Consistent carp catcher JAKE WILDBORE explains what he focuses on at this time of year to keep the bites coming, and how you can do the same too.


1. Keeping Mobile

TIP 1 jake 7 tips for april

I know it is a bit of an obvious one, but being able to move around quickly is a must in spring. I have never found that April favours stationary tactics over a lot of bait. The fish move pretty quickly and it is tricky to keep up with them, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. If they are held up in one area, you need to be on the ball and do your best to get in there when the other angler leaves. I don’t use a lot of bait in spring and one reason is that I am not committed to a certain swim. I can move around as much as I want and not feel as though I have invested time and effort into baiting an area and leaving it.


2. Bait The Edge
TIP 2 Jake 7 top tips april

With the temperatures finally rising and the sun holding a lot more strength, the carp will be looking to venture into areas that they have not been in for a while. One of these can be the margins, especially if they are shallow.

It is always worth keeping an eye on the margins and trickling a little bit of bait on a few spots. The fish are less cautious than in summer and can be a lot easier to catch off guard.


3. Be Prepared 

TIP 3 Jake tips for april 16

I don’t get a lot of time to actually go fishing, so when I am there I want to make the most of it. I try and make sure that I have all of my rigs pre-tied before I go fishing. This includes zigs, bottom-bait rigs and pop-up presentations.

Having rigs ready to go means that I can move on to the fish, identify the substrate, select the correct presentation and away I go; fishing in no time at all.


4. Cast Around
TIP 4 jake top tips for april 16

If I am fishing with singles, which is more often than not, then I like to move the rods around. The fish do spend a lot of time in groups and locating these is vital. Once you have found them, you can catch them relatively easily.

This is why I try and move the rods around and actively search out where the fish are. This is one of the reasons I use chods and stiff rigs in spring; they will present over virtually any bottom and I can cast them around without having to lead about.


5. Zigs
TIP 5 jake top tips for april

This is the best time of year to be fishing with zigs. The fish are spending a lot of time up in the water and when they are not getting caught off the bottom, this is the time to target them up in the water. They are not just a tactic that works in the middle of the day; they can work in colder temperatures and during the night even better. It is all about reading the situation and seeing when you think the time is right to use one. I have found them to work best in deeper, clearer lakes. If the depth is 12 feet, I will start off fishing with a 6ft, 8ft and 10ft zig. It is worth trying different depths and colours too. Once I have found a successful combination, I will put all three rods on this.


6. Adding Liquids

TIP 6 jakes tips for april
If I do fish over bait, I try and make it as attractive as possible. I don’t use too much, but I like to add a few things to try and entice the fish to drop down and feed. I always add sweetcorn to the mix of boilies and pellets, mainly to add something nice and visual. I then add Krill liquid, which has to be the best liquid I have used. It stinks and the fish love it. I like to soak it in to my baits and when they are on the bottom it seeps out and releases a load of attraction around the bottom.


7. Bright Hook Baits
TIP 7 jakes tips for april

This is a common one, but a bright hook bait in spring can be king. If the fish are not quite eating lots of bait yet, something bright and eye-catching can be enough to get a quick bite.

However, that’s not to say it’s only a single-bait tactic. Even when you are fishing over bait, a bright hook bait can be a real game changer. I carry a few hook baits, but the Signatures are my go-to pop-up. There are three colours in the tub and I like to put a different colour on each rod.



Total Carp reader Gaz Walker had the session of his life when he went on a recent social to White Springs Fishery near Swansea.

Although the weather is being indecisive with warm winds, double figure temperatures one moment and ice covered rods the next, I am starting to see more and more signs that the fish are slowly getting back on the move.

On Pit 5 of the hollybush lakes complex its been a very slow winter for me having just ended a near four-month blank, like a lot of lakes around the country the lake completely shut up shop at what seemed like flick of a switch. Ending the long blank was not a complete success as it ended up being an upper double common which was actually a repeat from the summer. With the blank behind me, it's time to start focusing on my spring approach which starts with emptying the contents of my rucksack onto the living room floor and having a good old sort out. removing anything which will not be necessary in the coming months, it always surprising how much extra clutter you end up hauling around the lake unnecessarily over the winter from excess leads, socks and empty biscuit packets. Next the terminal tackle, I have now managed to scale it down to a Medium Nash bits pouch and a small lead pouch. Just the essentials stay like scissors, baiting/splicing needles and hook files, the rest consists of hooks, hooklinks and a 6 compartment boxlogic box for metalware and beads. Everything else gets thrown into a Nash softbox which will be in the car for emergencies. Since seeing the Ronnie rig I've been a big fan, so these are pre-prepared along with enough leaders for a session and a few for the soft box. The way I look at it, if I need to go back to the car for more leaders or hooks I should either be going home because I am having a nightmare or I’m having one hell of a session and most definitely will not mind walking back to the car! The reason for scaling down is although pit 5 isn't a big pit around 12 acres it has no less than fifteen islands with some almost the length of the lake and not even two rod lengths wide and accessible by small wooden bridges its not very barrow friendly but probably the biggest reason is I am just lazy when it comes to loading shed loads of gear in and out of the car but pushing heavy barrow loads of kit isn't for me and this lake doesn't even give me the option if I wanted to but not only that my approach for spring is to be very mobile, during the summer last year some days I was covering over ten kilometres of just walking, baiting spots in the edge and revisiting them throughout the day until an opportunity to arises.

Lewis TC Spring Blog 3


My baiting approach for margin spots is pretty simple like myself and consists of Nash’s TG Active chopped, crushed and crumbed, if I’m feeling particularly fruity I will add a couple handfuls of hemp, Rock Salt and some micro mix pellets.

Lewis TC Spring Blog

I want something which gives off plenty of attraction plus a bait which keeps them occupied to give me a chance of catching them in the act. I have read and been told how much the carp love boilie crumb but really saw its effectiveness on a trip to Belgium a few years back, It was the end of October. The fishing was tricky with a friend catching within the first few hours but the weather turned very cold and the fishing slowed down hugely.Whilst on a walk round the lake I noticed a fish ghost over a margin spot, I started to introduce TG Active crumb and hemp oil, only a couple of handfuls to which a few fish found and hoovered up very quickly. Having the lake to ourselves I continued to bait the area with a few handfuls in the morning, evening and at some point during the day around lunch time, every time it was being cleared to the point a large sand area has been revealed from underneath the chod. I planned to save the spot until the last night in a last ditch attempt of catching and saving the weeks fishing. luckily back in my own swim I fished solid PVA bags filled with boilie crumb which resulted in a nice mid twenty common. over the few days of baiting the margin spot I had seen a couple of regular fish feeding on the bait, one being the lakes biggest mirror and the other a fish called The Mexican which I had already caught last year fortunately and unfortunately for me an hour after wading a solid bag down the margin from the nearest swim I had a repeated my capture of ‘The Mexican’ not ideal but a real confidence booster in my bait and approach.

Lewis TC Spring blog 2

Back on pit 5 using this approach with my tackle, bait and limited time hasn’t caught me huge numbers of fish but it has been by far one of the most exciting, sleep depriving and occasionally frustrating seasons I've fished but overall very enjoyable which is what I want from my fishing and Until the weather settles and i can start to implement this approach I'm going to be trying to catch a few fish from higher stocked venues and boost my confidence ready the for best time of the year.   

Lewis TC Spring blog 2

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