Flavour your floats for more bites – Dar­ren Hud­son

Make pole floats part of your bait regime by dip­ping them in a flavour to catch fish sit­ting shal­low

Improve Your Coarse Fishing (UK) - - Con­tents - Words & Pho­tog­ra­phy Tony Grig­or­jevs

DRIZ­ZLE on a lit­tle of this, sprin­kle with a touch of that – we just can’t help but get cre­ative when it comes to flavour­ings. In our des­per­ate at­tempt to catch more fish than our mates, we of­ten turn to the dozens of liq­uids and sprays to give us an edge. The con­tents of our bait tray are the ob­vi­ous can­di­dates to get such a boost, but could we get bet­ter re­sults if we dowsed our ter­mi­nal tackle in a pun­gent aroma? It might not be the con­ven­tional way to use these of­ten bright and tangy sub­stances, but Marukyu and PR Floats-backed Dar­ren Hud­son hap­pens to be­lieve it is by far the most pro­duc­tive. “I’ve al­ways be­lieved that there is some­thing that can be done to put even more fish in the net, and a big part of my ap­proach has been with liq­uids,” ex­plained Dar­ren. “I’ve tried dip­ping my hook­baits and soak­ing my loose­feed, but by the far the best re­sults I have had so far are when I’ve cov­ered my float with an at­trac­tant.”

Float­ing at­trac­tion

No ex­pla­na­tion is needed as to why your bait may be given a spe­cial twist, but when you are giv­ing your floats the same treat­ment you are bound to won­der why on earth it works. “I do a lot of shal­low fish­ing at this time of year and there is no doubt that, done in the tra­di­tional man­ner, this tech­nique takes a lot of time and ef­fort to per­fect. “You need to be con­stantly feed­ing and lift­ing the rig out of the wa­ter to cre­ate the noise that draws the fish in, and keep­ing bait in the up­per lay­ers where you want the fish to sit. “By flavour­ing your float you dras­ti­cally re­duce the amount of work needed, as the liq­uid slowly seeps off and en­sures an at­trac­tant is per­ma­nently around your rig. “Dip­ping the float also means that the liq­uid slowly sinks down to where your hook­bait is. “If you coated your hook­bait the scent would come off and then sink be­low where you were fish­ing, tak­ing the fish with it.” The type of liq­uid you use is im­por­tant – some­thing that lingers rather than dis­perses in an in­stant is re­quired to get the de­sired ef­fect. Dar­ren has tri­alled sev­eral liq­uids, and is yet to find any­thing more ef­fec­tive than Marukyu Boost Juice. “As soon as the float goes in you start to see it slowly com­ing off, and ev­ery time you lift and drop, an­other plume adds to the ef­fect. “You could do this for up to five min­utes and keep cre­at­ing more at­trac­tion each time.”

Set the trap

It’s rare that lots of at­ten­tion needs to be paid to how you ship out your pole, but when your float is loaded with an at­trac­tant, things are a lit­tle dif­fer­ent. “You don’t want the float to touch the wa­ter un­til you are over the spot where you in­tend to fish. If you care­fully po­si­tion your rollers this can be eas­ily done when fish­ing up to 14.5m out. “There is only a foot or two of line to keep out of the wa­ter be­cause you are set to fish shal­low. With a lit­tle prac­tice this be­comes easy. “If it does drop into the wa­ter you will be re­leas­ing some of the scent and po­ten­tially draw­ing fish into ar­eas you don’t in­tend to fish.”

The noise el­e­ment that is of­ten so cru­cial in shal­low fish­ing is still re­quired, with the cat­a­pult get­ting a good work­out as a re­sult. Most an­glers will feed any­where be­tween 10 and 15 pel­lets ev­ery 30 sec­onds, but Dar­ren saves on his bait bill and reck­ons he reaps the re­wards at the same time. “The liq­uid is the big at­trac­tant, but noise draws in fish from other pegs. By feed­ing just two or three pel­lets ev­ery minute I am con­fi­dent of get­ting lots of fish in­ter­ested. “That might not sound like much, but com­bine it with lift­ing and drop­ping the float and it still causes a lot of com­mo­tion. “Min­i­mal feed­ing also helps get quicker bites. The fish have lit­tle choice but to take the hook­bait if they are hungry, as there is not much else in the swim for them to eat.”

Straight through

If there is one thing we have all learnt over the years it is that sim­ple rigs al­most al­ways outscore com­pli­cated set-ups. Dar­ren’s rig couldn’t be any sim­pler, but he makes one slight amend­ment to what most of his ri­vals do. “I use 0.14mm main­line straight through to a size 18 hook. I don’t use a hook­length be­cause I be­lieve the knot cre­ates a pivot that makes the rig act un­nat­u­rally, and that will lead to fewer bites when fish­ing like this. “Al­most all my shal­low fish­ing is done in open wa­ter so there is very lit­tle chance of suf­fer­ing any break­ages. With that in mind there is no need to cre­ate a weak point.” A 4x12 PR Floats Mini Di­a­mond is his float, with all the shot di­rectly be­low the base. This makes sure the float cocks in­stantly, so you’ll see any bites the mo­ment the bait hits the wa­ter. It also slows the falls of the hook­bait.

Money saver

Armed with two bot­tles of Boost Juice – Sim­ple Krill and Very Berry – and a pint of 6mm pel­lets, Dar­ren set about Manor Farm Leisure, near Eve­sham, Worces­ter­shire, where he in­tended to whip the Wind­mill Lake F1s into a frenzy. A few pel­lets were pinged over the 14.5m line at the start be­fore a few drops of liq­uid were dripped on to the body of the float. The rig was then gen­tly shipped out and over the top. The liq­uid plumed off and hov­ered in the area, with each and ev­ery lift of the float clearly re­leas­ing more of the at­trac­tant. It wasn’t hard to see why this would be such a deadly way of fish­ing. With the wa­ter heav­ily coloured be­cause of how fe­ro­ciously the fish were feed­ing, the colour­ful layer would surely stand out a mile to the carp and F1s. Within half-an-hour a red tinge seemed to con­stantly sit over his tar­get zone and there was no doubt that the fish were in­trigued. Dar­ren could hook a fish, quickly feed two pel­lets and then spend time play­ing it in and re­hook­ing be­fore go­ing back over the top. The float would usu­ally bury within a minute, in­di­cat­ing that the fish had stayed in the area de­spite a lack of feed go­ing in. “There’s no doubt that the flavour is what keeps them in the peg for long pe­ri­ods. “I’d still catch plenty if I flavoured my bait in­stead but my re­sults show that my twist is even more ef­fec­tive at this time of year,” Dar­ren con­cluded.

Marukyu Boost Juice (right) works be­cause it lingers for long pe­ri­ods

Manor’s big F1s couldn’t re­sist Dar­ren’s un­usual flavour at­tack

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