Fishing in thick weed can be very difficult, but it can also be very rewarding. Knowing how to fish for carp in weed is challenging to present a rig well in weed, but fish very often grub through the weed looking for insects and other food particles so don’t be put off. You will notice the vast amount of bugs and food items in the weed if you pull any out with your rigs.
There are tips for fishing in weed that I have picked up, which you could try the next time you have weed in front of your swim. I will talk you through them now to hopefully improve your catch rate.
Keep in mind that there are different types of weed, so different rigs will be needed for each situation.
Remove the guesswork
Before we go into the detail, one item that has completely removed any guessing I had to do previously when weed fishing is a FISHSPY, it shows you exactly what is in front of you and will get you fishing a lot quicker. Using a FISHSPY saves a huge amount of marker work.
The price of the FISHSPY has gone down dramatically recently as can be seen here, making it even more worthwhile having one in your tackle bag. Mine originally cost $250 but they are now much cheaper.
The other must-have tool is a DEEPER SONAR (there are a few different models), which is a castable sonar that links back to your phone or tablet and will give you a real-time reading as to what in on the bottom of the lake, but also an indication of how deep the weed is. If you purchase the DEEPER PLUS.
Get your rigs right
There are a few options when choosing a rig for weedy lakes. A standard knotless knot rig just isn’t going to cut it.
You should use chod rigs, Ronnie rigs, critically balanced rigs or helicopter rigs to get the best effect. Ready tied rigs are available here.
These rigs generally lay across the weed, or come to rest slowly on top of the weed. That means the rig won’t be buried into the weed, the fish need to be able to find the rigs after all.
Using PVA nuggets also help slow your rigs down when casting into the water, allowing the rig to rest on the weed rather than crashing through it, but also ensuring the point of the hook doesn’t get snagged on debris or lost in the weed.
Try not to use stiff line or leaders as you want the rig to look natural. A stiff line could make the rig stick up in mid-air instead of resting on the weed, this is very likely to spook the fish.
Another consideration is the lead. You need a light lead to ensure it doesn’t bury into the weed. Using a light lead with weed rigs also lowers the possibility of the carp shaking its head and using the lead to remove the rig from its mouth, although it still needs to be heavy enough to cast to the spot you are fishing in the lake.
Having a rig that loses the lead on the take is also a benefit as the fish will typically come up to the surface instead of burying its head in the weed and snagging your line. Many fish are lost when the fish bury their head in the weed and anglers try to bully them out, resulting in either damage to the fish, or snapping off.
If the fish does get snagged up in the weed, put the rod back on the rod pod or banksticks, loosen the clutch of and wait. There is a high possibility the fish will swim out on its own accord and you can then carry on where you left off, increasing your chance of netting the fish. Be patient.
Use a bait boat to set your trap
By using a bait boat, your rig will settle more gently when released, as opposed to the rig crashing through the water when it has been cast out.
The bait boat will also allow you to spread lots of free bait on top of the weed, such as breadcrumb and crushed up boilies, encouraging the fish to forage through the weed looking for the food. Trying to spod out breadcrumb and crushed boilies can prove to be difficult unless you are using a spomb.
You can kill two birds with one stone when using a bait boat by tying the DEEPER SONAR to the bait boat, then towing it along to see where you are dropping the the rig and what type of lake bed it is landing on.
A safer option than towing the fish finder along is to use a mount, to attach the DEEPER SONAR to a flexible mount, which then attaches to your bait boat.
Baiting Over Weed
Using particle when fishing over weed will get the fish digging and rooting through the weed to find the bait. By pre-bating, the carp will dig through the weed and clear a spot for you to fish.
When using chod rigs on weed, it’s beneficial to spread boilies around your rig to get the fish hunt and moving around. Whereas using chopped boilies and particles are very effective when using PVA bags and PVA stick mixes.