Keeping ahead of fish by using new baits, or versions of baits to keep on catching consistently, is so often the key to success, after location! But some fishermen might wonder how and why constantly changing baits has major advantages; there’s more to this than you might expect…
With many big catfish when fished for constantly, over time, many traditional baits can fail as fish associate these baits with ‘danger.’ Often catfish baits will go in a cycle of success before seemingly failing completely at the point where the catfish diet may have changed to predominantly feeding on live fish instead of fishermens’ baits.
I’m not alone in experiencing having ‘hits’ often very good hauls of catfish over a relatively short space of time, on one particular bait. Then the catfish simply ‘switch off’ the successful bait, often for an extremely long of time indeed. You can end up constantly searching for a completely new bait altogether.
Making catfish dough baits is an easier option as the ingredients, attractors and stimulators, size, shape, colour, density, texture, buoyancy etc, can be skilfully manipulated to constantly keep ahead of the fish before it ‘blows’ and results significantly reduce.
This has been found with various boilies, squid, and liver, certain pork baits like luncheon meat and Pepperami, even with nightcrawlers, prawns, mussels and cockles and so on. It seems like each has its day, then they can be ignored completely for an amazingly long time. However, dead baits of whole or chopped fish, but more especially, live baits, can really exploit the catfishes’ change in feeding behaviour.
In certain situations with particular fish, the question is how to get around these ‘defence mechanisms.’ Use of natural baits style is one answer but these often just act like a needle in a haystack, like fishing a single bloodworm in a bed of millions of them. Sure, worms, night crawlers, maggots and the like do make catching ‘clued-up’ fish easier initially, especially where fish have been not been used to being hooked on these baits before.
The famous giant 50 pound common called “Herman” of “Warmwell” repute in the UK, was very wised-up about conventional boilies. But this fish was not immune to worm bait… The “Redmire” fish, which could be very difficult to catch, were very keen to feed on tiny baits like various particles such as hemp. Use of new particle baits to a carp water can be devastating and this has been proven again and again.
The “Redmire” carp including Chris Yates’s record fish that stood for years were often tempted by sweetcorn. Often a can of “Jolly Green Giant” can save the day. These days soaking sweetcorn in sweeteners lik talin and thaumatin, or in liquid liver, yeast or betaine might work better. I’ve had good hits of fish on ‘Scopex’ soaked sweetcorn for example. The possibilities just with bait are endles, but it could be tiger nuts, peanuts, or any other bait. But I wonder how many fisherman think how to give the fish what they want but are very difficult to tempt on an individual bait alone.
A hook with samples of various diverse unrelated baits can often produce fish for many reasons, not least because the fish have not previously been ‘conditioned’ to be able to deal easily with it. Various different types of boilies and or dough type baits with particle baits or maggots or worms on the hook can do well for example.
Combinations with seafoods like prawn or cockles, an old fish cube, with some chicken or pork meat, all coated in an enticing paste or dough mixture can really produce fish when an individual bait simply will not.
Even boilie and dough mixes that have done so well on waters previously, can need changing after a long period of success. The revitalised success of the boilie “Active 8,” when teamed with a new maple attractor brought a new generation of anglers their first big fish success, even when the original version of this bait was still available, but it’s effectiveness had tailed-off compared to its early success before fish wised-up to it.
Often bait is still effective in triggering a feeding response, but the carp feed in different more cautious ways on and around the bait. Often the phenomenon of baits being picked-up, off the edge of, or even some distance away from a bed of baits, has worked better than a hookbait fished in the middle of thousands of identical baits.
The amazing way carp can ‘clean-up’ a huge bed of baits just leaving your hookbaits remaining is quite staggering to those fishermen who just do not appreciate how sensitive to every aspect of their surroundings, fish can be. Often it is those last remaining baits, your hookbaits, which are the last to be picked up, if they are at all!
Big fish man Dave Lane has experienced this many times. The question is really, why do the fish still pick up these hook baits at all, when out of possibly hundreds or even thousands of baits, these have been identified by all the feeding fish to be the ‘dangerous’ ones?
Most fishermen might suggest it is the ‘just one more’ syndrome kicking-in, where the urge to feel the effect of one more morsel replaces the instinct to leave those last baits ‘well-alone.’
There are numerous ways to make a bait have this effect, often by exploiting essential nutritional food signals, or by using attractors, enhancers, stimulators etc with highly stimulatory effects, many of which bear little resemblance to any natural carp food at all nor providing any particular nutritional benefits, but work anyway.
There are many ways to add these effects using many ingredients and additives to boilies, meats, and particles like hemp, pellets, and ground baits etc which are highly effective at keeping those bites coming.
This fishing bait secrets books author has many more fishing and bait ‘edges.’ Just one could impact on your catches!
By Tim Richardson.
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