Carp love to congregate around islands, and it's not surprising why! Natural food is likely to be held up by the island and they are the perfect cover for them. Here's some tips on fishing to islands safely and accurately.

Clip Up

When fishing to an island, use the line clip to clip up to a spot. Not only does it mean that you can get the rod back out on the same spot much quicker, it also makes it a lot harder to cast the rig on the island and risk blunting your hook. Use some wrapping sticks so once you've clipped up, count the wraps and then all you have to do when recasting the rod is wrap it up to the same wraps!

Clipping up is especially important if there are snags tight to the island. Nobody wants to be getting rigs caught in sunken trees or in the hedges.

Find the Shelf.

Often or not there will be a marginal shelf around the island. It is important to locate this as this can tell you where to place your rigs. The shelf will get deeper the further from the island. Feel the drop on the lead and when it's a consistent depth then you're off the shelf. For accuracy I'd recommend using a marker float, this will enable you to find the exact depths meaning you can easily find the shelf.

I would fish just off the shelf as this will be a nicer depth of water. As well as this, if you're fishing on the shelf with round baits, they are going to roll off the shelf! If you do fish on the shelf, cut your boilies in half and don't use round leads, use a square lead or something similar!

If it's summer and the temperatures are hot, I would fish on the shelf during the day as the fish are going to get up in the shallow water. However when it's not scorching hot I would fish off the bar the majority of the time, the fish patrol just off the bar for natural food.

Fish Locked Up

Fish your clutches locked up to ensure the fish doesn't take you round the island on the take. This is super important as if the fish does you round the island, it's near impossible to land without the use of a boat. To make sure you don't lose a rod, have your butt eye behind the bite alarm, use butt locks which grip your rod tightly and put a peg in front of your reel handles. This should keep your set up secure.

When you get a bite, be sure to instantly walk back. Once the fish is in open water then you can let it have some line. Like before you don't want the fish taking you around the island


I've always found tight patches of bait work best around an island, setting small traps and fishing for a bite at a time. Solid bags are perfect for this! This sort of situation is not going to give you big hits of fish at once. You're just picking off fish which happen to be patrolling the island. Keep bait in a tight area for the best results and don't over do it!

Baiting Poles

If you can, use a baiting pole. Baiting poles enable you to get a super tight spread of bait and you also know your rig is going to be on the money every time you re do the rod. As well as this the minimal disturbance definitely comes into its own when fishing to islands.

Written By Rob Taylor