Do you change the format of your hookbait at all? If so, would it be buoyancy, colour (which ones, bright or washed-out), flavour levels (higher or lower), shape and size and what are the reasons why you make these changes?
“I generally don’t change my hookbait at all, well apart from the colour of the 10mm topper on my snowman. I like the hard, almost congealed Trigga in the cold-water for the bottom bait on my snowman – it takes away the worry of reeling in without a bait on. The biggest thing I do change is the type of dip; I use a Trigga Bait Soak in the summer and a tweaked Trigga Ice Bait Soak in the winter. Only tweaked with the addition of Black Pepper Oil or an alcohol-based flavour, leaking and cutting through the cold, dense water and increasing the chance of a carp picking up the signals.”
“As I would be mostly single hookbait or ‘one bite’ fishing, white or pink 12mm Northern Specials are my hookbait of choice during the spring. Normally these would be presented on a Hinged Stiff Rig to keep the hook away from the bottom which can be a bit dirty at that time of year. This small, highly attractive hookbait will be more than enough to catch the attention of the fish as they start searching for food, and therefore more than enough to get a bite when fished over a handful or two of bait.”
“In the past I have mucked about with all sorts of things whilst boilie angling, but these days, through the early spring, my approach is more focused on what I know works and what I have caught on consistently in the past: 12mm cork-balled pop-ups and Hinged Stiff Rigs. It works, so why muck about and waste time and effort guessing? The Nut Mix is pretty pale and the matching pop-ups are the same – being virtually white having been immersed for a few hours, and this means they are all highly visible to cold-water carp (that have impaired vision). As soon as we’re back fishing over a bit of bait when the waters warmer, I’ll revert to slow sinking hookbaits on D Rigs (Clone Rigs) that are 15mm with a 10mm corkball. Perfect and with standard flavour levels too!”
“When using pop-ups over bait in the spring I like an alternative colour fished over my standard red fishmeal. I’ve found orange or pink really successful, and this gives quick bites even when fishing over big beds of bait. For bottom baits I love a barrel-shaped one which I then wrap in B5 paste. This paste slowly dissolves, giving added attraction as well as an alterative shape, something different to the normal round ones. I leave my bottom baits soaking in a dip containing L-Zero 30 which hardens them and gives prolonged attraction. I’ve never found washed-out baits to be more effective than standard ones, in fact I don’t believe it to be any edge at all.”