Hi Gary, I've been thinking of buying 200-300 kilos of off-cuts for a pre-baiting campaign. What are your views on using cut-offs and should I have any concerns? Please remember, I am on a budget, hence why I'm thinking of going this route. Dave Wilson, via e-mail
Gary says:I would probably go for it if the off-cuts are a quality bait that has a good carp-catching track record. After all, what does the shape matter except it isn't going to be as easy to throw out as round baits? I would also enquire how it's been stored and what age it is. If it's shelf-life it needs to have been stored in sealed bags and boxed up in cool conditions so there hasn't been any chance of condensation forming in the bags. I personally don't like old bait but have used bait that is old and caught with it, it just seems better to use fresher bait if possible. If it's frozen bait it needs to have been frozen as it was produced.
We have very few rejects or off-cuts but I have sold what we have to some of the local lakes in this area. The lake owners have always said their fish weights and health have improved and nine out of ten times once a lake owner has had the rejects they want more, because it makes a difference to the overall fishing. So to be able to fish with all different sizes, even a mixture of different flavours will certainly catch you some fish.
If you go for it, don't buy other bait to fish over the top of it, use it as hookbaits as well. On my lake I feed our rejects and our push out mixes (mixed dough from flavour changes) and don't let anyone use the feed bait as hookbaits because it's supposed to be free bait for the fish. Anglers who do drop onto fed areas have had some terrific catches but I'm sure they would of caught more on the feed bait, but they moan that I feed the carp so they don't get offered any for hookbaits.
I would rather use rejects or off-cuts than particles or any other form of cheap bulk bait. Boilies do have a better success rate (fish per kilo) than most other alternatives and they do catch the big ones, on that basis alone you'll be much better of with your off-cuts."
This article was taken from Issue 82 (January 2011) of CARPology magazine. Be the first to read CARPology's articles in print before they're posted on-line, and get your hands on loads of additional content by subscribing on-line.