Learning how to locate carp can be challenging. Especially for the new carp anglers in the audience.
Don’t feel out of place. We have all been there at one point or another.
Locating carp is something I think all of us anglers are after to some degree. We are at least trying to find new methods and techniques to keep our chances of catching more carp rising as often as possible.
The old style of fishing is beginning to be overrun by newer technologies and newer methods that can be implemented.
I’m torn a little bit on the using more modern methods just like you probably are too.
That’s okay. If you have a method that works, stick with it.
Some scout diligently, some even go as deep as speaking with local anglers to get the inside scoop or getting maps of the water structure where you are fishing.
Again, if this works for you, stick with it. I’m by no means bashing these methods.
You can probably exit this blog now and find 500 other post or blogs that describe methods you can use to locate carp.
Yes, my post will have some of that information, but we will also cover how to adapt to the new technologies that can dramatically help anglers locate carp or any fish for that matter with more ease and speed.
Who doesn’t want that?
Let’s cover some of the little things first and then dive into the new technology you can use.
Disclosure: At BonfireBob, we recommend products based on unbiased research, however, BonfireBob.com is reader-supported and as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases if you shop through the links on this page. For more information, see disclosure here.
Table of Contents
- Choosing The Body of Water and Where to Park Your Chair
- Document Everything
- Ask the Neighbor Method
- Common Places to Locate Carp
- Locating Carp in The Spring Time – Follow The Females!
- How to Locate Carp in Summer
- How to Locate Carp in Autumn Time
- Locating Carp in The River
- Never Neglect What We Already Know When Trying To Locate Carp
- Locating Carp With New Fishing Electronic Technology
Choosing The Body of Water and Where to Park Your Chair
The first point to cover is the difference between where you are fishing, and where you choose to fish make a big difference.
Especially with carp fishing. Scouting carp is essential for success on any body of water.
The best way to do this is to get down and dirty during spawn time which is typically mid-late spring. You can look for carp creating mud clouds or surfacing in a group of 2 more.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be in the same spot in the future, but it gets you familiar with where they like to migrate to on your chosen body of water that you are fishing.
There’s nothing more important than finding the feeding areas and where the carp like to “chill” so to speak. Sometimes, however, it’s just out of your control.
You’re going to run into a situation where you just can’t do anything about it and you’re going to have a rough day fishing.
Often, the pressure the carp feel from other anglers, or the overall climate and weather conditions are going to damper your fun in a hurry.
Other times, there is plenty you can do to increase success.
The most important thing you can do if you choose to scout carp using the old school methods is to document everything and take notes.
You can easily print and gain access to maps detailing the lake and structure of the water.
Most of these tools are even online these days.
Once you believe you have found a decent spot, you need to take note of it.
Trust me, if you don’t, you will eventually forget.
Bodies of water can get large. If I were you, I’d make your job that much easier by starting with areas where you know they may be feeding.
To do this is easy. Look for vegetation, lily pads, and other areas where natural feeding can take place for the carp.
They are going to be in the area. It’s just a matter of time till you spot them.
Ask the Neighbor Method
Not literally, your neighbor won’t have a clue where the carp are but talk to other anglers in the area and see where they like to target or what information they have compiled over the years.
Another individuals’ information is always a massive powerful tool. Why do the legwork, when Bob over by that tree can tell you the answer just as quickly?
Common Places to Locate Carp
Where you find carp is going to depend heavily on the season, you are fishing for them.
In the spring is an entirely different ball game than in the fall or winter.
In the spring, the carp’s metabolism is picking back up, they are picking up activity and hungry. Not just for your bait either.
They are excited to spawn. For more information about details on carp spawning, I took the time to put together a comprehensive guide that goes into depth on carp spawning times and techniques to continue catching them.
It’s work a look if that’s something causing you to have issues with locating the big fellas lately.
Locating Carp in The Spring Time – Follow The Females!
In the spring, you are going to find the carp leaving the deeper, safe harbor habitats they shacked up in over the winter and heading into flats and shallows to begin feeding and spawning.
You will always know this to be true, especially if you spot or get lucky enough to catch one this time of year.The momma carp are basically busting at the seam with eggs.
As the sunny days become more common, you will have fewer issues locating them from shore or boat.Any shallow, weedy or marsh area with some mud is going to be a hot spot.
You can usually spot this reasonably smooth with a decent pair of polarized glasses and some common sense.
Look for mud clouds and bubbles in the shallows is a good starting point.
Locating spawning carp is not A skill or really worth fishing.
Sometimes depending on your exact area and location, the spawning season can extend itself quite a bit. If this happens, be prepared to be extremely annoyed.
I’m going to admit, when I started carp fishing, I had no clue why I was getting blanked every time I tried fishing for them during this time.
Looking back, it’s pretty comical but now I understand what they really have on their minds, and it makes perfect sense.
I mention in that complete guide about carp spawning that’s its much more worth it just to wait it out and target them after spawning is over.
They don’t bite on hardly anything, but that doesn’t mean the effort was a complete waste. You have found a nicely populated area for catching them when they are done doing what nature intended for them to do.
