When the conditions are right, you may arrive at a venue to find large portions of the carp population cruising on the water’s surface.
When this is the case, it’s mad to think that many beginners and even experienced anglers will start fishing by chucking out a bottom rig and hoping for the best.
A large portion of your carp fishing approach comes from watercraft and how you tailor your fishing approach to what you see in front of you.
If you find a lot of the carp swimming in the upper layers of the water, then you should at least be trying your hand at catching them straight from the surface.
Of course, the conventional pellets, boilies and sweetcorn will not do the trick here as they will immediately begin sinking once they hit the water.
Believe it or not, dog biscuits are the go-to baits for many anglers when they want to try their hand at the surface.
In this post, I’m going to dive into how to catch carp with dog biscuits and the conditions you should look out for if you want to give surface fishing a go.
How to Catch Carp with Dog Biscuits?
The approach for catching carp with dog biscuits is fairly straightforward, and I would even say one of the simplest ways of catching carp without the need for complex rigs.
Unfortunately, the conditions to find carp swimming and feeding on the surface are not that common, so you may find it difficult to get on the banks when the fish are feeding and swimming in the top few feet of water.
I’ll get into that further down and focus on the process of catching carp with dog biscuits first.
Dog biscuits are great for catching carp on the surface because they float, and leak meaty flavours into the water, and add a little more weight than casting a straight line with bread.
If you are lucky enough to come across carp swimming on the surface, you should give the floating dog biscuits a go.
Start by throwing in a few handfuls of the biscuits to encourage the carp to feed on them.
If they are showing interest and begin feeding on the dog biscuits, then throw in another few handfuls to feed them confidently on the bait.
For this style of fishing, you’re not going to need anything other than a light rod and a hook tied to the end of your line.
When fishing with dog biscuits you are going to be looking for carp swimming on the surface close to the banks
Fishing close to the Banks
The close to the bank’s style of fishing is essentially margin fishing, and if you haven’t read it yet we have a great post on margin fishing on this blog. This type of fishing involves stealthily stalking margin areas close to the banks.
This is incredibly exciting and allows you to pick out individual fish to catch, even allowing you to avoid smaller fish and target a specific large fish at times.
It’s very important to approach any potential surface fishing spot close to the banks as quietly and stealthily as possible, do not stamp your feet or make fast and large movements, or you will risk spooking the fish.
One great aspect of fishing in this method is you can travel very light, 6 foot rods are great for this application, and the only thing else you really need is a hook on your line and maybe a waist pouch with a selection of dog biscuits (or other floating surface bait like bread) and a landing net.
How to Hook Dog Biscuits?
There are a few ways you can hook dog biscuits onto your hook.
Depending on the variety you choose to fish with, you may find it difficult to hook the bait directly onto the hook without them crumbling and breaking.
If you want to hook the dog biscuits directly onto the hook, it is best to soak them in warm water for a few hours.
You can also soak them in a good oily carp flavouring for extra attraction until they are soft.
Make sure the hook is concealed as much as possible but ensure the hook point is still visible to help with hook setting if a fish is to take your bait.
Some anglers even swear by hair rigging their dog biscuits in the way you would a boilie or pellet bottom bait.
For this, you’ll need a bait drill to drill a small hole straight through the bait where a bait stop and hair can be fed through to stop the bait from sliding off.
Best Weather for Fishing with Dog Biscuits?
Typically when surface fishing, clear and sunny days are hard to be with very little to no wind. But calm, overcast days can also be very productive for surface fishing as well at times.
One particularly important weather consideration for surface fishing is the barometric pressure. You are most likely going to have more success on high-pressure days. The atmospheric pressure of over 1000 millibars or 29.8 inches of mercury pressure, is a good baseline for a potentially great day of surface fishing.
The bright side of surface fishing during these high-pressure spells is that the weather is typically pretty nice; warm, clear summer days with little wind and fresh air are hard to beat.
If you’re interested in how other weather affects your fishing, read our post on how weather affects your carp fishing.
Surface fishing with dog biscuits can be a great way to get selective with carp fishing and target specific fish swimming on the surface.
As you can physically see the fish swimming on the surface, if their willing to feed, you can put in the net fairly quickly and remove the need for complex watercraft skills to select a productive swim.
The next time you’re on the water and see plenty of carp cruising along the surface, give surface fishing with dog biscuits a go.