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Baiting Strategies


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I have been looking at a lot of baiting strategies lately and wondered how you apply your bait.


When i was fishing longer sessions, 4 to 5 days at a time i would usually trickle a line of bait inbetween my chosen spots.


But now im a short session angler i have completely changed my tactics, concerntrating on higher attractions levels and using as little bait as possible.


What do you do and why?

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On the short sessions I've been fishing recently, I've mostly been using hi-vis singles, or at most a few handfuls of bait.


On the week long french trip in May, I used 10kg of Cell (over 3 rods), so it really depends on what kind of session I'm fishing. I'm quite comfortable baiting very sparsely or filling it in, I'm useless at (and am not very fond of) spodding though :)

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I've constantly changed my baiting strategy to suit the water, and sometimes to be different to other anglers.


Years ago I found the "weekend syndrome" could occur, and carp could get spooked or made more wary (on a particular water I was fishing) if on a Friday night you put in any boilies.

On this lake I eventually ended up just fishing with stringers, and then putting all the rest of my bait when I left on Sunday, although if I did the occasional longer session, the carp would take a few days to move onto a bed of bait, but once in spot would stay feeding, so I would spod in a load and on day 3 or 4 start to catch. Difficult to accept that you may blank for that long, but during the days I would spend time stalking.


At Earith, I tended to bait up with a kilo of pellets and a few chops every day, usually spodded in, then fish PVA bags over the top filled with pellets, chops and whole boilies. I had started off fishing stringers after spodding in, but a few other anglers started copying (and they'd noticed I was getting results, so it makes sense to follow) so I changed to bags. I was also pre-baiting with the boilies, again, putting in at least a kilo every week.


For the last few seasons on Brackens, very few anglers would put much bait in, rules made it difficult; so I started putting in "massive" stringers, and casting plenty of them in. I'd then fish over the top with another stringer. I also had results after having made up PVA mesh or bags full of groundbait, and again, putting a kilo of groundbait in at a time.

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  • 3 weeks later...

It seems that the current concept being pushed by Bait companies is to have a boilie, a groundbait, matching pellets and dip, yet the baits (boilies) are not a long term food source in their own right.


How much do you think that this concept as it stands is reducing results?

Or do many not see that the baits are attractor baits that work best in limited amounts and do not guarantee long term results?


Dynamite, Mainline, Nash and others do all the same thing in trying to convince you that you need the whole package.


The reality is that you DON'T have to go with it, but the bait manufacturers really do want you to, after all, it is the Smokey Mackeral Pellets going with the Smokey Mackeral Boilies and the Smokey Mackeral Groundbait that caught you the fish


That same fish may actually get caught on a SM boilie baited up with Carp Pellets over Vitalin, but the concept is sold complete.



Or are those anglers who are still of the continual food source application quietly (!) catching more than those who are "flummoxed" by this fashion that is being advertised.


My faith for a long time after reading words by Ken, Tim Paisley, Rod Hutchinson (and others) has been for the Food Source boilie continually being fed, as results are so much better over a long period.


This question may also tie in with these:



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My strategy is to have no baiting strategy at all. Far better, in my mind, to show up, assess requirements and bait up, or not, accordingly.


Simplistic? Well yes, but there are no preconceptions involved. Forethought is, frequently, too much thought.



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  • 2 weeks later...

I dont bait up if im fishing the weekend simply for the fact that if i get down on a friday, i wont fish until the night, rods out for the full day, walk round, climb trees and drink everyones coffee. I then cast out 2 hours before darkness and fire 15 dark boilies in, no more, no less and then wait. I will only ever put a bit of bait in if im fishing particle mid week and theres very few people been on the lake or are on.

Its a very busy water and if someone goes and puts in more than 2 kg, ya might as well go home as it just seems to kill it off completely, hence the reason why im doing more and more stalking as more and more people are going for a big spread of boilies and sitting on it for a week for 2-4 fish max, but mostly only the one. I dunno if its working though cause im still not catching anything haha

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Usually I'm there for a quick overnighter so I focus on putting a bag or a stringer on top of them. If I've not seen fish (but suspect I'm in the right area) I might stick or catapult 20 baits in the general area of my hookbait to put a scent marker out to pull fish into the general area that might be cruising. This could be as wide as a five-a-side pitch.


I've also recently upp'ed my attraction levels in my boilies for several reasons:


- I'm not there often enough for my bait to blow (and I'm not applying enough)

- I'm not using a lot of bait. I think a kilo of high attract boilie (ie over flavoured) will repel them. But as I'm only using a handful they can tolerate it more.

-I'm looking for an immediate result rather than 'getting them onto it'.

- I've started to roll my own bait again- so I'm starting to get more interested in it again. Stupidly I fell into a rut of "Carp will eat anything if its in the right place"- nope- lesson learned...back to applying very high quality bait and tinkering with levels for me.

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