From Steve Farmer;
When pole fishing for carp and smaller fish what’s the best way to strike?
The species doesn’t effect the strike although the type of venue does. For instance on stillwaters the pole should be directly over the float with a short line of about 6 to 12 inches between pole tip and float. Make a short strike upwards, quickly but controlled. If fact the fish often hook themselves on a short line.
On rivers you’ll naturally have more line out so the strike is a little more sideways but still partly upwards.
From David Jones
I leger 90% of the time using a simple set-up of a swivelled weight stopped by a leger stop about 12" from the hook. I fished a pool recently that was boiling with tench and carp bubbles yet I didn’t get a single bite despite trying several different baits. A bloke walking around said that the peg I was fishing wasn’t good for legering but with all this fish activity I thought I couldn’t fail with my standard set-up.
I don’t use feeders much so what am I doing wrong?
It’s likely that fish are pre-occupied with natural food and so you’ve got to wean them onto your bait. So it’s more likely that your feeding is wrong rather than your rig, although a 12" tail is usually too short unless you’re method fishing.
Try switching to the feeder, and cast accurately by lining up a far bank feature so that you build up the swim. You’re aiming to get the fish competing for your hookbait so that they’re more likely to make a mistake.
If the fish aren’t at long range you may be better off switching to the waggler and loose feeding.
Either way, good luck!