Use pop-ups to catch a win­ter carp


Angling Times (UK) - - TIPS & TACTICS -

YOUR peg is known to hold a huge shoal of carp in win­ter but no mat­ter where you chuck your bomb, the tip stays mo­tion­less.

A change of hook­bait and scaled-down ter­mi­nal tackle hasn’t worked – so what’s wrong? Pre­sent­ing corn or meat on the deck might seem the right thing to do, but the fish will al­most cer­tainly be sat up in the wa­ter.

Four-times World Champ Alan Scotthorne has caught count­less big fish on pop-ups, and this week he shows you how he does it...


“If you are fish­ing in 10ft of wa­ter, the fish could be sat any­where in the wa­ter col­umn, so work­ing your way through the lay­ers is vi­tal to get­ting bites.

“Start by pop­ping the bait a foot off the bot­tom and give each cast around 20 min­utes be­fore wind­ing in and re­cast­ing. If you didn’t get any indi­ca­tions, try chuck­ing into an­other spot.

“If that fails, it’s time to put a slightly longer hook­length on so that the bait pops up off the bot­tom even more. Keep try­ing new ar­eas and al­ter­ing your hook­length and you’ll even­tu­ally find pock­ets of carp.”


“Plenty of baits will pop up off the bot­tom when hair-rigged, but I stick to three that rarely fail me.

“The first is three 10mm discs of punched bread. These stand out ex­tremely well in clear wa­ter, swelling up once they ab­sorb moisture to make them even more unmissable.

“Sec­ond choice would have to be large 12mm or 14mm ex­pander pel­lets on wa­ters where pel­lets are piled in fre­quently. These have been drilled care­fully so that they can be hair­rigged.

“Last but cer­tainly not least is pop-up boilies. Yel­low, white and red ver­sions have all worked for me in the past, par­tic­u­larly in sizes be­tween 8mm and 12mm.

“When it comes to end tackle I use 4lb or 5lb Dren­nan Sup­plex hook­lengths to size 12 or 14 Dren­nan Power Hair Rig­ger hooks.

“This may sound rather large, but you will miss an aw­ful lot of pull-round bites if you use any­thing smaller.”


“When you fish a bait on the deck it’s com­mon prac­tice to cat­a­pult a few free­bies around it to try to gain a re­sponse, but I feed noth­ing

when us­ing pop-up baits.

“The fish you end up catch­ing might not ac­tu­ally be feed­ing and only snap up the bait through in­stinct be­cause you have suc­cess­fully placed it right in front of their faces.

“If you start feed­ing, you could trig­ger fish into for­ag­ing on the bot­tom, draw­ing them away from where your pop-up is sta­tioned.

“On the rare oc­ca­sions when I re­ally can’t stim­u­late any ac­tion at all, I may feed a few 8mm pel­lets just to cre­ate a bit of noise to draw the odd fish into the swim.

“Pop-up baits have caught me a lot of fish dur­ing my ca­reer, and they have the po­ten­tial to kick-start your win­ter cam­paign in an in­stant.”

Off-bot­tom carp can of­ten fall to a mid­wa­ter pop-up!

Pel­lets and boilies can be popped up.

Pop-ups in yel­low, white and red.

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