Less Bait Is More In Spring!
Your monthly dose of the finest advice from the finest anglers out there, this time we kick off with advice from Darrell Peck!
Going into spring is a great time to be on the water, and although the fishing can be really productive, it’s easy to lose sight that the water is still very cold. And when the water is cold, the carp tend to be eating less, and often less is more when it comes to bait.
Single pop-ups play a massive part in my angling and spring is definitely when these can be at their most effective. Normally lakebeds tend to be quite barren and rigs that present over low-lying debris can be really effective. I often find myself fishing in an opportunist style during this period—casting directly onto activity that I see—as opposed to plumbing and fishing accurately over bait.
If I am feeding bait then it will very rarely be more than 8-10 large Spombs; sometimes 4-6 Spombs is plenty if I can ensure they are really accurate. Crumbed Cell and sweetcorn with a liberal coating of matching Smart Liquid would be my starting point. These smaller feed items keep the carp feeding for longer periods without actually filling them up and the increased surface area of the bait means that there is even more attraction in the water for the same weight of feed.
Lastly don’t ignore Zig Rigs. The upper layers can be very effective at this time as the water will be warming here quickly when the sun is out. Obviously Zigs can work well at any depth on different days, but from my experience 3-6ft down on the deeper lakes is a great starting point. On shallow lakes mid-depth is always a great shout. Hookbait-wise, the black and yellow Ziggers soaked in the Super Sweet Zig Liquid would be my preferred choice. My top tip here would be to keep your hooks and hooklinks as light as possible—I use size 10 Mixa hooks combined with 0.25-0.30mm hooklink and to reduce tangles I would recommend you use an anti-tangle sleeve.