Fish Care - Sacking Carp, if you must - By Carpfishing UK

While the debate as to whether or not we should sack carp goes on, some people will feel that they need to sack their carp to get that perfect snap, and why not? If you feel that you must use one then use it with both great thought and great care. If you don't know how to use a carp sack or don't feel confident in using one, then don't until you know what you're doing. In order to do so, read on and hopefully this article will tell you all you need to know.

We'll start this guide by saying that here at Carpfishing UK we generally do not recommend the use of carp sacks or at least not for anyone that isn't fully confident is doing so, however they are on sale in every tackle shop so we feel that a guide of this type is not only needed but is essential reading for those who intend to use a carp sack for the first time.....If you must use a carp sack then try not to do so for a minute longer than is necessary..!!

Most modern cameras will take good quality pics in low light and night time so taking your pic and then immediate release is in our opinion the way to go, carp can safely be retained in the landing net while your camera/weigh equipment is being sorted by simply having a friend or fellow angler hold the net containing the fish for you, or if you are alone the net can slipped over a pre-placed bankstick by the waters edge which will stop the net being pulled into the water by an angry carp.....but if the water is too shallow to retain a fish in your net or you still prefer to use a sack then read on and keep all the safety points mentioned in mind while doing so.

The Trakker conservation zip sack, a good quality sack with strong anchor points good airflow, secure zip and soft mesh.

The most common reasons for sacking carp are;

*holding the fish whilst preparing the camera, weigh sling and so on.
*waiting for the morning light to enable the best possible pic of your latest whacker.

First of all, always make sure the fishery rules allow the use of carp sacks. If sacks are not allowed then seek help with your photographs or practice self-take photography before hand and maybe practice at home before fishing. See
Self Take Photography - By Steve Noctor for help with this.

When sacking a Carp it must be sacked in a specifically designed sack for the job. You require one that features good water flow, strong seams, locking zips or a locking draw string, and a long tough cord.

If there is any doubt regarding oxygen levels in the water the use a of a carp sack is unacceptable. At night avoid areas that has dense weed growth because the weed will emit carbon dioxide at this time. Sheltered shallow areas in warm conditions can also be lacking enough dissolved oxygen and need to be avoided too.

We strongly recommend that you permanently attach some kind of brightly coloured pike bung or similar on an over depth cord to your carp sack. Should the worst happen and the sack's cord come away from it's fixings (which of course should never happen) the pike bung will come to the surface hopefully allowing you to locate the sack. There can be no worse way for such a great creature to die than in a lost sack. Make sure this never happens..!!

The sack must be placed in the deepest snag free margin available and must be secured by the cord to a solid object. A well planted bank stick or perhaps a tree or post of some sort is desirable. Whatever happens the sack must not be allowed to break free with an imprisoned carp inside. The cord must be tied with a strong knot that isn't going to come undone. Keep an eye out for rats as they have been known to chew though sack cords that smell of fish slime.

You must also consider the weather conditons. If you are fishing into a strong wind the resulting waves can batter a sacked fish against the bank side or push it into very shallow water. If necessary stake the fish further out into the lake to a well secured storm rod. Bear in mind that the Carp must be positioned somewhere you can see it and must be checked at regular intervals to insure the carp is fine. Therefore, if you sack a fish at night we strongly recommend that you should stay awake in order to carry out those regular checks. Make sure that the fish looks comfortable and is upright and shows no sign of distress. Should the fish at any time appear to be struggling then it should be removed from the sack and held in the water in the release position. Let it fully recover and swim away without the desired photograph. You can always catch it again so long as its alive.

When you come to lift the fish from the water it will be full of energy so be careful. Make sure before lifting that all of the Carp's fins are tucked up against its body (except it's tail of course). You do not want to damage its fins by bending them in the wrong direction. Always try to suport the fish with one hand too as this will lessen the pressure on the seams and stitching of your sack.

Please, always make sure you treat the whackers that give us so much pleasure and keep us off the streets, with great respect. Try to keep the time you retain a carp to the minimum. Always show them the greatest of care when they are out of their natural environment, whether in your net, on your mat or in your carp sack. Please ensure that they are always returned safely and undamaged for others to enjoy in the future.

Be lucky & tight lines from all at Carpfishing UK.