1. Bag up
Although lots of anglers use PVA in various guises, not many of them seem to be making the most of one of the most effective presentations out there: the solid PVA bag. The main disadvantages of solid bags is the time it can take to tie them on the bank and, if you want to tie them at home before your session, you’ve always had to splice dozens of short leadcore leaders.
Well, earlier in the year, Avid Carp released a range of new Bag Stems. They allow you to tie dozens of PVA bags before your session and attach them to your main line quickly and easily. Simply slide the lead of your choice onto the Stem, tie your rig onto the ring swivel and construct your PVA bag. Now, when you want to attach it and cast it out, simply tie your main line to the metal loop. If you want to drop the lead on the take, you can do this by using one of the Avid Carp In-Line Safety Leads. Perfect!
Now I know lots of anglers like to use balanced baits and I totally understand why they are so popular. Nowadays, though, how many anglers do you see using over-shotted hookbaits? Hardly any I bet. I absolutely love them, especially when I’m targeting large fish, because the hookbait stays pinned to the deck and doesn’t waft around when a couple of carp enter the area. Plus, if you overshot your rig, the weight will encourage the hook to flip and turn in the carp’s mouth. This is absolutely perfect if you’re targeting wary carp. Take a look at the new Line Droppers – they are perfect!
3. Pin it down
Now most anglers probably use some form of leader or another, but how many of you have tried the new Unleaded Leader from Avid Carp? I’ve used leadcore for most of my fishing but, since using the new Pin Down, I don’t think I’ll ever use it again. The Unleaded Leader material is just as heavy as leadcore, yet it’s super-supple because it has no wire running through the middle of it. It boasts an incredible low diameter and will literally hug every contour of the lakebed, keeping everything out of harm’s way, and increasing your chance of catching. What an edge – so give it a go, it will aid your angling.
4. Little and often
I should imagine that most anglers spod or have spodded at some point and I’d imagine that most anglers introduce most of their bait at the start of the session. Although introducing most of your bait at the start of the session can work, it can sometimes ruin your chances of a bite. Try introducing 10 spodfulls of bait every hour or so. This will keep the swim active, introduce regular attraction and anglers rarely do it. It’s an incredible tactic and one that has served me well on a variety of tricky day ticket venues. Just remember: lay the spod down on the water to avoid spooking any fish which are in the swim; this is very important.
5. Fish for a bite
I regularly see anglers turning up at a lake and absolutely filling it in with bait. Yes, at the right time of the year this may work but, more often than not, it will ruin your chances. It’s much better to assess the situation and alter your approach accordingly. More bait doesn’t necessarily mean more fish so, if conditions are poor and the venue you have been targeting has been fishing hard, try using PVA bag, stringers and single hookbaits. I’ve done really well over the last year using stringers with Chod rigs. It’s something I never see other anglers do and it certainly nicks a bite when everything else is failing. To summarise: think before you bait very carefully.
6. Lead around
My fishing over the last ten years has revolved around feature finding and I’m never happy until I’ve found an area on the lakebed that looks like it may attract carp. Until recently, like lots of anglers, I’ve been using standard Distance Swivel leads which I thought were perfect. That was until I used the new Marker Leads from Avid. Boasting unique grooves, they transmit more information through the rod tip than standard leads and gather debris from the bottom. Rather than a buoyant boom, they have a solid stem that is gives a more accurate reading in weed. Small fins and an aerodynamic body ensure the leads cast straight and true every time.
7. Think big
As a rule, if you walk around any lake in the country, most anglers are using 15mm boilies, size 8 hooks and 2.5oz leads. Over time, I’m certain the fish get used to seeing this and they approach them with a little more caution. If you try something completely different and totally go against the grain, I’m certain you will reap the rewards. My good mate Ian Russell had a cracking season last year on Linear Fisheries’ Unity Lake. Simply by changing to big leads, hooks and boilies, he managed to catch the majority of the lake’s A-Team. If you’re struggling for a bite, think big!
8. Rigs that reset
To a newcomer entering the sport, it can be extremely confusing trying to select the correct rig for the situation you are fishing. The biggest tip I can give any angler is to use a rig that resets itself. I’m certain that carp get away with it time and time again so, when they do eject your rig, it’s important that it will reset itself and continue to be effective. The easiest way to ensure your rig is always going to be working is to use a rig that incorporates a pop-up, micro swivel and Hook Beads. Should a carp eject the rig, it will sink back to the lakebed and the pop-up will return to the prone position. Regardless of how many times the carp get away with it, your rig will always be waiting for the next fish to come along.