With spring nearly up on us now’s the time to start prepping areas with small bags of rock salt, the carp quickly home in and clear salted areas, and show you where they are. Simply get some dry stones, fill PVA bags with a stone and rock salt and either cast out or catapult out. The fish are just beginning to wake up, so they’re not quite craving for food, so you need to keep them grubbing about for longer with less food, and of course your hook bait. Best method a Supercharged Natural Black Groundbait or Supercharged Method Mix with a helping of Little Gemz Pellet.
Think prepared and you’ll be ready for the action; either on the bank or at home make up your stick mixes. You can lay them on a baking tray and fast freeze them, taking out what you need for each session. Don’t over oil as this will make them very slow to break down, ideal for hot weather but not Spring.
Spring spells emerging bugs, which in turns means zig fishing. Sometimes visual isn’t always the way, so why not try squirting your bug or bait with a high intensity flavour such as Tutti Frutti or Betalin, sweet and very water soluble.
High light your feeding zone in the water column, or even in the margin for that matter. Instant Nutz Sludge is perfect for this and if you want you can turn the cloud into different colours by adding loams or clays. Visual attraction always gets them curious.
On the bottom lures aren’t always the answer, sometimes the bright fluoro just spell danger to them, particularly if every man and his dog are using them, go random. Whites, pinks and yellows are in their face baits, so go pastels or even black over flavoured.
Another little trick is just to make them aware of a bottom bait visually. Using a match style pop up or wafter tip off your boilie, these small baits are perfect and offer a good, safe alternative to plastics or fakes. They can also be easily flavoured.
Don’t overlook the obvious, trends and fads can make you lazy, think outside the box, if you can watch the way they react to food and baits, and then use a bait accordingly. Little and often is all you need if they are snacking, a little bit with a cherry on the top is often the way to outwit the wiliest of them all!
Fish at this time of the year will often be well up in the water column depending on the depth and temperature, so if you are using bottom baits try to enhance their presence. A very light coating of cod liver oil infused in a food dip attractor will see the message carried throughout the water column, often leading the fish to look for the food source….. read bite!
Most importantly when it comes to bait don’t be afraid to experiment, sitting on your hands is sometimes necessary, but often as not it’s better to fish like a match angler, that is fishing for bites.