How often should I re-cast?

A simple question to all the Bloggers: How often should you re-cast a rod/bait in a day?

 I have no hard and fast rules on this one but generally speaking like to leave my swim as undisturbed as possible and pay far more attention to the time I re-cast.

Now I am a firm believer that recasting gets carp moving – usually away from the area being cast into. I try and make a point of casting when others aren’t and casting at the least productive time of the day. On most waters I have fished over the years most anglers appear to be doing their recasting up to a couple of hours after first light and a couple of hours before last light or even right on first and last light.

If most are casting then I will leave my rigs in place and simply shake off any sediment which may have built up on the line whilst at the same time slackening the lines a little if the bobbins have crept up with drift. I love it when I can be on a lake where most follow suit and cast at similar times. The fish get moving again and invariably end up in an area where there aren’t any leads going in – i.e. my swim. This is a terrific way of getting other anglers to help your own fishing.

re casting your rods carp fishing

This picture became the Quest Baits Logo

These days I tend to re-cast around the lunch time period if the water doesn’t usually produce then preferring to leave my baits and rigs in place from the previous lunch. If I was happy with the cast the previous day why should I be un-happy about that same cast the following day? As I said I would much rather leave everything in place undisturbed when fishing over bait.

When single hook bait fishing or with bags and stringers I tend to cast more often but this is very much down to how it ‘feels’ on the day.

carp fishing re casting your rods

This 30lb plus Mangrove common came to a bait that had been on for 36 hours.

There is a situation I often remind myself of which I must admit creates havoc with my brain. Years ago whilst eyeball to eyeball stalking on a pressured water I was amazed to see the carp come in and suss the hook bait then never go anywhere near it or re-examine it again. This was on a water with absolute gin clarity. I could easily see my free lined bait down the shelf.

If I lifted the bait out and lowered it back in again even if only a few inches away from the previous position the fish would come and re-inspect it and so-on. Never would they re-check a bait once one of them had sussed it out which also proved to me that they communicate with each other a lot more than we perhaps realise.

This phenomena is always at the back of my mind and is the one thing I often have doubts about when leaving baits out for quite long periods. Having said that though I still prefer to leave the baits where they are once I have managed to get them where I want them.

carp fishing re casting your rods

Launching one out at Margot

The only time I break my own rules these days is if I am absolutely positive the carp have visited the area several times without tricking one. In this case I will re-cast but always with a different rig or hook bait presentation. I see little point in re-casting something they have already refused.

I would be interested to hear the views of others on this one.

Best fishes
Shaun Harrison




8 thoughts on “How often should I re-cast?

  1. Paul Cooper says:

    Hi Shaun,
    That is an interesting observation that you made about carp checking out your baits. A good idea about changing the rig presentation: different lead, boilie, rig length etc I am sure that you are on the right line here.

    As for re-casting, this boils down to confidence and your own experience. If the hook bait had been dropped over the side of a boat or by baitboat there would be no issues about confidence as you know you have a perfect presentation. Anything can happen on a cast, tangles, loss of bait, short casts etc.
    One of the things that I do these days is prepare the swim before I fish, that is get all the messy and noisy work out of the way, unless I know the swim because I have fished it before. So marker rod work and leading comes first.
    Once I have found my imaginary bait table that I will be using for the session, if possible I walk out the fishing lines on the bank, to the measured mark on the marker rod. This saves all the commotion around casting and recasting in my swim. Its simply 3 casts, not pulling the lead out of the silt, if it is too short or slightly off the bait table, so be it. I generally find that the miscast rod is the one that goes. As for length of time in the water, that depends on the time of year and how active the carp are in the lake, as well as how heavily fished the lake is. In Winter I do like to cast around with a couple of rods on a regular basis, trying to drop a bait on their noses instead of drawing them in.
    The Mangrove was a different kettle of fish. We all knew the feeding areas in each individual swim, and it was simply a waiting game, so I agree. Leave the baits out as long as you can on a lake such as this. This does not work on all waters of cause, but again experience will tell you what to do.

  2. Pat Gillett says:

    Hi Shaun,
    I would say each water is slightly different and you have to get a “feel” for it. Also the stocking density plays a large part in my thinking. If the water is lowly stocked, once i have established where the fish are, i will leave my hookbaits in position for a long time (one big French carp came after 48 hours). On the more highly stocked waters where you are expecting regular runs this would not be the case.

