You do not have to be a big name high profile angler to be able to offer advice – after all literally anything you have learnt, adapted or refined in your own fishing that has helped you catch fish can be passed on to others to help them – often to very great effect! Unique experiences, insights and understanding from decades of fishing is extremely valuable and just one tip can make a quantum leap in your catches – so read on now!
Many anglers on the bank are completely dependant upon using readymade baits but are frustrated because they still do not catch the numbers of fish they desire. Ready made baits have made a massive difference in carp fishing – a complete beginner can simply buy everything, from all the tackle he needs, to bait, fishing tickets and venue information and methods to fish venues etc. But even experienced anglers get fixated by their baits and definitely get into a mental rut about them – and this really limits their catches considerably!
Speaking yesterday with an experienced angler at one north Kent water yesterday gave me a fine example of how we can become the actual barrier to our own fishing success! This guy had explained to me how the particular water was hard. Well I never take much notice of that. Frankly it is up to each and every angler to think for himself and understand why a water is hard – usually it is because the anglers have conditioned fish to behave in certain defensive ways in response to their baits, rigs, methods of fishing and even sensitised them to almost every aspect of having anglers present on the bank – which the carp are highly aware of.
This guy was frustrated because he said that a few guys on the lake had banded together and were putting into the lake a quantity of popular readymade boilies – and they were catching good fish. He had tried the same bait and was struggling to catch moaning that he could not afford to put out much bait unlike these other anglers.
The mentality that this guy had formed meant that he had become fixated on what other anglers were doing and what bait they were using – and had completely stopped thinking like a fish – which is the most powerful mentality in carp fishing! (Far too many anglers I meet think like anglers – concentrating on what readymade bait they are going to be using and what new rig they will be trying that they saw in a magazine – and how beautiful their new spod rod and reel is – and so on!)
I was standing there on the bank when this angler I was talking to reeled in. He was fishing as stereotypically as possible. He had spodded-out into his swim a very standard mixture of whole readymade boilies and popular pellets and his rigs were round white readymade pop-up boilies on a rig of very standard material, dimensions and mechanics.
It was as if he had literally just finished reading a typical magazine article, and gone fishing copying the most fashionable parts of what he had seen and read – yet when I asked him why he was using what he was using as opposed to other tackle and baits his answer was basically that he had read and seen this stuff in the magazines – so it had to be good right! He did not actually understand what he was doing and why – therefore he was not maximising what he was doing to overcome the challenges the carp in the lake represented – because he was not actually solving problems and overcoming them – and so was not catching as many fish as possible!
Watching the lake it was clear that anglers were fishing in very stereotypical ways and were not assessing the major factors influencing fish behaviour on that very day. If they had been they would have been catching fish. The guy I was talking to told me that the water was hard. He explained to me that he wished he had the confidence to fish bread right next to the special duck feeding area that the public use to throw bread into the lake – and where carp are occasionally seen feeding knowing this is a safe no fishing area.
He expressed his frustration at not being able to simply put some bread on and cast into that area! In saying all this he was basically saying that he had very little confidence in his readymade boilies – and why should he when they were supposed to be so good, yet the carp could be seen feeding confidently in the safe area and yet fed much more cautiously over the boilies introduced!
I suggested it was not the bait that was the problem but the fact that this guy was fishing so stereotypically that the fish could very easily avoid his hook baits and avoid any suspicious baits with ease – while hovering up his free baits and moving on again! Much of this conversation really came down to a lack of confidence in the mind of this angler – because although he had the tackle and the baits he really did not understand what drove the fish behaviours – and how to get around their defence behaviours – or even re-programme new behaviours.
To be able to re-programme new fish behaviours might seem mad until you consider that anglers re-programme fish behaviours all the time by any and all aspects of their fishing activities. We have the power to re-programme fish yet the majority of carp anglers seem to be too focussed on copying other anglers and their baits and methods – that have already lost their edge by the time they get on them! Very often it only takes one negative experience with a bait for a fish to always be fearful of it – and this transmits to other fish too; this is no over-exaggeration!
Carp fishing magazines have a tremendous impact on the group mentality and perceptions of anglers as a whole. By that I mean that the majority take what they perceive to be the easy quick route to success by simply copying what they read – because that is human nature I guess – but in fact in carp fishing it is far more powerful to be unique in what you do and with the baits you use – and how you use them!
The most powerful starting point in carp fishing is not the bait or tackle but understanding the fish. When you understand in far greater detail what drives fish to behave the ways they do and why these behaviours change through a day, a week, a season, you can really look at manipulating carp behaviours in your favour – and bait
substances can do this in an enormous range of ways! But of course a huge number of bait substances both well known and known by very few really do not get the attention they deserve in relation to the potentially incredibly powerful ways that they impact on water and on carp externally and internally do they?
Think about it – unfortunately because nearly every carp fishing magazine is a predominantly product-promoting vehicle that is where the focus of the articles is – or should I say advertorials, as the vast majority of anglers getting space in these magazines are so-called sponsored anglers! Magazines are a great way to learn but are also a great way to become totally confused.
So many different angling writers have different experiences, preferences and biased opinions about not only what tackle and baits to use but why and how to use them and this is to be expected because everyone is different. But having said that it seems that most anglers totally overlook that they are unique and different to everyone else – and appear to seek to fit in and do pretty much the same as everyone else. It actually would not matter if the topic of the magazines happened to be gardening, guitars, computer games or mobile phones, vintage car maintenance or whatever.
In many cases the writers insist that their justification for recommending certain products is that their products are the best – but all these things are of their time – and carp are constantly adaptive creatures that alter their behaviours when they get stressed by being hooked or simply get stressed by experiencing too much angling pressure.
I would really like to see far more focus on the fish again – in the early days before magazines proliferated the articles were certainly in many ways much more about the fish. I find it fascinating how individual carp develop and grow from unnoticed single and double figure fish and over the years begin to attract attention when their size or looks or other factors draw attention to them. Some fish are very interesting not for their size but for their behaviours. You might expect that the biggest fish in a water would be the hardest to catch but some of the smaller fish can actually be caught far less.
I consider that asking yourself why this is an extremely powerful method of improving your fishing success yet the answers to this question really revolve around all the major factors that influence fish behaviours.
When you consider that much bigger carp have far greater essential dietary requirements than smaller carp you can see how you can exploit this fact to your advantage. If fish are predominantly natural feeding fish then this can also be exploited – but of course you have to study your fish and get to understand this first to really make the most of it.
The guy I spoke to on the bank had shown his excitement when I mentioned some ideas in regards to adapting his readymade baits so they performed much more effectively. It is very easy to make a readymade bait unique and different enough to make fish feed far more confidently on them – as if you are literally the very first angler to use them on your lake – even if you are just about the last! One of the simplest ways to beat bait sponsored anglers is to adapt the popular readymade bait they are using so it become both a partially familiar but new bait at the same time.
Some of the lesser quick easy methods are using liquids. For instance you might soak your Mainline Cell boilies in CC Moore Feedstim XP liquid, or soak your Richworth Tutti Fruiti boilies in CC Moore Liquid Super Slop for instance. These are very mainstream ideas and I much prefer to actually change the nature and characteristics of readymade baits completely to form something new entirely.
For instance you might use a bait grinder to grind up some Solar Byt and Club Mix boilies, add to them some Richworth Salmon Supreme boilies and bind these up in CC Moore N-Gage base mix with CC Moore Feedstim XP and CC Moore Liquid Salmon and Krill Extract for instance. Binding materials can literally be anything but the point is that you will have created something new from popular baits that have a great track record.
But for me personally even doing this is false confidence but not because it will not be successful far from it, but this example is merely a totally random idea to offer fish something different. It does not take account of many factors that influence individual fish behaviours – because the starting point focus is products – and not the fish and their defensive behaviours.
For instance in the lake that I visited yesterday, the fish were very obviously fast approaching spawning time and were located spending much of their time filter-feeding on richly nutritional phytoplankton and zooplankton. Making very simple homemade baits using ingredients and additives related to such items such as seaweeds, spirulina, daphnia and vegetable extracts for instance is very simple.
Such baits will catch fish even if they contain just 2 ingredients – so they do not have to cover all nutritional angles at all! Think about it; a bait made from pre-digested yeast, peanut butter, LT94 fish meal and a little blood or blood plasma powder with CC Moore Liquid Red Venom for instance, is actually a very complex bait indeed when you consider what this bait offers nutritionally – and how it will impact on carp senses and how it will influence carp internally in your favour!
Bait texture is just one aspect you can obviously change at will to add different advantageous edges to your baits. For example why not try crushed mealworms and casters plus oat bran, whole rolled oats or even crushed or chopped sweets for example when making fresh baits on the bank? Such things really can make all the difference. How many baits do carp experience that are packed with crushed extra strong mints, chopped Liquorice Allsorts or chopped Haribo jelly sweets for instance?
Even a homemade bait made from ground catfish pellets bound with semolina, boosted with L030, pre-digested liver and concentrated liquid yeast for instance will be an instant winner – especially if you avoid using liquid eggs! If you need extra confidence when using pastes why not try using a percentage of ground CLO bird food and whole egg powder for instance (there are endless other possibilities) – use neat nutritional liquids maybe with additional blood powder to help binding and improve soluble impacts on the water surrounding the baits and increase impacts on carp sensory systems etc.
Making homemade baits to suit the day you fish is easy too and recipes can be very economical, fast and easy to make – so why not make your baits on the bank? Few anglers do this because it is not fashionable and because most anglers are just not thinking enough for themselves yet; but soon enough it will be fashionable. But why not do it right now – and gain vital competitive edges over carp and competing baits?
You can actually make very simple pastes that last over 20 or more hours immersion without any need for boiling, steaming or cooking of any kind – thus maximising nutritional attraction but just as importantly also boosting the impacts of unlimited bait substances diffusion into the water that seriously turns fish on! Read on to find out more! Revealed in my unique readymade bait and homemade bait carp and catfish bait secrets ebooks is far more powerful information – look up my unique website (Baitbigfish) and see my biography below for details of my ebooks deals right now!
By Tim Richardson.