Carp Bait Wars and Snag Fishing for Barbel – Any Questions Part 7
In this instalment of our ‘Any Questions’ series, in conjunction with Nash Peg One, it’s time for carp and barbel, with Gary Bayes and Lewis Baldwin.
Q. I’m on a carp lake dominated by a baiting ‘team’ how can I compete when I’m on my own and can’t afford to match the amount of bait they put out.
Gary Bayes answers:
I used to feed my pond fish with Scopex Squid boilies for weeks on end, then when I mixed in just a few different boilies I would watch them pick out the different ones! This is exactly how I see it being when one group of anglers are feeding just one bait heavily; they are not dominating as such, just conditioning them to look for that food, if you use a different bait, providing it's been good elsewhere then I'm sure they will pick it up.
I would certainly rather fish for fish conditioned to eat boilies than those on a diet of predominantly natural foods or particles and, although I try not to fish on other anglers’ pre-baiting I'm sure on some waters I fish, the feeding fish I have found are actually eating someone else's bait.
On the water I'm fishing there are always ‘bait wars’ - said lightly, but in reality all baits catch. There are just three of us on Nashbait at the moment but we had two fish out of the three caught last weekend. Next week it could be different, but for rod hours fished against fish caught we are doing OK, I always want more though!!
What you don't want to do is be blinded by numbers, if most of the anglers are using one bait it will seem like a lot of fish being caught but look at the rod hours being fished. On another water I fished I averaged one fish aver seven nights, on another water it was one fish every ten hours, nobody else averaged these take rates and I was fishing on my own.
In your position I would take Scopex Squid Red, find the fish and fish for them in total confidence, regardless of what other baits are being used.
Best of luck with it.
Q: When snag fishing for barbel, should I fish tight to the snag and fish hook and hold tactics, or try to draw the fish away from the snag and catch them in open water?
Lewis Baldwin answers:
On any given day both tactics will and do work, however, if you want the best from your swim whilst having the chance of it producing on more than one occasion drawing them out with careful bait application is generally the best way of doing it. If it's a quick bite your after or time is limited then putting a bait into the barbel’s home (the snag) is a great way of getting a quick bite but the chances of a multiple hit of fish are very low and this method of fishing over time will only serve to make the fish withdraw further into the snag and maybe disappear from it all together.
I find the best way of fishing this kind of swim is with a preconceived plan and plenty of patience. The best way I have found is to fish maybe 10-15 yards upstream of the snag. This gives you plenty of room to catch the fish without spooking the rest of the shoal.
Start off by introducing just a couple of small bait droppers of 3mm pellets and hemp with only three or four hookbait samples some five yards upstream of the fish, this will be enough to get their interest and have them leaving the sanctuary of the snag for a closer look. An hour later repeat the process but ten yards upstream, this time introduce a little more bait with one extra dropper load. By now the fish will have grown in confidence and will happily feed on the freebies for a longer period of time.
It's important you give the swim time to rest between each bait application as a bait introduced at the wrong time could undo all your hard work and effort. Again leave it an hour but this time make sure your hookbait is in place before you start to introduce your baitdropper. The reason being rather than cast out after putting in the freebies and spooking any fish that may have arrived straight away the hookbait is already in situ when the fish arrive and the casting of a rig or lead isn't going to spook them.
Once you've had a barbel from your baited spot it's important to rest it for a short time. It's highly likely that catching a fish will have spooked the shoal and they will return to the snag, however as long as your patient in your approach it won't be long before they are confident to leave the snag and feed in open water again.
Ultimately if you spend time drawing the fish away from the snag you will catch for a longer period of time due to the fact the snag will remain as a 'safe haven' for them to retreat to undisturbed.
With carp and specialist anglers of the calibre of Paul Garner, Tony Gibson, Alan Storey, Steve Pope, Ted Bryan, Alan Blair, Mark Barrett, Lewis Baldwin and Bernard Anderson – to name but a few - the Nash Peg One team has a wealth of experience covering just about every species that swims and the expertise of the whole team is on tap for everyone at FishingMagic to take advantage of in these Q and A sessions.
If you have any questions that you would like the team at Nash Peg One to answer in the next instalment then please e-mail them through to firstname.lastname@example.org
Due to the huge popularity of this series we currently have a backlog of questions awaiting reply but bear with us we are getting through them as quickly as we can!
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