FL12Sept - Page 166

A Question of Bait
least productive winter waters are the
‘rat race’ ‘pigs in a puddle’ type
waters. Carp will only continue to
feed through the colder months if
they need to, so once their nutritional
requirements are met in winter they
very quickly stop feeding, and won’t
again until they need to. If they’ve
been exposed to huge volumes of
boilies all year they will tend to ‘shut
up shop’ early, and often not start
feeding in earnest again until April. If
you’re determined to fish through on
this kind of water, baiting to any
degree can be a dead loss, and you’ll
be better off lure fishing by putting a
bright ‘Zak Dingle’ or bit of black foam
right on their noses to try and induce
a take.
The type of waters I’m fishing at
present have low stocking densities
of four fish per acre or less, and at the
m o m e n t d o n ’t s e e e n o u g h b a i t
through the year for the fish to be
satiated by early winter. I’m also fortunate in that there aren’t any bozos
blindly humping huge amounts of
boilie or high fat pellets in. Last year
there was a concerted effort by some
of the guys on my local water to stave
off the winter shutdown by feeding
maize and less boilies all year, as well
as into winter, so they kept feeding,
but weren’t being fed so to speak. It
worked well for everyone who kept on
fishing because they fed on well into
December, culminating in the capture
of a lake record common, and the odd
bite kept coming right up until the
lake froze over and the bait stopped
going in.
Interestingly, the bulk if not all of
the captures came to boilies, so it was
like they were on the lookout for
something better, but happy to keep
troughing up maize all the while it
was available. This was far from the
norm for the venue, which has been
known to do ‘the last bite’ in midOctober in years when tons of bait in
the form of boilies went in. So in
answer to your question, feeding
large volumes of bait can be productive provided it’s the right type of bait
– feed them loads of nothing to keep
them interested, and use your HNV
boilies as a treat which they’ll be
craving as they can’t get what they
need from the pre-baiting.
Using a solid HNV boilie like the T1
through the winter can be extremely
productive if used and fed on a ‘little
and often’ basis or in conjunction
with larger volumes of low nutritional
value feed items provided you’ve kept
it going in religiously – the minute
you stop, they stop. Humping in tons
of quality boilies is a waste of money
– help keep them feeding using your
HNV bait, but feed it sparingly as a
treat to keep the action going, and if
you really want to go to the extent of
using a lot of boilies, use much lower
food value ‘carby’ ones, unless you
want no action and Olympian birds.
You might think I’m off my head making recommendations other than, ‘Pile
in the boilies and make ‘em ****ing ‘av
it!’ but I’m a carp angler, not a boilie
drowner, and you asked me how I’d
go about high volume baiting up in
winter, so you’ve got an honest
Contributing to a shite winter’s
fishing for you doesn’t do me or the
rest of the trade any good, does it? I
want you to succeed, keep going and
develop trust in me, my products and
writing rather than end up saying,
‘That T1’s shite in winter ‘cos I put
250kg in and never caught sweet FA!’
The other aspect you need to get
most right is reading the weather in
late autumn and early winter, and by
and large the higher the barometric
pressure the further up in the water
column you’ll need to present your
bait to be successful, hence looking
for sheltered areas with good variations in depth for winter action. This
was never truer than it was for me last
November, when the three fish I
caught were in 1) in mild weather
with moderate pressure in 7ft, 2) in
freezing cold weather with very high
pressure on top of a hump in about
4ft, and 3) in milder very low pressure
in 12ft of water.
I reckon one winter fish is worth at
least three summer ones, so good luck
with it, use a bit of common sense,
and hopefully you’ll have a good one.
That said, you can do it all right and
still blank your arse off unless you’re
fishing one of these new-fangled ‘petting farms’. Fortune favours the brave,
so you’ve gotta get out and do it; you
won’t catch ‘em sat in front of t’ fire
blah blah blah. For proper inspiration,
have a look at the three ‘pearlers’ I
had last November, aided by some
sensible bait application by me and
my mates. See you next month. n


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