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Tuesday, 22 January 2008 00:00

Luckiest fisherman on earth

How to become the ‘luckiest fisherman on earth!’:

Source: Tim Richardson, author of Big Carp Bait Secrets

Have you ever wondered why one ‘lucky guy’ seems to catch the biggest fish again and again, while the majority of other fishermen just seem to get the average catches? Why is that?

Many of us would love to catch those big catfish, carp, bass, trout etc, every time we go fishing. It may just be that the guy is a genius angler, but real fishing success is often simply about using bait that is more effective than most other anglers baits at getting round fishes natural fears and resistance to eating it!...

But how can we achieve this? Well here’s a few of some of the best most proven methods of increasing your catches, especially for carp and catfish, but can be applied very effectively to many other species:

1. Try taking a look at the most popular baits where you fish and eliminate any similarity your homemade bait has with them. This especially applies to your own unique fishing bait recipe or formulas. This removes the fishes ‘danger reference points’. This gives your bait a massive ‘edge’ because the fish will not associate your bait with danger, anything like as much as with the baits everyone else are using - afterall , the whole point of a bait is simply to fool the fish into taking a hook into it’s mouth!

2. Make your bait different sizes, odd shapes, density, colors, flavors, with different attractors and additives, the more different to the usual bait the fish experience, the more effective your bait will be potentially be. Making your own bait puts the odds back in your favor and the power back into your hands - literally!

3. Absolutely pack your baits with “powerful ‘free amino acids’ (the type bodybuilders use as a liquid protein food supplement.) Even if you’re making a proprietary bait using a ‘commercial base mix’ that anyone can purchase, this will really set your bait apart and make it preferable to fish!

4. Pack bait with minerals, vitamins and trace elements - get a health tonic supplement from your local drug store. Very few people realize that these are in fact amazing attractors in their own right! An astounding edge is to massively increase the attractiveness and soluble nutritional message leaking from your bait, by soaking your hook bait in a mixture if fresh liquidized sweet corn, molasses and liquid protein food (so-called ‘free amino acids.)

5. It has been proven that when tested carp were provided with a number of complete foods providing all their nutritional requirements, preferred the food that had been sweetened. Eg, try sweetening honey and molasses , fruit sugar (fructose), or saccharin.

6. Add Sea salt to your bait - this is one of the most proven and unbelievable fish feeding triggers, and a great nutritional taste enhancer full of minerals. Nearly every animal and fish cannot live without salt!

7. For many fish including catfish and carp, pack your bait with fresh good quality digestible protein - it doesn’t need to be a large proportion, no more than a third of your bait. Ingredients such as trout pellet powder, meat and poultry meals, blood meal, fish meals and shellfish meals and liver powder are great. Add energy rich carbohydrates to provide balanced nutrition and binding. For example, soya flour, semolina, or even ordinary white or brown wheat flour. For carp try adding some wheat germ it has excellent properties!

8. Add a small amount of oil to your bait for a balanced nutritional value. For catfish this could be you favorite fish oil. For carp the best is probably pure cold pressed hemp oil -it’s natures ‘super food’ and is one of the richest and most healthy and nutritional oils known to man and fish!

9. Give your bait some protein that’s been ‘predigested’ or ‘hydrolyzed.’ This is easily achieved by adding a small amount of proprietary powder, like predigested liver, fish meal or shellfish extracts to your bait; available from bait companies all across the worldwide web. This method is incredibly effective, improving the fish attractive ‘amino acid profile of your bait. Fish are extremely efficient at detecting and utilizing amino acids, and you may well find that with the higher the rate of inclusion of these highly fish digestible ingredients, your catches and numbers of bigger fish soar too!

10. Allow your bait to ‘cure’ for 3-4 days prior to use; this allows your bait to start to ferment and lets bacterial enzymes release alcohols, sugars and increase the level of predigested proteins in your bait; all amazingly extremely good fish feeding triggers and attractors. See the difference this makes to your catches!

11. If you use ‘boilies’ rather than paste or dough baits, try chopping edges off your hook baits as if other fish have been ‘playing with your bait and taking small chunks out of it; this can really make the bigger fish ‘feel’ safer when they sample your hook baits - try piecing your hook baits right through to release the maximum attraction even from the center of your bait; it really works!

12. Try wrapping your bait and your hook (except the point) in a paste or dough. Try a mixture of ordinary flour, marmite, parmesan cheese, garlic granules, curry spices, sea salt, eggs and liquid amino acids - this mixture is pure ‘dynamite’ and really makes ‘em bite!

