Carp fishing is the fastest growing form of freshwater fishing in the UK, and every year around a million anglers in the UK start carp fishing. Knowing where to start when it comes to carp fishing can be very overwhelming, as there is a whole world of equipment and tackle available for the carp angler, which is why this guide will give you an idea of what you need to consider and the steps you should take before you head out for your first carp fishing session.
Get a rod licence
The first step on your carp fishing journey is to get a rod license. If you fish in lakes and rivers in England and Wales, you will need to get yourself a rod licence, or you will face a potential fine of up to £2500. A licence is not needed in Scotland unless you are fishing in the Border Esk Region. Fishing in Northern Ireland requires licences and permits however the rules are slightly different.
For fishing in England and Wales, you can get your rod licence from the government website or from your local post office.
You can get the licence for one day, eight days or for a year. These currently cost £6, £12 or £30. Once you have paid for your licence you can start fishing straight away, you don’t need to wait for the licence to arrive in the post. The licence allows you to fish with 2 rods if you are carp fishing, unless you have purchased the 12 month licence which means you can fish with 3 rods.
Decide where to fish
When it comes to carp fishing, your choice of water can have a huge impact on whether or not you catch any carp. The possibilities are endless with carp fishing, and you can fish anywhere from still water to streams, rivers and lakes. However, if you are a beginner, not every fishing site is suitable for your level of skills and ability.
Carp grow bigger as they age, and not only this they also become a lot wiser too, so heading straight to a specimen lake may not be the best idea. Fishing in big lakes tend to be more difficult as you have to put more effort into finding and attracting the fish, so there is no point in choosing a 50 acre lake as a total beginner.
It is recommended that as a beginner you should choose a lake between 3 to 5 acres which has large stocks of smaller fish. Make sure to take a look at the rules of the area before you visit to determine which permits you will need and if there are any equipment restrictions.
Choose the right carp fishing equipment
The next step for a beginner angler is choosing the right carp fishing gear. A huge number of factors can come into play when selecting your fishing equipment and it is difficult to know where to start with it. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced carp fisher, you can browse a wide range of tackle for carp fishing here.