Improve Your Carp Fishing
With the ever-growing popularity in fishing a popped-up presentation, undisputable big fish and thinking angler DARRELL PECK identifies the two most popular rigs and the difference between them.
There was no guessing where the carp were, they were plain to see, away from the angling pressure
Pop-up rigs have become more and more popular with time and I’m going to talk about the finer differences between two of the most popular presentations of this era – the hinged stiff and multi rigs.
I’m fishing a fantastic little venue not too far from my home in Essex, A12 Cuton Lakes. I’ve fished here once before and know from experience that the fish can turn up absolutely anywhere, which suits pop-up fishing down to the ground. Pop-up rigs fit my mobile approach perfectly and enable me to get fishing nice and quickly once I’ve located the carp. Seeing a fish jump and then casting into the rings is by far my favourite approach, and that’s exactly how I’ve fished today; location is always priority.
Darrell's favourite colour pop-ups are pink, white and yellow!
I had a good walk around this morning because when I arrived there were a few anglers already in situ. With this in mind, I had a feeling that it was likely the fish had pushed away from the angling pressure, which was all up the car park end. There’s a long no-fishing section at the opposite end and it was here that I expected the fish to be.
Sure enough, that was exactly where they were and as I made my way round to what was the windward bank, and along the reeds, there they were; loads of them. Jackpot! With the fish apparent in such numbers there was no doubting which swim I was going to drop into, and quickly positioned my gear in a peg that faces the reed line.
To begin with I decided to simply flick a couple of rigs over to where the fish were, in the hope of getting a quick bite. Once I got the first bite, I could then try to build on that, but the first one is always very important and I much prefer to go in with single hook baits.
Ready tied and ready to go!
Choosing which rig to use is very important and this is where the subtle differences between the rigs come into play.
The multi rig is a very versatile presentation and this is down to the material used to construct it. Because it’s formed using a coated braid, the braid is softer and will settle nicely over most lake beds. It doesn’t quite have the anti-tangle properties of the stiff hinged, but still casts very well and rarely tangles. The multi rig is most famous for the loop at the hook end of the boom and it’s this loop that enables you to change the hook in a flash.
Liguids are a great way of enhancing the apeal of your free offerings!
Hook sharpness is something that I pay massive attention to and if you’re anything like me, you’ll find the ability to change your hooks over without having to construct a whole new rig a blessing. The multi rig is best suited to being fished over dirty ground, be that low-lying weed, leaves or silt, but it can of course be fished over hard, clean ground too.
The hinged stiff rig is a firm favourite of mine and over the years I have caught plenty of fish while using it. It has been made famous as one of the most effective big-carp catchers of all time and is right up there with the most reliable hooking arrangements the sport has seen. It’s no wonder the lads at Korda HQ wanted to add it to the ready-tied-rig range too. One of the best things about this rig is that it’s almost impossible to tangle, being tied from stiff materials. With the IQ boom section being a fluorocarbon, it appears almost invisible in water. The hook section is made from Mouth Trap, which is an extremely stiff monofilament and ensures that the all-important curve is held firmly tucked in beneath the hook.
The first bite, which fell to the multi rig.
I have had particularly good success when using this rig at long range and given the choice I will use it over cleaner ground, which I think the stiff hook links are better suited to.
With the fish located, Darrell casts a pop-up rig across to the far margin, which they're patrolling regularly.
Unless you have fished the venue before, or in the fact the spot, it’s always worth erring on the side of caution when casting to a new area, and for that reason I decided to make my first cast with the multi rig. No matter what it lands over, it’ll still present itself well.
The first rod was cast tight to the reeds and I was half expecting there to be a build-up of leaves and detritus lining the face of the reeds. Upon making the cast it became apparent that the spot was a little cleaner than I first thought. The lead landed with a firm and satisfying donk. With this in mind, I decided to put a hinged stiff rig on the other rod because this was going to be positioned slightly further off the reeds, on the gravel shelf, which I now fully expected to be clean. Sure enough, the second rod also landed with a firm donk, and with that I had two rods nicely in position.
Peeking over the reeds located fish!
People often ask me what pop-ups I like the most, or what colour is my favourite, and this is also important on a new venue. I always opt for what I know works and 99 per cent of the time I’ll use either pink, white or yellow. For this session I’ve brought along two tubs, one containing pink Squid Supremes and the other a mixture of white and yellow pop-ups, and these are dosed up in the Winterberry Goo. I’m a big fan of the Goo and the Squid and Winterberry are right up there among my favourites.
Oiled up boilies, what carp could refuse?
With so many fish about I must admit that when the first bite occurred, I was fully expecting it. I knew the rig would be sat pretty and with loads of carp in the vicinity it was a matter of time really. The culprit turned out to be a cracking little mirror with heavily scaled flanks. I was chuffed to bits and what a start to the day. Rather than replace the whole rig, I grabbed a pack of Krank Choddys from the tackle box and began the short process of switching the hook to a fresh one.
No sooner had I done so than the other rod was away. The stiff hinged was soon well and truly put to the test as the fish made every effort to free himself from danger. To my delight, it was unable to do so and I soon had a rather strange-looking creature in the net, a common with crazy fins, crazy being an understatement! I’ve seen pictures of these carp but now I’d caught one, and I’ll bet it’s probably the only time!
With two bites in such quick succession, I decided to walk round to the reeds and put some bait out before casting out. I planned to keep it relatively simple, carrying just pellets and boilies for the session. I did, however, have a little bundle of liquids to coat it all in. The carp are going to be hungry at this time of year, so the more attraction you can get into your bait the better. I used Hemp Oil for the boilies and Goo for the pellets.
With the baits prepped in no time, I made my way round, baited the areas and then trotted off back to my swim to cast back out.
From the moment I cast the rods it all went a bit mad and, providing I kept the bait going in, it was hard to keep a rod in the water over the next few hours and I caught some lovely carp. The bright pop-ups were definitely getting me quicker bites when fished over the bait and the fish simply couldn’t resist. My favourite fish was what I believe to be an original common, a right gnarly looking thing and a lovely way to top a great day’s fishing!
This dark little common loked like one of the lake's original stock!