ALEX WEST

Carpworld - - CHILLED OUT -

Age: 37 Favourite Venue: Car Park Lake - back in the day UK PB: Heather - 52lb

All the three old school baits men­tioned are win­ners on their day and in the right sit­u­a­tion, but, if I had to choose one, it’d have to be sweet­corn! It just seems the per­fect carp bait for so many rea­sons, the main one for me is that it’s highly vis­ual. Yel­low has al­ways been a great sum­mer/win­ter colour. It is also high in carbs and highly sol­u­ble. Sweet, salty, crunchy and also highly di­gestible in all wa­ter tem­per­a­tures.

It’s so ver­sa­tile as well. Great as a free­lined sin­gle in the edge, or for a mass car­pet of food. It has been around for years and used in many types of fish­ing so, in a way, fish have grown up eat­ing sweet­corn as food. With­out want­ing to sound like a Green Gi­ant bait plug, there have been a good few times where I’ve used sweet­corn when other baits failed, yet the golden grains have pre­vailed!

A spe­cial sweet­corn cap­ture that stands out in my mind is one from Sand­hurst Lake, at Yate­ley, in May 2008. I’d been fish­ing the lake ev­ery week dur­ing that spring get­ting amongst a few of the 20s and the odd 30 here and there. I re­mem­ber be­ing on the sec­ond to last ses­sion of my Ce­mex gold card, dur­ing which time I’d only had Charlie from Frim­ley Pit 3 at 38lb 14oz to show for my ef­forts!

I man­aged to get into the swim known as The Pipe and had a few fish over the first 24-hours to up­per 20s. Dur­ing the sec­ond day it all kicked off though and the new-ish south-west­erly wind re­ally got up and blew right down the lake into my swim! I’d been us­ing mag­gots mostly but started hav­ing a few prob­lems with the nui­sance fish as spring was turn­ing to sum­mer by this time. I also re­mem­bered that the big ’un seemed to like a yel­low bait from past cap­tures, so, on one of my rods which I was us­ing to cast to show­ing fish, I’d got a piece of fake corn tipped with mag­gots. At around mid­day I’d seen two fish show on one par­tic­u­lar area to my left, about 60 yards out, so I had an ex­ploratory cast and it felt like hard silt in about seven feet of wa­ter.

See­ing those fish and re­mem­ber­ing that the big ’un liked yel­low, I quickly tied on some fresh mag­gots, adding a small PVA bag full of mag­gots, sweet­corn and krill pow­der. The krill giv­ing the mag­gots an edge and also dry­ing off the sweet­corn enough to get 12 or so loose grains in the bag.

Fun­nily enough, I was just starting to redo the rods for the night, with fresh mag­gots when my mid­dle rod ripped off and, af­ter a dogged bat­tle, mostly un­der the rod tip, Nige’s was mine, at 40lb 4oz.

I was over the moon and maybe there was some­thing in that par­tic­u­lar carp’s pref­er­ence for sweet­corn, or maybe the yel­low bait stood out enough for its old eyes to home in on. I’ll never re­ally know but I cer­tainly don’t think I would have caught it with­out the help from those golden grains...

IMAGES1 - The largest carp in Sand­hurst lake at Yate­ley. Yet an­other statis­tic in the long line of big fish tripped up us­ing the most sim­ple of baits 1

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