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Bait
19 Jan 2017
by CARPology
When is the best time to bait up?
Our panel of pros reveal their thoughts when it come to baiting up: When’s the right time? How much? How often? And should you be resting your swim? Here’s the answers…

This month's question...

Do you pick your times to bait up or do you just put it straight in when you start your session? What about ‘topping up’ – what dictates this? And what are your views on ‘resting the swim’? Is this something you only do longish session?

Luke Church

“One thing I will say is, once you put it in, you can’t take it back out! So I would always bear that in mind when starting a fishing trip. I tend to assess the situation I am in, think about the time of year, the fish stocks and the weather conditions too before baiting up and this tends to determine how much bait I will apply.

“Typically at the start of a session I would bait up each rod using my Gardner throwing stick, applying my preferred bait; normally I will introduce around 30 or 40 boilies on to each spot. If I was down for a day session or 24hrs for example, I would be more inclined to just top up with a similar amount after every bite or with, let’s say three spods if I was using particle. On the other hand, if I was down for a longer session and I had baited with a bigger volume, then I would normally wait until I have had at least a couple of bites off a spot before topping up. I would then top up a bit more, most likely five to ten spods again if using particle.

“Regarding resting the swim, I don’t generally do longer sessions so most of the time when I go, I tend to fish the swim to its full potential for as much time as possible. If I was down for a long session then yes, leaving the swim for a few hours whilst showering or having a walk round wouldn’t do the swim any harm and could be very beneficial for a quick bite or two on your return.”

Ian Lewis

“When it comes to baiting up, I tend to pick my times dependent on the situation. I prefer to feel my way in, perhaps starting with singles and if I’m confident this is the best available swim choice, I will then introduce bait, generally enough to get me my first bite and then build on it from there. On some venues I will opt to put bait out just on dark if the birdlife can cause me problems.

“I also tend to top up the swim after each bite and if there is a lull in action or if there has been activity in the swim but no bites forthcoming as they may well have cleaned me out, so I will top up hopefully giving me another chance before they completely move off elsewhere.

“I do think you need to be mindful of how and when you top up the swim, as at times you can actually spook shy feeding carp with too much commotion, so timing can be critical. That said, on commercials or heavily stocked venues, the sound of bait delivery can actually create a feeding response, so in this situation I would top up after every bite or simply keep it going in steadily.

“Resting a swim on small or pressured waters during the quiet times of the day or when there is pressure elsewhere, I think can improve your catch-rate. In fact, on one particular venue I would introduce bait periodically through the day, much like pre-baiting or priming, leaving the lines out through the day and then getting them in early evening. This approach can often result in some frantic action.”

Big bait can bring results, especially after spawning

Rick Golder

“I think picking your times to bait up is one of the most vital aspects of bait application. I’ve seen on many occasions anglers go into a swim, and on the fish, only to bait up on top of them and ruin it all. If I find the fish, I may well only fish singles until after bite times, or if I’m sure they’ve gone only then go at it with amounts of bait.

“I don’t think big fish on pressured lakes tolerate being baited up on, so I’m at my most confident baiting up and even getting my rigs in when they’re not present. A great tactic I’ve used when fishing locally was to go and bait up the evening before and then just flick my rigs in the next day, which gives you the best of everything stealth-wise.

“If I’m sure the fish are feeding and will pass me at some point, and that I’m in the right area, I’ll put it all in at the start and look to build on it as I have action, but otherwise I will trickle it as the session dictates. I always consider that if I have to move; I don’t want too much out in my initial swim working against me.

“I used to love the serious big bait tactic, like 6-8kgs in one go, but as it’s more used now I find it less effective, however, don’t ignore it as it can bring spectacular results, especially after spawning.

“I never rest a swim as I don’t really do long enough sessions, in any case, I don’t really buy into that theory, as when I’m fishing I want my rigs in as much as I can!”

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