Fieldtester Tips... Julian Cundiff
Trimmed for success
Inevitably 99% of baits you get from a bait firm will be rolled or at best pellet shaped which can make it easier for clued up carp to get rid of them. To give yourself an edge over other anglers and carp carefully using a craft knife chop the edges off the bait until it is cube shaped. A cube bait is better in many ways. It is different, allows the flavour to leak out better and is far more likely to bump the hook in when the carp tries to blow it out.This is particularly good in the winter months particularly with a trimmed Tecni or Pineapple readymade. All my hook baits are either now made cube size or trimmed at home…
When anglers talk about double hook baits it usually means two bottom baits or at best a bottom bait and pop up together to make a snowman presentation. Very easy for fish to get bored of and ignore. Something that I have found to work especially when fished in the warmer months is to combine a trimmed boilie bottom bait and a tiger nut. Although it looks strange carp cannot resist it and especially in the warmer months it has caught me a lot of bonus fish. You can even use a small pop up with the tiger and keep trimming it until the two just sink…Almost unfair on the carp really…too sweet!
PVA bags are a great way of catching carp right? And particularly in weedy waters where you are using a solid Gardner or Kryston bag to get the feed slap bang on the bottom and the hook away from the weed? What do most people do? Yes use a boilie on the hair and fill the bag with pellets and crumb and maybe a few chops. Boy does that hook bait look obvious.
Why not try, instead using a chop on the hair and then pop a bog standard round bottom bait in the bag as well. The carp will have been conditioned to find and ignore the round danger item so your chop on the hair will catch them every time…Confuse them and you will catch them.
Pellet induced accuracy
Most articles on PVA bagging show the lead in the solid bag in one corner and the hook in the other away from it. The idea, and good one that it is, is to ensure the lead side of the bag goes down first and the hook is well away from it. Now at short range this is great but at medium range and beyond that bag will automatically pull to the side of the lead when you cast it…not great for accuracy. When fishing at fifty yards or more I put a layer of our CSL pellets in the bottom of the bag and then push my lead bang slap in the middle. Top up with crumb, chops and pellets and sit the hook bait on the top. Casts a dream and catches a dream…nuff said!!
When carp anglers set up once the rods are out the bait tends to go in. Now this is all fine and dandy if its perfectly calm but baiting into a head or even worse side wind will have even the largest of baits going all over the place. And if a freebie is not attracting a carp to your hook bait it could well be taking it away from it. I only bait up if I am sure I can be accurate. That means sometimes baiting up as I arrive to ensure the wind does not get up when I reach for the pult. I sometimes use the wind over my shoulder to carry the baits into position. And just remember that a frozen bait will fly further and more accurate than a soft defrosted one.