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Been fishing for over 50 yrs but still learning about Carp fishing. After eight nights this trip I've just realized the importance of feeding the swim enough to keep them over your bait. I've not been giving them anywhere near enough. I'd appreciate any tips about bait, rigs, tactics etc from you guys. Thanks in advance.

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To bait or not to bait, that is the question. (Apologizes to William Shakespeare.) After location, possibly the single most difficult question in carp fishing. Not enough and they'll clear you out and move on pretty rapid, too much and you can spook them or they fill up before they get to your hookbait.

Carp being cold blooded are limited in the colder months as their digestion system can slow right down. In the warmer months, they can pretty well eat and pass out the vent at will. I read about one bloke who fed 5kgs of boilies in a small (out of bounds area!) and 8 large carp cleared the area within 10 minutes. Dissolved oxygen also pays a part in the equation and during warm spells, they can be seen just hanging in the upper layers and even bait drifted over their noses will be avoided.

After spawning time and up until late autumn, I often take a 15 litre bait bucket that is over half filled with a spod mixture of hemp, foreign finch mix, pigeon conditioner and sweetcorn and will use all of it over a 10 hour trip on my local days only park lake. I've had fish within seconds of the spod hitting the surface and at times the spots are boiling like a cauldron.

I normally bait each spot (2 rods) with about 10 large spods at the start of the session and add another couple at least every hour or top up after a fish. Most bites occur within the last 2 hours of daylight and so I normally give the spots a good top up then.

If you haven't caught in 8 trips, you've got to try to something different.

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8 hours ago, Gary Neal said:

Been fishing for over 50 yrs but still learning about Carp fishing. After eight nights this trip I've just realized the importance of feeding the swim enough to keep them over your bait. I've not been giving them anywhere near enough. I'd appreciate any tips about bait, rigs, tactics etc from you guys. Thanks in advance.

Welcome to Carp.com.

Every trip is a learning experience, and I'm willing to bet the majority of us get it wrong far more than we get it right, although experience can improve the ratio of getting it right.

 

If you put too much bait in the fish can feed and feed and not even get anywhere near the hookbait.

Don't put enough in, they might not feed confidently enough to pick up the hookbait.

An ever going circle...

The simple answer is put in enough to get them interested, you can always put in more later, but you can't take too much out.

It may be cast in a single PVA bag, stringer or mesh, leave it for a couple of hours then top it up. This is my usual starting point.

 

As for rigs, KISS, Keep it simple stupid. Don't confuse yourself with rigs. A simple line aligned, knotless knotted rig will catch most fish going.

It is only if you are sure that you are missing takes that you might need to change things.

My usual approach with normal bottom baits is look at hookholds:

In the edge of the lip, losing fish, not enough feed out there, and/or hair not long enough

If the fish is hooked back of the mouth, close to the throat, the fish are preoccupied feeding, hair too long. You may need to 'spook' them, with a short rig and a big lead.

Hooked dead centre of bottom lip, hair and feeding spot on.

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2 hours ago, Golden Paws said:

Found this on the Tube that explains quite well how temperature and dissolved oxygen levels can make a massive difference on whether to bait or not. Mathew Collins has quite a few video's uploaded and they are all worth a look.

His channel is a good watch, he does go into detail about a lot of things...

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