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To strike or not..?
by Julius Klokow
26 August 2010
MORE ARTICLES

This question is regularly raised by novice specimen carp anglers. Many anglers are making the transition from conventional bank angling to specimen carp angling. When practicing conventional bank angling it is the norm to strike when receiving "positive" or "negative" bite indication. So how does a specimen carp angler approach a “positive” or “negative” bite indication?

The weight of the sinker, hook, presentation and rig utilized plays a huge role in getting the fish hooked properly. A safety bolt rig, a proper hook with the correct application and gripper lead with a minimum weight of 6 ounces would be needed to achieve this. The purpose of this setup is to get the fish hooked with assistance of the weight that should set the hook in the fish’s mouth. It should not be necessary to strike to set the hook and the tension from the line and rod while playing the fish should ensure that the hook penetrates deeper and stays in place in the fish's mouth. This is the basic approach you should strive to achieve to ensure a proper hook hold in order not to loose fish because of hook pulls. Remember to always use a sharp hook of good quality and that it is suitable for the application.

This approach results in more “positive” bite indication and reel runs than “negative” bite indication. It also should be effective to properly hook fish when even fishing at 600 + metres.

“How do I approach a positive bite?”

The best way we have found to approach a positive bite with a reel run is to pick up the rod from the pod and to put with one hand pressure in a controllable manner on the spool in order to get the reel run under control before disengaging the bait runner function; if your reel is equipped with this. When the fish’s run is under control you can just start to reel and go on fighting the fish in the normal manner while ensuring that the brake system on your reel is set properly.

If the fish only pulls the swinger straight and the line tight without any reel run, it is best to pick up the rod from the pod and to start reeling immediately. Be wary that a large carp can suddenly bolt off. Therefore ensure that the brake system of your reel is set not to tight.

Be wary that it is not good for your reel to have the baitrunner function deactivated suddenly while the fish is on the run, nor for your rig setup, because the sudden jerk could lead to a hook pull or parting of the hook link.

“How do I approach a negative bite?”:-

A negative bite takes place when the fish swims towards you with the result that the swinger drops.

The best way we have found to approach a negative bite is to pick up the rod from the pod and to reel in the slack line until the weight of the fish is felt. You can go on fighting the fish in the normal manner while ensuring that the brake system on your reel is set properly.

“How do I approach a positive or negative bite while using lighter sinkers when casting?”:-

The same tactics mentioned above should be followed because the hook should already have found a place to settle in the fish’s mouth due to the mechanical working and efficiency of the hair rig. It is good to start reeling quickly and as soon as possible to take up slack in the line after you have lifted the rod from the pod, to ensure direct contact with the fish, in order to ensure that the hook has penetrated well into the fish’s mouth.

Hope that this article will assist you well in clearing up your concerns with regard to the subject when specimen carp fishing.



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