Stalking carp is probably the most fun way of catching a carp. Making the effort to stay extra quiet and sneaky so that the carp does not have clue, there is a real buzz about it.

With stalking, you are ussualy fishing in shallow water or on the surface so you can clearly see the carp. This aids you in being able to put the rig in the right place at the right time, and most the time you won't be waiting hours for a bite. As well as this, it is a brilliant way to monitor the fish behaviour in a specific lake, meaning you understand which colours/bait they spook off and what bait they prefer.


Carp tend to feed best where they feel the safe. The fishing hotspots are not the areas for stalking in this case as they get fished so much the carp won't be as confident feeding. The margins, snags or lillys are the best places. Carp feel safer from the cover so they are going to feed a lot more confidently. The best places for stalking are the areas where nobody fishes - the carp won't expect to get caught!


The warmer months are the best for stalking. As it's warmer, the carp will naturally spend more time in shallower water or on the surface making them easier to find. Stalking is best suited for day where the atmospheric pressure is higher as well.

South westerly winds are the best winds for stalking, as this wind tends to bring in warmer air which will intise the carp into the shallows or the surface.

Here is an over veiw on which gear is best suited for stalking carp.

Rods and Reels?

For rods, 6ft rods, 9ft or 10ft rods are perfect. Stalking is mostly done at short range making it perfect for smaller rods. A 12ft rod in some cases can be a pain to use when there is more structure on the bank and also take more effort to transport. Smaller rods are also more transportable making moving a lot easier which is a lot more suitable for stalking. The retractable scope rods are perfect for this.

With reels you can use whatever suits your rod. You don't need a big pit as you won't be fishing far out most of the time. Smaller reels are a bit more transportable and compact which makes them suited for stalking, but if they aren't balanced on your rod then a big pit still does the job!


Take a unhooking mat, net, a small bit of bait and only the essential tackle. If you need weighing equipment you can retreve that once you've landed the fish. When stalking it is best to only take the kit you need, making it easier to travel around the lake and follow the fish.

A compact mat like the Thinking Anglers Mat or the Nash Scope Mat is perfect to use for stalking. Due to the way they pack down, you can keep your net and rod in the matt during transport which makes it all easy to carry.

Bottom bait

If your stalking fish off the bottom, be sure to not put the rig on the spot as carp are feeding. Doing this will only spook them off your spot, ruining your effort of being sneaky. Wait for them to move off or introduce a boilie or 2 on the spot. A boilie will cause the fish to move off but not spook, so they'll be back on suss out what it was that fell in the water in no time. Carp are inquisitive creatures, use this to your advantage!


This is one of the most fun ways of catching a carp. Watching the carp engulffing your hookbait and then setting that hook. Bread is a killer hookbait for this, you can fish it sinking or floating. The bread-bombs are a brilliant product as you can use a bigger bit of bread, allowing you to cast further. In the winter when the fish are a bit finiky of bread, try using maggotts, worms and sweetcorn.

Key Items which Will Aid Your Stalking

Polarised Sunglasses: These will aid your fishing like no other. Polarised sunglasses remove the glare off the water which makes it a lot easier to spot fish. Therefore this will make it easier for you to spot fish meaning that you can have more stalking opportunities presented to you.

Hat: Again like the Polaroids, a hat with a peak will make it easier for you to spot fish as the peak helps take the glare of the water off your eyes. This will offer you more stalking opportunities.

Waist Pouch: Keep any loose bait or tacke in a waist pouch! A waist pouch is super practical for stalking, you can keep you essential items accessible making it super easy to introduce bait, change your end tackle or even to keep your phone/keys/wallet safe.

6ft Sawn-Off Rods:  These rods are super transportable, and being super small you can use them to fish spaces tighter than ever. With stalking, you are mostly margin fishing making these rods super practical for the job. They are super accurate for lowering rigs/ underarm flicks and they are the ultimate tools for travelling light and keeping mobile.