13. One of the most successful paste / dough baits of recent times is made from a mixture of fish meal and a couple of predigested ingredients like predigested fish meals, or predigested shellfish extracts. Try binding them together with just ordinary flour and loads of liquid amino acids / protein food supplement. ( But no eggs.) Experiment with different proportions to get your dough / pate to hold and last on your hook for different times. When you ‘bait up’ or ‘chum your swim with free baits like this, to attract the fish - hold on to your rod/s!!!

14. Add natural ingredients to your bait, for example, bird foods contain all kinds of fantastic foods fish love, like insects, seeds, grubs and worms. Many times, these encourage smaller fish to find your bait, and these can lead the bigger ones to your hook...

15. Add a ‘crunch factor’ to your bait - many fish have food detectors inside their gills, and allowing fish to experience eating your bait like it was natural food, eg, like shrimps or snails or mussels, is a great way to ‘turn them on’ and get more confident feeding and more bites!

16. If you use ‘boilies for carp catfish, etc there is a simple method of improving them: If you buy your baits frozen in a bag, then open them up and let them defrost and ‘warm up for 3-4 days in advance of fishing. This gives bacterial enzymes the time to start breaking down your baits and releasing very attractive alcohols, sugars and amino acids for example. It really works well for better catches and can even promote quicker bites!

Making and adapting your own and readymade shop - bought baits to make them different to the rest, and far more effective than normal is a science, and a very satisfying 'art'. When you have armed yourself with a range of great baits, the confidence you feel is awesome, and especially satisfying when you’ve ‘designed them and make them yourself!

I could show you many real life examples of how using edges like these and others, have resulted in fantastic big fish catches.

I love researching and writing about fishing bait because it is one of the fastest short-cuts to success! I am into bait in a big way, having even researched the subject with a PhD biochemist to reveal the reasons why and how baits really work to catch fish. I’ve found that a little bait knowledge can catch you more fish, but the more you know - the more consistent your catches can become - and the more big fish you catch!

The truly amazing thing is, ANY angler can achieve truly amazing catches with just enough of the right bait knowledge!.. Then other anglers will wonder what his ‘secret to success’ is...

Want to learn more about the "secrets" of caching big fish,
check out Tim's website at:
www.baitbigfish.com

Submit an Article: UK Fisherman would be delighted to here from you if you would like to comment on any of the fishing articles or if you would like to submit an article of your own.

To do so, please visit the CONTACT page.

Published in Carp Fishing Articles
Tuesday, 23 September 2008 20:40

Lessons for anglers from a fishy education

LESSONS FOR ANGLERS FROM A FISHY EDUCATION:

By Rex Bledsoe

Humans have a tendency to believe most animals are relatively stupid - especially fish. When anglers believe fish have limited powers of observation and intelligence, they tend to exclude the lessons most schools of fish teach their young. When they do so, they continue to believe old wives tales and misguided assumptions about fish behavior. In particular, they underestimate the capacity of the fish they are pursuing to practice the hook-avoidance techniques that are a regular part of a fishy education.

CARP FISHING WITH MARC - By Marc

Seasonal Changes 2006 - Part 1

With runs drying up, Mr Carp getting harder to find & the winter weather becoming even less inviting, it was time to start thinking, debating, putting a few changes into my coming seasons quest.

I decided upon three areas of my fishing that needed a bit more concentration, modification etc. Terminal Tackle, Location and Bait. I chose these three points as like many other anglers we become lazy, “It worked last time, why change it”, “Everyone else is using this”. It’s so easy to fall into complacency but a few little changes can pay off big time!

I hope from reading this article you can pick up some ideas which may help you put a few extra carp on the bank.

Part One: The End Bits !

Terminal Tackle? Where do I start? We are bombarded by magazines, videos & crammed shelves full of all the latest gadgets & gizmos at the local tackle shop.

Don’t get me wrong I have tried, tied some of these space age rigs & had some great results, but I prefer to keep it simply with a few modifications.

Lets start with hooks, this past year I have switched to using Korda hooks, the wide gape & the long shank X. These hooks are incredibly strong & stay sharp even fishing over gravel, stone etc. The wide gape I have found to be perfect for fishing against weed & snags. They seem to be like a magnet in the carp’s mouth, absolutely brilliant. I have used other brands of hooks with a few problems, opening out on the bend, snapping at the bend etc.

Hook links have become a bit of a fashion accessory to me, manufacturers bring a new one out, I gotta have it !!

