In stark contrast to winter temperatures, temperatures in summer can vary dramatically which can lead to disappointment when heading to a fishery with high expectations, often the killer blow can be a heat wave, like humans fish too are less inclined to gorge themselves when the weather is hot. Carp particularly, often become very lethargic during summer and can often be seen basking in the sunshine, always seemingly just further out than you can cast! All is not lost though, finding the right time of day will often produce and if conditions are right then you can be on for a session of a lifetime.
Early morning and late evening can be deadly for catching good weights during hotter periods of the year, if permitted on your chosen fishery a night session can also be a great way to get hauling whilst spending a night under the stars offers a majestic experience that is not to be missed.
Baits in summer tend to be much more varied, as the fish generally become more active, they are constantly on the look-out for anything that is edible, weed and lily growth is often at its highest with many insects and water born critters blooming in amongst them, the fish have lots of natural and Anglers baits to choose from.
Hemp is great as a loose feed as it can be easily regulated going in, it attracts quality fish such as Carp and is the cheaper end of the market, as too are pellets although I do feel some pellets pollute the water, causing more damage than good. Using good bait as a base to fish over, can yield great results. The fish feed at all levels in the water during summer so having a selection of baits for the hook which sink at differing speeds is essential and will help encourage additional bites and if you play your cards right, big lovely fish like Carp.
I’m still a firm believer of the running line float fishing of old, as in my opinion, it offers great versatility when fishing, allowing you to cover all depths with very little tackle, whilst it does lack a little finesse the pole offers I think summer is probably the time when you can get away with poorer presentation and is the time to dust off your float rod for a session stalking your favourite Commercial Carp water.
Now some if you will be gasping at the thought of stalking your local commercial water, perhaps at the thought of paying the full day ticket price for just a few hours fishing, but trust me a late evening session good be well worth the money, often other Anglers have enjoyed the day sat in the bright sunshine with a small amount of success often leaving hot bothered and sunburnt a little earlier than they would have liked. This is the perfect time to bag some big Carp. These day time Anglers tend to bait heavily for the last few hours of their session or even discard their excess baits in the margins and the fish become aware of this. Have you ever noticed the fish coming closer in later in the day? Well they are expecting those Anglers are going home and that a free feed is on the cards.
A simple float rig with small part loaded float, with sinking shot, some decent strength line & hook is all that is required for this type of fishing and the great thing is that this can be used to stalk those basking fish too which might just fancy a snack if you drop your bait right under their noses.
Tackling the fishery is easy, ask the people fishing, bailiff for where people have been fishing during the day, or just have a quick walk and look for the evidence, trampled grass and that tell-tale bait dropped around the peg. Stay low and below the skyline and you will often see you target fish milling about in the margins. A pair of good polarised glasses will help with this although they can be expensive and are not essential as the fish will give their location away with signs such as bubbles, swirls and even completely clearing the water like a possessed Dolphin. Bait your hook with a large bait or big bunch of maggots (particularly Dead Reds) and drop it in as close to the bank as possible amongst the commotion.
It won’t be long before your into a fish, if bites are not forthcoming quickly, try differing bait until you find success and if nothing after 30 minutes then move on to the next boiling swim. You are likely to find that you catch more in those few evening hours than those who have endured the heat throughout the day. Tightlines and please send us your catch reports, photographs and stories if you would like to be included in the website gallery.