Mark Pitchers explains his successful pop up rig used to great effect on Back Lake tutorial sessions. 

Rob Hughs gives some 'top tips' during the Dynamite Baits junior carp academy.

Thom Airs (Angling Times/Carpfeed) describes how to set up a lead clip in a safe way. 


 Whats the best times for a bite? 

As a general rule of thumb, the prime time to get a bite is from first light to mid morning. Midday to late afternoons often the least productive time. With low pressure and ripple on the water bite time can often be extended. On the Back Lake in particular carp are very quick to rise up to the upper layers on a sunny day and during these times zig rigs are effective, fishing depths between 3.5 and 6.5ft depending on what you observe the fish to be doing. Black is a good colour when fishing just under surface with brighter colours best mid-water. Successful anglers tend to make every effort not to disturb their swim during 'bite times', as recasting or rebating can make the carp in the area wary and cautious . James Mackay. Fishery owner.   


Whats the lake bed like?  

East Delph Lakes is a wonderfully mature fishery surrounded by silver birch, poplars, magnificent willows and a host of marginal plants, this means the margins inevitably have a little natural debris and that might effect rig choice. The margins have steep slopes and the depth in the middle is a relatively consistent. There is no weed or gravel. In open water both hard and soft spots can be found. Depth of silt is variable, on the Front and Back lakes no specialist silt rigs are required as all the lake bed is relatively firm. Some very hard clay spots can be found that the carp love to rub against, they can often be observed covered in this clay. The black and white image is taken using the latest in echo sounding technology, look carefully and you'll spot a few carp. Notice the lake bed is covered with craters, these 'craters' are where the fish have been feeding. 

James Mackay. Fishery owner.   


What's the best swim? 

There are no 'hot swims' as such and each swim has it's day, however it's worth noting that the carp are incredibly good at melting off to quiet areas with little angler disturbance. I've walked round the lakes for the last 5 years almost every day and the carp's reaction to bankside noise has been fascinating to watch. When the carp are sunbathing on the top with lots of anglers on the bank the fish often swim past your rods, completely ignoring you without a care in the world, they know you're there. When there are no anglers on the bank they revert to 'wild' behaviour spooking at the first sign. I think these clever fish are more tuned into anglers on the bank than we realise. The more bankside noise the more cagey and hard to catch they become. So my top tip is to keep noise, vibrations, casting and light at night to a stealthy! James Mackay. Fishery owner.  

Magazine feature outlining carp care at East Delph Lakes (pdf)