In many of the venues that we fish, the carp have ‘seen it all’, so why not help them drop their guard with some bait tricks they won't have seen too often.
For more great tips from top anglers head to this year’s The Big One Show
Feed snowman baits
Snowman hookbaits are effective all year round for tricking big, wary carp.
Here’s a cunning hack that allows you to feed snowman baits alongside those that you’re fishing – which can be a big edge on highly pressured waters, where the fish have wised up to the usual offerings from anglers.
Take a 1cm length of raw, hard spaghetti and push it into the pop-up that will sit on the top of the snowman, then push the other end into your larger bottom bait, before pressing them together.
The result is a perfect replica of your hookbait, which can be fired out a considerable distance with a catapult, or fed via a spod or Spomb.
Get halved baits further
On some waters, when carp encounter areas baited heavily with whole boilies, they can sometimes spook, having come to associate eating these ‘little round balls’ with a trip to the bank to have their photo taken.
Halved baits are a far more covert option and, as an added bonus, they also release flavour and attraction more readily.
If your spot is at short-to-medium range, a crafty way to bait it up is to break the boilies cleanly in half, moisten the surface of the broken boilie, then push the halves back together.
They can then be catapulted ‘whole’ up to a maximum of about 50yds, and only break up once they hit the water.
This is also a great trick if your spot is on an island shelf or sloped margin, and you want the baits to stay put once fed and not roll away.
Balanced hookbaits give awesome hookholds because they fly back into the fish’s mouth further than bottom baits do, and aren’t as easy for the carp to deal with as pop-ups can be.
There are lots of ways to make balanced baits, with most people choosing to shave bits off a pop-up until it only just sinks.
This is fine, although after time the ingress of water into the bait means that it will lose any buoyancy that’s remaining.
An alternative method, and one which allows you to fine-tune the bait’s buoyancy while still keeping it whole, is to push tiny pieces of (unleaded) solder wire into the boilie until you get the exact buoyancy desired.