Don’t Panic or Despair

With fishing and all sorts of other of life’s problems – when you are struggling to catch a carp and it appears it’s never going your way (how ever hard you try), the trick is not to panic, otherwise you can start changing all sort of things around to try and catch fish.  Don’t get me wrong, things need to be tweaked all the time with fishing but when you are catching fish, you tend to do this by small degrees.  When you are on a long run of blanks you can easily start to change all too much at the same time, this is a fatal mistake and will result in more blanks.

If things are going wrong and you just can’t catch, you need to analyze the big picture so you can determine where you may be going wrong.

1. Are you the only one on your lake blanking?  If you’re not, you are probably doing it right and just need to pinpoint why other people are catching before you change anything.

2. Are you fishing at the right time of the day when the fish are feeding?  Are the weather conditions perfect when you are on the bank?

3. Are you fishing the same old swims all the time?  Could it be your favorite swim is not what it was in the past.

4. Could there be a big hatch going on each time you are there?  We have all sat in a swim with carp everywhere over your bait and you don’t get a fish or even have a bleep, they are just preoccupied with natural food.

These 4 things are very important to think about before you start changing rigs, bait etc.  The worst thing you can start doing is swapping rigs and bait round every few hours’s.  It will not give you a true picture of whether any of them are working and you can easily start to spook the carp out of your swim with to much casting in & out.

Firstly you must not despair.  This happens to all anglers, whether they tell you or not.  It’s best to take note of the above 4 things and then determine if you need to change any rigs, bait.  As long as you’ve not changed your rigs, checking them and using them for the correct situations, like you have done before.  Why would there be a need to change them?  You will have confidence in them.

Bait – as long as you are using a top quality bait and applying it correctly, as you were when you were catching fish, it’s not an issue.  Change between bottom wafters and pop-ups is a perfectly normal thing to do.  You should be doing this all the time anyway, as things do change.

Once you have gone over the above minefield of possibilities.  Hopefully, your head will be a lot clearer and you will have worked out if you have changed or have done something to affect your fishing.  It’s as simple as switching back and lastly there is just good old luck, it can be with you or not.  Remember it’s only fishing and it can all change at a drop if a hat and you can have a trip of a lifetime or the last half of the season can be your best ever and the past 6 months of blanking is all forgotten and a distant memory.  If all else fails, pop over to your local easy club water and bag a few 10lbers, this will certainly make a lot of difference and prove you’re doing nothing wrong, it will give you a great boost.

Hope this helps


Part Two Of Never Give Up And Despair.

As you will have read in part 1 of this, I was certainly struggling to catch a big carp or even catch regularly.  So I took some time out and thought about what was going on and want to do.  Well, the only option was to fish another lake, which I knew and would hopefully break that chain.

Well, the first trip on there I had 2 fish and lost one.  This gave me the boost in confidence that I needed and I then was feeling much more upbeat about fishing.  I was so keen again, I soon returned, well one night later and managed to bag 6 x 20 + my first UK forty and a new PB mirror.  This goes to show that you should never despair as it will turn around again and you never know what’s coming your way.


Full blog on that trip – Mega Trip

Hope this helps



About richardhandel

I would like to give a brief snap shot of my life and introduce myself; My name is Richard Handel and was born in 1965 in Suffolk. I have worked as a UK Operation & Intermodule Manager for a shipping company. I live in Hampshire now and am married with 2 young children, both girls so I am a bit outnumbered even the cat is a girl! I have been fishing since I was about 7 years old. I started on small local rivers in Suffolk, then moved onto gravel pits and then carp fishing. My personal best is a 39.08 mirror, over recent years I have started river fishing again, on the Hampshire Avon, this is a nice break from the carp lakes. My life has turned a big corner this year, the company I was working for relocated their Operation centre to Estonia. I was offered a job at the head office in London. This would have meant a 5 day commute and working in Stratford. As a family, we did not fancy this, as I would hardly spend any time with the children (and the Mrs). So after 22.5 years, I was given a nice redundancy package and with my wife is working full time. I became the house husband. This has meant a complete turn around in my fishing, as I can pick and choose when I go. I have found a splendid new syndicate to fish this year, which includes 5 lakes and some 8 miles of river with only 150 members. It's an amazing change to the way I am able to fish. I am now trying to start my own tackle business and make a bit of a name for myself in the world of fishing, as I have retired from real work. Richard
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