freeline-20 - Page 148

The Bait Debate
Winter visitor who also liked regular
outside of this, and away from the
others on several occasions. I have
utilised this by placing one of my
hookbaits a few feet outside and
again this has bought results, and it
often seems to bring bigger fish for
some reason. I think some of these
wiser fish watch their companions
feed hard on these beds and areas,
but prefer to pick up odd single baits
that have found their way to the
edges of these spots, often taking one
at a time, moving away before drifting
back to take another.
As well as precise baiting, another
way to move away from the crowd is
quantities. Mr Average puts out
pretty much the same amount each
time, but how about turning up and
putting in ten kilos straight away?
Now I’m not suggesting every time,
but this method really does have its
place. I have been a fan of big baiting
for a long time now, and when fishing
for big fish in big numbers, this
approach often triggers an immense
feeding response. It takes some bottle
though, and I completely understand
that financially it may be not within
everyone’s capability, but if you can
do it at the right time, the results can
be outstanding.
Several years ago I was lucky
enough to get a ticket on the famous
Wellington Country Park, and I stuck
with my plans of not starting on there
until late October that first year.
Indeed I turned up on that first trip
having never seen the place before
and without a clue as to how to
approach it. I did know it held an
extraordinary stock of big fish and I
had seen in the magazines how others had caught there. On my first
night I saw and heard an awesome
display of seriously big fish lumping
out in the darkness in front of me, so
much so I couldn’t sleep for the noise
of it. They started off showing to my
left, and within a couple of hours they
were way off to my right, and had
clearly passed me by without a bleep!
However, bear in mind I was being Mr
Average on my first night on a new
water, and my carefully positioned
rigs were sat amongst tightly grouped
piles of 40 baits, and I knew I’d clearly
got it totally wrong. I clearly didn’t
have enough bait out there for them
to stop and feed, or at least that was
the conclusion that I came to that
day, so it was a trip back to the car to
get all the bait that I had bought with
Knowing it was a night water, that
day I smashed the lake’s calm surface
with the boilie loaded spod until my
back and arms were killing me, and I
had 13 kilos of bait out, ready for the
night ahead. I did get the impression
this was slightly against what was
usual on there, as several times during
the marathon spod fest I heard shouts
of “that’s enough” from members on
the other bank, but I had my plan, and
nothing was going to stop me! Eventually I sat back to rest my aching
body and to wait for the fish to hopefully turn up that night. I never heard
or saw anything like the previous
night’s display, but indeed they were
there as I had three rapid takes from
right over the bed of bait resulting in
fish to 39lbs – no major skill involved,
just the confidence to fill it in. This
method worked consistently, but just
by sheer quantity made bait establishment a speedy process. I must
admit to loving this method, from
those early days at Wellington to my
present waters today. I was lucky to
have this approach to myself on
another water that I have, and the
results were absolutely devastating.
On one occasion I caught a 48lb fish
half an hour after putting in ten kilos
onto one producing spot, possibly
showing the big bed bought on an
instant attraction just by the size and
quantity of it. Be warned though it
may not endear you to others on the
water, but you won’t see them complain when all of the fish are way up
in weight!
The other scenario that this
method has worked for me was as
recently as this year. My local lake
was fishing extremely hard; very few
fish had been caught, but also very
few were even showing. With the
weed up in midsummer, the fish had
become totally occupied with feeding
on naturals to the exclusion of anything else. The fish were sat out in the
lake’s thickest weedbeds, which held
vast larders of natural food, and rarely
seemed to venture out. Other members were resorting to singles and
alternative baits to try to get takes,
but I couldn’t get my head round the
fact – these fish were big boilie eaters
and had never been anything else.
Anyway, being stubborn, I stuck with
the boilie approach but tested a theory that they could be weaned off naturals just by sheer amounts of boiled
baits. Setting up adjacent to one of
these thick weedbeds, I poured in a
big hit of boilies in the hope that this
could trigger it all off. It was certainly
different to the single hookbait
method, but again I had two and lost
one that session, I believe by using
this baiting tactic.
As we move into winter, bait application can be even more significant.
Through my own experiences I know
there is no substitute for regular baiting of your winter water. I have
employed this over the past few winters and it has definitely made my
results better. However cold it was, I
would always bait up my chosen area
religiously twice each week – not
loads of bait, just enough to ensure
the fish would keep on the move. My


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