Snowman rigs aren’t mega popular these days, but I don’t know why. For many a big fish angler it’s the first port of call, as the larger mouthful gives you buoyancy options as well as proving useful for avoiding smaller species.
For me, a Snowman is working at its best when you have the perfect marriage of two things. The first is a hookbait that’s a bit more interesting than your freebies. By that I mean one that’s had ‘the treatment’. For some that’s a dose in oil, glug or a salt cure, but for me it’s a bit of a medley of all three. I usually take a batch of Code Red boilie, dry it out a little and then give it a two-stage boost. The first is a rinse in the matching glug and oil, just enough to give them a coating. I let this soak in for a few days before reapplying the liquids. A quick shake and they’re ready for a spin in some Sonubaits Krill Flavour Shaker. This is 100% pure dried krill, something carp absolutely adore. It forms a fishy, salt layer that acts like a skin, something that sticks like glue to the bait for the cast and only when water really gets in between the individual particles does it start to release.
I love doing this for my boilie bottom baits and for a Snowman, it’s a really important element. Yes, a bait straight out of the bag is good enough some times, but giving that extra TLC to some hookbaits can take your fishing to the next level.
The second important element is to have a mega buoyant pop-up that actually sits the rig like a Snowman. For me, most commercially available pop-ups can’t lift a BB shot let alone a 15mm bottom bait, but something made of closed-cell foam, like an Avid HighLite, can actually lift a 15mm hookbait clean off the bottom. In fact, if you use a 10mm HighLite be sure to check the buoyancy, as they often turn Snowman rigs into pop-up rigs, such is the incredible buoyancy.
These come in loads of colours and are totally unflavoured. As always, these get a pimping in something tasty, usually Betalin or another concentrated sweetener. Because the outer layer of the HighLite is fluffy, it absorbs just enough of the sweetener to be sweet, without being overpowering. A standard pop-up would just keep soaking in sweetener.
The buoyancy also increases the movement of the whole hookbait, but I like to make this even more pronounced by leaving a gap between bottom bait and HighLite. You wouldn’t believe how much more movement this creates and underwater it truly looks like two separate baits. A pimped out ‘skinned’ bottom bait with a bright 10miller literally hovering above like a Jack In The Box – you can’t beat it!
So the next time you casually slide a pop-up on top of your bottom baits, give your hookbait bag a second glance and see what being creative can bring. For me, this is a rig that recently accounted for a number of lovely character fish on a private lake in Germany, but in the past has been a Godsend when avoiding tench and bream. Pimp that Snowman!