Despite a distinct lack of recent winter form, Steve Renyard bounces back with a winter bag mix that will have you catching the carp!
The Return of Renyard - Text Only
Linear has always been an approachable water for everyone, it is a wonderful complex with a big stock of large carp. I class a 30lb carp as a big fish, I always have done and always will and the amount of thirties at Linear is simply incredible.
I headed over to Brasenose Two, which has a big stock of fish and a variety of strains too, which appealed to me. You have the fat and sparsely scaled ones, long scaly ones, commons, all sorts really and with a few mates it was going to be a bit of fun.
We had a right laugh for a couple of days and when my friends went home, I had a tuition for a couple of days. When my client arrived that morning, I had a 30lb mirror in the net, so I couldn’t have asked for a better start. We went through a few things and much to his surprise, we ditched the distance sticks, Ronnie Rigs and whatever else he had that seemed to be the latest thing and went back to basic big-fish-angling.
We stripped everything back to simple boilie fishing, with the Basic Complicated Rig, which is something I have used for many years. When it came to baiting up, we were using a throwing stick to put baits out between the gull’s relentless enthusiasm and began to build and feed the areas.
I told him to keep applying the bait and to not cast out until he saw a few fish rolling over the spot. This was to be the approach we took throughout the tuition, going against the grain of spodding out a bucket of hemp, corn, pellets and a few boilies. I wanted to show him that you can catch carp and big ones too by fishing very basic.
The fish began to show, and he soon had three round stringers cast to the area. He ended up catching 9-fish to over 30lb, so he was delighted. It was my first time using Sticky Baits and coming from a huge background of carp baits to using someone else’s was a big move and I was very cautious about what I was going to use.
Despite being out the game for a while, the rise of Sticky Baits has been there for all to see and even when I wasn’t really keeping an eye on the fishing world, you couldn’t help but notice the effect their bait has had.
A massive part of carp fishing is confidence and to gain such confidence in a bait on my first trip was fantastic. I went with the flagship bait, The Krill, which you can tell just by looking and smelling it that it’s a proper fishmeal. I ended up with 22-fish in total, loads of twenties and 5-thirties. It was a great welcome back to carp fishing and with nobody else really catching on the lake, it gave me a great deal of satisfaction to know that I had made the right call with my tactics.
Once I had finished the tuition, I had my eye on some of the Manor residents. Kempy’s Linear is the one that everyone wants, and I did actually lose it at the net 6-odd years ago now. I moved onto Manor and having had such a good response on B2 on the stringers and boilies, I deployed the exact same tactics. I spoke to the guy a few swims up who was a regular and he hadn’t caught anything on a round boilie for months.
That first night I cast the round stringers to an area and used the throwing stick to apply a couple of kilos of The Krill. With the weed still being quite high, once I found my area I did actually use these wrapping sticks and I must admit they are quite handy!
I usually like to spread the rods out, but I ended up putting all three rods in a 30-yard area. I don’t normally like having so many lines so close together, but the weed left me no choice. I was lucky to catch a few fish that first night, topped by a 31lb common.
It was a great start and with no reason to change what I was doing I carried on using the same tactics, but it was playing on my mind that last time I fished Manor Farm I used a lot of boilie crumb and had lots of success. I usually use hemp to hold fish in the area, but I didn’t have any I only had boilies and some powders, so I decided to have a play around with them. I spent about 2-hours crushing up 5kg of Krill boilies and then knocked up a mix that I thought would hold the fish in the area.
I had mixed up some boilie crumb and Active mix, this was used as both my spod mix and as a PVA bag mix. I threaded my PVA bags down the hooklink and on to the hook, this then prevented the hook from catching hold of any weed or debris and protected the point until the bag melted.
With the water clarity being so great, I wanted to make sure I was doing everything I could to keep the carp from sussing my rigs and I felt I was doing just that. With dull hookbaits, fluorocarbon hook-links and PVA bags masking my hooks, I felt confident that I’d kept things as subtle as possible and I think this is why I ended up with so many day time bites!
Much like match anglers, I am a strong believer in refining your tackle to get more bites, if you can hide what you’re doing, you will catch more carp.
I spodded little and often with the boilie crumb and Active Mix, almost building up the swim, which began to bring the bites more and more consistently. Quite key for me, I started off by introducing the mix dry, which created a 12ft column of bait going down to the spot. Carp can smell things for miles and with such a visual cloud of bait spanning the water column, it attracted more carp down to my rigs. This was made evident by the three thirties I netted over the course of the next 24 hours.
Whilst on Manor Farm, I met a young lad called Terry Wood and I really enjoyed his company, which is odd for me as I’m a pretty solitary angler usually. He was shocked and really interested in the way I was fishing and couldn’t believe I was only fishing at 18-wraps. He had had it drummed in to him that you had to be 25-wraps out, fishing with Ronnie rigs and so on.
He caught a couple of fish early in the week, but it soon went dead for him. I showed him the Basic Complicated Rig and a few things that most people don’t do know and he started catching again. Carp learn by association and if they see the same thing all the time they will learn to deal with certain things.
The Basic Complicated Rig looks simple and it is, but I have caught more big fish on that than anything else. I think I have had over 200 English thirties on that rig, which tells you that it is a big fish rig. It is a fluorocarbon rig, with the hair aggressively kicked out and I tie it between 9-10 inches long, which is longer than what most people would use. I think the little fish get away with it, which is great, but the big ones don’t know how to deal with it.
I spent the week playing around with various things, but it was hard to tell if addition of ingredients to the mix made any difference, as the action was so good from start to finish. But I did add a few Krill Clusters, which are really oily and clearly full of attraction. I also started to add some Aqua Amino liquid in to the mix too, mainly because despite the frosty weather, it remained thin and super soluble even in the cold water. The Aqua Amino made the mix absolutely stink and I loved it, but more importantly so did the fish. After the addition of that liquid I had 6-bites in just a day, so I guess you could say that it helped.
I also started to make the bags up with some small Krill Pellets, which is something that I also added to the mix, which kept the fish rooting around the spot for longer. As my week on Manor drew to an end, I believe I’d landed 47-fish, which just goes to show that going back to basics and not following the latest trends worked brilliantly.