Steve Ringer Rig and feeding tips to help you keep bagging in November
Time to scale down – but not too much, as carp are still feeding!
AN INDIAN summer in 2016 means big carp and bream are still feeding.
Even as I write in early November, daytime temperatures are yet to drop into single figures around me, and we’ve had some lovely bright, calm days when you can see every single movement on your float or quivertip.
But everything is about to slow down drastically. Temperatures fall, the water goes clear and fish become more and more lethargic. That doesn’t mean you can’t catch them! Here are a few important tweaks I make to my approach in November to keep carp going into the net...
IT’S CORN TIME!
This is when corn comes into its own. It’s probably the best winter carp bait there is right now, offering loads of visual attraction. I’m a big fan of Green Giant because it’s a lot brighter yellow than other brands. It’s soft, too, so you can easily strike through it when pole fishing. For hair-rigging on the straight lead, however, I prefer a harder corn that stays on. I will always carry two 300g tins but I very rarely feed even one.
You can put bait in but you can’t take it out, so I’ll kick a pole swim off for proper carp with 20-25 pellets and 10-15 grains of corn. I always feed via a big pot to regulate how much is going in.
If you use a Kinder pot on the end of the pole it’s all too easy to get into the habit of constantly putting bait in it! Before you know it you can overfeed your peg and kill your chances.
PUT IN MULTIPLE LINES
Now’s the time to think about putting in more and more pole lines over the course of the day.
Gone are the dizzy heights of summer when you could catch carp every cast from just a couple
of swims, such as tight to an island mud bank, all day. This is never more important than with F1 carp when it gets cold. These fish don’t like to settle and can be easily spooked, so multiple lines are a must to keep bites coming.
I’ll start by feeding two or three swims with the help of the smallest of the new Guru Pole Pots, which sit on the end of the top kit. They have a solid top with either three small holes or one slightly larger one, so you can sprinkle pellets or maggots out as and when you want, over numerous lines if needed.
I’ll try each swim in turn, looking to pick up a fish or two from each before moving and rotating.
If these lines start to slow, don’t be afraid to put your plummet on to move spots further out or to the side. As little as a metre can be far enough to put you back in touch – by the end of a match I might have fished up to 15 different spots!
USE LIGHTER ELASTIC
My ultimate cold water elastic is White 6-10 Hydrolastic. When the fishing is hard and every fish needs to count I honestly don’t think there’s anything better.
Yes, it might take slightly longer to land them due to the stretch in White Hydro, but if the carp finishes up in the net this is time well spent. While other fish such as skimmers might be a nuisance in summer, you’ll gratefully take them in winter and a soft elastic helps tostop hook pulls.
For F1s before it goes really cold I prefer either pink (4-6) or orange (4-8) Hydro. Pink has more stretch so I use it on a long pole and up to islands, not having to worry too much about losing fish shipping back 9m-16m of pole. Orange powers up much quicker. This is useful when fishing short as you’ll soon be back to the top kit ready to try and net your fish.
GO MINI ON THE FEEDER
November is the time to adopt a more ‘softly softly’ approach on the feeder. Instead of using big feeders such as Methods and open-enders to put plenty of bait in, less is more. Tiny models such as the Guru Micro Pellet Feeders put in just enough bait to catch fish without spooking them.
They are barely larger than a pound coin and keep disturbance and feed to a minimum. I like to use a mixture of soaked pellet sizes in the feeder, such as twothirds 2mm and one third 4mm. This helps stop carp becoming preoccupied with one size bait, which can mean they ignore the larger pellet attached to your hair rig.
TO SCALE DOWN OR NOT?
Even though the water is getting clearer, when targeting proper carp I don’t believe in fining right down. My hooklengths for bomb work will be either 0.19mm or 0.22mm Guru N-Gauge, depending on how big the fish are, to size 12 or 14 QM1 hooks respectively.
It will be similar on the Method or Hybrid feeder. With fewer bites to be had in the cold in general, it makes no sense to me to fish inadequate end tackle and risk losing a big fish when you finally might hook one.
At the other end of the spectrum, you definitely need to scale down for F1 carp now. All my F1 rigs are made on 0.13mm N-Gauge mainline to a short, 4ins hooklength of 0.10mm Drennan Double Strength. A short hooklength allows me to place shot relatively close to the hook, which in turn helps with bite detection. Hook choice is a size 18 Kamasan B911 F1.
LIGHT RIGS ARE BETTER
I’m a massive believer that light rigs catch you more carp, and never is this more true than now!
Clear water means that visibility is massively increased, hence a slow fall of your hookbait can make all the difference. I’m talking about using as light as a 4 x 10 (0.1g) or 4 x 12 (0.2g) float in 6ft-7ft of water. Shotting is a lightlystrung bulk of No11 shot with the bottom dropper 6ins from the hook and the rest spaced at 1.5ins intervals above this.
This works best with a bright
bait like corn, which can be easily spotted fluttering through the water. Fish follow it down and take it immediately, so be ready!
GO DEEPER ON THE FLOAT
You’ll still be able to catch carp up-in-the-water at this time of year, especially on deep venues. But with water temperatures plummeting, the fish drop further down in the water column.
Where you used to catch on a waggler at 2ft-3ft depth, chances are you’ll probably need to move the float up the line to fish 4ft-5ft deep, possibly even more! As a result, look to fish more sensitive floats such as 3g-5g straight wagglers instead of the heavy cigar shaped versions of summer.
Big carp are still feeding in the warm weather.
Double corn can be better than single.
A side puller kit helps land fish on light elastic.
Don’t go too light or you’ll miss carp like this.
Mix your pellet sizes in the feeder.