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natively, cover your hookbaits in a
mesh netting type of material. This
will keep your hookbait from disappearing by morning. One or more of
the other contributors may correct
me, but I’m also under the impression
that sometimes anglers have even
had their rigs actually bitten off! I’d
therefore probably use a strong hooklink material such as a strong braid or
coated braid.
If you’re having problems with
crayfish robbing your hookbaits then
you should also be aware that your
free offerings are also being taken.
Regularly topping up your baited area
will also need to be taken into
account or else you will be fishing
with single hookbaits. You may need
to consider baiting your area twice a
day; once in the morning and then
again in the evening in order to keep
bait on your spots. I have also heard it
mentioned that certain flavours in a
boilie can put the crays off your bait,
but once again, I’m not sure of which
flavours these are. I’d imagine that a
bed of tiger nuts would be much
harder, or virtually impossible for the
crayfish to eat. I think I would definitely start of with trying the nut
approach if they are allowed on your
Question 4
Moon phases are a minefield! There
are so many thoughts and theories
that you could almost write a book on
it. I myself categorically believe in
moon phases and their part in playing
a role in some of the country’s big fish
captures. I’m not entirely convinced
that a full moon will produce big commons (as you’ll often be lead to
believe) but full moons do produce
certain big fish from a given lake. My
favourite and probably the most
talked about phase during the 28-day
cycle is the new moon phase.
At the start of each new moon
cycle there is a period of three days
when there is no moon visible in the
sky. It’s still there of course; you just
can’t see it. This is caused by the
shadow of the earth cast over the
moon by the sun. The sun, earth and
the moon are all in alignment and at
that particular time there is a greater
gravitational pull on the earth. It’s this
pull that creates the tides on the
world’s seas and oceans. Although
the lakes we fish are landlocked and
don’t have tides, I’m convinced that
the water is affected in some way.
I lost Vinnetrow’s Half Lin the night this pic was taken, yet returned a month
later and caught that same fish on the following full moon.
Another thing that is noticeable
and is definitely a contributing factor
is the weather change brought on by
a new moon phase. Quite often you
will see a change in the weather
around this period. It could be a drop
in pressure, more cloud cover and/or a
change in wind direction, and we all
know what such weather conditions
can do for the chances of a bite.
Going back to the big common theory on a full moon, I mentioned how I
thought it was more likely to be a certain fish on a certain lake that
responded to a full moon. I’ve noticed
that some lakes respond to a full
moon and other lakes respond to a
new moon. A lake that responds well
on a full moon may not always
respond quite as well to a new moon.
It also seems apparent that on the
other hand, a lake that produces well
on a new moon may not produce
quite as well on a full moon. Quite
why this may be, I’m not sure.
The Fat Lady on St Ives Lagoon
was virtually always out on a new
moon and the Half Lin from Vinnetrow is virtually always out on a full
moon. I’ve noticed that those full
moon periods are far more productive
when there is less cloud in force. It’s a
fact that moon phases play a huge
part in my fishing, and nobody will
talk me out of it.
Question 5
Sponsored anglers are sponsored to
promote their company’s products –
that’s a fact we all know, but whether
you choose to listen to what they say
about those products has more to do
with where you place yourself in the
learning curve. Going about catching
these carp you see in the arms of a
sponsored angler is a huge learning
curve. I myself am still learning now.
Quite often, when a new product
comes along, it’s sponsored anglers
using them and showing people
through magazine articles how to use
them correctly and safely. There are
enough different types of magazine
out there now to suit all calibres of
I still take in what some of the guys
write about, and if I see something I
like the look of then I’ll try and
improve things where possible. You
don’t necessarily have to use the
same products but they give you a
good idea of how things should be
done. It all comes down to advertising
and marketing, and you can’t criticise
a tackle company for that.
Question 6
I can’t stress enough how important it
is to fish safely. By this I mean not
fishing into snags. Fishing up to
snags without being sat right on top
of your rods, or even fishing up to
snags with a loose bait runner or
clutch is asking for trouble. If you’re
fishing a weedy water then using a
lead clip system so that the lead can
be ejected is essential. Even an inline
lead that doesn’t come off once you’re
into a fish can cause it to become
stuck in weed and can cause torn
mouths. There is no excuse for bad
rigs either, as there are enough “how


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