Carp Fishing - Forgotten Methods
John Bassili looks at some tactics that have disappeared from the radar of many carp anglers – if they were ever on it in the first place!
After having a weekend best forgotten due to the gale force winds and downpours and the Carping for Cancer match that I was really looking forward to being cancelled, the sun is now shining and I've got a spring in my step...
The reason for the change in my mood is not just the change in the weather but the fact that I'm off to my syndicate lake for the day and I will be showing you how to make best use of some of Bait-Tech's groundbaits and, in particular, how you can use them to your considerable advantage at different ranges.
Since becoming part of the Bait-Tech team I have been amazed by the vast number of groundbaits that are available for match anglers. Having been carp fishing for over 20 years the use of groundbait is a method that most carp anglers (myself included) rarely, if ever, use. Match anglers, however, use them to great effect to attract carp into their swim and to keep them preoccupied for hours; ask any match angler if they would fish a match without them and they will tell you that it would be like turning up without a rod!!
So I've started using groundbait and I've never looked back! What have I been doing all this time? Boilies, boilies, boilies and more boilies but fish soon suss us out and we really do need to stay ahead of the game to keep on catching.
So where do you start with choosing which groundbaits to use?
I know when I have ventured into the match section of my local tackle shop and faced the wall of groundbaits on display I have been confused to say the least! Well after watching Bait-Tech's latest DVD with the array of talented match anglers smashing venues using Bait-Tech's products, I decided to start with the much talked about Kult and Mojo ranges, enhanced with a drizzle of X-Cite tuna oil and a splash of sweet coconut liquid carp attractor.
The reason I’ve opted for Kult groundbait is because I've caught a lot of fish at this particular venue in the past using sweet fishmeal boilies, so this was going to be a perfect match as it's made with high grade fish proteins and molasses. Mojo is much finer in consistency with high levels of proteins and pure fish so as well as creating a lovely cloud in the water it’s also a perfect binding agent for fishing at range.
So onto the mixing; if you’re going to mix two different ground baits, mix them up well in a bucket first before adding any water and make sure you add the water (lake water only) a little at a time, constantly stirring until you can squeeze a ball together which will hold, but still crumble and break down when you rub it between your hands.
Once that's done let it rest for 20 minutes or so before adding more water to create the same consistency again; you need to do this as a lot of the moisture will have been absorbed.
Now then, onto these balls...
In my experience the reason most people don't use groundbait when carp fishing is their inability to get them out at range but with today's innovative products available to us I have found a method of casting balls out to 100m with no problem.
Mini balls they may be, but I can assure you that not many carp have seen these little beauties at that range! I usea boilie rocket I purchased a few years ago to get them out and I find that due to its aerodynamic shape it absolutely flies out.
Making balls of this small size can be time consuming but as carp anglers we do tend to have more time on our hands than match anglers to say the least! Once the rocket is loaded and the line clipped to your mark, it's just a matter of casting out.
If you’re fishing between 40 and 70m you can increase the size of the balls and load them up in a regular spod to save time and then of course there are the margins – and we all know carp love a margin. We often fish one rod tight to a bush, snags, reeds, etc where we can walk round and deliver bait by hand and this is the perfect opportunity to give groundbait a go.
Another little tip when using groundbait is moulding some around the lead 'method feeder style' before casting out; that way you can guarantee you've got some bait inches away from your hookbait. Alternatively you can opt for the more traditional way of using it as a stick mix or with a pva bag; in fact the options are endless.
This fish pictured here is one I caught last week over groundbait by moulding it around the lead and spodding medium size balls onto a shallow bar about 40m out. Despite the conditions, it was hammering with rain, I was waterproofed up and happy to stand in the rain with my spod and groundbait - and the result was definitely worth it!
So next time you go to your local tackle shop, pick up a copy of Bait-tech's DVD, it's packed with inspiring ideas on how to turn fish in your swim into a feeding frenzy, using these awesome ground baits – they are just too good to forget.