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11 minutes ago, yonny said:

This time of year temps are more important than food so for me it has to be a very bright, very colourful pop up on the deck, or a bit of black foam mid water. There's nothing wrong with super-charging you pop ups so you have the attraction to match the colour though.

With the temp being so low this time of year would they be interested in feeding in the mid water levels ?? 

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Just now, Simon Hinson said:

With the temp being so low this time of year would they be interested in feeding in the mid water levels ?? 

There'll not be that much interest in feeding anywhere tbh mate. Your best bet is to have a hookbait where the carp are located which at this time of year is midwater for 95% of the time. They will feed on the deck but those feeding periods will be very, very short. From now until mid May is the best time for zigs in my experience mate.

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18 minutes ago, framey said:

Might be warmer of the bottom

It's defo warmer off the bottom. Water becomes more dense the colder it is so the coldest water sinks to the deck. It's not comfortable for the fish which is why when they do feed on the deck in winter the feeding periods tend to be very, very short.

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I would usually go for a strongly flavoured pop up this time of year, mine are a washed out orange/pink colour, (not sure how they turned out like that, white Polaris basemix with robin red, Scottish salmon oil, frankfurter flavour and  fluro pink dye and they came out orange/pink!) although my last session last week, all the bites were on fish meal/robin red bottom baits fished over 2/3kg of freebies. Fishing high flavoured fluro pop ups in isolation didn’t do a bite! 

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1 minute ago, Carpmaster said:

I had them slurping dog biscuits off the top the other day well those that didn’t sink 😂😂

A good food bait for me I’ve got an ongoing test that I’ve been putting in action hi vis colours an strong flavours against a good food bait so far it’s the food bait that’s winning but it’s still early days I’ll keep you posted 

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I personally wouldn't have all my eggs in one basket maybe use one smelly bait, one bright one and another one bright and smelly , you never know what will work on the day and bringing the changes could get you an extra bite, I've never found "the one" hookbait that works all the time, I have a few I am confident will work sometimes though 👍

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20 minutes ago, elmoputney said:

I personally wouldn't have all my eggs in one basket maybe use one smelly bait, one bright one and another one bright and smelly , you never know what will work on the day and bringing the changes could get you an extra bite, I've never found "the one" hookbait that works all the time, I have a few I am confident will work sometimes though 👍

The one ...

It doesn’t exist lol

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7 hours ago, Simon Hinson said:

Is there one bait that you have full confidence in on any lake ? If you turned to a new lake an had no prior knowledge what would be your go to bait ???

I make all my own bait mate, have done always, I’m still using the same fishmeal/robin red basemix, with shellfish sense appeals, salmon oil, betaine, same flavours and additives (with a few slight tweaks as the availability of ingredients have changed over the years - richworth flavour exchanged for same flavour but from nutrabaits stable as richworth became unavailable etc) I first developed this mix nigh on 20yrs ago and have stuck with it ever since, it’s worked everywhere I’ve taken it, I’ve got such supreme confidence in it, I don’t even think about bait when arriving at a venue, just concentrate fully on location and tactics suitable for the venue/swim choice/prevailing conditions etc knowing the bait, fished properly will do the the business. I have a small collection of fruity or meaty hi-vis pop ups if needed, and I roll my own cork ball pop ups that are identical to the bottom bait basemix, I just add more egg albumin to harden the mix up and air dry them in the airing cupboard for a few days to get them rock solid, then they last for ages. I only make up 30 odd pop ups at a time, enough to last 2-3 months. I’m so confident in my bait it doesn’t cross my mind that it won’t work, if I blank, it’s because I didn’t read the situation correctly or they just weren’t having it, not the bait. Keeps things simple for me. 

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1 minute ago, ouchthathurt said:

I make all my own bait mate, have done always, I’m still using the same fishmeal/robin red basemix, with shellfish sense appeals, salmon oil, betaine, same flavours and additives (with a few slight tweaks as the availability of ingredients have changed over the years - richworth flavour exchanged for same flavour but from nutrabaits stable as richworth became unavailable etc) I first developed this mix nigh on 20yrs ago and have stuck with it ever since, it’s worked everywhere I’ve taken it, I’ve got such supreme confidence in it, I don’t even think about bait when arriving at a venue, just concentrate fully on location and tactics suitable for the venue/swim choice/prevailing conditions etc knowing the bait, fished properly will do the the business. I have a small collection of fruity or meaty hi-vis pop ups if needed, and I roll my own cork ball pop ups that are identical to the bottom bait basemix, I just add more egg albumin to harden the mix up and air dry them in the airing cupboard for a few days to get them rock solid, then they last for ages. I only make up 30 odd pop ups at a time, enough to last 2-3 months. I’m so confident in my bait it doesn’t cross my mind that it won’t work, if I blank, it’s because I didn’t read the situation correctly or they just weren’t having it, not the bait. Keeps things simple for me. 

