Former British Carp Champion and three times UK Singles Champion carp match angler Kev Grout kicks off a brand-new blog series for our website!
Hello and welcome to my new monthly blog. For those of you who do not know much about me as an angler, I have been a keen carp fisherman for over 15 years where I have focused my passion on not only targeting big fish, but also competing in national competitions such as the BCAC, Carp Cup and UK Carp Championships. My greatest angling achievement to date has to be catching the ‘Big Common’ at 41lb and the ‘Big Plated’ at 40lb 12oz in the same night from St Johns on the Linear Fisheries complex.
Above: The famous Big Plated from Linears St. Johns.
However, another angling achievement I will always be proud of is winning the Carp Cup for three consecutive years in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Thanks to my angling achievements, I have now been proudly sponsored by Fox International for 5 years.
Above: Kev is a very accomplished carp match angler.
During my monthly blogs I will aim to enlighten you on my angling progress throughout the year. Throughout 2017 I will be focusing on achieving a number of personal targets which includes catching a 40lb+ fish from my new syndicate water, and more importantly winning another national tournament. For my first Blog I thought it would be a good idea to introduce you to my general approach to carp fishing by talking you through my 2 favourite rigs. During which I will also highlight the items of Fox tackle I use, which I believe are crucial to my angling success.
Rig One: Solid Bag Rig
For me solid bags are my first choice tactic in most angling scenarios regardless of whether I’m targeting large or small carp. The beauty about solid bags is that I can achieve excellent rig presentation on a large array of different substrates. Not only does the pellet and groundbait mix I use within the solid bag protect my hook from becoming masked, it also conceals my rig from feeding fish, dramatically increasing my chances of getting a bite. Solid bags are also brilliant for fishing at any casting range due to the rig being aerodynamic and completely tackle free.
For my solid bag rig I use the following components:
- Edges Curve Shank in size 7
- 4ins of stripped 15lb Camotex Semi Stiff hooklink
- Hook Silicone
- Flexi ring Swivel Size 7
- Flat pear Inline Lead 2.25oz
- Inline drop off kit (in weedy conditions)
- 2ft of Illusion Fluorocarbon Leader material
- Small Rapide Load PVA bag
Above: Kev's PVA bag setup.
Rig Two: Zig Rig
Zig Rigs are in my opinion, one of the most under rated rigs on the carp fishing scene. The trick with them is that you have to use them in a very active manner, changing the position and depth of the rig regularly until you get a bite. Once you manage to get a bite, set all your Zigs within the productive area and more bites will soon follow. This is even truer during the slightly colder months when carp tend to shoal together in large numbers. Carp are extremely vulnerable when actively feeding up in the water column; you have just got to be very persistent until you find them. Another critical factor I find when fishing with Zigs is understanding what bait applications to use for the different angling scenarios you are faced with. I find that this very much depends on the venue your fishing and the stock levels within the lake. I am very confident fishing single Zigs with just a small amount of flavouring on my chosen hook bait, but I’m also equally confident when baiting up around the zig rig with sloppy spod mix or boilies. Normally if the stock levels are low I will focus on the single hookbait approach, and if the stock levels are high, I apply bait round my Zigs.
Above: Zig Rig success all round!
If you have never mastered the art of fishing with Zig Rigs then I encourage you to have a go. Fishing with this rig has caught me some amazing fish in the past, but more importantly the tactic tends to be most productive when fishing on the bottom is slow. As a result of this using them correctly has been a critical match winner for me on a number of occasions.
Components I use to Tie the Zig Rig:
- Edges Zig and Floater Hook size 6 or 8
- Black Zig Aligna
- Black or White Foam
- 12lb Zig and Floater Hooklink
- Anti-Tangle Sleeve
- Slik Lead Clip size 8
- Kwik Change Swivel size 8
- Naked Line Tail Rubbers
- 1 – 3.5oz swivel lead
Above: Zig Rigs are a firm favourite of Kev.
Well I hope you have enjoyed reading my first monthly blog. In my next monthly blog I will be reporting back on how I did in my UK Carp Championships singles qualifier, and also during my first session on my new syndicate water.
Good luck to all, bring on the spring carp fishing madness.