As we had the driest June on record, I thought I might start with a summertime gag; Sod all to do with fishing but when has that ever stopped me?
Here goes then?
A guy goes into his back garden to sunbathe but falls asleep in the midday sun, five hours later he wakes to find he is redder than a lobster marooned on Mars.
He struggles down to his doctors for some pain relief; the doc takes one look and recoils in horror,
?Jeez!? he exclaims, ?I?ve never seen such a bad case of sunburn in all my life!?
?Please,? begs the man, ?Have you got a cure??
?I?ll prescribe you two viagra tablets,? says the G.P in his wisdom.
?Will that help with the soreness?? asks the patient.
?No? replies the medic, ?But it will keep the blanket off your legs!!?

I best get serious now, as the editor can be a tetchy so-and-so.
It?s like, ?I run a FISHING website, so stick to the bloody point!?
Some people wouldn?t know entertainment if it bit their spotty backside.
Here goes the sensible bit then?
Summertime is the easiest time to catch carp and hopefully you?re all too busy ?filling your sacks? to read this but for those of you that are struggling allow me to give you a few foolproof tips.
Carp are hungry buggers that eat most things presented correctly and this is the key.
Anything from bread to your glossy magazines ?must haves? is acceptable provided your presentation is spot on.
Easy eh?
Just find the perfect rig then?ah, bad news.
There is no ?perfect? rig because the situation changes with the conditions; a clay pit rig differs from a gravel pit rig as it does a river ensemble and so on.
General rules of thumb are to keep the bait moving as naturally as possible, braided hook lengths work well. Stiff links work well in certain circumstances but not all; you should be aware of when and when not to.
The thing to remember is your hook bait will always outweigh your freebies unless you try to counteract the drag/hook factor with buoyancy aids, which by their nature will still make it look different. Complicated stuff hooking these mothers isn?t it?
Not so?
?Catching carp isn?t rocket science? is fast becoming my catchphrase (it beats the inane John Wilson?s ?Wahey, haw haw, ha ha!)
At least mine has some relevance and makes sense.

Allow me to introduce the ?cheating rig?.
Carp are curious creatures and if you want to catch a few more it is worth exploiting this weakness.
Everyone today uses the ?hair rig? but most ignore the fact that the ?hair? has very little interest to the fish.
I endeavour to change that, between the hook and the bait whether it is a boilie/paste or pulse I try to make it a bit more interesting; inspire them.
Carp love movement and a little of what they like can work wonders. I fill my ?hairs? with maggots/pinkies sometimes-red worms or even sweet corn.
I like to think my irresistible offering of a tried and tested scientific composite was their real goal but if the wriggly thing behind the main bait was their real objective what does it matter, it?s another scalp when all else has failed.

Like a midget at a urinal, I try to stay on my toes.

There are thousands of carp anglers reading the same magazines, if one of the ?names? announces a new sure-fire method how many others will be giving it a go?
Carp learn by association and often being the one person doing it differently will be the key to success.
This week I had a couple of hours spare, two hours, not long enough to set a record but I thought I could have some fun.
This coincided with Matt Hayes? challenge on ?Sky TV?s? to catch thirty species in thirty days on his ?Great rod race?
I float fished a maggot and caught a bream, a rudd, a roach, plus a hybrid, then a perch, an eel, a tench, not to mention a common, mirror, plus a fully scaled mirror carp within the first hour, unfortunately the lake ran out of species before I did.

The joy of angling means you set your own goals, if you want to catch a twenty/thirty lbs. carp or bust then go for it, if that?s what you want, for me I have enjoyed catching all species, call me mad (or sad) but I fish for the challenges it brings. I usually fish for carp in the winter, my favourite pike water holds about a dozen fish and if I ever get a ticket to fish Horton I would probably try for the perch!
Success means nothing if it isn?t hard fought.

Enjoy what you do, if you master this you?ve found the secret.