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13 Dec 2016
by Terry Hearn
After bright hookbaits, what comes next?
What happens when bright hookbaits stop working...

“If bright hookbaits slow down or have stopped working on your lake, what would be your next course of action for casting at showing fish? Glugged bottom baits, maggots or something else? And how long would you think it would take before the bright bait approach would work again, if ever?”

My single hookbaits are generally whatever foodbait I’m using at the time, but I quite regularly mix it up a bit, maybe foodbaits on two rods and a brighter coloured single on another.

What works best is very dependent on the water, but I generally find brighter singles to work best from around Christmas through until early spring, when the waters at its coldest.

One winter on a pit local to home, I remember starting off in December catching well on foodbait pop-ups, either fishmeal or Source, which along with plenty of particles was mainly the bait that I was sticking in. Then in January something made me try a single Tutti pop-up on one of the outside rods, and from that point through until mid-March, nearly all my takes came on bright singles. The pre-bait was still going in between trips, and it was clearly being eaten too, yet the action would nearly always come to the brighter hookbaits. Not really a casting single hookbaits at showing fish situation I know, but a good example of when brighter baits had the edge. Strangely enough I couldn’t imagine getting a take on one at the same lake in mid-summer.

Obviously every water is different, but sometimes you have to wonder whether a more logical way of looking at bright baits stopping working is that at that point in time they’ve gone off boilies full stop. Nowadays carp anglers talk of a change of bait meaning a change to another round ball of the same size. It’s just another boilie, maybe colour has little to do with it. And if your single hookers are pop-ups then maybe they’ve just been overused, and so they don’t work as well as they used to. In this case, I’d definitely be thinking about a true change of bait, preferably something that’s not round. And if it’s got to be something that I want to cast at showing fish, i.e. a ‘fish anywhere’ type of rig, but the carp have well and truly had enough of the same old single pop-up approach so Choddies are out of the question, then I’d probably attach a little PVA Stick.

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