FINE-TUNE YOUR BAITS FOR MORE BITES
N MANY of the I venues that we fish, the carp have ‘seen it all’.
On a daily basis, they come across little beds of perfectly-round boilies on the lakebed, and it doesn’t take them long to associate these with danger, especially after seeing one or two of their brethren slip up.
It’s the same with hookbaits. Most anglers use either a bottom bait or a pop-up, and the carp soon wise-up to how to deal with these.
This month, we’re revealing three crafty little tricks to catch the carp offguard by giving them something a little different to think about, both in terms of what you put on the hook, and what you feed around it. Give them a go and reap the rewards this autumn!
FISH SNOWMEN AND FEED THEM TOO!
Snowman hookbaits are effective all year round for tricking big, wary carp, but even more so in late autumn. Here’s a cunning hack that allows you to feed snowman baits alongside those that you’re fishing – which can be a big edge on highly-pressured waters, where the fish have wised-up to the usual offerings from anglers. Take a 1cm length of raw, hard spaghetti and push it into the pop-up that will sit on the top of the snowman, then push the other end into your larger bottom bait, before pressing them together. The result is a perfect replica of your hookbait, which can be fired out a considerable distance with a catapult, or fed via a spod or Spomb.
Balanced hookbaits give awesome hookholds because they fly back into the fish’s mouth further than bottom baits do, and aren’t as easy for the carp to deal with as pop-ups can be. There are lots of ways to make balanced baits, with most people choosing to shave bits off a pop-up until it only just sinks. This is fine, although after time the ingress of water into the bait means that it will lose any buoyancy that’s remaining. An alternative method, and one which allows you to fine-tune the bait’s buoyancy while still keeping it whole, is to push tiny pieces of (unleaded) solder wire into the boilie until you get the exact buoyancy desired.
FIRE OUT HALF BAITS... AT RANGE
On some waters, when carp encounter areas baited heavily with whole boilies, they can sometimes spook, having come to associate eating these ‘little round balls’ with a trip to the bank to have their photo taken.
Halved baits are a far more covert option and, as an added bonus, they also release flavour and attraction more readily. If your spot is at short-to-medium range, a crafty way to bait it up is to break the boilies cleanly in half, moisten the surface of the broken boilie, then push the halves back together. They can then be catapulted ‘whole’ up to a maximum of about 50yds, and only break up once they hit the water. This is also a great trick if your spot is on an island shelf or sloped margin, and you want the baits to stay put once fed and not roll away.
“Fine-tune the bait’s buoyancy, while still keeping it whole...”