Myles Gibson reveals his top tips for bait application, which help put the odds in your favour when targeting carp from challenging situations.

Myles Gibson reveals his top tips for bait application, which help put the odds in your favour when targeting carp from challenging situations.

Bait applications is a huge part of my approach in angling, especially when I’m on a tricky water such as the Snaggy Pit. It’s very hard to generalise bait application because, as we all know, each lake is different, but there seems to be a few consistent elements.

First of all, time is your greatest asset, as it’ll help you paint a clearer picture of the areas the carp tend to frequent. Often, you’ll find this to be areas which either have a variety of features in comparison to other parts of the lake, or areas that don’t have easy access for anglers which means they feel far safer. Most anglers are lazy, which is fine, but if you want to be ahead of the game you have to make the effort to fish the more inhospitable zones.


If a swim needs a bit of TLC to fish, like bramble clearing, the first thing I’ll do is introduce a handful of bait to see if the carp will happily feed in the area. This will gauge whether it’s worth making the effort to fish for them. As I can use a boat, it makes it far easier to find spots and generally get a feel for the place. If a boat isn’t permitted on your chosen water, nothing stops you from climbing trees and getting a leading rod out to feel the areas. I would always bait up neglected areas over the hot pegs as you are only going to end up baiting for someone else to capitalise on if you go for the popular swims.

Once you’ve established that it’s worth putting some bait in, don’t fall into the trap of more means more. A few handfuls at a time is more than enough to bring the carp to the spot. Keep an eye on it, lead about a few weeks later and see if the spot has firmed up, or even better become larger. If a spot is getting larger, then it is clearly being hit by carp regularly and it is certainly worth your attention.


The next element of bait application is of course the bait itself! If you listened to the grapevine, you would be forgiven for thinking angling consultants like myself are piling in expensive bags of boilies everywhere! This couldn’t be further from the truth as although I could use lots of boilies, I prefer to use a mix of everything for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I like small bait items and mixed particles like pigeon conditioner are the perfect ingredient. They cost next to nothing and create a carpet of feed that keeps the fish grubbing around for far longer than they would on a bed of boilies. Added to the pigeon conditioner, I have hemp, tiger nuts and maize, but in much smaller quantities to add all of their benefits but still keep the costs down. I also like to pack a bit of extra flavour in with the particles, which is achieved by adding some Pure Calanus Liquid. It adds a bit more nutrition and a distinctive taste that makes my bait stand out a little more.


Alongside my favoured particles, I of course still use boilies and pellets. In recent years I have come accustomed to using Krill Active in the summer months. It is so attractive that I don’t need to use a hell of a lot of it, which helps reduce the size of my mix, which helps keep the birds at bay. In terms of pellets, I wouldn’t go anywhere without the classic Bloodworm Pellets. I tend to carry a mixed bucket, which is separate to everything else. If you add pellets to the particles, they become gloopy and turn to mush, which isn’t what you want.


When it comes to fishing over your spots there’s two final elements I would always keep in mind. The first is accuracy, yes, I have the use of a boat, but I always find the wraps to my spots, just in case I want to fire a rod out for a second opportunity after a first light bite. Ensure you log everything and hit the spot perfectly every time.

Finally, the best advice I can give is to bide your time. Baiting up is a massive weapon, but only if you give it time to work for you. I wait until the fish are smashing the spots to bits, in perfect weather conditions before even contemplating fishing it. This way you are always maximising the spot’s potential and ensuring your results reflect the effort you have put in.