Carp Fishing

Big bait or Small bait by Michael Madeley
With the option now to purchase the new 22mm bolies including the wafters and hook baits..heres my own take on useing a bigger bait than what we usauly yse in the UK.

Firstly its different, most anglers use a 15/16mm bait and its something the fish see everyday. I would only use a 22mm if fishing with the same size baits as a whole,no doubt the carp will be able to get there fill quicker than they would with smaller baits.I wouldnt for instance use a 22mm bait if fishing over particle that dosent seem right to me as i prefer to match the hookbait with what im fishing over.

Do i think useing a big bait will get me bigger fish,absolutley many times have you caught a lump on say a piece of sweetcorn for instance..carp as we know are greedy but chucking out a nice big bait with a size 6 or even a size 4 hook would give them more trouble to deal with,and it goes against the grain,its also easyier to catapult or use a throwing stick getting these bigger baits out.

Ive had success with the 22millers fishing in open water...its something i wouldnt use in the margins.

So being different can only be good,if you fish the same as everybody else you will probauly get the same results.

Stix & Bag Mix by Richard Handel
I have been using Stick/bag mix for over 30 years, since I discovered PVA bags (back in the 80s).  At the time, they were made by Duncan Kay. The obvious stuff to put into them, where crushed up boilies and ground bait to make the bag firm.  I have even used particles dried out, covered in oil and ground bait to stop the bags from melting. With modern day carp fishing, the world is your oyster. The stick mix by far for me over the past year have been some nice products from Spotted Fin.

I have blended three types of their Stix mix together.

I have blended an equal amount of each, together.

With a little help from my youngest. This is her smiley face.

We then added some Spotted Fin Salmon Oil & Catalyst Food DipOnce I can squeeze the mix together I am happy.  If you fancy, you can add micro pellets or crushed up boilies.

I understand that some people will think this is very expensive.  However, it makes about 2/3kgs of mix and this is depending on how much you add but it could make a bucket load of bags! It has accounted for many carp last year.

Most notable this stunning Common.
Hope this helps.
June update by Richard Handel

With the first week of June being the school holiday's, I was off camping in Wales with the kids. I was then back out on the following Tuesday night, trying to track down the carp again. I managed a nice 18lber. 

The next time I was out, my eldest came with me. She had be keen to come with me for some time but the weather conditions had not suitable for her to do any float fishing. Therefore, the swim selection was based around her, which unfortunately resulted in me blanking. This was a shock, as it had been a long-time since that had happened. The next trip out resulted in a lost fish. It was then the 16th June and time to start my campaign on the river after the Carp.  I was not going to neglect the lakes but I just fancied getting way from the hustle and bustle of the lakes.

I had a good few hours out looking on the first day and then came the heat wave. And that was me mostly inside for over a week. I had a two night social with a friend I managed a nice 20lbers.

I have found over the years that June & July can be some of the hardest months of the year.

My last couple of trips out have resulted in a couple of lost fish and also a couple of blanks. This was mostly due to bad timing on my part with the weather. Next month, I am hoping to have a few more trips looking around the river after the carp.

Until next month 


Options by Mike Madeley
Two parts of the puzzle are not only having a top-quality bait and a super sharp Hookbait, but the third is getting them in the right place.
Some lakes, especially at this time of year, are rammed to the hilt and you have no option but to fish out of a swim because it’s the only one available. Typical day ticket lakes.
With this amount of pressure on a lake, everything you do must be perfect as you will need to optimise what’s in front of you. I’ve had this situation many times, and not on runs waters either.
One particular lake in Peterborough, where swims must be pre-booked, I arrived to find everything against me. With a warm southerly wind blowing to the far end, the carp would most certainly be on the end of it, but as I mentioned I had to optimise what I had in front of me, including a nice reedy margin I could fish to at around 60 yards.
It was here that I decided to cast a bait as tight to the reeds as I could, so about a foot away was perfect. It was only about 4ft deep, but gradually sloped away to 10ft.
A single bait with a piece of Catalyst Corn and a small PVA bag of 6mm Catalyst Pellets was used, just enough for a bite. Rig wise, I often use what is called the Horton rig. As soon as the bait is picked up, the rig will turn and hang aggressive to get the hook hold. I tie the rig up with Finskin Semi-stiff coated braid 25lb either in Gravel or Weed depending on the circumstance, which is perfect for the job.
I used two rods; one placed a little further out but on a snowman set up and one on a zig as the temps were rising and I had to try and see whereabouts they were...
Around 1730hrs the same day, I had the run from the reeds. Totally against the grain, but after a little battle, finally slipped her over the net cord... a most welcome Mirror in difficult warm conditions with a rammed lake, but making the most of what’s out in front.
Mike Madeley