FREE LINE 03 - Page 140



Edges in the Edge
some fifteen minutes later, and I
awaited their return. Half an hour
passed and I decided to introduce
some more bait.
Within seconds of it going in they
were back and feeding hard. The spot
was only a couple of feet deep, and
tails were sticking out of the once
clear, but now coffee-like water.
Again they drifted off under the weed
leaving me dumbfounded. I had obviously been mugged, so I retrieved the
rig to see if the hook bait had come
adrift, but it hadn’t. Everything
appeared okay, and the hook was still
razor sharp. The whole scenario was
repeated twice more, and I could not
believe I’d not hooked one. Enough
was enough; I needed a more effective rig. None of the hooks I had with
me turned particularly well, but I did
find a pattern with an in-turned eye. A
length of silicone over the eye had the
desired effect, and the rig was
replaced, followed by another good
dose of chopped Mainline Grange.
The fish returned, and moments later
one was nailed. By necessity stalking
(Right) Chopped Mainline Grange
and special hook baits – stalking bait
par excellence.
(Below) 31lb of stalked Horton
common.
140 FREE LINE
rigs need to be simple and quick to
construct but the mechanics should
still be sound. The alternative is to
have a few rigs already tied although
I generally tie them as I need them.
There are always exceptions, but
normally speaking this is not the
place for a pop-up. In the shallow
water close in, light levels are higher
as is visibility, and subtlety in your
presentation is a distinct advantage. I
tend to use a dull braid such as ESP
sink link that I can be confident has
sat down well and not looped up off
the bottom. In all cases I will add a
wrap or two of leadcore inner to the
hook link to ensure it is pinned down.
Hooks are kept on the small side to be
less noticeable, with a size 8 ideal. I
also make use of a long length of leadcore to keep everything around the
rig pinned to the deck. I have witnessed carp’s reaction to leadcore,
and I am certain that they treat it as if
it were a twig or other piece of debris.
Bait
I have had the majority of my stalking
success by using smaller than average baits, with my favourites being
chopped boilies (Mainline Grange),
sweetcorn, pellet and tigers, but there
are plenty more to consider though.
The bonus with using chops is that
each introduction can only assist in
acclimatising the carp to your bait,
and each stalking session also
becomes a pre-baiting expedition. I
find small bait more suited to the task
by encouraging a more sustained

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