Marc Cavaciuti - Spring Tactics
Team Korda member Marc Cavaciuti takes a look at the tactics which he uses during the Spring, and why they work so well at this time of the year, when the carp are starting to wake up.
Spring is such an important period in the big carp diary and to fully capitalise you must be prepared.
By now your Spring waters should be identified, it is such an important window of opportunity that you cannot afford to leave it until the last minute, you need to be there for when the fish truly wake up, not sat at home waiting for your venues newsfeed to start kicking off. Be the one lighting the fire, not the guy left dampening the embers.
Knowing your campaign water will allow you to effectively prepare, for me last year 15lb Touchdown ticked all boxes, sinks really well, the green colour nearly invisible when submerged, strong as you like and casts like a dream. This allowed me to quickly switch my tactics depending on swim availability (a big part of circuit water angling) and the fish’s location (the most important part). Scaling right down in my tackle and luggage allowing me to react to visual signs of activity.
As I previously mentioned it is so important to be able to quickly react to what you are seeing/not seeing. My kit gets scaled right down, spare leads left in the van, food left in the van until I am convinced that I am on fish, single small water bottles again left in the van. Fishing the circuit type waters that are busy the ability to be back on the barrow travelling down the path quicker than the next guy is vital.
As the daylight hours lengthen these are the key areas that I am interested in, especially if they are on the receiving end of the suns first rays. Cold blooded creatures need warmth. With warmth their eyesight improves, their senses increase and their metabolism increases. These areas are sought after and I am positive that they remember these areas- it is their neighbourhood after all. The shallows are the areas that I concentrate a lot of time in, I can remember turning up for a night on a large reservoir few years ago, a large warm southerly was pounding the waves on the northern most bank and at any other time of the year it would have excited me. I walked the remaining half mile to the shallows and with the sun beating down on an area the size of around an acre on the back of the wind I saw my first show, then another and another. Bucket dropped I walked past the other bivvies on the windward bank and grabbed my scaled down barrow and kit. I had the first fish of the year an hour later followed up with a mid-rarely caught mid thirty during the night in the heaviest fog I have ever fished in, all in less than three feet of water.
If you add the safety of snags to the shallow water spring mix this on paper would be a key area, safety and warmth!
As previously mentioned shallower water is going to warm quicker than deep dark water, zigs are so important in spring for the following reasons
They allow you to fish in the water column where the fish want to be- no good fishing ten feet below them when they are stacked 2 feet below the surface soaking up the rays with their mates.
I mentioned earlier their senses are just starting to come to life following the cold winter, the fish are ‘green’ and in their hazy vision will happily accept a piece of Goo’d up foam presented in their face.
Zigs are wicked at allowing you to react to showing fish, no worries about your hookbait being presented in the left-over winter crud or any fresh new weed growth coming through, you just need to get the depths right.
Fishing singles or very light baiting have caught me a lot of big fish. A point that I have previously mentioned is that their senses are starting recharge- their slowly adapting eyesight and their heightening sense of smell/taste is something that needs to be exploited. They are not after kilo’s and kilos of food- they are not ready for it yet and more often than not it will be counterproductive, remember that they will be where they want to be and this is more to do with them wanting to feel comfortable and safe as opposed to wanting to fill their gut (remember their metabolism isn’t quite there yet).
Excluding Zigs, there are only two rigs that I use in Spring, both of which are pop-ups.
Fishing with the Heli-Safe and Naked Chod system allows me to switch between the two presentations really quickly without the need for leadcore or tubing.
My two preferred rigs are Naked Chods (in depths over three feet) due to their guarantee of presenting, their stealth and big fish consistency.
The second rig is my adapted spinner rig, for depths less than three feet, fishing tight to snags and/ or up island shelves. I simply adjust my top bead to allow for a softer drop.
Another important reason for the second rig is that it allows me to fish tight to Snags and islands which should not be done with slack lines for fish safety reasons.
Both of these rigs allow me to cause next to no commotion, I’m not spot fishing, I’m not looking for that one foot square of gravel that would be a banker spot come July, I am looking to stealthfully present where the fish are now.
In short, be mobile and reactive! Bright tasty singles... be that Goo’d up Zigs or Pop ups presented in areas they want to be. Being in front of their faces, for me, is definitely the way in the Spring.