Hookbaits with a Difference
By Julian Cundiff
Although a lot of carp will be caught each year with hookbaits straight out of the freebie bag, or pop-ups straight off the shelf, for those anglers prepared to make a little bit more of an effort the rewards can be considerable, especially at this time of the year.
Also, the best thing about these 'super hookbaits' is that in reality very little effort is required and you can make them from bog standard freebies or pop-ups without having to resort to 'rolling your own'.
Firstly, when using bottom baits anything bigger than 10mm, I always now chop down a larger bait to make one. Invariably I will get a 20mm ready-made and, using a sharp Stanley Knife blade, fashion the shape I want. Cubes are far better than round baits but I tell you that rectangle ones are better still.
The elongated shape seems to be so hard for the carp to deal with... in fact, just like a long-shanked hook, I guess? Once in the carp's mouth, the hook seems to bounce or twist in a lot easier. I always fish them long way on, like I would fish a single tiger nut and, for that reason, I always leave one end still skinned (untrimmed). This allows me to pull the boilie stop into it without it pulling through on the cast. Ready-made baits tend to be a bit harder in composition so trim better and, once soaked in glug, really do draw it in.
Secondly, when using pop-ups that I want to attract the carp with a high attractor smell, I do pierce them before I soak them. As they come, most proprietary pop-ups are hard and dried out somewhat and simply soaking them in glug doesn't penetrate their skin greatly. Instead, using a standard boilie needle, I pierce them once, sometimes twice, and then pop them in the pot.
The central hole or holes will allow the glug to penetrate the bait completely as the sponge effect of the bait draws it in. They will still be buoyant but the extra glug will try to force its way out when cast out into the water. You can either loop the bait on using dental floss or mount it on via a simple hair rig using the central hole for the floss hair to go through.
Thirdly, I have found that hookbaits stored in the freezer do outfish those simply left in the tackle bag, sat in glug, especially when you are using the Trigga range. In my freezer at home I have a large tub of baits and each night I take half a dozen out to use. The baits are straight off the shelf but soaked in Liquid Trigga Ice and, as they start to freeze, they draw in the soak.
First thing in the morning, half a dozen are removed and left in the marked bait tub. As they start to defrost, any excess liquid is drawn in and, come 6.00pm, those little babies are ready to catch me a carp.
Three simple tips but I guarantee that in comparison to many others' efforts, or lack of, they will catch you a lot more carp.