Hello, first year Carp fishing. Been doing pretty good down at the shallow, slow moveing river. Usally get one to three Carp in an hour, about 5-10 lbs. I've used the same rig and have lost a few (mostly pull outs), but have been sucessful more than not. I use a #2 Eagle Claw Bait holder hook with 2-3 kernels of sweet corn on the bend, 12 inch leader of 17# mono, swivel, and a small split shot (1/8 oz). Basiclly free linning ; watching the slack line until it begins to move, close the bail and set the hook.
Now all the Carp experts are telling me how much better I'll do with smaller #4-#8 hooks, hair rigs, and 3oz weights for bolt rigs. Do smaller hooks and hair rigs improve the hook up ratio enough to for me to change my set up ? The big weight is out of the question due to the large flat rocky bottom, it would snag every time. Right now I'd say I lose 1 out 6 hook ups, but some of that could be me or the rocky bottom. I am going to switch to Owner's SSW straight eye hook in #2 or #4 size, it's got to be sharper and harder than the Eagle Claw hooks. Looking for any advice opinions, or commets .
I can tell ya what I use. I use a carolina rig with a 1/2 oz bullet weight and 4/0 mosquito hook and corn tortillas for bait and I slay them. Ive got anywhere from a 1 1/2 pound to about 20 pound on the same setup. Hope this helps.
Hair rig. I really cannot stress how much this has improved my fishing. At first I was not catching on it, but by experimenting with the hook lenght, and hair length I always use it now. The only time I do not use a hair is when I am using a pay lake rig. Hair rigs will increase the hook ups dramatically. Sure, you will catch a big carp on a standard hook, or even a huge hook, but you will catch more with a hair. I have caught a bass on a hair rigged bread punch and my friend caught a shad on hair rigged corn popped up, but that does not mean I will use bread for bass or popped up corn for shad, just as I wouldn't use a large hook for carp. The only time I use a big hook is surface fishing then it is eagle claw size 2 plain shank. Big weights are important to get the bolt effect, however I understand the problem of a rocky bottom. I will try to get a solution. Try the hair rig and build your confidence. Practice it a lot. It takes work but when you get it down it will be worth it. I use a few different hooks. PM me for a place I get tackle, they have some good hooks for a decent price, plus they give a good description of a hair rig. I am a huge carper. I have finally made the turn and put the money into equipment. Rod pod, bite alarms, 12ft with baitrunner, boilies, feeders, method and pack. Of all of this I feel the hair rigs have helped the most, except for possibly the K-1 boilies and maize, although they must be used on a hair anyways.
The hair rig works with the carp "bolting" due to the hookpoint catching on the lip and the sinker helping set the hook. Thats why using chemically sharpened or the sharpest you can get works best, especially for spooky or tentatively feeding carp. That said I've gotten some of my biggest carp (30+ lbs) on gold Mustad hooks with sidehooked corn so I thnk feeding activity of the carp also has something to do with it. Most of my hooks are size 4-6ish, right now kamakatsu (sp?) bait holders for hair rigs...also still use the Mustads as a good luck charm:wink: Rigs are runnign rigs w/egg slip sinkers 2-4 oz ...I NEVER use a fixed sinker like the Europeans do...I was taught properly that carp feeling the sinker will drop the bait so I don't know what those guys are smoking.:confused2::smile2: The slip sinker provides enough "line running" as for the carp to not sense it, but when the carp runs pulling the line enough drag to "bolt" the hookset.
In a slip sinker rig you can pinch a split shot or other "stop" (as not to damage the line) a foot or so above the sinker that will stop the line pulling through the sinker and provide some "bolt". Semi fixed maybe or not; works niiice.:smile2: