Get the best out of your bait in winter and maximise the money you spend on it! These are a handful of very well proven expert tips to help you catch more winter and spring fish. Discover more now!
Carp do not digest bait very well in colder conditions so it is extremely vital you design and select your baits and ground baits for exactly this situation to maximise your greatest chances of bites and literally in effect stop actually wasting good money on bait! Of course one way to do this is use as little bait as possible, but this is only part of the solution and does not maximise your chances because you will not necessarily be applying bait and baiting in the optimum ways possible for best results. Many anglers will choose to utilise water-soluble PVA products in combination with whole or crushed boilies, yet you still have to pay for the PVA of course, however it baits-up exactly where your hook bait is, so drawing most attention to it without filling fish up.
The choice of bait these days means you need never worry about over-feeding fish but you need to know what will and will not over-feed fish in the first place and this requires some know-how. In general you need to avoid bulk oils and un-winterised oils in baits and avoid using too much free bait that takes a long time to break down in water. after all, if a bait is not very soluble it is likely to take much more energy and time for carp to digest it and this is something to very definitely bear in mind! Proteins are much better if they have at least been part-digested and fermented shrimp powder, whey protein concentrate, predigested yeast powder and enzyme-treated yeast powders for example are very well proven.
Of course you can apply as many various baits in your attack as you like, from readymade ground baits, to maggots, to hemp, to various crushed boilies and soluble carp pellets and so on, all in conjunction with PVA products and methods (and specialised bait feeding cages and droppers etc. Ground bait application is the art and skill that is a genuine cornerstone of successful carp fishing so it is absolutely essential especially in winter to do it to suit the situation and conditions taking into account all the possible variables that may challenge your fishing. Ground baiting for some carp anglers might mean launching spods of pellets or hemp or slop or method mix etc, instead of just firing out whole baits; which may well fill carp up too fast and bread is a very useful ground bait base often over-looked.
If you choose to exploit bread in winter and spring you will find it is not necessarily a small fish ground bait base; in fact far from it! In the coldest of nights you can get bites from big carp over bread-based ground baits and of course, know fish are gorging on free bait very little without actually sampling your hook baits with this method. Boilies in standard bottom bait, or pop-up bait or critically-balanced form etc all are reliable hook baits and always will be.
Increase your bite rate by improving the effective addtives and ingredients in your baits and ground baits that induce more sampling of hook baits having not fed fish up on free baits first! Water-solubility and digestible potential of your baits is paramount. Pellets and boilies made with little oil as possible (that make baits less digestible and less effective in cold water) are very highly recommended!
Many forms of popular pellets substantially lose their edge in winter owing to their high oil levels, including the halibut pellets and others which are designed as commercial feeds for fish with comparatively higher dietary lipid requirements. Pellets with low oil levels and wheatgerm are great for winter and spring carp fishing and you will normally get far more bites in the long-run fishing over such digestible free ground baits than over ordinary high oil halibut pellets for example. As oil is pretty much insoluble in water low oil pellets and boilies are much more able to draw fish towards your baited area as more water soluble attraction is dispersed more effectively in low water temperatures.
Robin Red is one of those famous winter bait and ground bait additives you can adapt and apply to almost anything just by mixing it into a mix or adding water or almost any liquid. Red Factor, Red Band, crushed hemp, Insecto Insecivorous, Nectar Blend and other mixtures such as Meggablend, Ccmoores Meggablend Red and Meggablend sweet are excellent as are yeast products and Phillips Yeast Mixture in winter baits. Essential oils and lecithins work their magic too and some are mostly under-dosed, while others are often over-dosed, so take the effort to discover correct levels!
If you add a liquid to your boilies and pellets for whatever period you choose whether long or short, you can raise the water-soluble proportion of your baits making them far more effective. Baits like particles, boilies, pellets etc all benefit from glugs, dips and so on, and so do fake and live baits such as maggots. These tips are just a sample taster to give you a perspective on the importance of you bait choices and the seriously important free bait application methods and ground bait formats you might select; preferably you will try to stimulate as many carp senses as possible at this time by gathering as many tips to help you as possible!
In winter and spring you get what you work for so to guarantee you save yourself money in wasted bait and on wasted blank trips, think about your carp senses-related issues around your hook bait and ground bait effectiveness and it will pay you back big-time; so read on…
By Tim Richardson.