been a funny one for me this year, spent a long time feeling out my depth,feeling like I need to catch up with the years I missed, spent a while messing about with baits and rigs and all sorts of presentations, before ultimately deciding what I used to do 20 years ago is still as effective really 

Things that have helped me with confidence this year 

Hand sharpening my hooks 

Going back to running rigs for better bite indication 

Finally finding a bait the carp seem to like fairly instantly 

Distance sticks I believe I am now fishing more accurately than ever before 

Not being afraid to fish in weed,silt or pretty much any substrate now 

I now believe I have a great simple rig and a nice balanced snowman presentation,which I know should always be fishing for me and behaves in a suitable manor 

I am going for an overnight session on vermuyden Thursday night, probably going to be setting up on darkness but I shall be more organised and ready this week,my rods are already prepped and my rod bag is packed already,will sort out all my other items this week so i am super organised and only taking what i need, the good times are coming I just want to catch a few more now to prove it wasn't a fluke 

 

 

 

 

 

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Confidence is a funny thing really, and I have found that the more you learn the more things appear that can eat into your confidence... If I could give an example of what I mean... 

when I first started carp fishing in the mid 90s, I used to fish a local water and go down with a couple of mismatched fibreglass carp rods and a couple of scrappy mismatched reels, precariously balanced on a couple of bent and wobbly wire rod rests with hair grips pushed into painted corks for bobbins. Hooklinks were whatever the reel line was, terminal tackle was a few random bombs, swivels, beads from my sea tackle box and hooks being drennan super specialist hooks. All arranged in a running rig. Bait was flour, water and vanilla food flavouring mixed together and baked in the oven! I would bury a hook in this baked "thing" and toss it out into the pond. In my happy "ignorance" I sat in supreme confidence and caught my share of carp. 

roll on the times and I still go to this pond of my youth, with my youngest son carp fishing, so do I set him up with baked dough on hairless hooks and mono running rigs? No! He uses tubing, lead clips, coated braid and boilies... Why not the dough balls? Because I wouldn't be confident in catching, yet logically there's no reason why it wouldn't work. I used to use a primitive zig arrangement using bread crust - popped up 2-3ft from the bottom and caught lots of carp, yet now my confidence in zigs is zero. Why is this? 

Simple, my fishing hasn't used zigs for years and as such, I am not experienced in their use. When I've chucked a zig out on a slow day, it's not produced - damaging my confidence in it, yet in reality it was the angling situation or the angler at fault, not the method. 

yet my confidence comes from my experience, I've fished some difficult waters over the years, lakes, rivers, canals, ponds, inland seas (all UK waters) and can now happily sit on a difficult water waiting for weeks for a bite, knowing it is part and parcel of this type of water. I have developed a bait over very many years, using the same base mix since 1996 with the same flavouring, additives, etc. I make my own baits, and now I have so much confidence in my bait, it's not a consideration for me. It works, it's never let me down, it catches and has lasted the test of time. What more do I want? Rigs are the same, I use the same basic rigs, tweaking them to suit the situation, I don't look at the mags, don't get hooked up on the latest wonder rigs, I just use what has worked for me, so it's another thing I don't need to worry about. I have rigs to go to if need be, but why complicate things needlessly? 

For me, it's cutting down the variables. If I know my baits and rigs are going to work, then I don't need to worry about them. I can therefore put those considerations to one side knowing they will work, so I can concentrate on location and the task in hand of looking and locating carp. Once that is cracked, I can plan the way to fish the swim, knowing my baits and rigs will do the business. 

If I'm trotting up a string of blanks, then I can cast my mind back over years of success using the baits and rigs, so I know that they work, rather than having the latest bait or wonder rig on the end that I've only used for 5mins, which will eat away at me, is it the bait? Is it the rig? Is it just that I'm fishing a water that only does a few bites a month to a syndicate of a dozen carpers and I need to keep the effort up to get a result? 

Confidence for me is making my own baits, using rigs that I know works and working on the most important aspect in my mind... Find the fish in the first place! 

