Night Fishing For Carp

Hello, My dad and I are thinking about night fishing for carp at our local lake. Could you please give us some tips about fishing at night: i.e. falling asleep, watching the rods, staying warm. Thanks a lot. Simon Amor

There are two ways of night fishing, one would be to stay awake and to use visual and or audible bite indication, the other would be to sleep and be totally reliant on audible bite indication.

Visual bite indications during the hours of darkness are illuminated floats, illuminated quiver tip or an illuminated ‘bobbin’/‘dangler’ or a ‘Swinger’. These all require the angler to be awake.

Audible bite indication is the use of bite alarms. Bite alarms are now widely used throughout modern day carp fishing during the hours of daylight and darkness. But it’s their use during the hours of darkness that enables the angler to sleep.

Bite alarms start from a standard roller/magnets type right up to a digital unit with a remote receiver.

Basic Bite alarms are in the position of a front rod rest with the mainline running over a roller with magnets and a Read Switch.


Line is tensioned over the roller by either a ‘bobbin’/‘dangler’ or a ‘Swinger’, which also acts as a visual indicator. Therefore if a fish picks up the bait and takes line (away from the rod) the indicator will rise and the alarm will sound. If the fish picks up the bait and moves towards the rod the indicator will lower, taking up the slack mainline, whilst sounding the alarm.

A fish taking line is known as a ‘Run’, as fish moving towards the rod making the indicator to lower is known as a ‘Drop back’.

Whilst sleeping your rods will need to be secured on rod rests or a pod and the reels must have the ability to allow line to be taken rather than the fish being able to pull the rod into the water!

If your reels don’t have a Freespool or Baitrunner facility then you’ll need to fish with an open bail arm and a line clip on the rod. The Line Clip enables an indicator to maintain tension on the line without line being pulled from the spool. The fish can then safely pull the line from the line clip, and then from the reel, leaving the rod safely on banksticks or a pod.

Buzzers and Hangers Used At Night For Carp Fishing

(A) Rod.

(B) Bite Alarm.

(C) Indicator rising as line is taken showing a ‘Running’ indication with Bite Alarm sounding.

(D) Normal or Static position of Indicator.

(E) Indicator dropping as slack line is taken up showing ‘Drop Back’ indication with Bite Alarm sounding.

(F) Line Clip trapping line if using the open Bail Arm method.

Remember that fishing is meant to be enjoyable so staying warm is more important than anything else; a good angler is always a comfortable angler. Angling isn’t meant to replicate an initiation into the SAS, so wear the suitable clothing and sleep on suitable equipment, preferably under a weatherproof shelter, like a Bivvy.

Last, but by no means least, use suitable lighting equipment like a headtorch and hand held torches. It is vitally important that you are able to see what you are doing and where you are going for yours and the fish’s safety.

Tight lines,

Gaffer