Carp Fishing Techniques


Still NOT catching Big CARP, even though using the right bait?

We all need an extra edge to say ahead of the carp right?

With most newbie carp anglers chasing the latest carp fishing techniques, usually in the area of bait or the latest rig…But I doubt if many anglers have ever considered if the smell of their hands are affecting their catch results?

How about if you are using the same bait that other successful carp anglers are using and catching on at your lake but YOU are NOT?  

Read on this could just be the answer…

In 1979 just before I got started carp fishing, I was a member of the local fishing club, and the club had fishing rights to one small lake and a stretch of a canal.

They would hold regular friendly matches and outings.

I remember fishing with one guy who had just taken up course fishing the previous year, who always used to struggle, he used the same baits and methods as the successful anglers but to no avail, he results were dire.

On one particular memorable day fishing we sat in the same peg, we were both float fishing maggots, I was catching tench one after the other.

Feeling sorry for this chap, I let him plop his float six inches from mine, as he hadn’t had a sniff all morning!

Well can you believe it he still couldn’t get a bite!

So at that point I decided to take a break and remove my rod and line, and let him have the spot to himself while I have a sandwich and a hot tea from my flask…all he caught over the next hour was a couple of tiny roach. 

We discussed this ‘unlucky touch’ that he seemed to have, and could just not understand why he was not catching, it seemed so odd, especially when I replaced my rod in the same spot and immediately starting bagging up again! 

During the afternoon George one off the older members came by for a chat and to see how we were getting on. George had fished since he was a small boy and even now in his twilight years was keen as mustard!

He’s was always great company with plenty off stories to tell.

During our conversation I mentioned about my buddy (John) struggling even though he fished right in the same spot as me! 

George turned to John and said your ‘hands stink’!

We both looked at him totally puzzled…

John asked him what exactly, was he talking about.

He explained ‘You have something in the pores of your skin on your hands that the fish don’t like’ 

After discovering that John was an apprentice hair dresser, and the fact that his hands came into contact with the chemicals used for dying hair…

George explained this was likely the problem, that there were probably still traces of these chemicals in the skin pores.

When John baited his hook these chemicals were passed onto the bait and the fish were repelled by them…Hence why John was not catching!

He added over the years he’s known other anglers with the same problem, though he could not put his finger on the exact cause, as some had office jobs, their hands never came into contact with anything like chemicals or similar.

But when they wore surgical rubber gloves before baiting, there catch rates improved considerably. 

The obvious solution was to use rubber gloves…But what a pain!

George also added to prove that this was the likely cause we could do a little experiment right now, but we didn’t have any gloves…

No problem…was his reply.

Pointing to a tree behind us, he asked John to pick a couple of the green leaves of it and rub them well into the palm and fingers of his hands, until there was a ‘green film’ covering them. He explained that your hands now have more of a natural odour and should mask any repelling smells.

He instructed John to use the maggots from my bait box, as all the maggots in John’s bait box would all be contaminated.

We both cast out and waited with abated breath, we didn’t have to wait long…Yet again I caught a tench!

After re-casting out, and no more action for twenty minutes, we started to wonder if this ‘hands stink’ stuff was for real…

Just as I was ending the conversation by saying to John that it was probably a load of poppy cock…John’s float zoomed off under the waters surface! He struck into the fish…after playing the fish out, into the waiting net slipped in a large tench!

I was gob smacked!

We both caught about the same amount of fish up until the afternoon when the sun came out and put the fish off…

Totally amazing…! What a result for John! 

I ran into John towards the end of the season, and enquired about his ‘luck’ he told me since that ‘lucky’ chance meeting with the older member George and advice given he will be eternally grateful, as he has had consistent good catches ever since.

I believe this point is extremely important in carp fishing as carp are easily driven away by unpleasant smells/taste of bait, as they have a highly receptive sense of smell; the lining of their mouths contains chemically sensitive cells that allow it to determine whether food is good or bad. Carp also have taste buds on their barbules, pectoral and pelvic fins, underneath their head and along the length of their body. Which again would repel them should the taste be unpleasant.

It just takes little edges like this one that can make all the difference to your results.


Too Your Success, Good Luck and Tight Lines… 



Dennis R. Black…A Keen Carp Angler with over 30 years experience.
To find out more about Big Carp Fishing Secrets and obtain a FREE ‘How to Guide on Modern Carp Fishing DVD’ visit: