FL11 All pages - Page 158



A Question of Bait
By Mark McKenna
Send in your questions and Mark will answer them each month in this great new series.
O
n the water I’m
fishing they’re all
coming out on
hemp and tigers
at the minute,
and not on bait.
I’d be mad not to drop the boilies
I’ve been using and get on the
nuts to take full advantage of
this, especially as they’re so
much cheaper, right?
One thing I’d always say to anybody in your position is fish how you
feel. You’re the guy with his boots on
the ground on the venue, and when
all’s said and done this game is about
catching carp, not fishing with a particular bait, so if you feel you’d do better using a particle bait approach
right now then do it. I know I would if
the evidence was overwhelming –
making bait myself hasn’t removed
any other baiting strategy from my
armoury.
That said, I haven’t put a particle
hookbait out in the pond since the
mid-eighties, as I’ve always been able
to fish with utter confidence in the
boilies I’ve used, and I don’t get flustered when another competent angler
Scott Porter 'Lionels' 42.02.
158 FREE LINE
has one or two, or even a hit, because
I fish for myself and don’t have to
compete with anybody else. It’s kind
of amusing when you’re sat around a
circuit water and someone has a nice
result; the first thing you see a lot of
the keenies doing is start sniffing
around trying to suss what he’s doing
and how he’s doing it, and if it is on a
boilie they get hell bent on getting
hold of some at ‘fivers’. Well that just
ain’t my idea of how to go about it!
If that’s how you carry on, have you
asked yourself why you weren’t able
to figure it out for yourself, or how you
got it so wrong? That comment might
seem a bit abrasive or confrontational, but that’s not intentional; I’m
just hoping to provoke a bit of
thought. Why when you see someone
catch do you suddenly lose confidence in your approach, often when
it’s been working fine up until you
began to struggle or saw someone
catch one more fish than you?
I’ll give you an example: I’ve got a
customer, no names no pack drill,
who’s been using T1 for a few years
now. One day he came over to collect
his bait, and as always I asked him
how it was going on the circuit water
he was fishing. “They’re all coming
out on hemp and tigers at the
moment,” he said. “Oh right,” I said.
“So why aren’t you using hemp and
t i g e r s t h e n ? ” “ I h a v e b e e n ,” h e
replied.
“So how many have you caught
then?” “None,” he replied, now starting to look, and I guess feel, a little
sheepish. “Did you hear matey had a
brace of forties out of there the other
morning on the T1?” I added. “Yes –
that’s why I thought I’d better top my
freezer up; they might be switching
back to bait now.”
I give up! I still can’t get my head
around it; the first thing that get’s
blamed when someone’s struggling is
the bait, whatever it may be. We generally don’t seem able to say, “I
haven’t been getting it right, but I’m
going to keep trying at it until I do.”
That’s what it’s all about for me;
that’s the challenge, doing it my own
way and taking responsibility for my
results.
I’ll give you another example: the
other week there were a load of fish in
a two-acre bay on the lake I’m fishing,

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