ALTERNATIVE HOOKBAIT SHAPES
In a recent ‘Question of Carp’ article, I touched on the subject of hookbaits and their shape, and in this article I’m going to expand on that subject.
If the carp takes a bait into its mouth and then moves off creating a bolt effect and a hook-up then we are happy. It’s when the carp tries to eject the bait and hook, detecting them as foreign objects, without moving off, that we have to adapt our rigs and bait positioning to attempt to trick the fish.
What we would ideally like is for the carp to be feeding very confidently and slip up.
In this situation we would like our hookbait to mimic our freebies as much as possible, but in situations where either the carp aren’t feeding well, or they become cautious over any amount of bait and they are either picking up occasional baits or taking baits tentatively or cautiously, we need to create something that feels unusual or different in the carp’s mouth.
The reasoning behind this is that if a carp attempts to eject a bait, a round boilie will be expelled easily as it has a very hydrodynamic shape and will be ejected in a relatively straight line from the carp’s mouth.
Something that is not round will not eject so easily as the carp attempts to expel it and hopefully our hook will catch hold somewhere.
The hook can be held in place with either a small wrap of PVA or a pinch of paste.This should be used in conjunction with a flexible hair, so that the hook and bait can separate easily.
One alternative is two boilie discs cut from whole baits, or the same set up can be produced using either two tiger nuts or two pieces of maize.
Whereas we would normally align a multiple bait set up so that the baits are neat on the hair, in this set up I try to use different sized baits.
The use of a flexible hair means that the tower will collapse as it is attempted to be expelled.
All of these bait shapes and presentations will hopefully cause irregular movement as the carp attempts to expel them. What you are trying to create is confusion within the carp’s mouth.
Experiment with bait shapes and use different hooklink materials and hair presentations. It’s not an exact science and needs a little thought.
You may be pleasantly surprised when you trick that wary, larger carp.