Martin Skoyles: pink
“My current favourite single hookbait in winter is Nutrabaits Plum and Caproic Acid pop-ups in purple. I used these heavily last winter and whether it was down to the colour, flavour or a combination of the two I’m not sure, but they consistently produced more than any other bait I tried. The purple colour does seem to standout really well regardless of the lakebed you are fishing over, it’s a little bit different to the yellow and white hookbaits I see a lot of other anglers using. They are fine to use straight out of the pot but I’ve found I can nick the odd extra bite on the really cold days by giving them a glug in 100ml of Emulsifier and 10ml of Plum and Caproic Acid flavour. Not only does this leak-off extra attraction but it also gives the baits a slight glow, which makes them even more visual.”
Iain Macmillan: washed pink
“The last couple of years have seen me using either orange or whites for my fluoro fishing. I think we are all the same in respects of if we catch a few on a certain colour then that’s the one we will reach for first, it’s simply a confidence thing. Since their release, I’ve been fluking a few on the washed-out pink fluoros which are new from Dynamite. They compliment the new ‘Crave’ bait designed by Terry Hearn but you also get the fluoro colour thrown into the mix but not too overpowering on the colour chart. If I’m using orange as my colour I’ll either use the little 10mm Tutti Frutti’s, again from Dynamite, or Matt at UB Baits has lovingly rolled my corkballs for me for the last couple of years which will ensure the rig will stay up for a couple of days at least. If there’s one colour I don’t use a lot of any longer, that’s yellow. Maybe it’s just because it’s been done to death on most lakes and I’d rather try and be a little different with my pop-ups.”
Kev Hewitt: pink or yellow
“I have to hold my hand up and say that single hookbaits are not my preferred method in winter, as I tend to favour a PVA bag approach. A small mouthful of pellets surrounding my hookbait would be my preferred presentation. Having said that, at times when the bottom is a little choddy or weedy then a single hookbait approach is much more effective and for this I always put my faith in the CC Moore Hellraisers. I have two favoured colours: pink and yellow but if I had to choose just one then it would be the yellow Silent Assassin Hellraiser. It is when fishing single hookbaits that flavours really become important and I am a massive fan of overloading my pop-ups with the Silent Assassin matching Booster Liquid. The flavour itself is a gorgeous tropical fruity scent which leaks off a powerful level of attraction. I have always been a massive fan of bright baits and fruity flavours during the colder months and you just can’t beat the colour yellow. There cannot be many, if any places I have ever fished where I have not had a bite on a yellow hookbait.”
Dave Magalhaes: white - always!
“This is easy for me, regardless of the time of year: a white fluoro has always been my favourite colour to use. For as long as I can remember, there’s always been something about the white ones and I have probably caught more fish on those than anything else. I still remember raving about them in my teens to anyone that would listen and although they’ve become far more popular in recent years, they certainly weren’t in my early days.
“Due to the limited time I get to go fishing, much of which is doing very short overnighters and more often than not I’m casting singles out in the dark. Of all the colours I’ve used, the white ones have out-fished everything else hands down. I don’t actually think the flavour itself makes much of a difference to the fish, just to us when we open the pot and take a big sniff. Having said that, I’ve recently been putting my faith in Sticky’s White Chocolate fluoros and caught my biggest obsession in carp fishing: The Royal 40 at 44lb 2oz on one of them.
“The only time I would contemplate using another colour, would be if I was after a big common. Everyone has different opinions and theories on baits, but I’m a firm believer of yellow (pineapple) for commons. I can only go on what I see and experience myself, and like I mentioned, the yellow ones certainly seem to appeal to the commons!”
Matt Eaton: red, yellow or white
“Over the years I’ve used single hookbaits extensively during the colder months. This type of angling is, most certainly, one of my favourite and most productive ways to fish. I’ve caught on several different colours and, to be honest, would feel restricted were I to only have one at my disposal. I’ve found that the colour that is doing the business changes, not from day-to-day, but from one year to the next. The colour that catches well in November generally goes on to serve me well throughout the winter so it’s important to ring the changes until one stands out. Yellow, white and red are the ones that I always have with me, as they have all done me proud in the cold. If I were forced to choose just one then it would be a 14mm red pop-up flavoured with Mainline’s Sweet Plum. There is something magical about the Sweet Plum and my little red specials have yielded English fish to more than forty-five-pounds with frost on the ground.”
Dave Lane: it doesn't matter
“For years I have sworn by Mainline’s Pineapple Pop-Ups for single bait fishing in the winter months but over the last couple of years I have started to use other alternatives with great success. I have taken a lot of carp on Indian Spice pops and, more recently, the new Fluoro Cell baits that come in a mixed tub of bright pink or white. These little beauties smell incredible and work instantly anywhere you go. I don’t really think the colour is massively important, as I have caught on red, white, orange, pink and yellow over the years but the smell seems to be a huge factor and Pineapple, Indian Spice, Cell and Fruitella are by far my favourite four. Although, even in saying that, if I had to choose one colour and stick to it for the entire winter it would probably be yellow, just because I have caught so many fish on it in the past.
“Of course nowadays I also spend a lot of the winter with my baits nowhere near the bottom, fishing little pieces of foam in the mid-layers and colour does seem to make a difference up there, with black or black and yellow being streets ahead of the rest of the spectrum, quite why this is I have no idea but is certainly seems to work better.”