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2 hours ago, greekskii said:

For me I am confident in my bait and my approach. Really the only part of the puzzle left for me is location, and that's where it's all down to me. I sometimes make the wrong decisions but as long as I act on it by moving or keeping a note of it for next time I am happy. I think the biggest downfall in an angler is stubbornness, I've fallen foul of it a couple of times, determined to get a bite from an area or a swim when I know i'm p*ssing in the wind and should be elsewhere. 

1 hour ago, elmoputney said:

 

Things that have helped me with confidence this year 

Hand sharpening my hooks 

Going back to running rigs for better bite indication 

Finally finding a bait the carp seem to like fairly instantly 

Distance sticks I believe I am now fishing more accurately than ever.

I now believe I have a great simple rig.

I am confident that I know what I'm doing though and I know how to find the fish. Sometimes you just cant though and you have to make you're best judgement on previous knowledge and the conditions, if that is the case and I blank then I dont worry too much about it.

 

3 minutes ago, ouchthathurt said:

Confidence is a funny thing really, and I have found that the more you learn the more things appear that can eat into your confidence... 

Confidence for me is making my own rigs... using rigs that I know works and working on the most important aspect in my mind... Find the fish in the first place! 

Lots of points coming across and i am agreeing with most of them...

Own ties rigs....reliable bait...finding fish etc etc etc

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14 hours ago, Highy said:

confidence = success = confidence.

That's it right there.

Confidence comes from experience; knowing what you are doing in a given situation will catch them.

14 hours ago, Highy said:

a lot of people out there who read the mags, take the advice from all forms of literature, buy the items of tackle and bait that they have taken a decision on through reading the articles, go to their venues and don’t do as well as they thought they would. Then what happens is that doubts start to creep into the mindset (we are all human after all) and this is a natural reaction for anyone.

That is a hallmark of inexperience imo.

A confident and experienced angler will determine why the chosen method isn't working as intended and fix it. I have no time for doubt. I am not prepared to sit behind rods that I'm not 100% happy with.

Of course we all blank, it is part of carp fishing, but as long as you learn from it you confidence levels can continue to elevate. If you know why you blanked then you know how to adapt for next time.

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One thing I will say about this year is that I don't regret any of it because I have learnt from it 

messing with rigs has taught me loads about what I want from my rig,how I want it to present, how to make the hooklink work in your favour, how to select the right hook pattern for the job, and most importantly with a sharp hook on the line you will catch more fish 

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28 minutes ago, elmoputney said:

One thing I will say about this year is that I don't regret any of it because I have learnt from it 

Spot on mate.

I've been fishing for carp for more than 20 years now and I still learn stuff on every trip, especially from blanks (they tell you more than any red letter day will).

Carp angling is a never ending journey imo, we will never know it all, but we can keep learning more and more about the fish and how they react in different environments, and that stands us in good stead to capitalise when they're in front of us. As the journey unfolds we choose to fish harder waters with more special fish as we put what we've learned into practice. As one door closes another opens and our angling evolves.  Always learning, always challenging ourselves. It's brilliant because you can never complete it - there's always a newer, bigger challenge. It's impossible to get bored of.

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Well experience comes from trial and error, I have rigs that i am happy with, I reached this conclusion as a result of going through the trial and error phase in my formative years as a new carper years ago. Simple thing was there wasn't really anything in the way of dedicated carp mags that were available when I was trialling things, I remember early issues of carpworld coming out and devouring those, but other than that, if I wanted to indulge in rig information, it was reading books or talking to other anglers on the bank. I used to have junior anglers who would ask me to teach them rig tying, and why not? I learned how to tie a hair rig from an older carper who showed me on the bank. 

I also get confidence from choosing the correct venue, I have two club books that I fish. One lake fishes better in the summer when the other is choked with weed, yet in the winter when the first pit dies a death and the carp seem to vanish off the face of the earth, the second pit is now far less weedier and the fishing is coming into its own. It fishes well right through the winter and into spring. Knowing where to target and when is also key to catching regularly. 

