Solid PVA Bags of Casters
Kev Hewitt has attained unbelievable results of big fish on short overnighters. Along with precision accuracy and amazing watercraft, Kev has one other great edge: caster bags!
“Casters aren’t just a brilliant winter bait, they work all year round,” states Kev. “I have caught on PVA bags of casters in the edge during the summer months, when fishing has been difficult and they seem to ignore most other traditional baits that they are used to seeing. Maggots are a fantastic winter bait, but I think that casters are actually better as they have the added crunch factor. Carp love the crunch factor, which is part of the reason nuts, such as tigers, are so successful. As they crunch the casters all of the juices are released, and as they feed all the juice starts pouring out of their gills, releasing the caster’s natural attractors into the water and making the carp go wild for them.”
How to prepare casters for solid bags
Casters vary in colour depending on how old they are but the mixture of shades, particularly the lighter ones, stand out a mile off and this makes them very visual so they are an easy target for carp to detect. You must however, remember that though they don’t actually move, they are a living organism and they are not dead.
“Casters are simply part of the life cycle between a maggot turning into a fly. The problem being that a caster is a chrysalis that wants to turn to a fly and all we can do is slow that process down to ensure the casters stay fresh. This means they require a little attention when keeping them. If you expose them to too much air they will go dark and float, but if you give them no air at all they will die. You have to remember they are a living life form and need to breathe. If they get too warm it speeds up the process so you need to keep them cool and in airtight bags. When at home they need to be kept in the fridge and when on the bank, a cool bag with an ice pack should keep them fresh for up to four or five days whilst on the bank.”
The right hookbait
As for hookbaits to fish in conjunction with casters in a PVA bag, Kev is more than happy to use a small balanced pop-up, single grain of plastic corn or plastic casters glued to a piece of rig foam to make a balanced bait.
“Although all these hook-baits are very different, they all work because they have one thing in common: they are all fished as a critically-balanced bait. Casters are light and slow sinking so it would be wrong to fish a heavy bottom bait over the top; it is so, so essential to get your hookbait to match. Something small and balanced is what is needed.”
How to tie up a caster solid bag