Just my two cents and I’m sure others have had luck catching carp during spawn season, but I personally haven’t.
I’ll leave that up to you.
How to Locate Carp in Summer
In Summer to locate carp, you need to think like a carp. They are feeling pretty lazy and trying to keep cool.
The mud and covered areas are still prime locations for locating carp but not the only spots you can try.
If you don’t want to use either of these options, you can always try one of my top recommended baits from my guide, the best baits for carp fishing.
In the summer you can also increase your chance dramatically for locating carp if you try and scout in the early morning, evenings and even at night.
Night fishing for carp is hugely underrated as well. It’s a thrill and great way to enjoy the sport and expand your skills.
Make sure to give it a try at some point. You won’t regret it.
How to Locate Carp in Autumn Time
Locating carp in fall is pretty easy in all honesty. This is one of my favorite times of the year to really get after it.
For beginners or anyone looking for a little extra boost, you can take a look at my guide on how to catch carp in the fall.
In the fall the carp are pretty ramped up and ready to eat.
Always remember that carp tend to travel together and are technically considered a school fish.
In a lake, pond or fishery, you may only notice a few of them together.
In a river especially here in the Midwest, you will notice that they can be grouped in literally hundreds of other carp.
This is the time to dominate and execute.
Primarily any bait will work during this time if you are able to locate them successfully.
Locating Carp in The River
If you’re on the river, either follow my guide about river carp fishing.
I take the time to lay out my top 7 tips to successful river fishing for carp or take this one piece of crucial advice.
Fish the river mouths and fish where the stream is heading.
Carp are smart. They know where the food will be and how to get it.
You need to be equally as sharp and make sure that their diet for the day also includes your hook right in the lip.
Never Neglect What We Already Know When Trying To Locate Carp
The same items we have discussed together hundreds of times through my blogs always holds true.
Logs, snags, lily pads, cover, weedy marsh, heavy mud, and dense vegetation will still be one of your top places to locate carp.
It’s been like this for hundreds of years and isn’t going to change anytime soon.
Use the free knowledge you already have to make locating carp that much easier.
The only question remains:
As always you will always be able to locate carp in safe harbor spots as well near snags, brush, and weeds.
Now let’s cover the good stuff.
Locating Carp With New Fishing Electronic Technology
Let’s start things off with the power of an underwater camera.
This can apply to carp fishing in the spring, summer, fall or even winter ice fishing for carp.
Don’t try ice fishing for carp before my reading about my struggles and failures in my Ice Fishing for carp blog post.
Seriously I struggled a bit at first with this and made plenty of mistakes.
Let’s play out scenario at how this could be hugely beneficial to your carp fishing game.
We are going to use ice fishing as an example of this. We already know the struggles I had and the massive failures trying to ice fish for carp.
Now, let’s assume I use my auger, make my hole in one spot of the pond, lake or whatever body of water I’m fishing.
I strike out on the first effort.
Now what? Where do I go?
Well, one would assume I would try moving spots to locate the carp.
What would be an easier solution?
An Underwater Camera.
It won’t only help step up your game, but it’s just damn cool as well.
Maybe, I’m a bit behind with this blog post and the technology so forgive me but I didn’t try it till until last year, and it’s fantastic.
Yes, I know I’m behind with this, and that they have been around for decades.
How To Leverage The Power Of Technology To Locate Carp
Okay, so we all probably know that sonar can only give so much data.
Using the ice fishing example as promised, the power is leveraging sonar data or your own best-educated guess to locate the carp.
With the underwater camera, you are no longer trying to locate carp but actually locating them.
An underwater camera system can dramatically improve your knowledge of your favorite fishing spot.
From the underwater structure, debris, shelves and actually visually seeing the fish is where it gets really excellent for all fisherman.
Especially for us that take carp fishing seriously or even attempt ice fishing for them.
These cameras work for any conditions or water styles, but ice fishing makes them particularly attractive for a few reasons.
First, the water is beyond clear this time of the year, so it feels like your navigating your prey in 4K.
Also the water is very still, so it’s not interrupted non stop, and the lens doesn’t have much interference if any.
When it comes to locating carp and if it’s in your budget. This is a sure fire way to speed up the process dramatically.
So do we feel that we have the information necessary to locate carp with a little more ease?
To wrap things up, don’t ignore the obvious and proven methods for locating carp. They still work.
Fishing near creek mouths, river mouths, and understanding when carp spawn and how they behave is your crucial first method for success.
Add in the willingness to spend a little money on additional equipment, and you could be crushing it by your next fishing trip.
If you know of any additional ways or better methods for locating carp, make sure to leave a comment below.
I’m always willing to add information that can actively help all of us become better anglers.
Thanks for reading.
Alright, let's get serious. Fly fishing in saltwater has to be tried to be believed. Man, those fish battle hard. Your standard river rod just isn't going to cut the mustard. You're going to need...
We've all been there. Sat for hours, not a single fish showing on the surface. Where could they be? Well, I'll tell you. Deep down on the bottom. A floating line just isn't going to cut it....