Carp are usually very active in the morning, especially during the warmer summer months. You will usually see carp swimming in the shallows and jumping throughout the pond or lake in the morning. The first couple hours in the morning provide some excellent fishing. You can catch carp shallow and deep in the morning.
During cooler weather, the bite will usually be much better in the afternoon or evening as the water temperatures warm up a few degrees. In the early spring, late fall and following a cold front, you can expect the fishing to be more challenging.
The afternoon provides some very good fishing for carp. There are plenty of fish that will feed during the afternoon, even during the middle of the summer when water temperatures are very warm. More carp will be found deeper during the summer, especially the bigger fish. During the spring and fall, the afternoon bite can actually be better than the morning and evening bite. This is because carp prefer warmer water. As the cooler water temperatures warm up a few degrees during the day, carp will start to feed more aggressively.
The evening almost always provides some good fishing for carp. Fish can often be found moving into the shallows as the sun starts to go down. You will still be able to catch plenty of carp in deeper water, but you may also catch some nice fish in only a couple feet of water. If you are fishing ponds, you will usually see a lot of surface activity just before dark. These fish are feeding. Get your baits near these fish and you will most likely catch some of them.
Night fishing can be a challenge, especially if you hook a big carp. A good number of anglers do fish for carp at night and these fish will feed through the night. Carp use their sense of smell to find food, so the lowlight conditions don’t really affect them much. When fishing at night, you can find carp feeding in some of the same areas that they are found early in the morning and in the evening. The same baits that you use during the day will also work. Corn, dough baits, boilies and nightcrawlers will all catch fish.
The biggest difference with night fishing compared to day fishing is that the angler is at a disadvantage by not being able to see as well. We recommend that you scout the area that you want to fish during the day, so you are familiar with your surroundings at night. Flashlights, a lantern, some spare batteries and multiple fishing rods will keep you prepared just in case things don’t go as planned. Getting a snag and having to re-tie your lines will probably be the most frustrating part of night fishing, so make sure you have several fishing rods ready to go. If you get a big fish on, you may need a big net to get the fish onto shore. Just make sure you are prepared and you should be able to catch plenty of carp at night.