Blog 016 | Tips On Zig Fishing - Decoy Angling

Blog 016 | Tips On Zig Fishing

I just cannot understand why more carp anglers don’t use zig’s. Yes, it’s difficult to get your head around why a carp should suck in a piece of foam positioned in the upper layers, but think about it, carp are curious creatures and right now they are up in the water so why wouldn’t you want to place a bait right there?

DA - Blog 016 | Tips On Zig Fishing

It’s all about confidence

The obvious is confidence but believe me when the bait-runner springs into life, the alarm screams and the rod takes on a healthy curve, you won’t be lacking this, you just need to get that all important first bite! Another factor to take into consideration is work ethics, if you are lazy forget zigs, cast out that chod, catapult a few baits around the rig and play the waiting game, because let’s face it, that’s what many anglers do! Zig fishing is all about being proactive, working the swim and the fish all the time, trying different depths to find exactly where the fish are happy to intercept a bait and once you have found this, then keep the effort up and enjoy the results, because they will come flooding in. 

All this article is about is helping you catch more carp, so all I ask is that next time you are on the bank, spend a few hours on the zigs, keep that confident bottom bait out on one rod if you wish, but try and get that all important bite on a zig because when it comes you will discover a whole new meaning to carp fishing throughout these hot summer days.

I’m not going to go into too much detail such as lead set-up, adjuster zig floats etc just try and answer the most basic questions and try and point you in the right direction on getting that all important first carp on a zig.

DA - Blog 016 | Tips On Zig Fishing

Q – What depth do you fish a zig?

A A good starting point is two thirds of the depth of the swim. If its 6ft deep one of my rods will be positioned at 4ft, the other rod is fished at either 3ft or 5ft with the later being my choice in the height of summer. If the 5ft rod or 4ft rod rips off, then both will be fished at that depth, you just need to play around with depths to get that initial response. 

Q – How do I find the depth of the swim in the first place?

A Most of the venues I fish I know very well so I can make an educated guess, but if at a new venue I would use a marker float set-up on arrival then remove this and attach a spomb for feeding.

Q – What bait are you using?

 A - Usually I use a Zig- Aligner with a small piece of foam inserted with yellow producing the carp shown in this article on my last session. Using one of the loading tools will make mounting the foam in the aligner much easier and remember big isn’t always best as I’ve had  more results on small bits of foam.

DA - Blog 016 | Tips On Zig Fishing

Q – How do you get the carp in your swim and feeding confidently?

A I don’t get carp into my swim; I simply pick a swim where I can see carp in the upper layers so a circuit of the lake and looking is often needed. Having the carp already active in the swim I mix up some sloppy groundbait (there are a few purposely created groundbait for this) and add dead maggots and slow sinking pellets of different sizes. Dead white maggots coloured with some turmeric are great when using yellow foam as they sink slowly and mimic the foam, and the sloppy groundbait creates a cloud, all of which heightens carps curiosity!

Q – How often do you cast? 

A Accuracy is very important so if I have two rods set at the same distance plus a spomb rod, also set at that distance I’m happy to leave the rods out for an hour at a time. The reason these are cast every hour is long hook lengths are prone to tangling and twisting, you can reduce this by feathering the cast but its inevitable that sometimes one won’t be fishing effectively. Another is to try different depths.  

Q - How often do you feed?

A You will find that bites come soon after baiting with a spomb so there’s your answer, regularly but I would say every five minutes throughout the session!

DA - Blog 016 | Tips On Zig Fishing

Q- What conditions are best?

A I prefer days of very little wind. It doesn’t have to be warm and sunny, as overcast humid still days can be very productive. Days of little wind will also allow you to find where the carp are, simply by looking and then will allow you to see carp activity in the swim after feeding something that always raises my confidence.

Q – What venues are best?

A All carp will take a zig so this method will produce wherever its cast, however if you need to get up and running on zigs, gain some confidence and play around with presentations then my advice is to head to an easy carp runs water, but check those rules before going. 

Following my advice above will certainly get those alarms sounding. There are ways to put more fish in the net and it’s something I will cover in more detail later on this month but in the mean time, take my advice, get hold of some Decoy Zig-Aligners, Foam and a Loading Tool and get out there and give it a go! 

Be lucky,


DA - Blog 016 | Tips On Zig Fishing

About Duncan Charman:

As a capable and talented angler, Duncan is widely regarded as one of the most successful all-round anglers in the UK with personal bests including a 31lb pike, 16lb 5oz barbel and 140lb catfish alongside breaking two separate British Records (silver bream and pumpkinseed). 

In the public eye, Duncan is an Ambassador to the Angling Trust, a regular writer for the biggest magazines in both the United Kingdom and Europe (Anglers's Mail, Blinker etc) and has also made appearances on Sky Sports’ Tight Lines. Duncan is also an author having written his own book - Evolution of an Angler.

Follow Duncan Charman:

Related News
Submit comment