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have caught more I would say, but if
you said strawberry boilies compared
to tiger nuts and hemp, certainly my
bet would be on the second. In my
last few sessions down on the Car
Park Lake, Darren Miles and a few of
the other guys were using them in
small quantities put out very precisely, not catapulting them all over
the swim. This is a similar scenario to
using the mag-aligner where you’ve
got a very concentrated area of maggots in one spot. You can do that with
tigers and hemp; you prepare just one
very small concentrated area where
you get one fish feeding, or more than
one fish in competition on that small
area, and it’s very likely you’re going
to get a bite.
I’ve used tiger nuts since the early
80s, and for those of you that have
read any of my books, of course Tiger
Bay was the first one, and if you’ve
read my last book, my Legends book,
you’ll know why I called it Tiger
Bay…. of course tigers were banned
at Savay at the time. Mr Sargent is
asking which are best – black, talin, or
natural, and which rig to use. Well I
think they’re all pretty good to be
honest, but if it was me I’d just use
the normal standard tiger nut. The
way I prepare them is to soak them
overnight, then just give them a little
Caught on the grubs.
68 FREE LINE
boil for half an hour or so, and then
either keep them in a large storage
container or bag them up in individual portions. Leave them to ferment a
little bit so you get that nice jelly, and
then those bags can be frozen.
With tigers you don’t want a lot of
them; you don’t want to be putting
too many tigers out there. A couple of
handfuls is plenty enough for a bite,
but you can put more of the hemp
out, which will act as an attractor and
get the fish feeding in a localised area
where the tigers will be your hookbait. I tried a variety of rigs over the
years, but I’ll be honest with you, Mr
Sergeant, I don’t think it makes a lot
of difference. Certainly you’ll want
something as neutral in buoyancy as
possible, but the way that you’ll
achieve that is up to you. I mean, I
w o u l d n ’t f i s h p o p p e d u p t i g e r s
because tigers and hemp are going to
be on the bottom whether it be gravel
bottom or mud or whatever. It’s not
up above it, so the mouths of the fish
are also going to be deep down in it
as well, digging for the hemp and for
the tigers. So you don’t want a popup, but you do want something that
will shoot back to the pharyngeal
teeth as soon as they pick up the
baits.
This very buoyant critical balanc-
ing, as I called it way back in 1980
when I came up with that theory, is
the way to do it. In previous years I’ve
just got a little bit of tiger nut shaped
cork, and on the longish hair I put a
tiger, then the cork in the middle and
a tiger the other side, so I’ve got three
little baits; two smallish tigers and a
smallish bit of cork. You can just trim
the cork with a pair of scissors until it
just sinks, just critically balanced, and
just drop it out there. That, I would
say, is as good as anything.
Question 4 is from Mr Dean from
Somerset regarding mealworms.
You obviously haven’t watched the
film I made with Rob Hughes probably ten years ago. Rob Hughes had a
carp show on Sky TV; I’m not sure
whether it’s on there now or not, as I
haven’t even got Sky TV these days.
Since I had my latest addition to the
family, who’s now 5, I hardly ever get
to watch TV, so we got rid of our Sky
package as it was costing us £50 a
month and we weren’t even watching
it. Obviously I miss things like Tight
Lines, but I’m certainly not going to
pay £50 just to see Tight Lines once a
w e e k . A n y w a y, a t t h e t i m e R o b
Hughes was making some films for
Sky TV, and he asked me to come
down to a lake in the Colne Valley,
which I’d never fished it before. There
were some decent originals in there
around the high 20s and low 30s, and
quite a few stock fish.
I thought I’d make it interesting for
people by taking a variety of different
insects down there to use as hookbaits and using PVA socks of maggots as groundbait. At the time I hadn’t developed the mag-aligner, but
what I was actually using was what is
called a maggot clip these days.
There’s a company that makes them,
but you can make them just as easily
yourself out of an old hook, which is
what I used to do. Once my hooks got
blunt I used to put them in a little pot,
and then I would use one of those. I’d
put the point of the hook through the
eye of the hook, so you’ve got two
hooks on your hook link – the one
with the good point on it and then the
blunt one put through the eye of the
sharp hook. You need to do a little bit
of bending with pliers, and you need a
tiny little bit of cork, but what I used
to do is push the old hook through the
eye, put three or four maggots on the
old hook and a tiny little piece of cork
just on the point, and that was my

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