Carp Fishing At Night (A Complete Guide)


Night carp fishing is a popular and exhilarating activity for anglers seeking a unique fishing experience. This comprehensive guide provides an objective and meticulous overview of carp fishing at night, focusing on various aspects such as carp behaviour, gear and equipment, fishing techniques, bottom rigs and baits, and prebaiting.

Carps, known for their nocturnal feeding habits, are more active during the evening and night, enticed by the increased underwater insect and crustacean activity. Therefore, late spring to early fall/autumn is the prime time for night carp fishing.

Utilizing specific gear, such as carp rods with stiff blanks, Baitrunner reels, and bite alarms with LED lights, and employing effective fishing techniques like lingering and bottom rigs, can greatly enhance one’s chances of success.

Furthermore, fishy-flavoured hook baits and prebaiting the swim are essential for attracting carp.

Under these guidelines, anglers can embark on a successful and rewarding night carp fishing adventure.

Key Takeaways

  • Carp are more active and feed during the evening and night hours.
  • The best time of year to fish for carp at night is late spring to early fall/autumn.
  • Gear and equipment such as 3lb carp rods, bait runner reels, and bite alarms with LED lights are essential for night carp fishing.
  • Bottom rigs such as the hair rig, pop-up rig, and helicopter rig are effective for night carp fishing.

Carp Behavior and Timing

Carp behaviour and timing play a significant role in night carp fishing. Carp are active day and night, with increased activity and feeding occurring during the evening and night hours. This can be attributed to the attraction of increased insect and crustacean activity underwater during these times.

Understanding nighttime feeding patterns is crucial for successful night carp fishing. Factors such as temperature, moon phase, and water clarity can affect carp activity at night. Warmer water temperatures generally increase carp activity, while the moon phase can influence their feeding behaviour. Additionally, water clarity can impact their ability to locate and consume food.

By considering these factors and timing your fishing trips accordingly, you can maximize your chances of success when targeting carp at night.

Gear and Equipment

Using 3lb carp rods with a stiff blank is recommended for optimal performance during nighttime angling. These rods provide the strength and sensitivity to handle the powerful and elusive carp. Additionally, using Baitrunner reels can enhance the fishing experience during dark hours. These reels allow the line to run freely when a fish takes the bait, reducing the chances of the carp feeling resistance and spooking away. As for bite alarms, it is crucial to have reliable indicators that can alert anglers to any movement on the line. LED lights and beeping sounds are commonly preferred for night fishing, providing clear and visible indications even in low-light conditions. Investing in quality bite alarms can greatly increase the chances of a successful catch during nighttime carp fishing.

Advantages of using Baitrunner reels Recommended bite alarms for night fishing
Allows line to run freely LED lights for clear visibility
Reduces chances of fish spooking Beeping sounds for audible alerts
Enhances fishing experience Reliable indicators for bite detection

Fishing Techniques

Ledgering is a widely recommended fishing technique for nocturnal angling sessions because it captures carp during dark hours. This method involves fishing on the bottom of the water using a weight to anchor the rig. This technique lets anglers present their bait close to the carp’s feeding grounds, increasing the chances of a successful catch.

When night fishing for carp, it is important to choose the right location. Look for areas where carp are known to frequent during the night, such as shallow areas, margins, or spots near structures like reed beds or snags. These locations provide cover and food sources for the carp, making them more likely to be active and feed during the night.

Regarding bait, selecting options with a strong scent that can attract carp effectively in low-light conditions is crucial. Fishy-flavoured hook baits, such as boilies or pop-ups, are recommended for night carp fishing. These baits give off a strong fishy scent that can attract carp from afar. Additionally, larger baits, such as 16-20mm boilies, can increase the chances of enticing bigger carp.

In summary, lingering is a highly effective technique for night carp fishing, allowing anglers to present their bait close to the carp’s feeding grounds. When choosing a location, look for areas that provide cover and food sources for the carp. For appeal, opt for fishy-flavoured hook baits with a strong scent that can attract carp in low-light conditions.

Bottom Rigs and Baits

When selecting a bottom rig for nocturnal angling sessions, it is important to consider the structure of the bottom, as different rigs are better suited for various bases. For clean and even bottom facilities, the simple hair rig is effective. The simple pop-up rig is suitable if you are fishing off the bottom or want your bait to stand out visually. The helicopter rig is ideal for fishing over weed or silt bottoms.

Here are some best bait options for night carp fishing: fishy-flavoured hook baits, 16-20mm boilies, and pop-ups. Fishmeal or crustacean-based boilies give off a strong fishy scent and are packed with protein. Essential oils in warmer water attract more fish, so it’s worth experimenting with different flavours to find the best results. Some recommended fishy boilies include Sticky Baits The Krill, NashBait ScopexSquid, DT Bait Developments Fish, Blood, and Fresh Orange. Combining a smelly boilie with a fruit-flavoured pop-up can also be effective.

Ensure that the bait is positioned correctly and securely when setting up your rig. This will increase your chances of a successful catch.


Prebaiting is an important strategy to attract carp during night angling sessions and involves baiting up the swim with several kilos of boilies or other particles.

There are several advantages of prebaiting when it comes to night carp fishing. Firstly, it helps to establish a feeding area, enticing carp to return to the swim regularly. This increases the chances of getting a bite during the night.

Secondly, prebaiting allows the angler to build up the carp’s confidence in feeding on the bait, leading to more successful hook-ups.

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Regarding prebaiting locations and strategies, choosing an area where carp are known to frequent is crucial. This can be determined through prior research or local knowledge.

