Choosing the Right Carp Fishing Accessories
The question of accessories is something that you'll have to answer for yourself, but please do remember there is more paraphernalia - some of it quite useless - in carp fishing-than pretty well anything else, even fly fishing! Yes, you will need leads, beads, swivels and all that sort of thing, but whether you go to the big expense of bivvies and electronic bite indicators is debatable. I would recommend trying out simple carp fishing, seeing how you like it, and then invest more heavily if everything goes according to plan.
Above all, you want to be catching carp, so don't be put off by their reputation as the super sleuths of freshwater. Carp are intelligent and they do learn quickly, but this does not mean to say they cannot be caught. What you must do is begin your apprenticeship on one of the easier waters. It's no good going to a huge gravel pit that is thinly stocked with monsters because you simply won't catch anything. Look out for a smaller water where fish are highly visible and present in much greater numbers. This will probably mean going to one of a multitude of commercial carp fisheries that have sprung up in the last 10 years or so. These waters might not be scenically magnificent, but who actually cares for a short while if you're actually getting down to the business of catching fish?
Importantly, on a small, heavily stocked water you will begin to recognize all the signs of feeding carp, cruising carp, and general carp behaviour. This is an important part of your apprenticeship. You will begin to realize how they stir the mud, send up bubbles, shake reed beds and do all the carpy things that will stand you in good stead for years to come.
The most common way to fish for carp is with a heavy lead firmly on the bottom. This is called a bolt rig, and you'll then have a short hook length to your hair-rigged boilie.
This may sound complicated, but the basic principles are fairly straight forward, and in any case you can buy ready-made rigs commercially.
Choose your patch carefully, and then bait up with some free offering boilies. Do not be in a rush to pile in as many as possible. Perhaps catapult them out one by one, perhaps separated by half a minute, or even a minute gap. This should help in building up the carp's confidence. Put in too many boilies at once and the fish will drift off to another part of the lake. You will probably be using a fairly simple, basic butt indicator on your first few trips and that's it, you're on your way. A lot of people make all of this sound highly mysterious but it isn't really, and you will soon discover that once you've made your start.