Carp fishing holidays seem to be everywhere we look at the moment. If you check out all the main tackle companies Youtube channels, it seems every single one has a recent video of a foreign fishing trip.
On a side note, we recommend you also check out a very recent video from none other than Carl & Alex Fishing who have just published a brilliant piece on their time in the U.S.A catching some truly special carp – Click HERE to check it out!
With Ali Hamidi, Tom Dove and Neil Spooner travelling around the world to catch some ‘Monster Carp’ on ITV4 at the moment, we thought it would be a fitting time to focus this piece by relating the holiday buzz with items of fishing tackle (of course!).
Here we list our recommended fishing holiday essentials that you really shouldn’t leave your home without before making your way through the euro tunnel or boarding the plane.
I would like to think it is a given to pack your rods, reels, bivvy etc.; Therefore, we wanted to pick a few useful items that we feel are paramount to assist in making your bank time on foreign waters as easy going as can be.
1. Heavy Duty Bank Sticks or Storm Poles!
With many of the European waters containing some ridiculous sized (and extremely powerful) catfish, the last thing you want is for your very expensive fishing rod to be dragged into the depths due to a screaming take when some bedded in line stops your free spool facility from working properly.
As well as being more flexible than a rod pod – meaning that you can spread your rods out safely when snag fishing, we advise that unless a pod is completely pegged or clamped down, then bank sticks or storm poles have to be the go to. I know which one I would rather have holding my precious fishing rods when a monster carp comes calling!
2. Sort Out The Bugs!
One of the few downsides to spending your time bankside, particularly on foreign soil, is that you can be chewed to smithereens by the entire cast of Bugs Life if you don’t come prepared.
Firstly, we recommend any, and as many bottles of insect repellent as possible. They really will be your saving grace and save those lovely warm evenings from being sabotaged by pesky flying bugs who can’t resist human flesh.
One very popular trick across the carp angling audience is ‘Avon Skin So Soft’ Bath Oil. Many well known carpers swear by it, even if it does leave you smelling like your granny!
Inevitably, you will end up getting a bite or two (hopefully more from the carp than the mozzies). On those longer sessions, we recommend you check out ‘Zap It’ which is almost like a mini taser which you use to zap the inflicted area of skin to take away the itchiness and swelling!
3. Hook Sharpening Kit!
Hook Sharpening has certainly been an ‘edge’ for some of the top anglers for many years. However, it has now come to the forefront and the importance of ensuring you maximise the effectiveness of your end tackle has certainly stood out.
We find that this is just as, if not more important when fishing abroad. The lakes across Europe can be extremely rocky and snaggy to say the least. Therefore, it is vital you place emphasis on ensuring your hook point is as ‘sticky sharp’ as possible. When reeling in, it only takes your rig to run across a small rock or get caught on a branch for the hook to be affected.
We recommend a hook sharpening kit which comes with a decent sharpener, clamp, file and eyeglass. This will mean you can sit behind your rods confidently, knowing your rig is on the lake bed, fishing effectively.
4. Rigs, Rigs, Rigs!
We can’t stress enough that preparation is key. Sure, everyone will have a few of their favourite rigs tied up in a rig pouch.
However, it is vital that you try and prepare for every situation that may be thrown your way when fishing abroad. Bottom bait rigs, pop up rigs, wafter rigs, chods, zigs, surface fishing rigs and of course including a few ‘Ronnie’ rigs too.
You could even make the most of your travelling hours to get the tackle box out and tie up a few belting rigs. Like Nash Tackle’s Alan Blair and Oli Davies say – ‘if you ain’t driving, you’re tying!’.
5. Beat the Crayfish!
Unfortunately, you will find that a lot of the big lakes abroad are littered with the crays! For some it can cause a bit of a problem and we wanted to look at a couple of items that might help stop them from attacking your rig, meaning you ultimately will put more holiday carp on the bank!
Heavy Leads – Better for hooking the fish and they will also ensure that your rig is pinned firmly to the bottom. The Crayfish will certainly have an issue trying to move a 3oz plus lead around!
Try a Choddy – You need to consider how you will be fishing with a pop up with the crays around. Many anglers swear by using a rig such as the chod rig which stands off the bottom a little more than other rigs, meaning the crayfish won’t bother it as much.
Use a Mix of Particle and Air Dried Boilies – By using a feeding mix with many different shapes, sizes and consistency, it will inevitably take the nuisance species longer to find the hook bait. Also by ensuring your boilies have been air dried, the tougher they will be; meaning the longer they will last for the carp to come and munch them.
Mesh Your Bait – Following on from the last point, by meshing up your hook baits it can really preserve them on the lake bed. We recommend using something like Fox’s Armo Mesh and failing that, just cut up some old tights and tightly wrap the bait.