Additionally, it is important to prebait consistently over some time to ensure the carp become accustomed to the baited area.

By implementing effective prebaiting techniques, anglers can significantly improve their success rate when fishing for carp at night.

Essential Camping Gear

Moving on from prebaiting, another important aspect of carp fishing at night is ensuring you have the essential camping gear for a comfortable and successful fishing trip.

Proper sleeping arrangements are crucial for a good night’s rest, especially during extended fishing sessions. A 3 or 4-season sleeping bag is recommended to keep you warm in varying weather conditions.

A carp bed, sleeping mat, or inflatable mattress can provide added comfort while you rest. A soft pillow can make a significant difference in creating a cosy environment.

Furthermore, having appropriate lighting options inside your tent or bivvy is essential. A tent light can illuminate your space, making locating and organizing your gear easier during the night.

By ensuring you have the necessary camping gear, you can optimize your comfort and focus on the task at hand – catching carp.

Proper sleeping arrangements and suitable lighting options are essential aspects of ensuring a comfortable and successful night fishing experience. When it comes to night carp fishing, having the right gear and equipment can greatly enhance your safety and enjoyment. Investing in a quality tent or bivvy will provide you with shelter from bad weather conditions and keep you comfortable throughout the night. A 3- or 4-season sleeping bag will keep you warm in colder temperatures, while a carp bed, sleeping mat, or inflatable mattress will provide extra comfort. Don’t forget to bring a soft pillow for added relaxation. A tent light will come in handy to illuminate your tent, allowing you to see clearly inside. By prioritising these essential camping gear items, you can ensure a more enjoyable and successful night carp fishing trip.

Night Carp Fishing Tips Night Fishing Safety
Use bite alarms with LED lights for better bite indication Always wear a life jacket when fishing near deep water
Carry a headlamp for visibility and hands-free operation Fishing with a buddy is recommended for added safety
Secure your rods with rod pods or bank sticks Always inform someone of your fishing plans and location

Investing in the appropriate camping gear ensures a comfortable and successful night fishing experience. This includes having a quality tent or bivvy, a 3 or 4-season sleeping bag, a carp bed or inflatable mattress, a sleeping mat, and a tent light. Not only does the right gear provide comfort and shelter from bad weather, but it also enhances your chances of locating carp at night.

Here are some advantages of night fishing and tips for locating carp:

  • Increased feeding activity: Carps are more active and feed during the evening and night, making it an opportune time to catch them.
  • Less fishing pressure: Night fishing is less popular among anglers, resulting in less fishing pressure and potentially more bites.
  • Stealthier approach: Carp are less cautious at night, allowing anglers to approach and present bait without spooking them.
  • Use of sensory cues: Carps rely heavily on their senses, particularly smell and sound, at night. Utilize strong-smelling baits and baiting techniques that generate noise to attract them.

By taking advantage of the advantages of night fishing and implementing these tips, you can increase your chances of a successful carp fishing session.

Transition: Now that we have discussed the essential gear and fishing techniques for night carp fishing, let’s move on to the next important aspect: carp fishing locations and night fishing safety measures.

Current Subtopic: Carp Fishing Locations and Night Fishing Safety Measures

When choosing the right location for night carp fishing, it is crucial to consider certain factors that can significantly impact your success. Firstly, select a venue known for its carp population and nighttime activity. Additionally, look for areas with adequate underwater features like weed beds, snags, or gravel bars, as these attract carp at night.

To provide a clearer picture, here is a table highlighting key carp fishing locations and the specific features that make them suitable for night fishing:

Carp Fishing Location Convenient Features for Night Fishing
1. Lakes – Weed beds
– Gravel bars
– Overhanging trees
2. Rivers – Deep holes
– Back eddies
– Bridge pillars
3. Canals – Locks
– Junctions
– Overhanging vegetation

In addition to choosing the right location, it is essential to prioritize safety when night fishing. Ensure you have proper lighting equipment, such as a headlamp, to navigate the dark. You should also inform someone about your fishing plans and carry a mobile phone for emergencies. Lastly, be cautious of your surroundings to prevent accidents or incidents, especially when fishing near water bodies.

Considering these factors and taking necessary safety measures can enhance your night carp fishing experience while ensuring your well-being.

When selecting a location for night carp angling, it is vital to consider factors such as the presence of underwater features and the activity of carp during nighttime hours. Nighttime fishing locations that are productive for carp include areas with submerged vegetation, gravel bars, drop-offs, and rooms with natural or man-made structures like bridges or sunken trees. These features provide shelter and food for carp, making them more likely to be present in these areas at night.

In addition to selecting the right location, there are best practices for catching big carp at night. This includes using the appropriate gear and equipment, such as strong rods, reliable reels, and effective bite alarms. It is also important to use the right fishing techniques, such as legering and bottom fishing, and to use bait known to attract carp, such as fishy-flavoured boilies. By following these best practices, anglers can increase their chances of catching big carp during nighttime fishing trips.


In conclusion, night carp fishing can be a rewarding and exciting experience for anglers. Understanding carp behaviour and timing is crucial for a successful fishing trip.

Using the right gear and equipment, such as carp rods, Baitrunner reels, and bite alarms, is essential.

Employing effective fishing techniques like lingering and using bottom rigs can increase your chances of catching carp at night.

Prebaiting the swim with fishy-flavoured hook baits is also recommended.

Following these guidelines and being meticulous, you can have a productive and enjoyable night carp fishing experience.

About the author

Kimberly is an experienced angler and outdoor enthusiast with a passion for all things fishing. She has been honing her skills on the water for over 7 years, mastering various techniques and tactics for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.