Carp Fishing Rigs – Getting Your Bait in the Fish’s Mouth! | By Simon Volk
So you have decided to go carp fishing, but have absolutely no idea what sort of carp fishing rig you need to do the job. When I refer to a rig I mean what is at the business end of the line where the actual fishing takes place. There are a couple of popular setups that I will discuss, specifically the hair rig and the bolt rig. Interspersed there will of course be a discussion of bait selection and fishing technique to increase your chances of landing one of these great fighters.
To cover the basics, you will need a hook, bait, and some weight. The weight has multiple roles to fill. For starters the additional weight makes it easier to cast, especially if you have some light weight bait like corn. Secondly, it is a key element in getting the bait on or near the bottom. Since carp are bottom feeders, if you are carp fishing you need to be fishing on the bottom. It therefore is the genius behind what is called a bolt rig. A brief discussion about how carp eat is needed here. They tend to suck up the bait, taste it to decide if they want to eat it and then spit it out. They can do this several times before they actually eat the bait. In the bolt rig setup a heavy weight, 2 or 3 ounces, is used up line from the hook. When the fish sucks up the bait and feels the resistance of the extra weight, often times it will react by fleeing or “bolting” and there by hooking itself. The extra weight is also key in setting the hook at the fish bolts. If you do nothing else, using this bolt rig will increase the number of fish you catch.
Following down the line from our pole, we first encounter the weight as described above and next the hook. Finally the bait, in what is called a hair rig the bait is actually after the hook. The rig is one where a small loop of monofilament line or other material is trailing the hook and holding the bait – artificial or natural. So the bait is not actually on the hook, but on the trailing hair. It will seem an odd setup to many first time carp fisherman. As I discussed above, due to the way carp feed, when they suck the bait into their mouth to taste it they will also suck up the hook. It is reported that this rig generates higher rates of success and can be better for the fish as it typically results in a lower lip hooking which only benefits the fish. The other benefit of this setup is you can also thread items onto the hair to make the bait float just off the bottom making it easier for the fish to find.
These two carp fishing rigs work together to increase your chances of catching the big fish. Getting the bait on the bottom and then arranging the hook and bait combination to work naturally with the fish’s feeding habit to put the odds in your favor and finally having a rig that helps set the hook. Get yourself a setup like this and a can of corn and head off to the lake.
Simon Volk has been a contributing author for websites and is an acknowledged expert in the field of health and fitness. He enjoys fishing and has recently developed a love for carp fishing.