FREE-LINE 01.pdf - Page 193



Alternative Baits Exclusive
A stunning 30lb common.
variety or the marine family, carp
just love them. However, using
them as bait has its problems, and
most noticeably the fact of trying to
keep the bait in a neat package
either on the hook or hair. The cure
for this problem comes in the form
of artificial mussels, and in waters
where these molluscs reside they
are a seriously good addition to the
plastic bait armoury. Let’s not forget other marine favourites such as
shrimps, cockles and prawns either,
and whether their salty nature
makes them a prized bait or not,
there is no doubt that in certain
waters, they are devastatingly
effective and should not be overlooked.
Then there is the meat, that good
old fashioned spam or luncheon
meat which is only ever spoken
about by the avid chub or barbel
angler. This great British institution
has never ceased to be a fish
catcher, but we don’t see it in too
many anglers’ boxes today, and the
reason why it has fallen from favour
is unclear. Perhaps if one of the big
bait manufacturers put their name
to it would once again be en vogue.
There is no doubt that it is an awe-
some fish catcher, and the fact it is
made using the cheapest, fatty
meat products means its rubbery
texture is great for hooking or hair
rigging, and its flavouring is obviously a winner.
There really is no need to feel
pressured into spending vast
amounts of money on boilies if you
are on a limited budget, because a
quick trip to the local supermarket
to pick up alternatives such as
spam, a tin of sweetcorn, or a jar of
cockles will see plenty of carp
caught. We know that carp must
associate those little round balls
with danger, but a salty cockle or a
bit of old skool spam may just see
them drop their guard long enough
for them to get caught. Don’t get
m e w r o n g, I a m a s b i g a f a n o f
boilies as anyone, and my Richworth baits fall in to my earlier
comments at the start, but even the
good old boilie can be outfished on
their day, and I have had plenty of
carp on spam topped with a bit of
plastic corn or spicy sausage with
fake corn. At the end of the day they
are only fish; they are not curing
cancer or flying to the moon, they
swim around all day and night just
snacking here and there, so if they
have got to eat, they will get caught
at some point. The only factor to
consider about the frequency of
them getting caught is their ability
to associate food with danger, and
just like humans, there must be a
few clever ones in the pond that
can generally spot a rig or dangerous bait, and there are some venues
where they never get caught.
You can see that as well as the
conventional, there are the unconventional and sometimes forgotten
baits that have only lost favour with
the angler but not the fish. Perhaps
thinking outside the box and trying
a different approach to your baiting
may just help you bank a not so
wary carp, as they take your different bait over all the other anglers’
identical offerings.
Well that’s all for this month folks,
next time I will be taking a more in
depth look at carp safety and some
of the equipment I use. Remember
try to make the most of it now
because winter is only around the
corner, and this has got to be my
favourite time of year to catch carp,
so until next time, be lucky in your
pursuit. n
FREE LINE 193

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