17th February 2020

Ashley James proves just how deadly bright hookbaits can be!

Ashley James has had some great results throughout winters past and present using high visual Fluoros as his hookbaits. His success has come to hookbaits fished both over bait and as singles whilst adopting a mobile proactive approach, they have provided him with consistency, whatever the weather.

Most of my bites have been coming to pink coloured pop-ups this winter.

We asked him why and how he has applied them over the colder months:

“Bright, single pop-ups can often be the quickest way to a bite during the colder months. When the water temperatures start to drop, the carp don’t tend to feed as much due to their metabolism being slowed down. Often a bright single hookbait is all you need to bank a carp! And don’t be fooled into thinking you won’t catch the bigger ones on this method because trust me, you can!

“Different coloured hookbaits are massive when single hookbait fishing. One day you could be catching on one colour and the next it could all change. I always tend to use three different colours at the start of a session and whatever colour is doing the most bites is what I will swap all of my rods to accordingly. The Signature Pop-Ups are perfect for this style of fishing. You get three different washed-out colours in one pot and so swapping and changing isn’t an issue and it also saves space in your rucksack.

“Most of my bites have been coming to pink coloured pop-ups this winter. Double 12mm Buchu-Berry Pop-Ups and Signature pinks have worked brilliantly on one of my local tickets. Just recently I had a 28lb 10oz common, which was one of the bigger residents in the lake, on just a double trimmed down Buchu-Berry pop-up.

“This said, other venues fish differently. Sometimes little and often baiting will get you more bites. This tactic worked very well for me at the start of the year on a different venue. I was very fortunate to land three different thirty-plus carp with a further nine back up fish before finally landing my seven-year target, a fish called The Big Twin at 36lb. A couple of spombs of 12mm Manilla Freezer boilies, Manilla Active Mix, chopped peanuts, hemp and maggots each night kept the fish coming throughout January on my local big pit. It’s all about knowing when to put the bait in or not. Most of the time it’s trial and error, but when you get it right you can have big hits of fish in the winter.

“A mobile approach is also worth trying, if I’ve had no action or liners over the course of a few hours, especially in the cold, I tend to move. This type of approach will work on most venues. If you have the option of moving and you haven’t caught anything or seen anything in your swim, there’s no harm in trying! Keeping active is hard this time of year but it’s well worth putting the extra effort into your winter fishing.”