  3. Duncan de Gruchy says:

    Hello Shaun
    I am a firm believer in not disturbing the water unless I have to, i.e. I am packing up to go home or there’s a carp on the end :). It takes a bit of getting used to but having tried different approaches on different waters (frequent re-casting, leaving the rods or a mixture of both) my results have led me to believe that it is better to leave them where they are, and therefore that’s my preference. I have reeled in to “check” my rig and bait too many times and then instantly regreted it.

    Occassionally a re-cast to a showing fish will pay off of course, but then you can get into the game of “chasing” fish and I’d rather sit it out and often find that will produce the bigger specimens.

  4. Shaun Harrison says:

    The longer the rig is left undisturbed by the angler the more it blends into its surroundings. Certainly if fishing in silt, soft clay and sand the end tackle slowly buries thus becoming invisible. It is rare I wind in to recast to the same spot in less than 24 hours but usually more as I like to vary the time I re-cast just in case the last re-cast was bang on feeding time.

  5. Paul Cooper says:

    Over the past couple of years I have fished a number of French venues that have had problems with Poison Chat and, or Crayfish. Now you are into a different playing field. Keeping a boilie bait in the water for any length of time is impossible in these situations, The chat will nibble down and twist your bait as soon as it enters the water and the crays will also demolish a bait in hours or simply remove the boilie stop and steal the boilie. Plastic, meshed baits, shrink sleeves all work, but I would not feel comfortable leaving these baits out more than 16 hours. I know that we are now entering into a different field as regards fishing technics, but I do believe that it would effect how often you would cast out a bait. These little critters effect everything about what you would normally do, but there are ways to get round them. There are a number of video’s available on the Angling Lines web site that can assist anglers if they encounter these problems. To view check out:-

  6. Shaun Harrison says:

    With Crayfish and Poisson Chat it brings another scenario to the table but thankfully one we don’t need to worry about on most waters.

    My biggest issue in leaving baits out a long while when getting hassled by Crays and Poisson is more of a worry of them tangling the rigs rather than losing the baits. I am not a lover of stiff rigs other than my combi rigs but when these little critters are a problem I will use rigs that are much harder for them to mess up.

    Bait wise I don’t have an issue really as there are so many dodges from shrink wrapping conventional baits to using artificial s (only use unflavoured ones or else the crayfish will still nip away at them). If it is just Poisson Chat creating the problem then I have a bait in my Quest Baits range that was designed solely to deter Poisson Chat. This was the reason we released our Pineapple Crush. It isn’t the pineapple the Poisson Chat don’t like, the pineapple is simply there to disguise the thing the Poisson don’t like simply to stop every other bait company adding to their range what so many companies would like. A Anti-Poisson Chat boilie. For more information there is this video clip…

  7. Sam robinson says:

    Over the past 3 years or so I have also done really well with leaveing my rigs out for as long as possible. But i think it is very dependent on the water in which you fish. Thinking about it from a carp angling point of view how meany times do you go to a “runs” water like thorny weir or linear and see someone recasting there rod every 30mins or less.. then next thing you know he is pulling into a fish.. I find this sort of thing very interesting as I think you could be fishing bang on the spot and have fish all over you but just by the nature of the cast or the lake bed the rig is sitting at a bad angle causesing fish to shy away from it. But arfter a quick recast missing the obstical that missed you a bite before leaveing your rig perfectly presented brings you a bite within minuits. But obviously we as anglers are very reluctant to recast “like myself” in very low stock tricky waters so what do we to combat the problem! I myself like to build a map of the lake. I’m not going there to get as meany runs as possible in a day! Im there to catch a speacle fish so time is not of the essence to me fishing thease waters. I like to find a spot I’m happy to fish but then fish it differently every time I go down with out recasting during my session. I will never fish a spot until I feel I have got fish visiting that area frequently this means a lot of baiting up and patience letting the carp do there thing and recognising your spot as a safe area. When I feel the time is right I will always start fishing the edges of the spot. Onces cast out there that will be it for 24 or 48hrs and if I haven’t got a bite the next time I come down I will move it slightly closer to the middle. When doing this always look at the far bank for a marker to cast to. I will also try fishing the same spot from a different swim to creat a new line lay. Basically trying some different everytime till your looking at one in your net. Then you know what you are doing is right and you can carry on fishing that spot in that way knowing you might be in with a chances for the big girl!

  8. Excellent points Sam, thanks for the input 🙂

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