CARPology Bait

How should you bait up in spring?

Should you increase the amount of bait you apply?


With the water beginning to warm up, do you look at increasing the amount of bait you apply to the water/swims you are fishing, and if so, do you: (A) Bait up prior to your session? (B) During your session – and if so, how much and how would you apply it (e.g. little and often)? Or (C) after your session has finished, and would this be randomly spread or put into specific areas?

Nick Burrage

“With the weather and water temperature warming up, I try not to get too excited with my baiting up. Many seem to think ‘fill it in’ as it will improve their catches… This is never the case as I see it! Little and often is the best way forward. Working from the backend of a session, I only introduce a small amount of baits, just to keep the carp in the area/areas I wish to fish on my next session. Then on my return I fish it ‘sneaky’ as I call it, just a few tasters and a rig; leaving me in a position to keep the disturbance right down.”

Calum Kletta

“Early spring time for me is all about using small amounts of bait and singles while I am actually fishing, just enough to get a bite as the fish are waking up from their winter slumber. At the same time, I will be trying to get the fish used to the bait that I plan to use for the coming season. This will involve sprinkling a bit of bait in a few spots, particularly any shallow suntraps the fish will be sneaking into. As the water further warms I will start applying more bait per session as the fish search for food supplies as they prepare for spawning, and you will be competing with the natural food larders as well.”

Lewis Read

“I’ve a strong preference to bait up when I leave and then to pop to the lake midweek to bait up (normally coinciding with a work night) to keep my bait trickling in across several areas. To be honest, I haven’t ever succeeded by piling a lot of bait into one area at the backend of the winter – it’s an act of utter futility until the water temperatures come up late in May. Instead, I feed 30-40 boilies ‘here and there’, just enough to get them used to grazing on lightly baited spots in several key areas that I know they visit regularly. With this baiting approach the birds don’t home in on any one baited area. By using this approach I am confident that when I do find a pod of active fish I can set traps over lightly baited areas with minimal disturbance (which inevitably ends the fish melting off).”

Rick Golder

“As spring arrives I increase my bait amounts, as it is generally the most productive time for bites, and consequently bait application. However, at this time of year the fish are spread out a lot more, so I find pre-baiting certain areas less beneficial, rather than just finding fish and baiting appropriately for bites. If I can find areas where the fish will pass me at sometime, or I’m on numbers of fish, I will bait heavily straightaway and sit on it. This approach has brought me good results, and I’ve often used upwards of 10 kilos of my favourite B5 per session, as long as I know I’ve got the location aspect spot-on. I never bait up as I leave at this time of year due to how widespread the fish are.”