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James Anderson Features

How Carp Feed

Ever wondered why the big fish ‘boilie-only' approach is so successful? Fish expert, James Anderson reveals all...


Says James: "Boilie fishing presents a carp with quite a unique feeding situation that doesn't often occur naturally. Baiting with boilies is generally carried out with a throwing stick or a catapult which gives a good spread of bait over a larger area. In fact, some may say boilie fishing is best with a good spread of boilies over anything up to a tennis court-size area of lakebed. The reason for this is the way carp have to feed over a wide spread of individual baits." 


As James has mentioned in previous 'How Carp Feed' features, when feeding over particle baits and smaller natural feed items, carp tend to hoover feed up and sift through edible and inedible items. "However, when presented with a wide spread of large individual feed items such as boilies, they are specifically trying to take that one item at a time rather than sifting through fine particles," reveals James. 


"Once a boilie has been consumed, they must then move onto the next one which involves quite a large movement. The fish must pull up slightly then swim to the next mouthful and when fish are feeding aggressively this can be quite a quick process. This large movement between mouthfuls can potentially make hooking fish much easier."


"After taking a hookbait, the fish moves off to the next boilie and the distance between each bait means that as it moves the hooklength tightens causing the hook to catch hold in the mouth. It's this tightening of the hooklength that triggers the self-hooking properties of the rig, so anything that increases the chance of the carp tightening the hooklength and moving off is going to increase the number of hooked fish."


"So when sticking out boilies, it may be best to actually aim for a wide spread of bait that you can easily cast two rods on to – and don't worry about being too accurate. Get the fish moving around and competing for each boilie and they can become very catchable. This is in complete contrast to particle fishing when accuracy is vital to concentrate feeding and where short hooklengths should be used. When boilie fishing longer hooklinks can be used to allow for the increased in fish movement while feeding," concludes James, who reveals before signing off that next month he'll be explaining how carp feed on surface baits. 

This article was taken from issue 110 of CARPology magazine. For the very latest articles and best deals subscribe to CARPology magazine.