Well known in the angling world and employed by Gardner Tackle, Lewis has fished many southern waters, including Yateley and Frimley. The 53-year-old has several iconic UK 40lb-plus carp to his credit, with his PB being the famous Heather the Leather at 47lb 12oz. Sponsored also by the Carp Company, Lewis’ favourite venues are Wellington Park and a Hertfordshire club lake.
The spring can be so horrifically sketchy can’t it! Well, certainly in the early stages, we can get far too excited about a bit of warmth in the sun and a few buds appearing on the shrubbery, and forget that the water temperature is actually creeping up a lot slower than the burgeoning bankside growth can sometime suggest. Consequently, I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to baiting and setting traps, living by the old angling saying: ‘Once you’ve put it in you can’t take it out.’ Little and often has worked well for me in the past, trickling a couple of eggs’ worth of bait in to an area when I’m packing up in the morning – just enough to keep fish that are visiting an area mooching and looking, but not enough to fill them up and have excess lying about for the birds to get focused on.
The very last thing I want to do is overfeed an area and effectively reduce my chances of a pick up because there is loads of bait building up in the swims I’m fishing.
Now, I know the counter is that the carp are going to have an appetite when the conditions are spot on, so I use my grey matter and carry a little bit more bait when the mercury is dropping and the warm, humid air feels alive.
A little bit of bait applied in various key areas around the lake makes the bait available to ‘pre-aquatic weed growth’ nomadic carp populations, and suits my ‘dropping into anywhere I see fish’ mobile approach.
I like to keep with a bait for the duration, and if I know the carp in a lake eat it that’s what they’ll get for the rest of the year. Some waters I fish the carp happily ‘troff’ Carp Co. Ice Reds, whilst on others they prefer XTC or The Nut Mix. Whatever bait companies fares you use, it doesn’t take long to work out what’s what if you find a sunny bush on the back of the wind that they visit regularly. Just don some Polaroids and have a look, as this is really critical to consistent angling throughout the year...
In reality the spring is the perfect time to start to establish baits with a view to long term use. Decent food baits do that – they work better the more they see. Even if we add a bit of juicy particles or a smattering of germs (maggot) getting them feeding on ‘your boilie’ as early as you can is never going to be detrimental – so a few whole/crumbed/chopped baits will go out with whatever I’m feeding and wherever I am fishing.
CAPTIONS 1 - Frimley Pit 4’s Tatty Tail – a new lake record when caught in the spring a few years ago 2 - Lewis with a 43lb 12oz Wellington Country Park mirror caught in April 3 - Little and often, using something you have the utmost confidence in 2