How many of you slavishly fish in a style that is ‘fashionably predictable’? From what I see on my travels, a lot of anglers are very one dimensional, rarely thinking outside the box and I think it is costing people chances. How many of you turn up and sling out a yellow pop on a stiff hinge, or a super glugged, brightly topped snowman? Clearly, when the fish are having it with gusto, most things will work but what about for the rest of the time which, let’s be honest is the majority? If it really was as straight forward as chucking out a bright one then surely everyone would be hauling them?!
I’d like to share with you a few examples of what I see as common failings and also give a couple of instances where being totally different has paid off heavily.
Do you fish super slack lines? It seems that most people do these days having been brainwashed by the media that if you dare fish a tight line then all the carp will be scared to other end of the lake! Have you started to notice odd little jerks and movements on your bobbins that seem too erratic to be liners? Have you woken up in the morning only to find one of your rigs ten yards to the left in a weed bed? If you have nodded to either of these questions then I can assure you that fishing super slack is working against you. Furthermore, if you are fishing a water that has a barbless hook ruling, fishing super slack is THE best thing you can do to help the carp get away with it!
I’ve been fishing what I call a ‘direct line’ straight to the lead for a few years now and on certain occasions, I will go really tight, with a very heavy bobbin. I am certain that it helps my hooked to landed ratio and, if it spooks a carp swimming past my rod tip then so what, the line near the rig will be very close to the bottom and that is where it counts!
LINES AND LEADS
Not too long ago I fished a very competitive little lake and noticed that the general fishing style was the same; ‘carpy' little stiff hinges and helicopter rigs fished on super dooper slack lines. (Totally fashionable you understand and usually attached to a very ‘carpy’ looking set up!) The fish in this particular lake are very crafty and I was sure they must be getting away with it a lot of the time. I made the decision to switch to fishing with my tips under the water with a tight line, direct to a 5oz lead. The results were eye opening to say the least the carp simply weren’t used to being fished for like that.
On another heavily pressured water, results on the big baited areas that had worked so well all summer really tailed off come the autumn. Despite this, everyone continued to blindly pile it in. Look around you - if everyone is piling in bait and hardly anything is getting caught then why on earth would you expect to turn up and empty the place doing the same? Sometimes it pays to make an appraisal and then adjust accordingly.
I dropped my bait quantity right down and, fishing very accurately with perhaps no more than 3 large Spombs, my clients and I went on to have the lions share of the fish over a two month period. This was partly down to changing the amount but also because we had changed to a salty particle mix and we fished Brazil nuts as hook baits. It was a bit unusual and certainly caught the carp off guard!
For many years I have preferred to use a hook bait that looks and smells the same as my freebies. There is no doubt in my mind that results on bright, overpowering baits are well in decline and have been for a while. You might say that last weekend, only two fish came out of your lake and they were both on bright ones. I’d say that is most likely because everyone is using them - it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the best approach! It seems that nowadays we carry so many pots and tubs of hook baits that we need a spare carryall to transport them in - the situation is out of control! Pretty much the only colour I will consider using is white because most baits end up kind of white after being in the water a while but I have to say that 95% of my boilie fishing uses a matching brown hook bait.
Not too long ago, I wasn’t getting the number of bites on my little Multi Rigs with a Krill pop up. Although I fished it low and subtle, it just wasn’t working. I made the decision to switch to a 20mm bottom bait, straight out of the bag (I mean, who does that?!) and again, the results were startling with a little caught 38lb common topping the table of carp that didn’t expect something sharp to be attached to something that looked so safe!
So there you have it, a few little examples that will hopefully help to open your mind a bit. I do have a fair few others, but that is enough for now! Have a good think about your fishing and try to give the carp something different!
All the best,