Use pop-ups to catch a winter carp
ALAN SCOTTHORNE’S SIMPLE STEPS TO BIGGER CATCHES
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...
WORK THE LAYERS
“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.”
TACKLE AND BAITS
“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.