CARPology Comps 3
Dave Lane Bait

Don't Get Over Excited With The Bait!

If it’s working you can put more in, but you can never take it back out!

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It’s very easy to get carried away by the first little bit of warm sunshine at the end of winter and think that spring has sprung. One day under blue skies and birdsong doesn’t necessarily mean that the carp are ravenous and ready to eat a mountain of bait, no matter how good it is.

March and early April can still be very cold below the surface and the fish will probably only be grazing or sight feeding, although they may well be more mobile than they have been.

A good selection of attractor baits such as the Hi-Visual pop-ups or wafters will be an essential item for casting at any signs of fish. I like to stay nice and mobile as well, and not get too invested in one area or baited swim as carp will start to travel about a lot more and I want to be doing the same. This year, we may still be fishing days only at this stage, it’s hard to tell at the time of writing, but if we are, don’t take this as a negative because day fishing and moving about on sightings is probably the best method of the lot at this time of year.

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Small pre-baited traps around the lake can be beneficial, just a handful of crumbed and broken boilies to investigate on your travels, topped-up when you leave, if they have been productive, and primed ready for the next trip; but not overfed. Liquid additives such as the Smart Liquids are brilliant for boosting spots without giving the carp too much actual food, upping the levels of attraction in the area without filling them up.

Carp will also spend a lot of the time in the mid layers during late winter and early spring so don’t ignore the Zigs, even in shallow lakes this can still be a devastating method at the right time of day. I have caught on Zigs in water as shallow as four-feet by presenting a bait just eighteen-inches off the bottom. You would think that it wouldn’t make a difference when they are that close to the bottom anyway, but it really does. Stay mobile, look for signs, start off lightly and remember the golden bait rule: if it’s working you can put more in, but you can never take it back out.

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