DR PAUL GARNER: BAIT EXPERT
out of your hand – and catching them, on some days, can be child’s play. Her’s how to do it...
FLOATING PELLET FEED
The biggest mistake I see anglers making is casting out their hookbait too soon. Carp that aren’t feeding confidently will inspect every bait and easily suss out the hookbait. No matter what you do, the line and hook are easily visible from below the surface, so the key to catching is to get the fish feeding sufficiently hard that they ignore the obvious danger.
Confident feeding comes down to regular baiting with floating pellets, dog biscuits, bread or cat biscuits. The choice is yours, but I find that 11mm floating pellets, are the most convenient, and generally bring the best response from the fish.
Start catapulting a few baits out into the lake, ideally with the wind behind you so they drift across the surface, and repeat every couple of minutes. Some days the carp will start feeding immediately, on others it may take an hour or two. The secret is to keep feeding little and often until they do.
If the carp are proving finicky then try introducing some much smaller Riser pellet into the mix. Often, these small pellets will draw a much more positive reaction from the carp, although be careful not to feed too many, as the fish can become preoccupied on them and ignore larger baits.
As soon as the fish are feeding confidently, cut right back on the small baits and wean them on to the large pellet.
Any small floating bait can be used as feed. Chum mixers once ruled the roost, and are still a great bait, but they tend to break down faster than floating pellets.
Among my favourite baits are floating cat biscuits, as they come in a mixture of different shapes, colours and fishy flavours.