I prefer soft hook links, in various lengths, but I’m decreasing them in length.

During a visit to one of my local lakes, I had a quick walk round, visited the four other anglers in situ & got the same response from all of them “Its hard going Marc” not exactly what I wanted to hear!

This got me thinking & after a few searching questions a pattern emerged - they were all using hook links from 6”-9” in length with loads of freebies scattered around.

Rather than just getting my rods & casting to the hot spots I sat there for while, smoked a cigarette, deep in thought. I proceeded to take my rods out of the quiver & cut the long hook links off. I tied one rod with a link around 3” long & mounted a single 14mm boilie. The next rod I tied a link around 2” & mounted one piece of glugged maize & a small piece of yellow foam above it. The third rod I kept to the normal pattern I had been using in the past. All three rods had a small pva bag of chopped offerings attached & cast out to the likely spots.

I was hardly settled into my chair when the maize rod was off, not a monster fish but a carp all the same. I made another pva bag up & cast back out to the same spot (I all ways mark my line whether day or night). I had literally resat back down & poured a coffee out when the maize was off again, two runs in less than thirty minutes of fishing - this time an upper double graced my mat & the attention from the other anglers was growing. The nearest angler kindly did the photographs for me & as I slipped the fish back into the water the single 14mm boilie rod leapt into action, I was in again, another small double laid on the mat.

On returning the fish, the owner of the fishery popped over with two other anglers, all with the same question “What bait you on then mate”? I replied “Two fish on maize, one on boilie” there was a bit of head shaking going on in disbelief from the other anglers as they departed to their swims.

I went on to catch another four carp that day all from the short hook links, not one of the other anglers asked me about my presentation, just about the bait?

As I mentioned earlier I try to keep my hook links simple, eighty percent of the time I use the knotless knot with a small piece of tubing near the bend of the hook & a piece of heat shrink of about ¾”. The heat shrink I like placed opposite the point down the hooks shank & about ½” above the eye with a slight bend towards the point.

I have also been using a micro ring on the hook replacing the tubing - this does increase the weight of the hook towards the point & aids in hooking/turning of the hook when entering the carp’s mouth.

I do use combi-link materials too; however I do prefer to use them when fishing pop-ups.

If I want a stiff rig presentation I use amnesia (fluoro) rather than combi material.

I have had some blinding results from single bait popped up 2” from the lead.

This season all of my rigs incorporate the kwik change links that are available from most fishing tackle suppliers; they simply speed up all the process of swapping rigs & getting fishing again.

Another change I made this season was my lead arrangement, rather than follow all the other anglers with the semi fixed lead I started using running leads, leads with a stop bead 3” up the rig tube & the helicopter rig, all with different sized leads. Yes some rigs do rely on a heavy lead to function properly, but this season saw me use leads only heavy enough to reach the baited area.

My rig tube choice has to be Korda, the sinking version; they make various colours, its always super smooth & supple. Tungsten putty seems to grip to it beautifully too. Above the tubing I will normally place a flying back lead with a stop of about 3ft-4ft on the main line. I find these little weights great for pinning the last few feet of rig down to lake bed.

For the last two seasons I have been loading my reels with the unrivalled X-Line - it sinks like a brick, its fluorocarbon based, casts well & has yet to let me down.

I hope upon reading this you may get some useful tips, ideas to try out yourselves & please remember to keep your rigs safe!!!

By the way I’m not a Korda consultant; I just love & have 100% faith in their tackle.

Next time I’m going to have a natter about the bait changes I made during the season 2006.

Tight lines Marc

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Published in Carp Fishing Articles
Sunday, 21 September 2008 20:41

Skinz hookbait pellets

SKINZ HOOKBAIT PELLETS

Description:
Skinz hookbait pellets from Sonu Baits are an advanced, skinned, hookable pellet type bait full of powerful fish attractants. The skin is full of soluble feeding triggers that go to work immediately once immersed in water.

The skin has an elastic type property that grips the hook and prevents the bait from falling off during casting or on the strike.

You can use Skinz Hookbait Pellets straight from the bag for a slow sinking bait. This is very effective when fishing on-the-drop for fish feeding off the bottom. Alternatively, they can be soaked for a few minutes. This produces a soft hookbait that can be hooked directly on the hook or hair rigged.

Review:
Spending most of my time fishing at commercial fisheries these days, I have come to rely quite heavily on pellets. I have also grown increasingly frustrated with my search for a soft hooker pellet that stays on the hook when cast even a short distance.

