Big Carp on Paste

There are loads of venues were catching numbers of small carp can be enjoyed, but what really gets me excited is being able to head to a natural water were big carp, and I mean the possibility of landing a twenty, can be hooked and successfully landed on the pole, and Nyewood Ponds in West Sussex is one such venue.

No weaknesses

Targeting carp of this size means that the tackle used has to be up to the job and mine consists of the Sphere Zero-G Power Partner pole, ideal when extra strength is required and perfect for margin fishing for proper lumps. This has to be teamed up with suitable elastic and my choice is the 2.50mm Green Stretch 7 Hollow which has a rating of 12+. The rig itself cannot have any weaknesses, hence the reason for using Cenex 0.20mm Hybrid Power Mono straight through to a size 10 Sphere Beast barbless eyed hook. The float I use for fishing is a Mike Nolan .3g slim paste and a very important point here is that I use no shot down the line, simply allowing the big lump of paste to shot the float. Once plumed up the float will obviously cock at different positions depending on the lump of paste used, but don’t worry about having plenty of tip showing as you will be able to see everything that’s happening below the surface and when a proper bite comes along the float will simply disappear in the blink of an eye. Another advantage of using no shot is that when the paste falls off the float will rise in the water, even laying flat on the surface!

Boils and tails

Having full confidence that my tackle will land anything hooked it’s simply a case of presenting a bait where the big carp are, and that’s right down the margin, close to any bank side vegetation. It still amazes me how a big carp can almost without any disturbance enter a really shallow swim but they do, however once they start feeding they usually give themselves away with the surface boiling or even poking their tails out of the water! 

margin fishing_16
paste 1
paste 2

The right consistency

As for bait, it has to be something big as this venue is home of loads of skimmers and roach and this is where the paste approach really does pick out the biggest fish. I like to initially mix my paste up on the firm side and prefer a groundbait paste, especially when I’m expecting instant bites, as it can be used really wet. If I were to have to wait for bites then I would use a pellet based paste as it creates a firmer hookbait. To get the correct consistency I simply add the same amount of lake water to groundbait and today I’m using Sonubaits Supercrush Green. I add the groundbait to the water, mix well and then leave for ten minutes which allows the particles to absorb all the moisture. Once the ten minutes is up, I will knead a little, before making into three of four balls. These are placed on my side tray and each one, as the day progresses, will be placed into a bait box in which water is added to create the desired wet consist, one where the paste will cling to the hook for a few minutes. Word of warning, if you add water to all the paste at one time and add too much, making it too wet, then it’s really difficult, almost impossible to get this into a smooth firmer paste that will stick to the hook, hence the reason for splitting into more than one ball! Once the swim has been activated, and on this venue I introduce a big pot full of corn and 6mm pellets from a height to create some noise, I simply place my hookbait into a mini cup and lower carefully into position.

Instant alterations

Fortunately the depth of this venue doesn’t change much so the great thing here is that I can alternate three lines using the same top kit and rig. All I do is after plumbing the first line is position the float up against the pole section and using a Tipex marker, mark the pole, simply repeating the process for the other two lines. This means that if a big carp gives itself away whilst I’m fishing a different line I can quickly move the float to the correct depth and offer a big ball of paste literally within seconds!

sphere beast hooks
hybrid power mono

The session

A typical morning session on this lake could see a dozen or more double figured carp being landed and last week I dropped the net under two nineteen pounders within minutes! Today however is completely different as its absolutely scorching and many of the bigger fish are cruising around on the surface, yet by altering the lines and feeding throughout the session I’ve kept the fish coming. Most have been in the 5-7lb bracket but I have been able to tempt one of the bigger commons in the lake which goes to show with balanced tackle, the right bait and fishing right down the edge those clever big fish just won’t go unnoticed.


Ethan Etherington

Ethan’s Tackle

Sphere Power Partner Pole

Stretch 7 Green 2.50mm Elastic

Cenex 0.20mm Hybrid Power Mono

Float .3g Mike Nolan 

Sphere size 10 barbless Beast  


Ethan’s Bait

Sonubaits Supercrush Green Groundbait Paste


6mm Pellets

power partner pole

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