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jungle swimsAll locked up and ready for a take from the snags.

UKcarp magazine 27 janUary 3rd 2012ironing out the snagsIt's hardly surprising that carp spend a lot of time in and around snaggy areas. After all, these offer protection from anglers and general bankside disturbance.From the day they hatch, fry seek out structures in which they can hide themselves away from the hordes of would-be predators, like perch and pike, which would only be all too pleased to engulf juvenile carp at the first opportunity.As they grow this ingrained behaviour stays with the fish, so it's easy to see that at times of stress, or when a lake is being pressured by a lot of anglers, the carp will retreat to the sanctuary of lily pads, submerged trees and bushes.Who knows? They may even be relaxing (if indeed carp do relax) in the knowledge that they won't be harassed by the 'monkey creatures' stamping around with lines and hooks!This scenario of fish retreating into snags is naturally exacerbated if there is an absence of other naturally safe areas - perhaps a spot at long range that can't be reached by rod and line, or somewhere with prolific weed.At some stage over the course of a season a fair proportion of the carp population may be in the snags, and to fish for them effectively we need to make absolutely certain that our tackle is up to the task AND that the spots we choose to cast to give us a fair chance of successfully landing the fish we hook.I remember vividly the first snaggy venue I fished. It was a real eye-opener as I quickly discovered the inadequacies of my fishing tackle. First the mainline would fail, so I upped the breaking strain until it was able to take the punishment.The next issue was my hooklinks, and again the same process of trial and error solved the problem of these breaking. That left hooks. Hooks are (and always will be, to my mind) the element of the terminal tackle subject to the greatest strain - from the moment the fish pricks itself and the tackle is immediately taken to full pressure before the hook has had a chance to fully embed itself. As a consequence the habitual snag angler will inevitably suffer the occasional hook-pull or, if inadequate hooks are used, they will straighten.Checking that your hook points are mint is vital. Everything about your set-up, from how you set the banksticks and rods through to your choice of hook, needs to be spot-on if you are to land your full complement of carp and avoid unnecessary losses of tackle. We owe it to the carp to do it right to start with.Most snag fishing will be done with a tight drag to stop the carp taking line (no room for freespool facilities here). In many cases this can even mean fishing totally locked up - in Summer or winter, hot or cold, you will always find carp near snags. Lewis Read takes a look at how to safely get to grips with the underwater obstacles No room for error casting here!