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QThe water I am fish­ing is heav­ily stocked with bream and masses of sil­ver­fish, plus a few tench. I’m catch­ing quite a few carp with my spod mix but still get­ting lots of pest fish too – should I drop the pel­let con­tent from the mix? his sea­son, on my lo­cal syn­di­cate, the tench were a real night­mare, to the point where I had to to­tally ditch my ini­tial line of at­tack in­volv­ing the bril­liant new Krill Clus­ters mixed with chopped boilies and a small pop-up on top. Ten tin­cas a night is beyond even my pa­tience level.

Chang­ing to a straight boilie ap­proach with 20mm baits to­tally re­solved the sit­u­a­tion, with only a cou­ple more tench across the fol­low­ing three months. It meant that I could get sleep when I needed it and, most im­por­tantly, know that what­ever bait I had put in at the start would still be there when

Tthe carp came through.

More re­cently I have fished a day-ticket com­plex that holds some very nice carp. It is sim­i­lar to your lake in that it is heav­ing with bream and sil­vers, and I am cer­tain that a spod mix ap­proach would not only be a to­tal night­mare, but would leave me with very lit­tle bait in the swim should the carp ar­rive.

To an­swer your ques­tion, rather than drop the pel­let out of the mix, I would drop the mix, full stop. I would opt for a boilie at­tack, noth­ing smaller than 18mm. In fact 22mm would be a bet­ter op­tion if you could get them. Baits of this size are not ac­tu­ally ‘big’ com­pared to a carp’s mouth, it’s just that we are con­di­tioned to think baits should be 14mm-16mm in or­der to be most ef­fec­tive. This is not true.

Avoid­ing pel­lets al­to­gether makes sense, as even re­ally big ones quickly go soft and are easy morsels for bream. Avoid hemp, corn or any­thing down that route.

If you fancy a change from boilies (or per­haps some­thing cheaper) then tiger nuts make a very good al­ter­na­tive that is fairly bream-proof. Re­mem­ber, though, that if there are hordes of bream noth­ing will stop them. In this case it might pay to bait very lightly so that you don’t draw them in.

I have never found that a large shoal can be ‘fed off’ so don’t waste time and money try­ing! Fi­nally, if you opt for a big, bulky hinged stiff rig with a size 4 hook it will help limit un­wanted attentions, and will com­ple­ment a boilie ap­proach per­fectly.

of a This beast to a com­mon fell straight boilie avoid ap­proach to nui­sance fish.

Boilies only if your water is heav­ing with bream and sil­ver­fish!

Beefy ‘agri­cul­tural’ com­po­nents will help to keep small pest fish at bay.

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