Bait up the water

One of the best ways of particle bait fishing, though not all waters lend themselves to it, is to bait up the lake over large areas, so that par-ticles are spread thinly over much of the bottom. Do this for several trips, to accustom the carp to feeding on the bait and to expect to find it there. It then becomes a case of spotting feeding fish visually. Then cast the bait near enough for the fish to find it without being frightened.

A bait which carp find naturally is often readily taken, whereas one cast directly to them and hitting the water will often frighten them. Sometimes, usually because of weather conditions, carp will not feed but cruise around. At such times, a small quantity of particle bait thrown in has no effect, but a large amount starts them feeding. They will cease feeding before the free offerings have been exhausted, but there is one trick which may help you catch the fish. If large quantities of dark-coloured particle baits are used (such as maple seeds) a different hookbait, lighter in colour (barlotti beans or black eyes) seems to attract them.

Line thickness can be a problem when you are fishing with particle bait—more so than when using larger baits such as paste or meat baits. I have found that on fairly hard-fished waters carp will readily take a large, table-tennis-sized ball of paste on 10lb b.s. Line, yet con-tinually pick up and drop small par-ticle baits on the same diameter line. Reducing the line to 6lb b.s. Results in carp taking the bait without any hesitation at all.