After catching 21 carp in two-day sessions either side of the New Year I couldn’t wait to have another go at fishing maggots on the day ticket water. So I had a full day on the 20th January 2007. The word is getting out now how effective maggots are at Bayeswater in the winter.
I know it’s a bit cocky to set targets but I reckoned I could catch 20 carp to 20lb in a day. There have been quite a few fish out since the New Year including three twenties, one of which was caught on maggots, so my confidence was high as usual.
Using two rods on swim feeders and two on running leads and PVA stocking bags of maggot, I had five fish in the first hour. True to form though the action didn’t keep up at that pace but I did manage to catch eighteen carp, a young angler walked past while I was playing one fish and took a take on another one of my rods, that’s nineteen and I also lost one, so I had twenty chances but dropped short of my target.
I also didn’t catch my twenty pounder, I think I had four fifteens, several fourteens and all the rest were doubles, except perhaps three about eight to ten pounds.
Again I used flavoured maggots, I always do because time and again I’ve proven they catch more than unflavoured maggot. On the last report I gave the levels used on my favourite flavour blend, one-third intense sweetener to two-thirds Scopex No.1. I’ve always pre-blended this winter ratio, again because it works better to do so. In the warmer months, leading up to October I find one part sweetener to three parts Scopex No.1 best.
I Had A Little Help When 3 Rods Went At The Same Time
Half way through the day I had a quiet spell, so in the PVA stockings I also added 10mm Scopex Classic boilies and 10mm Strawberry Classic boilies. This gave me a mental surge in takes; I had a job to keep up which is when I needed help to land one of my takes. Next time I’m going to use 10mm boilies on two rods and maggot on two rods, hopefully I’ll bag my twenty pounder then.
I’m sure the boilies will catch a higher average weight of fish. Steve, the bailiff and I both agreed to this and certainly Steve’s average weight of fish caught last winter was much higher than mine. Maggots can catch the better fish but boilies will always have the edge. Two of the twenties so far have been caught on boilies. Steve caught several eighteen pound plus fish last winter, there was also quite a few out last summer, most of these fish haven’t been caught lately so I’m sure there is a lot of twenties to be caught, I just don’t think I’m targeting them properly on maggots. It’s good fun though.
I went back on Tuesday, to do some filming for a Nash product DVD we are producing. We needed unhooking mats, landing nets etc. action. It was very cold but I still enjoyed another little go, catching around ten fish “for work”. The best two being fifteen pound twelve ounces each, a long lean fighting machine and a short bruiser, both commons, good work if you can get it, isn’t it.
I’ve never been one to muck about with fancy rigs and simply hook my maggots directly onto the hook. I’ve always been more into smell, taste and technique regards feeding. This time of year you also have to search the fish out more than you do in the summer months. At the moment most of the carp are in the central half of the water. This involves a cast of forty or more metres from any bank, under the pylon wires on the furthest swims or forty metres plus on the other banks, shorter than this is very slow.
Mint Fully Scaled
I start off casting all rods into different area. Wherever I get my first bite from then I put two rods there. As soon as I get a bite on one of the other rods then I put two rods on that spot. If takes keep coming then that’s how I’ll fish for the rest of the day. If one area dries up then I start searching the swim out again, casting different directions and distances again. I call this working the swim. It has two main benefits; the first is to find the feeding spots. The second is to build up the food supply on the take spots to keep them feeding so I catch more. Feeder fishing or PVA bag fishing feeds on rewards. The more you catch, the more you feed, sound sense to me.
Bayeswater carp scrap like demons, kite left and right and can get you in a right mess, going through the lines on the other rods, because of this I back lead all the time, which is probably a big factor why I catch so many. Steve does the same; it’s plain common sense.
You need to get your back leads past the bottom of the drop off. I use light back leads to do this because they slide better down your line. It’s also very important to ensure your back lead sits on the bottom. It’s very easy to end up with light back leads suspended in mid water, certainly until the line has settled fully. When you are getting a lot of bites it pays to feed off some line to let the back lead down to the bottom. You’ll see when it hits because your line will be very loose and slack.
I always fish with a “drop” on my bobbin, usually about a foot from my rod. Using light bobbins, light back leads and slackish line because you need to see the bites. They often start off very delicately, sometimes never turning into a full-blooded take. Don’t miss any chances due to tight lines and or heavy bobbins, although it has been warm it is still winter and even the most delicate bite can produce the goods.
What A Peach
Rigs, lead set-ups and back lead type are all free choices. Me writing arms getting tired so I’ve photographed most of it. These are the two rig styles I’ve caught on so far. I’m off to make some super doper carp feeders now, which I’ll be testing out next time, it will be quicker than drying off everything to make PVA mesh bags. So the next time I fish it will be all four rods on the feeder rig, two on maggot hook baits and two on boilie hook baits.
I hope you find the time and stamina to have a go at this soon. I think it might be short lived, because the Tench, Roach and Rudd will wake up when it gets warmer. I know from experience then it will be impossible to keep two rods out, when the piranha’s wake up.
I’ve used both these rigs for carp fishing on a few waters. I also use the swim feeder rig for other species in still waters. Since New Years Eve I’ve caught 49 carp in four trips to Bayeswater, about half on each rig.Swim feeder Method
I use a size 4 or 5mm ring on the swim feeder link. This is stopped with a Nash running lead link loose ring braid type. These are in effect the rings that come on ring swivels and are very strong. I don’t use any beads at all; you can see the knot is not under duress on a cast.
I use open-end feeders so I can put anything I like into the feeder. Brown bread crumbs, crushed hemp and a little bit of flavour are mixed up to use as ground bait plugs. Don’t mix the ground bait too wet or it takes too long to break up and release the maggots.
Flavoured maggots and 10mm strawberry and scopex boilies, excellent winter carp feed.
Ground bait plugged at both ends, this is an awesome method of feeding accurately.
Ready to cast. I’ve been using 15lb main line with Drennon Double strength 12lb hook links. Next time I fish though, I’ll be using fluorocarbon hook and feeder links. This rig hardly ever tangles, and this one has caught me more than 15 Bayeswater carp, on the same feeder, rings and hook, very cost effective.
There are loads of bits written about winter carp fishing using maggots. Medusa rigs, maggot rings, plastic maggots forming eye-aligner rigs etc. etc. I only use the straight on the hook rig. If I want a buoyant bait or pop up, I cut Nash Red Rig Foam into maggot shapes and hook these on. It’s always worked for me. PVA Stocking Rig
I’ve used two rods on my favourite feeder rig and two on PVA stocking rigs. Both rigs are running rigs rather than semi fixed. Because of this I’ve only lost one feeder, Stingy Bayesie. Not really, running rigs have always produced more fish for me in the winter. I love the big eyes on the Nash Running Rig Beads.
Fill the bag up, but leave enough empty PVA at the top to securely hook the bag on; about half an inch below the knot is perfect. Never hook the hook through the knot, avoid puncturing maggots, they melt PVA quicker than water, and push the hook point right through the PVA, just in case of a quick bite.
Running rig. PVA method ready to cast out. I can’t make up my mind, which is the best rig, PVA, or swim feeder, my takes have been about 50/50.