Fieldtester Tips... John Patterson
Mix it up
One thing that I have done for several years is to use a variety of differing items as background feed. This has a number of advantages. Firstly it keeps the carp guessing as each item requires a differing level of sucking and blowing action, secondly, as an angler it gives you a variety of differing options when it comes to selecting your hook bait. A combination of Trigga pellets of varying size, CSL pellets, again of varying size, your chosen boilies in 2 or 3 different size options and several different particles put into the mix will give you a multitude of options.
Tried and Trusted
For the last 2 years I have gone back to a recipe that is now over 12 years old. What this goes to show is that tried and trusted recipes will continue to produce just as well today as they did when they were first conceived.
By using a recipe with a proven track record such as BFM with Salmon Elite and Caviar, it allows me to concentrate on the other aspects of fishing such as location rather than worrying about whether the bait I am using will work or not.
Spread it out
From my experience, the vogue in angling for the last 10 to 15 years has been to try and bait up as tight as possible. By tight my observations had led me to believe that "tight" to most means approximately 10ft x 10ft. A method I have found to be productive when a lake bottom is relatively featureless is to spread the bait out over a much larger area of 10 yards x 10 yards for example. This is best achieved via a throwing stick, however if you are using a catapult, put fewer baits in per pouch load and deliberately spread them further away from your marker float. I believe the fish will stay around longer in the area searching for more.
A lot of people fish lakes which require a significant drive to get there. I always ensure that I have a bag in the car which carries any spares that I may need during a session e.g. clothes, towel, gas, batteries, leads, toilet roll, water proofs.In addition I always leave a large bucket of pellets, tins of sweet corn and ready made boilies in the boot of the car just in case a red letter day does come along!