In this article, Mainline consultant, Richie Latham, explains why it can be worth increasing the size of your hook-bait when trying to avoid nuisance fish and target big pit carp!
Fishing for big pit carp can be a daunting task but the rewards can be a fish of a life time! I have been fishing a 70 acre Mere with a very low stock of just 30 carp for the past 5 years and have managed to catch all but one of my of my target fish. You can never know enough about the lake you are fishing and the more time you can spend there watching and learning were the carp like to spend there time, the closer you will be to putting those fish on the bank.
The lake in question is stuffed with Tench, Bream and big Roach Hybrids and they can be a right pain at times so I have had to adapt my hook-bait to single out the bigger fish in the lake. I have ended up using hook-baits of 40/50 mm in size, I could of gone down the root of using 2x18mm or even 2 x20mm, but I still think the Tench and Bream can and will get these baits in. You see the bait may look bigger but it is still 18/20 mm and Tench and Bream can easily get a 22mm bait in without any trouble. All you are doing by putting two on is lengthening the bait. I have been lucky enough to see my target fish on the bank and know it has a mouth big enough to fit my fist in. So I started making baits bigger and bigger and feeding them in areas of the lake where I could observe the fish eating them. In the end I settled with hook baits of 40/50mm in size. The bigger fish seem to eat them with no trouble at all, but the Tench and Bream soon get fed up of pushing them around, trying to eat them and soon move off looking for an easy mouth full.
My hook-baits have the Fox bait poppers inside them in 22mm just to take the weight out of them. I also make boilies of equal size to feed and watch how the carp react to them. After all when your fishing baits of that size it takes a lot of confidence to put one on and chuck it out. So by feeding them some freebies of equal size to my hook-baits I could keep a close eye on how the fish reacted to them. I also needed to know that my target fish could fit them in. The idea behind it was by feeding the heavy 40mm free bait to them when they came across my hook-bait they would use the same force to suck them in resulting in the hook bait flying into the carps mouth with it being half the weight and giving me a very good hook hold.
It worked a treat and so far the smallest fish I have had on my new white Cell 40mm hook-baits are mirrors of 31, 31.8 and 32lbs. That big Common can't be too far away. Give them a go, it does take a lot of confidence to chuck out 40mm baits, but if you’re after one of the big girls and your lake has a lot of small fish in it, it’s definitely worth a go.
The rigs I have been using are KD rigs and using strong reliable tackle is a must especially when your fishing a lake where you may only get one take a year. I put my faith in size 6 Fox SSC hooks and 25lb coretex hook-link in weed green when fishing these baits, with an SSG shot lightly pinched between the bait and hook. I want the bait weighted so it just sinks and comes to settle over any weed or chod down on the lake bed. To this I add a Fox lead clip system and 4oz flat pear lead, then moving up to a 4ft 45lb lead core leader and 18lb soft steel. This stuff is perfect in demanding situations and extremely resistant to abrasion. I like to fish my baits right in the middle of a big spread of 18mm Cell boilies, so basically you have a big gob stopper right in the middle just waiting for that big old lump to come along. Give them ago you just never know.
This is how I like to make my 'Donkey Chocker' hook-baits:
And there you have it!
Best of luck.