Carp fishing in France

with lake side holiday accommodation.

Description of fish / carp caught from Smallwater lake.


Smallwater lakes home page


40lb mirror carp caught by matt during a two week fishing holiday

at Smallwater lake in January 2008

This was the best of all the carp he caught and also a new p.b.







Homemade Winter Carp Fishing Bait Edges!

by Tim Richardson

Winter is a time when you really need to maximise the effectiveness of any free baits you use to encourage fish to feed, while not prematurely filling them up. Here are some great proven ideas to help you get the balance right and catch you more winter fish so read on...

One of the problems with fishing with boilies at this time of year is the inability of carp to consume and attempt to digest most of the commercially-made ones without getting prematurely filled-up and stopping them feeding before you get highest chances of bites. The obvious solution is to apply minimal baiting; for instance just using a small PVA net of crushed baits, or a net full of stick mix or perhaps method mix incorporating a few broken boilies. Use of PVA string or tape tied to your hook with a few half boilies is also another very well proven trick.

Many options open up to you when you use a range of different forms of baits together, such as pellets, hemp seed , crushed boilies and maggots all together in a PVA bag. The art of ground baiting is largely forgotten, but then this is not surprising as most carp anglers today began their fishing in the boilie dominated days after ground baits were far more predominant. Ground bait is most often referred-to as the mix used as method or stick mix or spod or slurry mixes; and incorporates some bread crumb element as part of the attraction and attractive binding ingredients.

Bread-based ground baits breaks down and attract fish without filling fish up anywhere near so much as protein-rich boilies, (which take far more energy to digest than carbohydrate bread-based types of ground baits.) Even in the depths of January you can often tempt a carp to bite using a carpet of bread-based ground bait boosted with any of the usual liquids one might most commonly associate with boilie-making. Hook baits at such times can of course be boilies in various forms and they will always work.

In winter, any edge to increase active feeding behaviours of carp for more sampling of baits is extremely important; and if you fish over a bed of boilies say, in contrast to a bed of bread and crushed hemp, boosted with crushed highly soluble and very digestible carp pellets, you will more than likely do far better. Those pellets exploiting soluble milk proteins, spirulina, green lipped mussel extract, fermented shrimp powder, yeasts and any of a whole host of very soluble and digestible products are well proven to be especially productive in cold water conditions.

Not such a great idea is to use the high oil pellets usually associated with best effectiveness in warmer water temperatures, such as the infamous halibut pellets. Low oil pellets which are going to encourage far more prolonged feeding and better bait digestion are hugely preferable. The low oil pellets water-soluble attractors and feeding stimulators etc, will be far more able to disperse attraction more effectively in cold water, in contrast to high oil halibut pellets.

Pre-soaking pellets in liquid triggers, like liquid betaine, and other protein liquids and other proven goodies effect very great benefits to carp feeding responses, especially in winter. Bait dips and soaks and glugs etc are not just for the realm of particles and boilies, but for all forms of baits; even live baits such as maggots and fake baits like rubber, plastic and foam baits too. Of course this is simply a brief over-view of a handful of tips that can make an active difference to your catches in winter and if you really want to do well you really need to exploit as many of the carp sensory systems at once as you can and cover all your options!

The fact is that in winter, if you do not plan and think hard to ensure you get your hook baits and those vital free-baiting tactics and approaches absolutely right, you will too often miss out on action; and no-one wants that...

By Tim Richardson.


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