Catching a forty pound carp or strings of them as I have done in the UK using my unique homemade baits is such an incredibly satisfying feeling and one which I would love you to share in by benefiting from some of my 35 years in making exceptionally successful homemade baits! Read on and find out how to do it yourself!
I’d been trying for some years to get to fish a long session of one of the specimen fish day ticket lakes in Kent local to me, but been missing out due to group bookings and other reasons. So I was obviously delighted very recently in May to finally obtain 2 short sessions; one session was 24 hours on a Thursday into Friday, followed by a 48 hours on the next Monday to Wednesday! It would be an ideal chance to follow up all my small fish bait testing and try out concepts, principles and just a few ideas on a water containing a number of upper thirty pound fish and a few forties.
So in effect you could say this was a forty hunt and my first in 6 years! And as a CC Moore bait consultant I felt I might as well walk the talk just for fun again this time to feedback the process for you to enjoy!
I hadn’t seriously made any attempt to catch such fish for 6 years; just focusing really on small fish bait testing until very recently. Not that baits can be selective for forties compared to upper thirties of course, but obviously if my homemade baits really did work for big fish as well I figured as I knew for certain they did for small fish, then my chances should be massive for one or more of the biggest fish in the lake.
My actual fishing practices are very rusty as my fishing has been about making it as hard as possible to hook fish in order to put focus most upon bait testing. If a test bait version incites consistent great interest and even hooks fish despite fish knowing for certain that bait is attached to a big hook and heavy rig, heavy 4 ounce lead etc, then that is a very good bait indeed!
Thus having come from this I had to think about my rig refining again and yet still use the same bait principles, formats and concepts ideas and approaches I wanted to continue testing on big fish that I already know are genuine winners for small fish. My confidence in my bait was not a problem, simply remembering how to tune into and refine my entire practical tackle and casting skills etc for bigger highly pressured carp, to create best chances for my baits to show their true colours!
The lake I was to fish is a small clay lake set in a wooded farm location and is one of a string of lakes dug for purpose as very busy day ticket waters. Therefore a really ideal kind of place to share ideas and results so the average angler may gain something and go forwards improving his thinking and consequential quality of angling and results and personal degree of satisfaction, awareness, appreciation and enjoyment of his or her entire fishing.
The forecast was good in that it was overcast and had been extremely wet. When I arrived on the Monday morning the rain had been torrential all night into the day with the banks so wet that there was a layer of water on the grassy now bog-like banks which made setting up such a pleasantness in the chosen swim. I chose to fish off the wind which was an ideal south-westerly – always a great wind whether in may or any time, so I knew the fish would be probably actively feeding, with 12 to 14 degrees water temperatures.
My reasoning for fishing off the wind was that I like peace and space as I’m testing baits and do not wish to have fish influenced by other anglers lines or baits etc in proximity, plus I always favour fishing to one side or actively avoiding popular spots and to do my own thing to test my own fishing baits and skills etc. In my view, to simply plonk down in a popular swim, use the going readymade bait in the known feeding spot is not exactly the most personally satisfying way of catching fish of any size and ultimately boring and pretty meaningless.
I prefer to try new things knowing that fish dynamically adapt all the time to currently dominant baits and rigs, methods, substances and conventional fashionable thinking and so on. To beat fish wariness there is nothing like presenting fish with unique experiences to make catching carp that much easier instead of much harder!
I wanted to fish shallow water too, as I find spring is a time when finding the right depth fish actually feed most comfortably in is a big key to success and most natural food items including algae and water fleas will be in the top water layers. I noticed that the zooplanktons in the margins of my swim were extremely abundant – I always take this as a good sign. Teamed with a good general clouding of the water of the lake this boded well for this session and I just felt that the fish were feeding regularly stirring up the clay lake bed and that the general clouding was not all due to any wind action.
I knew that readymade baits were well used here and I had also been advised that maize was successful too. Therefore I avoided both wishing to do my own thing and present fish with no danger reference points from previous experiences of baits used before!
One idea that popped into my mind which was cheap and could be very instant for a 24 hour session (and to massively help pre-condition fish to my hook bait substances,) was to feed stewed fine bird food cooked in my base mix substances including all liquids and powders. Another factor for this choice was that the bait could be made to instantly break down and release and therefore not be devoured by the large numbers of extremely ravenous families of coots that abounded on this lake. If I had been using a solid bait approach they would have wiped this bait out in no time and so my primary aim of my free bait to pre-condition fish to my hook bait substances immediately would fail!
So basis of my success would be this general approach which would only leave tiny particles on the bottom and fine sediment in the water column – primarily to pre-condition fish senses.
I originally intended to fish between reeds to my right and an island, spacing my 3 rods across this gap. However after putting out my free bait and having the coots literally not leave my baited area along all day long I brought in my rods and fished very tight margin spots really close in to the bank, and laboriously spent some hours making tiny homemade paste baits and feeding them very carefully 1 by one into each spot.
I didn’t mind doing this at all as this has been an extremely successful big fish tactic for me in the past.
My original pate free baits were an extension of my baits from the last day ticket water I had fished but made even more open-texture with more coarse materials; obviously the CC Moore range contains many such ingredients to exploit so do not neglect the particle mixes, and various pellets which can be ground and mixed in many ways in combination with base mix and ground bait materials, additives etc..
In creating bait there is no absolute bait only a forward progression as fish dynamically adapt to any bait they experience. Therefore personal creativity is something to be exploited to maximum effect in choosing from a range as big as CC Moore’s. I used various different versions of hook baits some with different levels of additives and different rates of release; also these are made to be very heavy and dense! The density makes fish suck harder and simply produces more positive bites from better initial hooking!
I often will use more than one version on my rig hair or hairs as it really pays off with individual fish exploiting their individual sensitivities to concentrations of different substances and their combinations and actions on their senses etc. It’s a bit like you liking one forms of chocolate, say white chocolate or 70 percent cocoa chocolate but not liking dark 90 percent chocolate, yet the dark is more potent. Yet someone else with different unique genetic type and different sensitivity to those substances in chocolate will prefer 90 percent dark chocolate.
I view this approach of multiple variations of free baits and hook baits as one way to hook more fish in a lake, and certainly has worked very well for me time and time again! It’s not all about a snowman rig this or that just to balance the hook either – there is far more to carp bait presentations…
It makes me wonder about how many anglers depend upon just one type of bait without considering that each and every individual fish is a genetically uniquely-evolving individual adapting in response to every new bait that it experiences. Some fish will be less sensitive to a bait simply due to its lower sensitivity to key components within a bait, but may be more highly sensitive to substances in a variation of that bait… Another great consideration I exploit within my homemade baits is variations…
My PVA bag mixes are a vital part of my fishing approach and apart from my homemade hook baits are the most potent bait, even sometimes the most drastically potent bait, with the hook baits alongside made to present a very subtle experience by contrast.
I rested the spots I was baiting with tiny paste baits all day until well into dusk and only then cast in at the last minute. This really can pay off if troublesome duck are about as it avoids them spotting your very obvious baits going in, plus you have no lines in the swims so fish can move in an out and through and even test out free baits without suspicion, and without sensing lines or rigs in the area.
Result on the first night at 1 am was a lovely 28 pound mirror. I was so very pleased! All the years of intensive small fish bait testing and refining had transferred to bigger fish but what would be next?
About 5.30 am next morning as the sun was peeping over the trees one bleep on the alarm meant only 2 things; a coot or a hooked fish just sitting there on the bottom! In fact on my cheap alarms this fish had picked the rig up and kited keeping totally constant pressure and giving only one bleep! But this was no problem; there are other ways of keeping fish on besides costly alarms! I was using specially-positioned back leads on the lines as is my practice in such fishing conditions in clay smooth-bottomed lakes and it works!
The only problem with big wise fish is they do like to fool less aware anglers into thinking they’ve hooked a much smaller fish and so tend to bully them in at which the big fish suddenly either kicks the line at very short range and escapes or tests the hook off, or suddenly plunges away and rips the hook out.
Often also a wary big fish will simply run straight in towards you, tapping on the line all the way in and look for your other lines in order to use these as a lever to slip the hook. I’ve had upper thirties and forties literally swim straight to my feet upon the first run and start spinning in circles looking for other lines.
Others may simply run straight in then stop mid water and then turn complexly upside down at right angles. I’ve benefited from more than just a few big fish losses to learn how to up my chances with such fish and read such signs! I.e. if a fish taps its ways straight towards you – beware! Now you might understand a bit more why I prefer to use many black leads right up under the rod tips and also keep the rod tips over the water to an absolute minimum.
The behaviour of this fish was no different in its exploiting the tapping, running straight in and acting like a small fish, spinning and trying to constantly trip the line and making suddenly twists and lunges. But I’ve probably fished for such fish in clay lakes like this more than any other kind of other carp fishing I’ve ever done so I love the challenge of such fish and I knew my instincts were telling me immediately this was no small fish. Also as I’d predominantly tested baits on them for the past 6 years I knew for certain that this rod tip ‘tapper’ was a ‘pretender’ (and was in fact a very big fish!)
The result was 42 pounds of homemade baited big fish! Not magic but caught with a little luck and much thought and design from the teachings of small fish! Yet this was only my first 24 hours on this water.
I wondered what the 48 session the following week would produce; and I had so many more concepts and approaches on homemade baits uses and applications that I wanted to test on these bigger fish! 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!
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