Angling Times (UK) - - CARP HACK -

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!


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.


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...”

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