Having carp fished for well over twenty five years now and fished with, and watched all abilities of anglers from the inexperienced to the ‘greats’, I think I have a pretty good idea of what people do and don’t struggle with when it comes to their carp fishing.
From my experience there are 5% of people who have not got a clue and never will have no matter how hard you try to help them. There are 5% who operate at a different level in that they have a natural ability and almost a sixth sense which even they struggle to recognise. However for 90% of anglers it is more than possible to improve as an angler and little things can have a massive impact on your fishing with the more you do the ‘luckier’ you get.
In all honesty I could have done 25, 50 maybe a 100 Top Tips but hey this is my contribution to the Angling Gazette so enjoy and see if any apply to you. In no particular order then we shall begin….
1 – Test Rig and Baits at home –
Forget what’s written on the packet or what the guy in the tackle shop told you or the free DVD said test them at home. Whatever item of end tackle I have or bait I intend to use I tank test it at home in a large bowl full of cold water for at least twenty four hours.
How does that tied rig sit ? How stiff really is that hook length ? How long does the PVA take to fade away ? What colour does the boily or pellet go in time ? Does the lead putty stay on the line ? Do the ball pellets break down ? Does the braid float and so on ?
As I sit here I am looking at an Amber Strawberry pop up soaked in Strawberry Oil and seeing what happens when it is attached to a Taska bait screw and immersed for 12-24 hours.
2- Not all Corn is the same –
If you use sweet corn and want to Spomb it out ‘mush’ style then most of it can be the cheapest you can find. Whilst I use the brilliant Dynamite version for when I want solid bits in the mix when I am liquidising corn it’s the smell, colour and gunge I want in the mix.
So go to Liddl or Aldi and get the very watery large cans and using a hand blender (£4.13 from Argos) blend it into a liquid, add some good corn to it and you are sorted….it’s the smell that drives the carp wild especially as it gets warmer.
3 – Boilie Crumb –
If you are using boilie crumb for your Spomb mix then the shelf life boilies are better to crumb than the freezer ones. Whilst you want the corn as a liquid if your crumb is too fine it goes to nothing and will not keep the carp in the swim.
I am using Nashbaits Monster Squid for my mainstay bait and whilst I mainly use the frozen for fishing over I use the harder shelf life version to crumb. Using a bog standard Korda Krusha, I don’t crush them too much as I want solids in the swim to keep the carp grazing. A couple of revolutions of the Krusha is enough so that you have all sorts of bits for the carp to compete for.
4 – Stiff Hook Lengths –
If you are using a stiff hook length of any form ( and that could be Missing Link-Striptease-Fluorocarbon etc ) tie a large loop at the end where the lead is.
The loop needs to be at least an inch in diameter too. This allows the stiffer hook length to settle on the lake bed so avoiding looping problems and the slight free movement allows the carp to take the bait in no matter what angle it approaches from.
I use a bog standard four turn grinner knot and I form the loop around one of the Solar Rig Cones. Add a dab of Nash Rig Glue to the knot and away you go.
5- Fake Corn Stops –
If you are going to use the fake corn stops that are so popular nowadays on top of either a bottom bait or pop up then trim the bit it sits on so it sits flush.
Use a craft knife or scissors and create a flat surface so that the ‘stop’ can sit flush to the boilie itself. It sits better, behaves better and less likely to topple to one side so losing the colour effect.
6 – The Multi Rig –
If you are using the Multi-Rig that I advocate with a stiffened hook length you really want the hook length to ‘kick out’ when the lead hit’s the bottom. If it ‘kicks out’ and is fully extended the carp has far more chance of hooking itself than one that is not fully extended.
The problem on the Korda DVD’s with fish not hooking themselves was mainly due to the hook length NOT tightening up and the lead pricking the hook home.
By critically balancing your pop up the hook length with naturally extend fully to ‘kick away’ from the lead and bingo if it sucks it in its nailed !
7 – Foam Nuggets –
Not all foam nuggets are the same and the cheap ones from packing cases are..well..crap !
If I am fishing single baits I ALWAYS use a Solar Foam Nugget and two at that. The ultra sharp Fang or Twister hook point is nicked through one nugget and then I lick the end of that nugget and squeeze gently another nugget to it.
When you cast out it can’t tangle, it keeps the bait high in the water till the nugget comes free ( and then the other one pops off ).
The hook length will fully kick out, you can see exactly where your bait is so Spomb or catapult feed over and its fishing at 100%.
8 – Soluble Feed-
If you like using feed to fish over don’t neglect ball pellets. It still amazes me that anglers will spend silly amounts of money on solid food items ( boilies ) yet when fishing won’t spend it on and fish over ball pellets.
You have an item which can be catapulted accurately, sits nicely on the lakebed, breaks down so so quickly with lots of attraction and little solid feed and so on.
I use the Nash Soluballs in Monster Squid, Pineapple and Amber Strawberry versions and they catch me hundreds of carp and are so so easy to use….. You can even give them a glug in a matching food Dip so that breakdown rate is prolonged and initial attraction is massively improved.
9 – Loading Your line –
Whatever line you use load it as the manufacturer tells you how to. Generally I use two lines. Nash D-Cam or X-Line. Both load lots better when warm and wound on fairly firm but you MUST load them as per the instructions.
If you don’t its not that the line is crap, it’s that you are a wally for not doing it properly. Warm line loaded under pressure lasts a lot longer, casts better, has less tendency to twist, won’t need replacing as often and won’t cast you fish. Its not rocket science I promise you.
10 – Motivation & Water –
You are what you eat they say..Well you are what you drink I assure you!
Being on top form and driven and motivated is far more important than any bait or rig I assure you. Anglers who catch a lot regularly simply fish at a more efficient rate than most others.
If you feel tired, lethargic, bloated and unmotivated you simply wont fish as well. A simple and cheap tip is to drink as much tap water as possible and forget the silly carbonated drinks which are just caffeine and sugar rushes in brief bursts.
I drink half a litre on my way to do night, plenty when I am fishing and a litre on the way home. No matter how many I caught I feel bright and breezy and my brain still works.
Believe me water will make you feel better and if you feel better you fish better.
Enjoy, copy and I hope you catch stacks. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @juliancundiff and I will answer your questions and “not” try to sell you a tutorial !!