Well my search is at an end! Skinz hook pellets are far and away the best hook pellets I have ever come across. They can be used straight from the packet or can be pre-soaked for only 10 minutes or so to produce a much softer pellet. I did have some difficulty with the unsoaked pellets as it can be quite difficult to penetrate the hard outer shell. For me though, they really come into their own when soaked.

I tried them out at a commercial fishery and found that keeping the bait on the hook even when casting quite long distances is a doddle. These pellets really do grip the hook exceptionally well and the outer skin transforms when wet into a consistency I can only compare to cheese on a pizza....stringy but tough. The bait doesn't fall off the hook every time you strike at a bite so you don't have to re-bait every cast. I actually caught 4 fish using the same pellet which for a soft hookbait pellet is unheard of. All species of fish seem attracted to the Skinz Pellets. I caught carp to 10lb, roach, rudd, bream, crucians and tench in one day with the Skinz Pellets.

Believe the hype - highly recommended !!

Score:

Where to buy:
Skinz Hookbait Pellets are available from a wide range of fishing tackle outlets although UK Fisherman recommends you buy yours from Eccleston Angling Centre. Many thanks to Bun and all at Eccleston Angling Centre for supplying the Skinz Hookbait Pellets for review.

Click Here to Purchase

Submit a Review: UK Fisherman would be delighted to here from you if you would like to comment on any of our reviews. To do so, use the comment box below.

Alternatively if you would to submit a review of your own or submit an item for review at UK Fisherman, please visit the CONTACT page.

Saturday, 20 September 2008 17:04

Sticky Sharp Rigs

Pre-tied fishing rigs from Sticky Sharp Rigs - By Marc

Firstly I would like to thank Paul at UK Fisherman & the guys from 'Sticky Sharp' for giving me the opportunity to try out these rigs, I have been carp fishing for many years now & have always tied my own rigs so when the sample rigs arrived I was semi cautious/excited about using them.

Rigs Tested

The Basic Rig, The Blow Back, The Line Aligner, The Withypool & The Combi-Rig

First Impressions

Dont expect any fancy packaging with these rigs. Each rig arrived in a clear logo-less plastic sleeve with just a brief description hand written on the sleeve.** I must say how nice it was to actually see the whole contents of the sleeve laying perfectly within & not a tangled mess you receive from other rig companies. All five rigs looked as if they had been hand-tied using top quality components & they even had the highly fashionable quick release hoops attached to the main line end.

** Please note that the rigs supplied for review were samples and not the finished article. All sticky Sharp Rigs are supplied with full graphic inserts with text on the reverse. (Paul, UK Fisherman)

The Tests

Would these rigs withstand the abuse of everyday carp fishing on the end of my Ballista's? fishing against snags & lily pads? fished with pva bags attached? More importantly would they pass the on the bank knot test?

At this point I must emphasis just how important it is to check all your terminal gear before casting out, knot checks, hook sharpness check etc

The Basic Rig
The Basic RigAs many of you will know this is a no frills rig, simple construction, simple mechanics, a rig found in many carp anglers rig wallets all over the UK/Europe including my own.

The hook was perfectly tied to the soft braided material, the braided material was smooth, kinkless & unfraid. As with any rig tied to my mainline a thorough test is undertaken on all knots. The rig passed all bankside abuse I could throw at it. Laying the rig in the shallow margins of the lake things looked good, hook link camoflage looked good & with the use of a pva nugget on the hook the whole rig came to rest nicely on the bottom.

With bait & pva bag attached the rig was chucked to around 70yds, things seemed to land in a nice straight line & the pva nugget floated up to the surface from the hook below ... I was happy. Thirty or so minutes later I was more than happy when a carp of around 15lb was lying on my mat, the hook had caught hold just off the middle of the bottom lip ... good enough for me. As I do with all my rigs after a capture, I recheck the setup. Bearing in mind the carp did take me through two lily beds all looked very good. I did however slip my sharpen stone lightly over the hook a few times. The rig was rebaited & recast to the same spot. I did get another run on this rig but lost the fish in the lily pads, the rig came back with a slightly fraid hook link, the hook looked good for another carp but was replaced.

The Blow Back Rig
The Blow Back RigThis rig is one of my all time favourite rigs. For many years I have used this type of rig. This is my favoured rig when used in conjunction with pop-ups or snowman baits. The rig was perfectly constructed, the only modification I made to this rig was the length of the hook link. I do prefer my hook links quite short & after some minor adjustments the rig looked good. Once baited & attached to the mainline I again dropped the rig into the margin to check the presentation. Again I was more than happy. It looked very good & blended in very well with the lake bed. A small counter balance was added under the hook just to sink the hook bait down & it was ready for the lake.

