Pat Gillett kindly put this short piece together as a follow up to his last article – ‘5 Things To Consider When Choosing Bait For Your French Carp Fishing Trip’. This piece concerns the actual baiting application whilst you are there and how to get the best out of your trip.
The first thing to consider is the time of year. If I had been going over to France this March I would have kept the baiting levels to a minimum as I don’t think the carp would really have been having it.
Some of the amounts of bait I have seen or read of angler’s piling in during adverse conditions, it comes as no surprise when their results are adversely effected. I always start off slowly on the first night (usually around 50 to 100 baits per rod, dependent on fish stocks) and then take it from there depending on how the carp are behaving.
The second thing to find out for later on in the year when the water is warmer, is whether the water in question is a good particle water? I recently watched a couple of old Thinking Tackle programmes, with two anglers using a particle only approach and others using the boilie approach. The two anglers using a particle only approach were using chick peas and tiger nuts as hookbaits over a spod mix. They caught far more than the anglers using the boilie approach.
This could have been down to the fact that the conditions were best suited to this approach, or the fact that simply doing something a bit different gave them a big edge! I would suggest contacting the lake owner a couple of weeks before you go to try and find out what is the ‘going method’, as very often local knowledge is by far the best.
Thirdly, make sure you keep an open mind on bait application. Although most of the ‘commercial’ type French lakes are full of farm bred fish that have been bred on pellets and generally like a lot of bait, this is not always the case.
I can recall visiting a lake of about 25 acres a few years ago with Paul Cooper, which held about 90 carp. When we got there we were told that although the average size of these fish was excellent, they just didn’t respond to a lot of bait. We found this hard to believe for France, but so it proved throughout the week. Of the 10 fish we caught between us, none of them were caught over a baited area that contained more than 20 baits. This was in good conditions and all the fish were big ones (my 4 averaged around 45lbs each), so it just goes to show that not all big carp are massive boilie munchers. Just to prove the value of asking the bailiff for information, we did try big baited areas as well, but they never produced a single bite. In fact I could have got away with 2kg of bait for the whole week.
On another occasion with Paul, but this time on a water of only about 3 acres, we found ourselves fishing in October in really poor conditions all week, dominated by high pressure and fog.
Now there were a decent number of fish in the lake, but the few I caught came on a single pop-up with absolutely no freebies at all. Just to show the necessity to adapt to conditions, the anglers fishing over the usual baited areas on the lake next door caught next to nothing!
So just a short piece with some more thoughts on bait application. To conclude I would say to always take in to account the time of year, always seek out local knowledge and always be prepared to adapt to the conditions whilst you are there!
Finally if you have a load of bait left, don’t ‘chuck’ it all in on your last night, this really can have an adverse effect on the next parties fishing for a few days or in some cases even longer.