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We all know that carp fishing is best in spring and autumn. The summer months can actually be quite tricky as the fish start to move around in the upper layers sometimes appearing to do little more than sunbathe on top of the weed. It’s mid July and summer has arrived and for me that means one thing – floater time. I decide to target the Farlows Lake 2 carp.

There’s a number of venues that I target with this method and already this year I’ve had fish over 35lb off the top. On this session I visit Farlows Lake 2. The fish in this lake are stunning and they really do like a floater. I make my way around the back of lake 2 and put a couple of token bottom baits out as I’m allowed to use 3 rods so may as well put these out whilst I’m going about my business with the floater rod.

farlows lake 2
Above: Farlows Lake 2. A great option for some surface action on a warm summers day!

It’s only about 8am in the morning and already it’s a very warm day. Lake 2 looks fantastic and there’s only a few of us on here as is often the way if you fish mid week (it is actually Monday today). I can see a number of fish already near the surface and it looks prime for a bite or two. 

Creating a Mass Feeding Situation
This is the perfect method for Farlows Lake 2. It is very well stocked and it’s therefore easy to create a feeding situation where the fish are competing for the bait. The technique involves introducing mixers using the spomb and lots of them. In this session I bring along 8kg of mixers however I end up using only about 5kg of these. I set up the spod rod which has a braided mainline and a medium sized spomb. I prefer to use a slightly smaller spomb as I find flies through the air better. Another tip is to cover you mixers in hemp oil which I buy from the supermarket as it’s a lot cheaper than in the tackle shops! The oil flattens the surface and helps you see what’s going on at range. It also acts as an additional attraction to pull the fish up to your free offerings.

Farlows Floater Fishing
Above: Mixers and lots of them. Don’t forget that you need to feed off the bird life and once you get the fish going they’ll consume quite a lot of these. Above is a 4kg bag which costs around £2 in the shops.

Above: I cover the mixers in hemp oil to flatten the surface and pull the fish up in the water.

I then go about setting up the floater rod. There are a lot of lines on the market right now that sink like a brick, avoid these for floater fishing. The mainline I am using is 15lb breaking strain (12lb would probably fish better however there’s some decent fish in here and a bit of weed so I think 15lb is a sensible choice).

floater fishing
Above: All the bits I need for my floater rod set up.

First thing I do is tie a loop in my Kruise Control hook length. I mount a trimmed down boilie onto this and tie on a size 8 Mixa hook and ensure the hook is very tight to the bait via a short hair. The hook length I use is surprisingly short. We have been educated to make the hook length really long when floater fishing but I do the opposite. I use a Nash Bolt Machine controller and I want a short hook length of around 2 foot to make sure the bolt takes effect. Once you have the fish in a feeding frenzy I do not think the controller spooks them. 

I want to spomb to the same spot so I wrap my rods around some distance sticks. I’m fishing at a reasonable range out into the middle of the lake where I’m confident fish will pass through. After around 20 minutes of spombing mixers the odd fish begins to take them and I decide to keep introducing them until I have them feeding more confidently. After another 5 – 10 minutes I have the fish snatching mixers with confidence and it’s time to make the first cast.

In anticipation out goes the floater rod. I cast passed the spombed mixers and slowly reel it back to settle amongst the free offerings. Within less than 2 minutes the bait is taken. It’s a decent fish and it powers down to my left. After a brutal fight I slip the net under a stunning mirror. Farlows Lake 2 is known for it’s beautiful scaley mirrors and after just 2 minutes of casting out my hook bait I have one in the net.

Farlows Lake 2 Carp
Above: A stunning mirror of around 20lb. Farlows Lake 2 really is home to some great looking carp!

The next few hours see us catch a number of fish all on the same method. It’s not a method for the lazy angler as you gotta keep the feed going in, often in blazzing hot sunshine. If you stop feeding them then they will simply just drift away. 

Farlows Lake 2
Above: One of several other carp taken through the day on mixers.

I end the day exhausted, hungry and slightly dehydrated. You really have to work for your fish but it’s no surprise that I’ve not had a bleep on the bottom rods all day. I have other anglers left and right of me fishing the bottom and they’ve not had a bleep all day either. Proof if ever you need it – when it’s hot get off the bottom! 

The evening draws in and the temperatures begin to fall. I pack away the floater rod and reposition and bait up my bottom rods. The great thing about Farlows is that I can now kick back and chill out in beautiful surrounding and maybe pick up a fish or two off the bottom through the night before hitting the surface again in the morning!

carp fishing Farlows Lake 2
Above: A nice 20+ common taken through the night off the bottom after a day of fishing on the top.

The end of another great session on Farlows Lake 2. For more information visit

This session confirmed, once again, that all you really need is a rod and a few bits of tackle to catch some carp. It was also obvious that I didn’t have to fish through the night and it’s possible to get a result with a minimal amount of gear on a day only session. In fact the extra rods proved more of a hindrance as they prevented me from being more mobile. From some swims you can even feed using a catapult (although the spomb method does seem to work well here).

So my advice is to grab a rod and a small bag of bits and get out on the bank and catch yourself some carp off the top. It doesn’t always have to be complicated. Enjoy 🙂


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