Solid PVA bags made easy – Steven Coe

Improve Your Coarse Fishing (UK) - - Contents -

WHEN it comes to pro­lific wa­ters such as Lin­ear Fish­eries’ Brasenose One, many an­glers adopt the same ap­proach. First, they cast around with a marker float and then spod out a bucket or two of bait. I have to con­fess, I have been guilty of this in the past. But these days I have to­tally changed my ap­proach – and for the bet­ter. There is so much bait that goes into B1 but all my big hits have come on zigs or solid PVA bags. I think the carp are be­gin­ning to treat big beds of bait with sus­pi­cion. A small solid bag is far more sub­tle and I get bites quicker when us­ing them than I do when I fish over a big bed of spod mix. A lot of an­glers steer clear of solid PVA bags, how­ever, sim­ply be­cause they be­lieve they take too much ef­fort to make. But, for me, they are per­fect. The fish don’t even re­alise they are be­ing fished for most of the time be­cause it is a pre­sen­ta­tion that is to­tally dif­fer­ent to what 99 per cent of other peo­ple are us­ing on wa­ters like this. Plus, with the cou­ple of lit­tle edges that I em­ploy, it re­ally stacks the odds in my favour.

Solid PVA bag ad­van­tages

Un­like many pre­sen­ta­tions, a solid PVA bag can be cast over pretty much any lakebed type. The only ar­eas I avoid are ex­tremely deep silt or thick weed. With your rig en­cased in­side the bag there is ab­so­lutely no way the hook­link or hair can tan­gle on the cast so you can be to­tally con­fi­dent that you’re fish­ing ef­fec­tively once the bag melts. Over the years I’ve caught some of the most pres­sured fish in the land us­ing solid bags. As long as you pre­pare, load and tie them cor­rectly, you are able to fish what you want, where you want. What’s not to like? On venues like B1, there are so many an­glers on the banks ev­ery day, you never know what you are fish­ing over. So again, a small PVA bag can pro­duce a quick bite, whereas you may be adding to the 10 ki­los that the peg’s pre­vi­ous oc­cu­pant put in if you break out the spod rod. The first thing I do when ar­riv­ing in a new swim is to cast out three solid bags while I sort out the rest of my gear and it’s not un­com­mon to have a fish on the bank be­fore the rest of the jobs are done! An­other plus point is as long as the pay­load isn’t wet, or if it is, as long as you dry it thor­oughly or add salt, you can use what­ever you like in them.

Sim­ple bag edges

My ap­proach has evolved over the years. I make up a large batch of bag mix in ad­vance and then keep it for a num­ber of ses­sions. That way I am al­ways ready to go. My mix com­prises a whole bag of Dy­na­mite Baits’ Green Swim Stim ground­bait plus the same of 1mm pel­lets. I also add two bags of 2mm Swim Stim Red Krill pel­lets and a cou­ple of hand­fuls of larger pel­lets – 4mm or 6mm Com­plex-T or Hal­ibut. If stored in an air-tight bucket, the mix lasts for weeks. The rea­son for the mix­ture of sizes and colours is that I want to add con­fu­sion as well as max­imise the colour, taste, tex­ture and size of what is in the swim. Too many an­glers fish solid bags filled with one size and colour of pel­let and a hi-viz hook­bait. With my bags, the fish are pre­sented with a range of food items so they are not as eas­ily spooked. Also, you’ll no­tice that the big­gest item is 4mm or 6mm. This means that I can tie the bag re­ally tight be­cause I can com­press the bag to re­move the air. This im­proves cast­ing and pre­vents the bag float­ing, which can hap­pen if there is too much air left in the bag. One of my edges is to add mag­gots to the bag. Their move­ment on the bot­tom helps to at­tract the carp’s at­ten­tion and kicks up the oil I in­ject into my bags. In­ject­ing the oil is re­ally sim­ple and is done once the bag is tied. I care­fully pierce it with the noz­zle of one of Dy­na­mite’s new Evo­lu­tion Oils, ei­ther Cit­rus or Hemp, and squeeze in the de­sired amount. This adds a fur­ther di­men­sion to the fin­ished re­sult. You get a slick on the sur­face, in­di­cat­ing that a fish is sniff­ing around the bag and that a bite may be im­mi­nent.

Reg­u­lar re­cast­ing

For the rig, I start with a 12-inch length of lead­core with a loop in the end. This means I can have a few bags made up in ad­vance and then at­tach them to the main­line with a loop- to-loop knot. The lead is a 3.5oz Square Pear. This is im­por­tant be­cause it casts much bet­ter once tied in the bag. My hook­link is a 5in length of 20lb Su­per Nat­u­ral braid to a size 4 Wide Gape hook. I like a longer hook­link be­cause there are a num­ber of 30s in B1 so this gives them a bit more rope to hang them­selves with. The size 4 is used as I want to land ev­ery­thing I hook and a larger hook is harder for the fish to deal with than a smaller one. When it comes to the ac­tual fish­ing of solid PVA bags, there are no hard and fast rules. You can cast to show­ing fish, or where you think they might be, or you can spod over the top of them. I re-cast ev­ery hour. Ei­ther to a new spot or over the baited area to freshen the pre­sen­ta­tion. If you have fish show­ing over you all the time and you’ve not had a bite within an hour, that in­di­cates they are not on the bot­tom, so I’d swap over to zigs at this point. Solid PVA bags are great for cov­er­ing wa­ter and for op­por­tunis­tic bites. They are just as good whether you choose to use them for day ses­sions, 24-hour ses­sions or for longer pe­ri­ods. Give it a go and you may find that a PB is the re­sult!

A crack­ing mir­ror caught on solid PVA bag tac­tics

Steven in­jects his bags with Cit­rus Oil for an added edge

SQUARE LEAD A 3.5oz in­line square pear lead is used as it casts well in­side the bag and of­fers ex­cel­lent hook­ing prop­er­ties with the short braid hook­link HOOK­LENGTH Use a sup­ple braid hook­link ma­te­rial and not coated braid. The sup­ple braid can be...

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