At this time of the year you want maximum attraction, and whilst the tendency is to go for over-flavoured single hookers, there are many other ways of achieving the same results, which can, at times, prove more successful than just the single bait lure approach.
With ‘tricks in a bag’ the permutations are endless, and so I am going to mention a few tricks that can give you a decisive edge, but the repertoire is endless. I have singled out the components or/and ingredients we tend to use so you have a base to work from. The whole scheme revolves around smell, taste and vision for attraction, and also the fact that the package can be nutritious!
1 Bits and pieces
The base revolves around mixing a soluble fish protein extract (CC Moore’s Marine Amino Compound or Richworth’s Aqua-Stim) with Nashbait’s Crustacean Slicker Oil and dried Gammarrus; this creates a nice additive in its own right for use in the PVA bag but it is better to add a few more bits though: Nashbait’s Bug Life and some maggots and casters really give the bag a big pull. I tend to place the hookbait in the bag first and then add the shrimp/fish concoction (a tad messy I admit!) followed by the maggots and dry mix last. When this hits the lakebed you get all sorts of trick bits and pieces whizzing off.
I hope it goes without saying that you will need a supple hooklink with this approach and I find anything in 15lb spot-on. Tie the neck of the bag with a PVA tape as opposed to a string as this will reduce the residue.
Part of the base mix for the Tricks In A Bag approach
2 Tea bag trick
Another little wrinkle is to adopt the ‘tea bag’ (a PVA bag filled with PVA-friendly liquid) inside the larger PVA bag. The ‘tea bag’ will again be filled with a liquid such as the fish extract, or an alternative is tiger nut extract around the hookbait. Tag this into a larger bag and fill with either dry or semi-moistened bag or boilie mix. The addition of a few germs will further add to the overall attraction.
Left: Nashbait’s Bug Life Juice is a nice addition to the mix. Right: The finished product. Okay, it’s a tad messy but it’s packed to the PVA bag rafters with attraction
3 Hookbait options
Experiment with bottom and slightly popped up baits, and again, to be different, why not try bugs that are sold for Zig fishing? You’d be surprised how effective this little trick can be, particularly early in the season and later in the summer when they are feeding on naturals. The whole lot can be streamlined or enlarged according to the distance being fished. I shall add another dimension to this approach when the weather warms up, a nice little trick that very few carp have seen – but more on that one later..!