The Ultimate Summer Carp Fishing Tips

26 Aug 18


Summer is by far my favourite time of the year but what about summer carp fishing?

I see lots of anglers saying things like summer carp fishing is a waste of time and you can't catch any fish. 

I used to think the same from many trips where I blanked which really disheartened me. I think many anglers would love to be on the bank at this time of the year but are put off by a lack of success or reading about how you will struggle to catch carp in summer.

I will state this point now, you can go summer carp fishing and land lots of carp.

In fact, you can use some of the following techniques and have lots of fun and excitement whilst catching carp!

There are many different ways of summer carp fishing.

Many anglers will be fishing on the bottom as their first tactic. Fishing on the bottom can provide success but there are many other tactics that must be tried especially when summer carp fishing.

During the summer there are always lots of carp patrolling around when the sun is shining which is due to the carp, much like ourselves, really enjoying basking in the sun.

Summer carp fishing approach?

summer carp fishing lake

The obvious first summer carp fishing approach would be to try surface fishing.

With so many carp in the upper layers, you need to present a hook bait where the fish are located. I would look at using a size 10 or 12 hook, with some purpose-made surface fishing mainline, something like 6lb or 8lb breaking strain.

There are a number of different hook baits you can try and you will need to experiment with a variety until you find a bait that gets you a bite. You can try anything from different colour boilies, I find the brighter the better, bread, dog biscuits and even plastic floating baits.

I tend to offer some free baits to see if any carp bite, this will give you a good idea if the bait is going to be successful or not. Surface carp fishing is very exciting and during the day is a great way of summer carp fishing.

Summer carp fishing with zig rigs

Another method that I rate highly when summer carp fishing is utilising zig rigs.

Zig rigs allow you to fish on the surface and also at varying depths of water with a floating hook bait. I use an adjustable zig rig set up which allows me to adjust the depth I am fishing without needing to reel in or modify my rig.

I will keep adjusting the depth I am fishing by reeling in or letting out line until I get a take. I normally let out line until the bait is on the surface and then reel in a turn at a time, this way I can keep track of which depth I am fishing i.e. 3 turns down. When you find the depth that gets you takes, you can easily get the rig out to the same depth.

The rig consists of an inline lead along with a float attached to a leader with a simple knotless knot and a floating hot bait.

summer carp fishing zig rig

I like to use foam as my hook bait and have caught many carp with this approach, I found yellow foam is a great colour to get a bite in hot weather during summer carp fishing. Once my hook bait is in place I will throw out some cloudy spod mix to try and entice the carp into my swim. I will make sure my spod mix is full of particles, oils and different size pieces to really attract the carp.

As the carp are at varying layers during the hot weather I think it is important to make sure your spod mix is very oily and cloudy

Fishing adjustable zig rigs can be deadly and cannot be overlooked in summer carp fishing, I also find this a really exciting approach and a nice change to the conventional approach of fishing on the bottom. 

Summer carp fishing in the weed

During the summer months, many lakes are often full of thick and dense weed beds.

This can be another factor that puts off many anglers, but there are lots of benefits from fishing in low lying weed. The carp will take cover and feel safer in the weed. There is lots of natural food found in the silkweed beds that the carp love so putting a rod on these spots is a good idea.

Obviously, you need to find a spot where there is light weed otherwise you could find yourself in real difficulty trying to get a bite.

Get your marker rod out and feel around with a lead.

Check out one of our other articles for some great detail in fishing for carp in weed. Top Tips to Catch Carp in Weed

Summer carp fishing in the shallows

During the early evening, I will start to look at stalking in the margins or under trees for carp feeding in the shallow water. You will often see a number of carp in the margins and quite often carp of a decent size.

Many anglers completely neglect the margins/shallows and will automatically be thinking about fishing out into the lake at distance. You are missing a huge opportunity to land a decent carp and potentially rescue an entire session.

Due to the warm weather in summer carp fishing, the carp will be more nomadic and will be patrolling around the lake often ending up in the margins or shallow water. Based on this, you need to make sure you are fishing where the carp are present.

summer carp fishing in the margins

You may have to move around to ensure you are fishing where the carp are present, so keep your setup as light as possible so you can move as frequently as necessary. A simple surface rod with a handful of bait and a catapult should be enough. Cast to showing fish or simply placing a bait right in the margins and you could get a quick bite.

When you are fishing in the margins, make sure you are paying attention so when you do get a bite you are able to control the fish and ensure the carp does not get into the weed or any other difficult situation that could result in losing the fish.

This method is very exciting as you can see the carp feeding around your bait. When you do get a bite, it is even more thrilling and will get your heart racing.

Summer carp fishing bait.

I often see question along the lines of which are the best boilies for summer carp fishing. This is almost impossible to answer, but I will say this, summer carp fishing is usually slower in the hot weather and so whatever bait you do choose stick to the little and often rule.

You can always add more bait if you are getting takes but remember you cannot take it out.

Summer carp fishing at night

If you are fishing overnight, I tend to prefer to fish on the bottom. I find when the temperature drops, the carp will be back down on the bottom and so the traditional approach of a hair rig will be sufficient to catch carp.

I will use my marker rod to find a feature; clear spot, gravel channel or weed bed will always be worth fishing on. 

Some anglers do still fish on the surface overnight, which obviously takes some more effort not to mention feeling rather tired the next day, but I am sure they are catching. The more effort you put in the more carp you will catch, the same is true for summer carp fishing or any other time of the year in actual fact.


I hope you enjoyed this summer carp fishing article and you are successful when carp fishing in hot weather!

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