Mitch Hammonds takes us through his step by step guide on how to avoid nuisance species and catching carp
Cold Water PVA Bags - Text Only
Jack Funnell reveals a simple, but extremely effective PVA bag mix that will help you catch carp throughout the winter months…
In the winter, for me, quality is vastly more important than quantity. The fish are not looking to eat a lot of food, unless the conditions are mild for a few weeks, generally you find yourself scratching for bites.
I try to put all the emphasis on making the area around my hook bait as potent and appealing as possible. That is what you want the fish to drop down to feed on and making it irresistible is key.
Sometimes, a PVA bag full of smell and appeal is enough to the pull the carp down. It isn’t there to necessarily feed them; the mix is there to pump off as much allure as possible. I use pellets, primarily because they have a bundle of carp appeal and gradually leak off over a short period of time. They also act as a carrier for any liquids and powders that are added too.
Manilla pellets have a thick coating of various milks and sweet goodies for the carp, which naturally kick off. Then, I add some Cloudy Manilla to the mix, which adds a hazy cloud over the bait. Being incredibly soluble, it will work even in the coldest of temperatures and that sugary taste charges across the lakebed for hours. I also add some Betaine to the mix too. I do this after I have added the liquid, just to give the powder something to latch on to, as apposed to just falling through the pellets to the bottom of the bucket. Betaine is not only a great carp attractor, it also helps build muscles and offers a variety of nutritional boosters, which carp actively seek in the colder months especially.
The PVA sticks or bags offer more than just releasing attractors too. At this time of year, the lakebed is often covered in leaf debris and other detritus, so the addition of the bag keeps your hook protected from getting caught up on such things. I like to pull the hook in to the bag, which means that the hair will never tangle and as I have mentioned, keep it protected from getting caught.
I am a huge fan of using bright ones in the colder months and like to boost my hook baits. While the fruity pop-ups have plenty of smell to them already, I think it pays to boost them a little further. A good spray with the matching liquid gives them that extra potency and combined with the sweet smelling PVA bag, you have yourself a small package of heaven that few carp can resist.
Try to keep yourself fairly mobile and move on to any signs of fish. I know it is a bit of a cliché, but you wont catch carp if they are not in front of you. By using the tactic of little PVA bags, you can move around easily, make three casts on to showing fish and know that you are fishing effectively.
Step By Step
- Start off with a good helping of Manilla pellets. I like to stick to small food items this time of year.
- Then, I add some Cloudy Manilla to the mix, which adds a hazy cloud over the bait.
- I add Betaine after I have added the liquid, just to give the powder something to latch onto.
- Add a handful of the mix into PVA bags. I always have a few spares prepared incase I need to recast.
- Pull the hook into the bag, so the hair won’t tangle and keep it protected from getting caught.