Spot On with Rich 'Fatbloke' Adams
Thu 27 November 14
If somebody gave me a pound every time I heard the words “that’s near enough” or “that’ll do” after a carp angler has cast their baited rig out to the chosen “spot” I’d be a very rich man. The same could be said, if it was every time I watched a fellow carp angler religiously bait an area only for their rig to land way short of that spot. I have even witnessed people casting to an overhanging tree only to walk around the bank and bait up under a totally different tree to the one they had cast to! These are all things that can be easily avoided with a little bit of thought.
I would like to share with you some of the methods that I use when I feel that a tightly baited spot will produce the desired result, a carp on the bank. There are of course situations where a spread of bait will work really well. I am personally a big fan of using a boilie only approach, spreading baits across an area. I firmly believe that by doing this the carp are constantly on the move picking up individual hook-baits, gaining confidence along the way until eventually making the mistake of picking up the hook-bait. Also, when taking this approach the carp will spread out giving less chance of the rest of the shoal spooking when one of their counterparts falls foul to this method. I’ve had some big hits on my syndicate water when I’ve spread single baits along the back of a gravel bar, by simply baiting a line of “singles” along the bar with my hook-bait being the last port of call I’ve managed to pick fish off as they’ve worked their way along the line.
Going back to baiting tight areas of bait successfully, I’d like to start with baiting an area along a treeline, as already mentioned there’s nothing worse than casting to a spot only to bait the wrong area. There are several ways to eliminate this problem. You can of course put a marker to the spot and bait to it, but this isn’t always the best way and can lead to the fish spooking from the area due to the amount of disturbance created when getting a marker/rig to the correct spot. A more effective way is to get your fishing buddy, a bailiff or another friendly angler to stand along the treeline and mark the spot you’re casting to simply by putting a stick into the ground in line with the area and tying a plastic bag to that giving a visual marker that can be seen from the swim you are casting from. It is, of course, essential that you remove your marker on departing your chosen venue as no fishery owner wants sticks with plastic bags hanging on them strewn along the bank!
An even better way to approach this is to actually feed spots that are accessible from the treelined bank, however, never do this in a spot, where there’s absolutely no chance of landing the fish once it has been hooked. If a “safe” area can be found there’s nothing better than getting up close and personal with the fish, I have with actually witnessed fish taking the hookbait only a foot from the bank and the adrenalin rush that you get when you hook an unsuspecting fish “close in” is second to none.
A really good way of presenting a hookbait in these situations is to place your rig, lead and all, into a baiting spoon on the end of a landing net pole and literally lowering everything gently into the water placing it on the “money” in an area where fish are feeding. Always remember to get your timing right when doing this as there’s nothing worse than putting the effort into finding a spot and getting the carp feeding only to spook them away whilst placing the rig and freebies onto the spot.
Spodding and Spombing your bait out is another option when trying to create a tight feeding spot, this is a method that has become extremely popular amongst many of todays “modern” carpers.It is a method that has proven it’s worth on many occasions, especially amongst the competition anglers. It is not a method I use that often and it can take a bit of mastering but once an angler gets use to doing it, this can, without doubt be a “killer” method. It doesn’t have to be difficult, working out distances when spodding. Once a chosen spot has been found with the marker, pick a feature on the far bank in line with your marker, clip up and reel the marker in, Then simply place two banksticks in the ground a rodlength apart (I do this by laying my marker rod on the ground and placing a bankstick either end) this is important for future reference when visiting an old swim, so that your banksticks are always the same distance apart thus giving you the same measurements as on previous occasions.
Simply make a small hole in the ground next to the first bankstick (this is where the lead from your marker set up can be placed) then loosen the clutch or quick-drag on your marker rod and walk the line/braid around the sticks counting the amount of times that the line wraps around the sticks until you “hit” the clip. Then reel the line back in and cast your marker back to you chosen spot, aiming not only to hit the clip but aiming towards the far bank marker you have chosen.
Repeat this process with your spod/spomb rod and count out the same number of turns around the sticks and then clip up, do the same with your actual baited rod and again clip up. By doing this all three rods will now be set at the same distance, guaranteeing (providing you hit the clip) that all three rods will be hitting the same spot.
This is a very effective way of fishing a tightly baited spot and one that can be used time and time again in chosen swims. Most of us have smart phones nowadays that will allow us to keep notes, if not, just keep a small notepad and a pen in your kit. By simply making a note of the swim you are in, the far bank marker you have chosen and the amount of times you wrap the lines around the sticks you will be able to hit your favoured spot in any chosen swim without the need to thrash the water to a froth trying to find the spots all over again.
I am a massive fan, whenever possible, of fishing “close” in. This is my favourite method of carping and there’s nothing better than fishing a spot that can be baited with a suitable catapult, throwing stick or by simply “hand-balling” in the bait. A big bed of bait can be achieved in no time, with relative ease and extremely accurately. There are so many features “close-in” the main one being the margins, I see so many anglers trying to hit the horizon because it’s the in thing, never rule out what is under your rod tip, these are often the most popular spots that carp vacate and more often than not the easiest ones to bait up and fish.
Baitboats can be a sore subject amongst some carp anglers, however, in my opinion they can be a very effective part of a carpers armoury and are well worth considering if your chosen venue allows the use of them. Some baitboats will carry a couple of kilos of bait at a time allowing the angler to bait a spot with a lot of bait in a very short space of time, as well as this once a spot has been baited your chosen rig can be placed in the hopper and dropped directly onto the baited spot creating quite possibly the tightest and most accurate presentation often at quite a distance if required.
When it comes to rigs, anyone who has read my previous articles will know that I’m a fan of keeping things as simple as possible. This is no different when I’m casting to a tightly baited area, the effect I want when doing this is for my bait to act as naturally as possible. The way I achieve this is by using yet another simple, but in my opinion, effective rig. I start by taking a coated stiff braid (my favourite is Gardner Tackles Chod Skin) I start by stripping back approximately four inches of hooklink material exposing the supple inner of the hooklink, I then tie a loop into the supple end (this is where the boilie will be mounted) I then thread a small piece of silicone tubing onto the braid and thread my hook (point first) through this. Finally, I tie the hook onto the supple end of the braid knotless knot style making sure that there’s about an inch of supple braid after the hook, before the stiffer material starts. By leaving a section of uncoated braid after the hook the hookbait will move naturally when placed amongst a big bed of bait, creating less chance of the fish spooking should they come into contact with it whilst feeding.
Next time you’re out on the bank, why not try a spot of tight baiting. It can be a very effective way of fishing when put into practise properly. I hope my thoughts on the subject go some way to helping you land a fish or two.
Until next time, tight lines,
Rich “Fatbloke” Adams
Visit the Website: www,gardnertckle.co.uk