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05 Jul 2016
by CARPology
Would you use a Zig Rig in a lake with a depth of 5ft or below?
We ask our panel of experts...

QUESTION: If you fished a lake with a depth of 5ft and below, would you still consider using a Zig Rig or would you just rely on pulling the fish down to a baited area on the bottom, even in really high pressure, clear skies etc.? And if that’s the case, what tricks do you use to pull the fish down – active Stick mixes, oils, etc., etc.?

Rob Hughes

'They can be devastating'

“For sure I would fish off the deck, especially in the winter, and that’s when I do most of my fishing. There’s a lot of lakes that respond very well to short Zigs, and two local to me are prime examples: Todber Big Hayes and Mark Bartlett’s Acorn Fishery. In the bleak mid-winter, that time around January and February, when the water is really at its coldest, the area just off the bottom is often where the fish want to be. They will often sit a couple of feet off the deck and an 18” Zig or a tiny pop-up on a long hooklink popped up straight off the lead is a devastating method. It’s also mega easy to use, and a lick of a flavour like Sticky Sweet is ideal to boost it.

“Don’t ignore the bottom mind, a small Stick is a great attractor but steer clear of the oils. In winter it’s a soluble attractor like one of the DNA liquid foods and a splash of CC Moore’s Feed Stim XP. Winner.”

Lewis Read

'I think they'll out fish sticks'

“If they don’t want to dip their faces into some rancid bit of lakebed (or for whatever reason – pH, dissolved O2, decaying bait/organic matter), then no matter what you put out to draw them down is only going to have a pretty negligible effect. 
Most of the time the fish are milling about or drifting lethargically and I genuinely think that unless your super attractive oily Stick mix is there, doing its thing for the short windows of time that the fish are actively browsing/feeding (and in the right position) then it’s unlikely to be a game changer. 
No doubt the oily Sticks worked well – and still would on the right waters where the method hasn’t already been rinsed out – but I really think that a Zig put in front of their faces will out-fish the Stick/bag much of the time. This has certainly been the case for me when I have fished short Zigs in shallow water on a couple of ‘local lakes’.”

Rick Golder

'I use this trick...'

“I would still use a Zig in shallow water if I could tell that the fish were in the upper layers, such as spring or summer days, I just relate it to any other water, and adjust my Zig depth accordingly, say at 3ft in 5ft of water, and with less length of hooklink it can be much easier fishing too.

“That said, shallow lakes can fish well on the bottom in warm weather, and those with high-attract, good quality foodbaits can reap rewards. In warm water temperatures, shallow lakes react to glugged up baits, my favourite being Essential’s GLM Liquid with Squid which I pour over frozen boilies and allow them to thaw out into it. Being a natural additive it can be used at high levels, and with coarse base mixes such as B5 it really releases attraction over long periods of time. Salt in another winner, craved by carp and with massive pulling power.”

Steve Whitby

'No more than 12-inches'

“Suspending baits either from the bottom or from under a float obviously catches fish, but in my view it also foul hooks far more carp than any other method or any other fish. This is, I believe, because of the large size of the carp, the amount of protrusions (fins) along the length of their body and the fact that they don’t all swim at the same depths. Therefore I wouldn’t suspend baits more than the twelve-inches in any water when fishing for carp. I would probably look for an area at the same depth such as a margin or the top of a bar to place my rig on.”

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