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1 minute ago, yonny said:

 

Carp angling is a never ending journey imo, we will never know it all, but we can keep learning more and more about the fish and how they react in different environments, and that stands us in good stead to capitalise when they're in front of us. As the journey unfolds we choose to fish harder waters with more special fish as we put what we've learned into practice. As one door closes another opens and our angling evolves.  Always learning, always challenging ourselves. It's brilliant because you can never complete it - there's always a newer, bigger challenge. It's impossible to get bored of.

Couldn't put it better myself mate. Pitting our wits and experience against a living creature that is capable of its own process of thought and learning by association. This sport never stands still after all. I've moved onto a new venue, several rivers and drainage dykes all meeting at an EA pumping station, and it's like starting from scratch, the buzz of walking the river banks, wondering where the hell to start is awesome. 

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18 minutes ago, ouchthathurt said:

it's like starting from scratch

Absolutely mate. I love that buzz of walking a new venue. It's so exciting - wondering what awaits you in this next part of your journey. And the buzz of the first fish from a new venue is awesome - it gives you that confidence that you have the ability to succeed. I've only caught a few stockies from my latest venue but it's enough to get me buzzing my nuts off. There's a handful of 40 year old originals up to 50 odd lb in there and I know that my next bite could be the one!! The tactics are working, the bait is working..... confidence!

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for me confidence is all about percentages... let me explain

New bait that's cleaning up everywhere + 20%

New sneaky rig they've (hopefully) not seen + 30%

New swim where you've seen em feeding + 10%

All your gear and rigs sorted ready to go + 10%

Catch reports are saying its fishing well + 20%

Got the water to yourself + 10%

 

it all adds up to total confidence.... don't mean you'll catch mind😎👍🤣

 

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That's interesting as my percentages would be completely different.

Rigs - 5% max - as long as it presents and resets it's good enough imo.

Bait - more important - a good 10 or 20 %.

The rest would all be location. Identifying (or creating) and fishing the spots the carp are prepared to feed on. Put me on fish and 99 times out of 100 I'm mega confident. If I'm not on fish then nothing will make me confident.

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My misses had just realised she has booked a night out watching a psychic on Thursday now so I've had to rejiggle lake bookings and days off work, you would think someone had already spotted that we had double booked 🙄

But on the plus side I am going wednesday night now 😀

This is my simple snowman rig btw nice isn't it 😏

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Confidence for me is firstly choosing a swim I feel I will catch in , so if I dont find a swim I like then Ill go to a different venue , I have never been one to fit just because their a space available .

I have every confidence in the rigs and bait I use ,and as I have said before I believe if im not catching its because the fish are either not their or their not feeding.

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2 hours ago, yonny said:

That's interesting as my percentages would be completely different.

Rigs - 5% max - as long as it presents and resets it's good enough imo.

Bait - more important - a good 10 or 20 %.

The rest would all be location. Identifying (or creating) and fishing the spots the carp are prepared to feed on. Put me on fish and 99 times out of 100 I'm mega confident. If I'm not on fish then nothing will make me confident.

Echo this. Sometimes I do just drop in a swim on my instincts and knowledge because I think it’ll give me the best chance at some point. Whether a change in wind overnight means it may come good in the morning as I pack up or something. A pre-planned attack. 

 

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6 minutes ago, greekskii said:

Echo this. Sometimes I do just drop in a swim on my instincts and knowledge because I think it’ll give me the best chance at some point. Whether a change in wind overnight means it may come good in the morning as I pack up or something. A pre-planned attack. 

