Bits n Pieces
At this time of year, you will often find the carp huddled tightly in a semi-torpid state right in the middle area of the lake. If you are then able to pinpoint them with a hook bait, it can more often than not result in a take. Obviously, it will depend on the weather conditions, because this can dictate their whereabouts. For example, a sudden rise in temperature and increase in light may encourage them to seek shallower water – it always pays to keep your eyes peeled and try different tactics.
For fishing at this time of year I have a plan of attack, which I always adhere to. I tend to cover the expanses of open water by recasting at regular intervals to hopefully locate where the carp are grouped up. To try and induce a bite, I usually present a high attract hook bait and couple this with a small bag that is just large enough to leave a trail of appealing aromas in the water. My theory is that I want to catch them, not feed them – less food, more attraction! Hookbait wise I tend to opt for a balanced bait as the presentation is tricky to eject, and it acts just like a freebie. You see, a standard boilie, or bait, straight out of the bag attached to a heavy metal hook will act nothing like a freebie. It will be heavier, which is not ideal. As a consequence, I balance out the weight of the hook by coupling it with a more buoyant hook bait, to make it act just like a freebie. The more you can do to give yourself an edge the better.
I usually balance the hook off nicely with my favourite Cell boilie, a lovely bait with a coconutty aroma, and couple it with a small, bright pop-up. These are whittled down with a pair of scissors resulting in a very slow-sinking bait which literally just hovers on the lake bed, waiting to be engulfed. To further the attraction of my hook bait, and prevent unwanted tangles on the cast, I slide on a PVA bag of crushed boilies, pellets and stick mix. Lastly to enhance the leakage even further, I dip this in some spicy Monster Red glug from Baitwork’s – like I said, the more leakage the better. In cold water bites can be very localised, so if I get any action I’ll quickly clip on a fresh bag and cast right back to the same spot. I love to know what I’m fishing over and by keeping the lead on a tight line until it hits the bottom I can tell the terrain I’m fishing over. Generally, if it thuds down you’re on gravel, clay or firm silt. If you feel very little sensation you may well have landed on or in weed. Through practise you will also find the ‘feeling for the drop technique’ great for predicting the depth. The quicker it touches down the shallower it is, the longer it takes the deeper it is – it sounds simple, but to be honest, through experience, it is.
Anyway try whittling down your bait, and giving your bag a boost in glug, it could get you that extra bite when all else is failing!