Cast out to the already baited area once again the pva nugget popped to the surface & I added a few freebies over the spot. It wasn't long before the delkim alerted me to some action, the bobbin rose then gently slid down indicating a drop back. I tightened to the lead & struck, the battle was short lived. On retreaving the rig Ii noticed the hair had become tangled around the bend of the hook. I'm not sure whether this was down to the length of the hair or rejection of the boilie from the carps mouth?

I shortened the hair & with the use of some pva string I tied the hair tightly down the shank of the hook to the bend, this should keep any tangles down to the minimum while casting out. Just to make sure & give me peace of mind I inserted the hook link into a pva stocking & recast. After three hours I had landed two carp on this rig & after the minor modifications I was 100% confident in the rig. If the hook hadn't felt & looked so dull Ii would of probably left it on!

The Line Aligner Rig
The Line Aligner RigThis is another very popular rig, not too much different from the Basic Rig apart from the use of the shrink tube at the hooks eye. Great looking rig, nicely constructed ... so I thought?

As with all the rigs, I put them under a knot test using the Korda Knot Puller. This is where the hook link parted about half way along its length. I couldn't see any visible fault/damage in the link it just snapped. Sadly this hooklink was taken apart, hook/QR link were saved for later use on my own hook link material.

The Withypool Rig
The Withypool RigPersonally im not a great fan of this rig but I gave it go on my third rod, the rig passed all the knot tests & looked good in the margin with a single 18mm pop-up attached. I was very impressed with the silicon/shrink tube used on this rig. After several pulls & tugs on it, it went back to its original pre-steamed shape ... well impressed. As I said earlier, a single pop-up was attached & cast just off the baited area. The reason for this being I was receiving several liners on the other two rods.

I sat there wondering about the rig, thinking how crude it looked, trying to understand why & how it works so well for so many anglers around the country when to my amazement I was in! Amazed & shocked when laying on my mat was my first twenty of the season & it fell to a rig I had little confidence in. After checking the hook & its components it was re-baited & cast to the same spot with greater confidence & high expectations. Within the hour I hand landed another carp just short of 18lb on this rig & quickly tied up my version of this rig & cast out just before night fall.

Excellant rig, thumbs held up high on this one guys!!!!!!!!

The Combi Rig
The Combi RigThis rig & variations of this rig have been knocking around for years and it has accounted for loads of carp up & down the country. Like all the rigs, it looked the business, nicely tied, hook sharpness 100% and the knot test passed with no problems. Not even any knot slip, which is quite common when using these coated hook links.

One useful tip when using these styles of rigs is to slightly heat the coated area of the link before casting out, just to make the link nice & straight & to stop any coils from occuring during use.

This was a very friendly rig to use, sadly no fish were caught upon it but it didn't tangle, the outer coating didn't start to peel off like some other brands do and it laid nicely on the lake bed. I did add a few drops of Tungsten Putty up the link just for peace of mind. I apply this tactic to most of my hooklinks nowadays.

Conclusion

When asked to test these rigs I was a little reserved as for many years I have tied all my rigs myself.

  • As I said before I liked the way the rigs were packaged, you could see what you were buying, no tangled messes at the bottom of a fancy looking display bag.
  • All the hooks were beautiful & sharp.
  • The addition of the QR hoop at the end of the link was a nice touch as well as the knots that were all shrink tubed.
  • Apart from one of the hooklinks snapping when testing i was pleased with all the materials used.
  • Some of the hook links were a little long for my preference, but easily adjusted.
  • To my surprize the Withypool Rig out fished the other rigs accounting for five carp including a twenty. Two carp fell to the Blow Back Rig & two to the Basic Rig.

So overall i was very impressed with the rigs & would have confidence in attaching them to my mainline.

I highly recommend these rigs. Thanks to the guys at Sticky Sharp for a great product.

Score:

Where to buy the The Sticky Sharp Rigs

Check out their website at www.stickysharprigs.co.uk where you can buy these excellent rigs online.

Submit a Review: UK Fisherman would be delighted to here from you if you would like to comment on any of our reviews. To do so, use the comment box below.

Alternatively if you would to submit a review of your own or submit an item for review at UK Fisherman, please visit the CONTACT page.

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