Carp Fishing

September update by Richard Handel

Bait soaks or dips are a key feature in Carp fishing.  It is one of the best ways to make your hook bait stand out from your freebies, it also helps your hook bait to stand out from another baits on the lake.

My preference for hook baits that I am going soak, is always shelf life bait as I don't have to worry about keeping them in the fridge or freeze all the time.  I can even take than out of my bait bucket and I soak them in bulk.  I will soak a kilo bag at a time over a period of months before I start to use them.

When I first got my hands on a bottle of Finamino, I was very impressed with the smell and taste.  I instantly grabbed a bag of shelf life Catalyst boilies, which don't really need a boost however, it’s nice to have your hook bait stand out from the rest your freebies ( as I have said before), I had already been doing for the past year with the Catalyst Food Dip.

It has certainly helped my catch rate, in the harder months.

I have found over the years, by testing different ways, that the best way to get your boilies really soaked, is to freeze them and then add the liquid when the boilies start to defrost.  I repeat this process five times.  This is the main reason I use shelf life boilies, as I know this will not affect the make up of the bait and degrade it in any way.

 These I keep in the fridge until the bag is half empty and then I start the process with another bag - same dip or another nice new one from the Spotted Fin Range.  Theirs have so many options that you can give you the edge over other anglers.

Hope this Helps


August update by Matt Horton
I have just returned from a 2 night trip to Frimley Pit 1. I arrived and had a good walk around the glorious old gravel pit. With the weather muggy and the pressure high so it wasn't long before spotting them around the pads with their backs out of the water.

I decided to setup a few swims and cast to the back of them and bait heavy. It took a while to find a couple of clearish spots as the lake is very shallow and weed covers the vast majority of the lake.

That afternoon I baited heavy with 3kg 18mm whole and chopped Catalyst I also stole a few kilo of my mates 15 & 12mm Catalyst so I could get the fish grubbing about in the weed. With the 2 rods in place I was set for the night. The night passed with not much action just a few liners until around 6am when the right-hand rod slowly started taking line as I was fishing a fairly tight clutch due to the weed.

I was on the rod and bent into what felt like a good fish it plodded around before I let it have a bit too much and it buried into the weed. A tense few minutes passed before I eased it out and got it on the move. The battle from then on was straight forward due to a big ball of weed over its head. As it hit the back of the net I could tell it was a good fish. I called my mate who came over and helped with the weighing and photographing it went 28lb on the nose so to say I was chuffed is an understatement.

The day passed without any action yet the fish were still cruising in and around the area.

I decided to put another few kilos out over the two rods hoping they'd feed during the night. The night passed and so did the early morning. 10 o'clock arrived and it was time to think about packing up, however the left-hand rod burst into life which was unexpected and I was into a lively fish, didn't feel as good as the last but put up a good scrap under the rod tip and I slipped the net under another Frimley common. This was a younger fish and at 18lbs had plenty of growing to come.

August update by Richard Handel

This month has certainly gone by very fast for me. I only had two weeks’ worth of fishing before my annual family holiday.  I am sitting writing this on a sunny beach in Wales, my two girls are trying to teach each other how to use a buggy board.

It is a stunning back drop with a pleasant view to sit and reflect on this month's fishing adventures.  This month there was no shortage of fish captures, it started well with a nice 20lbs Common.

After that, it was just a struggle to getting another over twenty pounds, considering I know I was in the right area.



I just couldn't get through the smaller fish and the biggest I managed was just over 16lbs.

What started this month to use was the Finamino as a hook bait soak. This certainly gave me an extra edge and helped to keep the fish coming this month. On my last trip of the month (before we headed away), I had a look around the other lake I can fish, this was done on my way down to my normal lake.  After seeing fish, I just had to give it a go.

I set up on one of the point swims, for a quick 12 hours and spombed out a load of Catalyst Boilies and a mix of pellets. I managed to bank 1 x 19lber & 2 fish over twenty. 

For the Full Report please check out my website.  I am now looking forward to the coming month, as there are a few new products I am having a play with, in preparation for the Winter.

Until Next Time


Being Different by Mike Madeley

Sometimes when you get to a lake and have to use a swim that is the the only one availible, making the right choice in bait application is critcal. The first thing I do is count the amount of lines in the water and were they are, secondly try and suss out what everyone else seems to be doing as I will do the opposite.

I often have chats with good friend Frank Warwick about baits and one talk we had was using big hook baits as in 22mm and bigger, this is what I did on this occasion.

Firstly, to get fish milling about I crushed up virtualy to a powder a few kg of Catalyst boilie and added various sizes of Catalyst Pellet... mixed it up and then dropped in some Chilli Hemp liquid food to spice it all up and that for me was an awsome combination. I spombed this out knowing theres not much food but plenty of attraction.

I set up a simple blowback rig and used a Catalyst 22mm wafter... it didnt take long for the fish to home in and resulted in a 8 fish hit...absolutley perfect

July update by Richard Handel

It started off a very hard month for me.  A few lost fish, is part of the norm I think on my water.  I had managed to avoid this so far this year.  Unfortunately, the fished moved into different areas of the lake and this was going to be an inevitable thing.  I managed to get out on to the other water, as it had now opened up.

Fishing my favourite margin swim which was only producing Tench for me, so far and just one lost Carp.

I have also been spending a lot of time walking the river with no rod's, just watching and finding a few Carp, which was good.

I had a two-page feature in Carp Talk also this month.  Which was brilliant and big thank you to Spotted Fin for this opportunity.

When I returned on the lake and managed a couple of nice Carp and ended up fishing another stormy night with way too much thunder and lightning

Best one of the month 25lb 5oz common.

Until Next Time


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.