After another trip to my home water in the pouring rain, I discovered a little secret I'll share. It cannot really be a secret if everyone knows about it, but many may not, so!
At each lake I've fished around 4pm carp move into the margins, and are very active. Fish especially long lived fish like carp, have an excellent internal clock. I could give you dozen of examples, but you'll have to take my word for it. It's based on light, and temperature rather than minutes and hours, but at times it can be rather spooky how close to a given time they can be. Imagine if you will they live in a place they know really well, they know where the sun sets and falls. In summer they move into shallow water to feed at last light, emerging in the morning to deeper water once the sun is high.
In winter if you find a bank that catches the early morning sun, the carp will be present. They will have a favorite place to rest, feed, and hide. What I'm saying is carp get use to things happening around them, and adapt their lives around it, particularly when it's to their advantage.
Matches are run on all the lakes I fish, mostly from 10am to finish 5 hours later around 3pm. What do most anglers do with the little bait they have left, they drop it in the margins rather than take it home. Carp know this and once it goes quite and the bank-side disturbance ends, they move into the margins to feed. At both the venues I've fished recently, I could have touched the fish with my bare hand, so close did they come. The are also less fearful, why I don't know but they are. On my last two visits I put this knowledge to good effect buy putting bait at my feet with purpose.
I could watch the fish feeding, coming and going, not getting heads down, but grazing in water that showed all the backs. At the local lake these fish are between 4lb and 16lb at the other lake all over 10lb. I simply kept tiny amounts of bait going in, then places a baited hook in the center of it, when a better fish appeared. This way I could pull the bait away from a small fish, and wait for something better. Crouched behind a small clump of rushes I remained fascinated just watching carp feed. It's really something to behold after sitting behind rods and buzzers watching you quarry at close quavers.
You don't have to cast far!
Both fish I took were doubles, but I missed a much better fish or possibly 16/18lb. But guess what, it and I will be back.
See you on the bank.