How to get an edge when carp fishing in April

25 March, 2024

April is one of the best months of the year for carp fishing

Carp fishing in April has got to be one of the best there is. Pretty much every carp in the land is awake and feeding by the end of March so you’re not fishing for torpid fish that are laid up in the snags. The same can be said for carp lakes in France, given the climate is very similar to the UK and as such April is one of the most popular months for carp fishing.

Your quarry is also likely to be in fine condition having had plenty of time to repair any damage from the summer’s spawning ritual and they’ll also be hanging onto most of their winter colours.

In addition weights are pretty high. They’ll be carrying a bit as this year’s spawning isn’t too far off and will have had a few weeks of feeding to put back on anything they may have lost over a harsh winter.

Lastly, you should find that carp are more obliging during April than at any other time. They may still not be easy to catch they will certainly be easier.

Some of best spring tactics to catch carp are:

  • Using zig rigs as insect hatches go off
  • Don’t use to much bait
  • Around 30 boilies per rod or a PVA bag is ideal
  • Experiment with bright single bookbaits
  • Don’t ignore the margins

Read on for expert advice on how to use these tactics in your fishing this spring.

A stunning April carp in pristine condition


Carp fishing in April

Do not put too much bait in

You’d think so wouldn’t you? Whilst fish are willing to feed at this time of year they are rarely up for a big feed. They’ll eat but not with the same enthusiasm as they will during autumn despite being extremely active. Extreme caution should be exercised as it is very easy to ruin any chance you had by introducing too much bait.

It’s a familiar sight on the banks of carp lakes everywhere. April comes along and brings with it a bit of sunshine. One or two fish start getting caught, the anglers get over-exuberant and all of a sudden catapults, spod rods and throwing sticks are thrashed about as kilos of bait are deposited into the water and the bites dry up for everyone. Take it easy as big beds of bait really are the kiss of death at this time of year.

You only need just enough bait to get a bite initially. The carp will be active and a light spread of bait or a PVA bag is ideal to nick a bite.

How much should we use then?

Essentially as little as you can get away with. The less you put in the smaller the chances of messing it up. It’s no coincidence that a large proportion of spring fish are caught on singles. Bright singles can be particularly effective and it is worth experimenting with different colours and flavours to see which works best.

As the month wears on there will be more opportunity to use a bit but it’s still best to err on the side of caution. Nobody can say what is the right amount for any given venue but we’d say somewhere in the region of 30 boilies per rod is ample in the majority of situations.

Use around 30 boilies per rod in spring

What tactics should we be using then?

Carp fishing in April really is the season for the opportunist angler to take advantage. Despite not using big beds there are still plenty of ways to them. You don’t necessarily need to change anything much as normal boilie tactics will still work in April. A bottom bait, wafter or pop-up will account for plenty of bites just as long as it is over a frugal scattering. Carp tend to move about plenty during this period so it’s to our advantage to spread the freebies out a bit.

As water tempature increases you will also notice insect hatches. During this time the carp may show little interest in bottom baits as the become preoccupied on naturals. This is the perfect time to cast out a zig rig and use a small piece of foam to imitate the insect larva.

insect hatches in spring

Zig rigs are perfect when hatches are going off

Single hookbaits are a real winner and a bright, smelly pop-up in the right place is a reliable tactic for an April bite. They are the perfect thing to use when casting to shows as they create minimal disturbance. It can prove fruitful to ring the changes with colour and flavour until a successful combination is found.

single hookbaits in spring

Bright single hook baits are very effective in spring