ALIS­TAIR WHITE

Carpworld - - MAINLINE -

Age: 41 Favourite Venue: Any­where quiet off the beaten track UK PB: 47lb 2oz

For me this time of year is all about keep­ing the bites com­ing for as long as pos­si­ble. The rea­son I say this is that to the best of my knowl­edge, the lake I am fish­ing has not done a bite be­tween mid-no­vem­ber and mid-march in over seven years – and that is de­spite be­ing fished dur­ing this time by some top qual­ity an­glers. Not be­ing a top qual­ity an­gler my­self, and not be­ing one for wast­ing my time ei­ther, this is all about max­imis­ing re­sults, if I can, be­fore that shut down.

To do this, I’ve re­cently se­lected an area on the pit that has pro­duced a num­ber of bites for me in pre­vi­ous au­tumns, and I will be heav­ily bait­ing a few spots twice a week to try and get the no­madic carp used to find­ing food in that area. It has worked well for me pre­vi­ously, and I am hop­ing it will again. It costs me a small for­tune and takes a lot of dis­ci­pline to keep pil­ing mul­ti­ple ki­los of bait into th­ese areas reg­u­larly, but hope­fully, the re­sults will be worth it. I plan to keep fish­ing it un­til the end of Oc­to­ber at least, by which time I will ei­ther know it’s worked well, or I was wast­ing my time and money.

This bait­ing is done with a com­bi­na­tion of a qual­ity par­ti­cle mix sup­plied by Big Dog Baits, plus, at least 10kg per trip, of highly nu­tri­tious fish­meal and marine-based boilies. In re­cent times this has al­most ex­clu­sively been the Pro Marine from Tails Up.

As­sum­ing this works, an in­evitable slow­down in ac­tion will even­tu­ally oc­cur – but the ac­tion can be ex­tended. One thing I al­ways try and do through­out the year is keep an eye on the pop­u­la­tion of nat­u­rals in the areas I am fish­ing. In the spring I tend to only start bait­ing more heav­ily when they come ‘up the shelf’ so to speak and con­versely in au­tumn I do the re­verse. You will reg­u­larly find me peer­ing into the mar­gins to ob­serve halved baits I place there that I use to try and as­sess the pop­u­la­tion den­sity of the carp’s nat­u­ral larder. In this rich lake, they usu­ally swarm over any free­bies. As au­tumn pro­gresses and the wa­ter col­umn cools, most aquatic in­ver­te­brates and mol­luscs will slink into deeper, slightly warmer wa­ter which means that the nat­u­ral prey for our quarry mi­grates away from any shal­lower spots you have been fish­ing into deeper wa­ter. Ev­i­dence of this can be seen by reg­u­larly ‘pit­ted’ baits get­ting less and less at­ten­tion from the aquatic crit­ters. If I no­tice this ac­tiv­ity re­duc­ing, it may be time to try a change of depths and spots. This means fol­low­ing the mi­gra­tion back ‘down the slope’ and into the deeper and warmer areas where they have re­treated and the carp should not be far be­hind. Of­ten I don’t think a spot ‘blows’ but that the depth you have been fish­ing at and this con­se­quent change can buy some ex­tra bites be­fore the carp depart to their as yet un­found win­ter quar­ters. In the mean­time I am hop­ing the above works again for me this year and an au­tumn beast is on the cards.

IMAGES1 - Re­turn­ing a brute of a com­mon from the same area, a few au­tumns ago. Here’s hop­ing to more of the same this year2 - Read­ing the signs – when this sort of ac­tiv­ity slows down, then a change will be on the cards3 - A freezer full of Pro Marine and the first glimpse of a fish­meal test bait, ahead of yet an­other bait­ing mis­sion 3

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