How to make Gaz Fareham's winter mix
Gaz Fareham's winter spod mix...
CARPology: Talk us through your winter mix? What goes in it and why?
Gaz Fareham: “For a long time now I have based my winter approach on a few simple things: boilie crumb, corn and maggot, and I’ll breakdown each aspect and explain why now.
“Boilie crumb is a superb winter bait, especially if it’s a boilie that is suited to cold-water use, like Manilla, with a low fat content and high digestibility and quick breakdown. I rarely actually put any whole boilie in during the winter months and for a long time I have relied on crumb to do the work for me. I don’t usually fish over much crumb during my actual sessions but I do like to give any areas I am fishing a good hit of pure crumb before I leave, or even a few days in advance of a session if I can make it down. The tiny particles you get when using pure crumb work their way into whatever substrate you are fishing over, but especially with silt they will stay there for a long time, providing attraction and keeping the carp working for their meal - it is maximum attraction but with minimum actual food.
“The second key addition to my approach I like to use during the really cold months is sweetcorn, usually liquidised and with a sprinkling of whole grains. I rate corn massively in the cold and it just seems to be one of those baits that is timeless and never loses its appeal. It’s also cheap and readily available and something of a forgotten bait as well. As well as being sweet, highly attractive, and digestible, it is also bright, which with the dulled senses in the cold-water is also something of an advantage. A sprinkling of corn in the mix in clear water is a sure-fire way to perk the interest of anything passing by.
“The last addition, and something I am never far from in the winter unless they are banned, is maggot. Personally I prefer whites as I like the added visual aspect you get, especially over silt, although I know a lot of guys that swear by red, potentially linking in to the similarity between them and bloodworm, a rich natural resource the carp are likely to be harvesting through the winter in the silty areas. Maggots are just an undeniably devastating winter bait, but when used in conjunction with the crumb and corn I feel they become even better, with all three elements working together in different ways to hit a number of bases on the attraction and nutrition front.”
CARPology: Will you prepare this the day before or on the day?
Gaz Fareham: “I don’t actually make up the mix until I need it; the liquid from the corn will make the maggots float if you leave them in a damp mix, and it is also a recipe for a thousand escapees! I keep the elements separate until I need them and then make up the required amount for each bait up, although that said, Manilla crumb is a great drying agent to stop your maggot sweating.”
CARPology: Nice tip! How will you introduce this on a typical winter session?
Gaz Fareham: “I always use a Spomb, unless it is close enough to apply by hand but usually the spots I’m fishing in the winter are out in the lake, so it’s the necessary evil of a Spomb.”
CARPology: Finally, what rig and hookbait do you use over the top?
Gaz Fareham: “I tend to fish either a 12mm balanced hookbait over this mix, like a Manilla White One, or my maggot rig on the short Amnesia D rig, and almost always nick on a little PVA bag of crumb and maggot to give the hookbait a little extra boost. GLM powder is superb for ‘drying’ off your maggot hookbaits as well to avoid any PVA dramas, and with a quick drop into the pot and a shake, you take away any risk of any holes or breakdown via a wet maggot or hookbait coming into contact with the mesh.”
How to put together Gaz’s winter mix
1. Whilst you can use one of the boilie crumbing devices on the market, the quickest and easiest method is to use a food processor. You can blitz up large volumes of boilies into a fine crumb within seconds.
2. Now it’s time to blitz up some sweetcorn.
3. With your crumb and liquidised sweetcorn added to a bait bucket, add the maggots and some whole grains of sweetcorn.
4. Finally, finish off with a good glug of liquid liver. Mix and then Spomb out!