When you first start a carp fishing session, it’s hard to know exactly how much bait to place into the area you’re fishing. If you throw too much in then it could ruin the whole session. On the other hand, you need to get enough bait into the swim to either draw carp into the area or keep the fish there if they’re already present.
I like to place rigs on top of a well baited area during most of my carp fishing situations. I feel heavily baited areas make carp compete for food which causes them to lower their guard, and they become easier to catch. Virtually all carp make more mistakes when they are pre-occupied with beating other fish to the rapidly reducing concentration of food.
The only times I don’t like to bait up heavily is when I’m fishing short sessions (less than 48 hours), if there are numerous carp already present in the swim or during a winter fishing session when I prefer to spend more time actually locating carp and attracting them to feed by using the right bait for that time of year.
When I have chosen the feature or area I wish to bait up, I often attempt to get the bait in a rectangular area of around six to eight feet wide by four feet in length. I try to stick to these measurements because I know I can cover the area well with about 20 kilos of bait. The bait is made up of around half of whatever particles I happen to be using at the time and half boilies. I also try to concentrate more bait at the centre of the area and leave loose layers at the ends with a few scatterings. Doing this helps me form a strategy depending on where I believe the carp are feeding on the bait.
This type of baiting tactic requires good casting accuracy. This is why I prefer to find pegs where I don’t need to cast too far, up to 30 yards seems to be ideal for my spodding range. Unless of course, the lake allows the use of a bait boat!
Once this bait is laid down, I often leave it rig-free for a good 24 hours. This allows the carp to feed freely on the bait, building their confidence and lowering their guard for when rigs will be present. If there are signs of carp on the bait within a few hours, I may drop a rig on the outer section closest to me and before the baited area starts to ensure I have no tackle laying on top of bait as this may spook any carp feeding in that area.
When I believe the bed of bait is ready, I will make up three rigs using short hook links. However, before casting, I always throw out some bait to try to scare the fish away slightly. I feel it’s better to scare carp with bait rather than with a heavy lead and rig. This tip was revealed on the underwater carp videos made by Korda. When carp were scared off with bait they came back within a few minutes. If they were scared off with a lead, they often never came back.
Once the bait has been established and in the water for more than 24 hours, I will place one of my rigs right in the heart of the densely baited area, another rig will be positioned on the edges of the free bait, and one rig is placed up to 6 feet away from the area altogether. Placing rigs off a baited area can often return the bigger carp that might be hanging back and feeding rather cautiously.