Question from Will; I don’t see how putting a coating or netting around a bait will stop a crayfish from taking your bait?
You are right there is nothing you can do to stop a crayfish eating your bait. What you can do is slow it down considerably, so that you are confident that your bait will at least last overnight. There’s nothing worse than retrieving your rig in the morning to find the bait gone. You could have been fishing for all night without a boilie, hours of wasted time. I’ve fished on waters where I’ve got out of bed three or four times in the night just to check my bait was still there.
Shrink tube in particular will slow down the attacks of the crayfish long enough to ensure that you are fishing all night. A small opening at each end of the tube after shrinking will ensure that the attractors in the bait do their job. The crayfish do nibble away at the ends of the tube opening it up to get access to your boilie, but at least half your bait is still there doing its job.
What I would recommend is that you protect your boilie stop by pulling it inside the bait, or putting a small cut in the shrink tube and pulling the stop inside the tube. Crayfish have the ability to push baits up the hair, removing the boilie stop and your bait. Do everything you can to protect the boilie stop.
I also steer away from mono hooklinks as a crayfish can cut and crimp them. Coated braids are fine as long as you keep any flavour off the coating, As far as a crayfish is concerned everything is food. My favourite hooklink when crayfish are about is braid, it usually bends and folds rather than cutting. It can look a bit of a mess after the crays attention but defeats them in the end.
The main thing is not to let crayfish put you off fishing a water, and not to put you off baiting up or pre-baiting. The crayfish will eat some of your free offerings, but with the commotion they create doing it the carp won’t be far behind.
Hope this helps,
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