10 clever bait edges for your trip to France
Bait tweaks that could make all the difference during your weeklong annual jolly…
1. Box clever
Top tip: If the venue rules say ‘boilies only’ don’t think you have to bait up like everyone else. Turning your boilies into crumb is within the rules but creates a very different feeding approach. Just make sure you’re able to introduce it easily to your spot.
2. Size is everything
Top tip: Bigger fish don’t necessarily need bigger individual baits. If you think your venue has been dominated by 20mm boilies and bigger, try taking 10-millers or a mix of as many sizes as you can easily take.
3. Ignore the clichés
Top tip: French carp don’t take Zigs. French carp won’t eat a floater. Both of these statements can be completely false, so don’t presume you know ‘the rules’ before you’ve experimented. Carp are carp, whichever side of the Channel they live on.
4. Prepare some specials
Top tip: Euro trips are normally planned well in advance, so use that time to create some irresistible hookbaits. Liquids can be applied weeks before you go and you can experiment with flavours ahead of departure.
5. Go prepared
Top tip: If you like using solid PVA bags, then using your free time before your trip to tie some up can be very productive. However, it’s best to use plastic hookbaits if tying PVA bags well in advance because pop-ups can dry out and their buoyancy can be dramatically altered.
6. Washed-out baits
Top tip: Washed-out baits can be a big edge on pressured holiday venues, because (the theory goes) the fish associate them with leftover food that’s safe to eat. Washing out works best with water from the lake you’re fishing, but you can do it in advance for batches of hookbaits.
7.Put eggs in different baskets
Top tip: If you go to Europe without a Plan B, you can become badly unstuck. Just ask Theresa May. So don’t just take fluorescent hookbaits, for example - take some ‘match the hatch’ versions too. Having a varied armoury allows you to make tweaks until you find the winning combo.
8. Think a bit differently
Top tip: Commercial holiday venues are as pressured as carp waters get anywhere in the world, so don’t be afraid to hit them with something leftfield. A Method feeder wrapped in Vitalin; maggots; peanuts… something a bit different can be a big edge.
9. Don’t ruin your chances
Top tip: The old adage ‘you can’t take it out once you’ve put it in’ can be hugely relevant at unfamiliar venues. Don’t rush to pile in 10kg of bait on the first afternoon if you’re not sure it’s the right thing to do. Bide your time before making big baiting decisions.
10. Running low?
Top tip: For all our good intentions, it can be easy to run low on bait. If you find that’s what’s happening, try halving or crumbling your boilies to maximise the individual number of food items in your swim