With the water temperature cooling, carp tend to shoal tightly, find them, drip feed them and then if you approach them in a stealthy manner you should catch them. Today I’ve headed to one of my favourite fisheries, Rolf’s in Oxfordshire, one I have fished extensively for years and if I’m right a fair share of the carp will be keeping warm, tight in a corner where a big lily bed is dying away. I could target this from a swim to the side but I need to get tight to the pads and with carp to well over 20lb possible its far better to attack the swim from the opposite bank, which is exactly where I’m heading. 

Drip feeding

To get the carp in a feeding mood I’m going to drip feed four of five 8mm fishery own, slow sinking pellets every thirty seconds right next to the lilies. This I will do whilst setting up and if all goes to plan when I make my first cast in around half an hour there should be a few competing for these. 

After feeding for half an hour, it was a carp a cast.

Bright critically balanced baits, just irresistible.

Pellet Bands – quick and easy.

Clipped up at all times, just don’t switch off.

Cenex Low stretch Mono, great for bite detection.

Cenex Hybrid Power Mono for super supple, strong and tough hook lengths.  

Soft, easy part and reliable Connector Beads.  

Connector Beads, simple to use.  

"the power of the rod will see the carp kitting and heading into open water."

Simple but powerful

Tackle for carp this big needs to be robust but balanced so I’ve opted for my Sphere Bomb rod but the version with 10% extra power. This rod is unbelievable and has been created from the highest quality carbon blank and fittings available to produce an ultra light, ultra slim rod that just makes you want to catch fish after fish. It has a soft action which allows light lines and small hooks to be used when needed, however the power in the butt section is amazing and couple this with the action is something big carp just can’t deal with. This is teamed up with a Black Viper Compact 845 reel loaded with Cenex 0.20mm Low Stretch Mono which has an incredible breaking strain of over 8lb for its fine diameter and is also extremely abrasion resistant which is required if a carp manages to skirt the outside of the pads. On the business end things are kept relatively simple with a 1oz lead placed on a Quick Change Swivel which runs on the mainline and is buffeted by a Connector Bead. The hook length, which is around fifteen inches is created from Cenex 0.18mm Hybrid Power Mono, again very abrasion resistant but also very supple, and has a Sphere size 14 barbless hook attached knotless knot style with a hair containing a 7mm Silicone Bait Band.

Slow sinking

Hookbait is simple, an 8mm bright pink wafter that I’ve checked in the margin before casting, as I want it to sink really slowly, just like the freebies that I have been catapulting around. 

A repeat performance

The last thing I need is for a carp to dive into the roots of the lily bed so although I’m casting tight to these I’m also clipping up as this will avoid disaster happening. The bend in the rod and minimal stretch in the line will give me a couple of feet to put the brakes on when the rod pulls round, and guess what it’s done this almost immediately. It’s really important when fishing clipped up to place the rod across your knee and only have a small angle from rod tip to bait. As soon as it pulls round the power of the rod will see the carp kitting and heading into open water. The first carp is a beautiful fully scaled mirror around 6lb but I have had them, on similar tactic to over 25lb in the past here so expect a proper chunk to turn up at anytime. It looks like it’s going to be an eventful day as the next cast see’s a repeat performance, yet this one is more of the average size you can expect from Rolf’s, a low double. Now for that twenty!


Michael Colsino

Michael’s Tackle

Sphere Bomb + 10% Power

Black Viper Compact 845

Cenex 0.20mm Low Stretch Mono

Cenex 0.18mm Hybrid Power Mono

Sphere size 14 barbless Beast Hook

Connector Bead

7mm Silicone Bait Band

Quick Change Swivel

1oz Lead


Michael’s Bait

8mm Pink Wafter

8mm low oil fishery own pellets






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Perfect touchdown next to the dying pads.

Rolf’s is famous for its big carp.