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Features
15 Mar 2017
by CARPology
Do spods scare or attract carp?
What the biggest names in the game think on this subject.

Iain Macmillan

"There is definitely a time and place for spodding, the difference is knowing when to do it. It's fair to say I've done my share of spodding on various waters over the years and had some amazing results but do it at the wrong time and you'll ruin your chances of a bite before you've started. For example, Linear Fisheries in Oxford, it's ruled by the spod as bait boats are not allowed and from my findings the main bite time is from first light until around 11am, so why do I constantly see anglers slinging loaded spods around at bite time? I always tend to do my baiting up at Linear around 1-2pm when my chances of a bite off the bottom are slim.

"Now just to throw that scenario completely on its head, I've actually had bites when I'm spodding but I'll only be doing so as I would have had a bite and will be simply topping up the spot with half-a-dozen spods, that's enough!

"Another thing I see a lot of is fish showing in an area, anglers turning up, or simply moving onto showing fish, and they'll then spend the next hour with a marker rod and spod. Now all they've done there after the great effort to move onto the fish is scare the living daylights out of them, and I'd guess there wouldn't be a carp within half a bloody mile of where your marker float is! The fish are telling you where they are, all you need to do in situations like this is fish a single bait or a small Stick or bag of pellets, that is then classed as good angling, not by bombarding the place with buckets and buckets of spod mix." 

Rob Hughes

"Do spods scare carp? No! Whilst there maybe occasions where the fish can be a bit tetchy and spods can put them off, I think the majority of the time on reasonably well-stocked venues, a carp will come to the sound of a spod as it is inquisitive and it knows there is food around. Some waters are spod waters because everyone does it and the carp have caught on. Others are not because the fish are not used to them. Where carp are used to spods I am convinced that the sound of one hitting the water will attract fish. Where they are not it may well be an edge worth investigating! Match anglers slap the water and the method had been banned for being so effective, and if spods always scared fish, the Spodacopter Rig wouldn't work! The answer is always going to be water specific though. The heavier the stock, the less scary the spod!"

Leon Bartropp

"It rather depends on the water you are fishing, there are some lakes that I have tickets for that I wouldn't even take a marker rod with me, let alone a spod as the fish are so wary about anything out of the ordinary in their environment. I'd still use it in the edge to deposit a small tight patch of bait. Then again, on the other hand, I fish lots of waters where I wouldn't be without one because on these types of waters, the spod hitting the water with your feed is like ringing a dinner bell to them. It also deposits an area of bait very tightly and deters the dreaded seagulls!" 

Lewis Read

"This very much depends on the type of fishery you visit. On the heavily stocked waters, where the fish compete for food, then the dinner bell affect of a spod at least makes them aware that food is being deposited in an area (they can then decide if they want to take the risk and feed on it). However, on the sparsely stocked big fish waters, the disturbance caused by baiting up will inevitably clear the swim of fish – in which case you need to time your baiting so that other anglers effectively push the fish back towards you again when they bait up." 

Simon Crow

"I think it depends on the water. At some heavily stocked lakes, the carp definitely know that a spod brings them food, much the same as how a demand feeder works. I've seen it happen whilst fishing several waters like Brasenose at Linear, Fenland's Willow Lake, Horseshoe, etc. fish taking Zigs whilst baiting with the spod right above them. However, on the majority of lakes, I believe anything which hits the water's surface with any kind of noise, no matter how accustomed the carp are to it, spooks them, sometimes momentarily and at other times completely out of the swim. A stealthy approach to carp fishing is always how I go about my angling, which is why I prefer a bait boat to thrashing the water to a foam by casting."

Gary Bayes

"I hate spodding, all that casting and reeling in but on most waters I've spodded it hasn't scared them one bit! The only time I spod a lot is floater fishing, with fine or mixed floating pellet such as the (soon-to-be-released) Riser Pellet. I've spodded right on top of fish feeding on the surface and if anything it seems to make them more interested. I prefer balls of groundbait to spodding, you don't have to reel in so much and I used to think the commotion of balling it in would spook them but it doesn't seem to. A straight lead seems to be the scariest splash carp react to; putting bait out, any method isn't too much of a spooky thing." 

Martin Locke

"Spods originated from the Kent area, Jim Gibbinson I believe, when they were known as doppelgangers or something like that. Us lads on Brooklands couldn't say that properly so we called them Spudwangers, then spods for short and so the name stuck. The early homemade models were made from shampoo bottles and such like, then myself and Micky Sly made some 'proper' spods, one of which I still have with 'Lockey's Nut Launcher' engraved on the side! That's the history lesson over!

"That apart, as carp anglers, we always like to keep some sort of stealth to our approach so there's nothing worse than the bloke in the next swim thrashing the water to a foam when were expecting a 'pull', even worse when said angler then catches a couple straight after the 'air attack'!

"On low stocked and shallow waters I would say to pick your times to bait up when you least expect a take, whilst on runs and high stock waters, carp are used to the commotion and often associate spodding as the dinner bell, with takes coming immediately or soon after baiting up. After all, they have never been caught on the free bait falling from a spod... apart from the prolific waters where tying the hooklink to the spod is 'the one' further proof that they don't spook them. Try it, you'll be amazed." 

Ian Poole

"I've done a lot of spodding over the years and consider it to be an integral part of my approach. Horseshoe Lake was the venue where I started and to compete with the regulars you had to get good very quickly. Horseshoe is possibly the most famous 'spod' water of them all and although not every lake responds in the same way, I have used the method successfully on a lot of venues and as such have confidence in taking it to most places and doing well. In fact, I don't think there is a water around where it wouldn't produce fish – you just have to think carefully about what you are putting out and exactly when you do it. Like any method of baiting up, when done clumsily, spodding does have the potential to scare fish and it can be overdone on some waters. Despite this, I'm a fan and would feel robbed of an extremely efficient carp-catching method if I didn't have my spod set-up on the bank with me for the vast majority of sessions."

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