 

I will probably have to do something similar wednesday I have a plan anyway, by the time I get there there will be 4 other anglers probably in big 2 man bivvys hopefully one social ,if I am right this will mean they have spombed the granny out of the main part of the lake that and all the lines will have sent the fish to hide in the smaller bay area leaving me to stealth my way in and hopefully extract one or two or more , there are a couple of swims that if taken could ruin this but then I could fit somewhere on the main lake and spomb the granny out of it 😀 

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11 minutes ago, elmoputney said:

I will probably have to do something similar wednesday I have a plan anyway, by the time I get there there will be 4 other anglers probably in big 2 man bivvys hopefully one social ,if I am right this will mean they have spombed the granny out of the main part of the lake that and all the lines will have sent the fish to hide in the smaller bay area leaving me to stealth my way in and hopefully extract one or two or more , there are a couple of swims that if taken could ruin this but then I could fit somewhere on the main lake and spomb the granny out of it 😀 

The local lake i fish @finchey also...there are (Flyers) that people head straight to with no thought at all "I want that 1"...spomb n spomb n spomb...so it does tend to push them away (my opinion even scare them off)...so scouring the lake and fish to shows until some time has passed and fish on the back of the spombed area...

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Location is as they say"the key" , but just because you spot some fish doesnt mean they are their to stay , you have to try and understand , Have they just Got their ,Are they about to leave or are they the for the duration ., this I cant explain how you know its something you learn to understand through experience and  time, and you dont get it right every time.

Edited by dayvid

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7 hours ago, dayvid said:

just because you spot some fish doesnt mean they are their to stay

That's very true buddy but I've always found it's a mistake to try and predict where they'll go and set up there. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn't - and I don't like leaving it to chance. I will ALWAYS set up where I see them, and move with them if they do the off.

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12 hours ago, elmoputney said:

I have a plan

 

12 hours ago, Highy said:

there are (Flyers) that people head straight to with no thought at all "I want that 1"

I always try not to plan anything prior to arrival - unless I'm pre-baiting. I find too much planning leads to a blinkered approach on my part and results in poor decision making. With no planning I can just turn up, find fish, and fish for them.

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1 hour ago, yonny said:

 

I always try not to plan anything prior to arrival - unless I'm pre-baiting. I find too much planning leads to a blinkered approach on my part and results in poor decision making. With no planning I can just turn up, find fish, and fish for them.

I just like to go with an idea as it's going to be close to darkness and that is how I predict It happening, I will still have a walkabout first  but the last couple of times I've fished there that's exactly how it's been and I have found a lot of fish mooching in the quiet area, if that is empty I will try something else, I know a few swims now so have options 

 

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23 hours ago, yonny said:

That's interesting as my percentages would be completely different.

Rigs - 5% max - as long as it presents and resets it's good enough imo.

Bait - more important - a good 10 or 20 %.

The rest would all be location. Identifying (or creating) and fishing the spots the carp are prepared to feed on. Put me on fish and 99 times out of 100 I'm mega confident. If I'm not on fish then nothing will make me confident.

I was just using the figures for illustration... in reality all those scenarios add up to a small increase in confidence, but any increase in ones confidence on a water is to be grabbed with both hands, even just a single percent... I took that ethic from my old match days where any edge over ones opponent is an edge to ones advantage 

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Confidence, something I have struggled with the probably the past couple of seasons, then last night...

 

I know my rigs work, i've been using the same rigs for over 10 years, with snowman or bottom baits, even double bottom baits. Simple, line aligned, coated braid hooklinks with a proper length hair.

 

My bait, whatever I use, I know it will work, be it boilie over particle or boilies alone. I have probably gone through more chicken corn and hemp this year than for a few years, because I think I can put it in more easily. Boilies, I rarely choose a pup. I tend to know a good bait, although there have been exceptions.

The thing I was losing confidence in was my location, hard to pinpoint carp on 350+ acres, and I wasn't walking enough. Saying that, it could take the carp a couple of days to move onto bait. Setting up on them was not always an option.

If carp were around, I should catch them. I think my biggest fault this year was baiting up every day rather than letting the fish settle onto it after day ones bait.

 

Blanking can do your head in. That to me is the biggest loser of confidence, even if it is not your fault. I try to analyse what I did wrong to put it right, and as with everyone probably go round in circles. Go back to basics, and what you know works, catch again.

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