100 per cent bang on I used richworth shame they stopped I’ve used the nutrabaits products for yrs.  confidence in your bait as a take anywhere has got to be the most confidence boosting factor there is 

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6 hours ago, Simon Hinson said:

Is there one bait that you have full confidence in on any lake ? If you turned to a new lake an had no prior knowledge what would be your go to bait ???

Everyone could recommend a bait they are confident in, but that doesn't mean it will be right for you, most will catch if you put it in the right place but confidence only comes from results and for me, I am most confident when I have been prebaiting for a while, so that also brings cost into the equation, but one thing I will advise, talk to the bait companies you are interested in about what you want, or you are trying to achieve, if they are good they will be helpful and steer you towards the right bait for your situation, 

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2 hours ago, elmoputney said:

Everyone could recommend a bait they are confident in, but that doesn't mean it will be right for you, most will catch if you put it in the right place but confidence only comes from results and for me, I am most confident when I have been prebaiting for a while, so that also brings cost into the equation, but one thing I will advise, talk to the bait companies you are interested in about what you want, or you are trying to achieve, if they are good they will be helpful and steer you towards the right bait for your situation, 

Very true mate, if we held a poll now about the best bait manufacturers right now, I’m sure that every major bait manufacturer would pop up. It’s all personal confidence, I have used premier base mixes religiously for years as when I was first getting into bait making, premier baits far out fished the mainline basemixes I was using. So I’ve used premier since then and I’ve caught so many on it that I wouldn’t dream of using anything else. This is not to say that mainline baits aren’t as good, their phenomenal success shows just how good a bait they are, my initial failings were probably down to my ineptitude at initial bait making! But regardless, as a result of my own experience, I rate premier over other baits, yet ironically, my pb 42lb common was caught on a mainline red plum pop up after I found myself without my usual homemade baits... go figure! I caught a target 37lb+ common after 4yrs of applying the bait to the water on maggots! (I had left the bait in the freezer at home by mistake.) The important thing is to find a bait that you’re confident in using - see what the going bait is on your water, ask locals, your tackle dealer etc, or as Elmo quite rightly says, talk to the bait manufacturers to see what they suggest. But once you’ve got a bait going, you catch on it, you build your confidence up and that part of the carp fishing jigsaw is solved to an extent. It’s all a learning process mate, but I try to simplify things to 3 main aspects. Bait, rigs/tactics and location. Walking onto a water wondering if your bait will work, will the rigs work, are you fishing in the right place... well if I’m worried about all of that, I can’t fish effectively. But I’m in the fortunate position where I can walk onto a water and I am confident - through years of experience that my bait will work, I know through the same experiences that my rigs will do their intended function, so I can put those aspects to one side and concentrate solely on location and the correct tactic for the given situation. I also look it as a campaign as opposed to lots of individual day sessions/overnighters. One or two blanks, especially at the beginning of the “campaign” doesn’t dent my confidence in baits or rigs as I know they have worked before, I just haven’t unlocked the key to that particular venue. If I need to tweak things then I look at other variables. If I’m blanking repeatedly, yet everyone else around me was hauling, then I would have to take note and take stock, when I fished hamworthy lake in 2002, I found that I was stringing blanks together when others were catching - I had my location all wrong, carp were in my swim, but my tactics were wrong. (I fished the margins a lot when a lot of fish came to pva bags in open water, changing to pva bags in open water and I started catching too) nowadays, if I’m not catching, I am confident that it’s not the bait, it’s probably down to me! 

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On 02/03/2021 at 11:26, yonny said:

It's defo warmer off the bottom. Water becomes more dense the colder it is so the coldest water sinks to the deck. It's not comfortable for the fish which is why when they do feed on the deck in winter the feeding periods tend to be very, very short.

Water is densest at 4degrees Celsius, so water warmer or colder than this will be above it. Even in the middle of winter the coldest water is usually above the bottom. 

It is this reason, really the same as when you run a bath, that you can feel different temperature 'streams'; as the water mixes the temperature levels out all over, however there can be warmer or colder patches in a lake. 

Bear in mind deeper lakes can take longer to warm up. 

 

On 02/03/2021 at 09:35, Simon Hinson said:

This time of year which if any is the best thing with bait. Is it the brightest colour or a washed out bait but strong smelling/leaking attraction ?

It really depends on where I am fishing, how well I know the lake, and even whether I have been baiting up regularly, (all the way through the winter season). 

If I have been baiting up continually, then whatever colour my food source bait is. 

If I haven't then it gets interesting, and complicated! 

My usual start on these lakes is a popped up yellow pineapple bait on one rod. The other rod is a bright pink Spiced Garlic pop-up. 

One or the other tends to be most productive. I use that one until it stops working. 

 

Strangely I have never done particularly well on washed out or white baits, with 1 exception, Ballistic B. 

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