Fieldtester Tips... Brian Skoyles
I’ve long been a fan of glugs, both short term and long term, but these days you can take it a stage further and by selecting your glug carefully you can sludge your baits rather than glug them. Although most glugs are very effective, and add to the attraction of the hook-bait, one problem can be that the glug quickly washes off. This is where “sludging” comes in.
By selecting a glug that thickens easily you can end up with hook-baits that have a sludge on them almost like melted chocolate. This is much more resistant to water and therefore sticks to, and stays on, the hook-bait for much longer as it waits for Mr Carp to come along. My favourite by a long way is Trigga or Trigga Ice, which produces a lovely, sticky, smelly, sludge that carp love. I just take a small pot, put in a few Trigga Ice ready-mades, and pour over some Trigga Ice liquid food source, leave for a few days, job done.
We’ve all used pop-ups at some time or another, personally I’m not a great fan, I cannot get my head round a bait sticking up off the bottom, but a bait that sits on he bottom but reacts to any water movement such as the wafting of a fin, now that’s a different matter.
My favourite wafters are made from double baits, the outer one being a pop-up. Put the two baits on the hair and test it in the margin. Ideally it will pop-up then just trim the actual pop-up so that the two baits just sink. Simple, but very effective. At first I always used two baits with the same smell etc. but I know that some anglers have done really well with contrasting baits. Just ask Bill what has been caught on the Trigga/Pink Pepper combo!
Pep up your particles
Particles have been around for many years, and they can be very effective on their own, but sometimes with a bit of thought they can be “pepped-up” by letting them soak up extra attraction. One of my favourites is evaporated milk. Easy to obtain from any supermarket and cheap, but carp love it. When you put the particles in the water the soaked up “Evap” leaves a lovely milky cloud that carp find really attractive. Other good ones include Molasses, Multimino, and Nutramino, but there are loads of others, just be prepared to experiment a bit… It might just give you that edge that you are looking for.
I love session fishing, there is a part of me that enjoys the waiting whilst a plan to comes together. As far as I’m concerned one of the key elements of successful session fishing is consistent application of bait. To help me do that I always bag-up in advance. So if I am intending to fish for 5 days, and want to main bait every evening, and top-up mid morning, I will have my ten bags of bait ready and bagged for that session. (M1 to 5, and T1 to 5). I usually take a couple of extra bags as well a) In case, as occasionally happens conditions change and give up on an area and decide to move, or b) The fish are going potty and I want to put extra in and keep them feeding. Unfortunately, of the two options it’s usually “a”, but that’s fishing, and each session is a new one and I keep hoping!
I haven’t a clue why this should be the case, but in certain fishing conditions doubles can definitely out fish singles. In terms of quantities of food going into the carps mouth there is very little difference because I usually fish two smaller baits on the doubles. Loose feeding 16’s and/or 18’s, and putting two 12’s on the hair. It can also be an advantage to mix up the sizes when you bait up the swim, and put odd sizes on the hair. It all helps to keep the carp guessing, and the buzzers sounding.
Curiosity catches the carp
If I had to opt for one method fishing and baiting up it would be a good quality boilie, applied regularly, with the same bait on the hook. I like the basic philosophy of get the fish confident on the bait then give them the same on the hook, but there are times when this approach is not the most appropriate, for example when stalking of short session fishing. In these situations a bait that stands out and screams eat me can give you a better chance. I always have a few alternative hook-baits with me. Two or three different colours, and smells, so I can ring the changes. My favourites are a) for summer Cranberry ready-mades in a Cranberry glug, and for winter Tecni-spice again in a Tecni-spice glug. Other good ones are Fruit Special or Trigga Ice.
Mix it up
Pellets are very popular these days, but don’t just stick with one pellet, mix it up. Each type of pellet will have slightly different properties, size, smell, taste, breakdown time etc. So a pellet combo can be much more effective than any one pellet on it’s own, but it doesn’t have to end there. Chop up a few boilies, add a bit of ground bait, dribble in some liquid attractors. With so many baits out there, it is so easy to put together a mix that attracts fish to the swim, holds them there, and encouraged them to feed. For starters try a mix of Trigga Ice pellets, CSL pellets, and the 3D small pellet, with a light wash of Liquid Bag Mix. It’s almost unfair on the fish!
Who cares where it goes?
This could be seen as my excuse for being rubbish with a catapult and/or a throwing stick, but it’s not. A lot of anglers take great pride in being very accurate with a catty or throwing stick, but I’m not sure that it is always the best tactic to try and get all your bait in one spot. I like to scatter bait over a wide area, I believe it scares the fish less, encourages them to move about the swim more, and gives more fish access to the bait that you have introduced. Scatter baiting as I call it works well with standard boilies, but also works well with small PVA bags. If you are fishing in range, try casting out your rig with the usual PVA bag attached, then catty three or four other PVA bags in the general vicinity. That way the fish get used to moving around the swim and coming across small piles of food.
Small is Beautiful
Most of us use PVA bags at one time or another through the year, but how much thought do you give to how big the bag is. It was Kev Green who first got me really thinking about bag size. Up until a session we had together I had tended to just use what I would call an average sized bag, say the size of a small egg, but Kev was using much, much, smaller bags, and he was catching well on them. These little bite-sized bags were obviously what the fish wanted. Why should they be so effective? We reckoned there was obviously enough food to attract, but the small quantity was also about right to encourage one good suck in, and with a hook-bait in the middle, that was all we needed!