Age: 47 Favourite Venue: The El­ph­icks com­plex UK PB: 54lb 4oz mir­ror

Carpworld - - MAINLINE -

With the hot sum­mer tem­per­a­tures of 2018 be­com­ing a dis­tant mem­ory, the unusu­ally long, un­bro­ken spell of warm, dry weather had a neg­a­tive ef­fect on many UK carp lakes this year, and the Es­sex syn­di­cate I fish was no dif­fer­ent. A huge out­break of al­gae made fish­ing through­out sum­mer much harder than usual, and even though a weed-re­moval spe­cial­ist had been called upon to clear some areas and make the lake more fish­able, the usual re-emer­gence of heavy weed growth was pretty much non-ex­is­tent, as thick green al­gae acted as a bar­rier to the nat­u­ral sun­light. As a re­sult, much of the lakebed turned into car­pet of dy­ing weed and stink­ing, jet-black silt.

My bait­ing strat­egy as the Septem­ber equinox ap­proached, how­ever, was the same as ever dur­ing this pe­riod – and that was to up the amount of bait I’d ap­ply more than at any other time of the year, ready for when the carp start to go on the feed. In sit­u­a­tions where I feel I can’t get away with pre­sent­ing a bot­tom-bait ef­fec­tively, I of­ten choose to use a slow-sink­ing DNA S7 Half Tones pop-up on a hinged stiff rig, de­signed to sit just above the au­tum­nal bot­tom de­bris.

To make sure my free of­fer­ings are still giv­ing off strong food sig­nals amongst any dead weed, foul-smelling silt or al­gae, I have been adding gen­er­ous amounts of match­ing Hy­dro Spod Syrup to my sim­ple mix con­sist­ing of S7 chops and hemp. It’s a com­bi­na­tion that has served me well this past cou­ple of months, but I’ll be mak­ing a few sub­tle changes to keep my re­sults con­sis­tent as we head into win­ter.

From mid-septem­ber, I usu­ally start to in­tro­duce some Nut­tas, which is a fan­tas­tic, nutty, bird­food-based bait. The first time out with the Nut­tas since last win­ter saw me land a 40lb 10oz mir­ror from my syn­di­cate this Septem­ber, which was a nice re­minder for me as to how ef­fec­tive the bait is. As the wa­ter tem­per­a­ture drops and the lake’s nat­u­ral food stocks de­plete, I also in­tro­duce a few more small food items into my mix – such as 8mm Nut­tas boilies, corn and mag­gots, and I’ll also add some Be­tas­tim liq­uid for ex­tra at­trac­tion, which can re­ally give you an edge. The Be­taine-based liq­uid is a nat­u­ral feed­ing stim­u­lant with an in­tense sweet taste that coats par­ti­cles such as hemp re­ally ef­fec­tively. I’ve had some big win­ter hits us­ing Be­tas­tim in my spod mix, as it sim­ply keeps the carp re­turn­ing to the spot.

As the lake tem­per­a­tures plum­met fur­ther still, I’ll be chop­ping and chang­ing my hook­bait colours and flavours to find the one that works on any given day – but my ba­sic small­food-item mix will gen­er­ally re­main the same now un­til spring and on those in­evitable win­ter ses­sions where the fish sim­ply refuse to play ball and get on the bait, a zig, or sin­gle hook­bait ap­proach will hope­fully bring a few bonus fish.

1IMAGES1 - A 49lb 8oz Jan­uary-caught mir­ror from Pul­lens. It was taken over a bed of 8mm Nut­tas boilies, soaked in Be­tas­tim2 - A 40lb 10oz mir­ror from this Septem­ber, com­ing on my first night of the ses­sion on Nut­tas3 - My first El­ph­icks 40 of last win­ter nailed on the hinged rig, fished over a Hy­dro Spod Syrup mix4 - The North Lake’s Big Ghostie fell to a Milky Malt pop-up over my win­ter spod mix in Fe­bru­ary

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