Winter Baiting

Friday 12th February 2021, 12:02PM Feature

By Martyn Davies

If your winter has been slow on the fish front there is always a chance at nicking a bonus bite so here are a few tips that may just swing it in your favour!

Boilie Crumb

There’s no doubting just how effective Boilie Crumb is so it’s certainly worth crumbing some for your loosefeed as this will leak off all the food signals that are crammed into the boilies and create a carpet to pull the Carp in from all angles! Crumb can be utilised in so many ways, it is all down to your imagination, don’t be afraid to think outside the box!

Crumb is certainly an edge and a highly effective tactic even more so during the colder months of the year when you are just trying to nick a bite. It allows you to introduce maximum levels of attraction onto your spot without a single whole bait’s present and when coupled with a cloudy creamy liquid you can’t go wrong!

Single Hookbaits

Me personally, I love using a pop-up because they offer many advantages, one of those being it allows you to cast at showing fish, safe in the knowledge that the bait will be sat pretty, presentable and prime for a bite when coupled with presentations such as Hinge Stiff Rig, Ronnie Rig and even more so the Chod Rig. At this time of year when the lakebed can be littered with decaying leaves and dead weed using a single bait really can prove fruitful.

Another advantage of fishing a pop-up is the anti-tangle properties. So say if smaller fish, birds which can be in abundance or even a crafty carp do pick up the hook bait but manage to eject it, a pop-up is less likely to tangle, it will re-set itself and leave you still fishing effectively.

On any given day hookbait colour can be the difference between going home with a wet net or left scratching your head. The beauty about pop-up’s is that they come in a multitude of colours and smells such as bright, washed out, match the hatch you name it, it’s out there. The benefit of this is that you can alternate on each of your rods, cover all bases, pinpoint exactly what is catching the Carp’s eye and maximising your chances by following suit on the rest of your rods. My tip is to not put all your eggs in one basket, mix it up and bag yourself a bonus fish!

Boost Your Hookbaits

You can really up the levels of leakage of your hookbaits with just a few drops from a booster bottle by massaging into the hookbait just before casting out. The signals will disperse through the water column as your hookbait travels down and once on the lakebed increasing the desirability that is vitally important to draw fish to that one with the hook attached.

The flip side of this is that you can also prep these earlier in the year by adding a few drops of the booster bottle to the pot, just enough to give all them an even coating. Don’t forget to give them a good shake around in the tub. If after a week or two they have soaked-up all the liquid, you can always add a little more. Little is the key word here, little and often would be my advice.


One of the things that attract me most to using liquids is the fact that you can really enhance the overall ‘food signal’ without having to apply a big bed of bait. This can often bring quick bites but also reduces the chance of over baiting when bites can be hard to come by especially this time of year.

For those of you like me that use PVA in some shape or form there is the added benefit of most liquids nowadays being PVA friendly so it’s perfect for adding to your choice of tactics and giving it a real added attraction!

Solid Bags have become more and more favoured in my fishing and one way of giving them a bigtime boost is just before casting out, take an oral syringe and draw between 3-5ml from the bottle, push the tip into the side of your ready-made solid bag. Inject the bag and watch it fill every nook and cranny. You will be surprised just how long one syringe of liquid will last and it is a guaranteed tell-tale way of knowing when fish are getting their heads down on the contents of your bag from the slick on the surface!


Stick Mix

In Winter, Carp can be reluctant to move about too much but in some cases, they can still be willing to investigate a baited rig so it’s just a case of if you can draw them down and entice them in. This for me is where small powerful PVA sticks come into action because they can be extremely tempting for such a little parcel. 

The beauty of PVA sticks are you are adding up the percentages in your favour by ensuring the hook point is covered on the descent, tangles are prevented and upping the attraction levels as the PVA travels through the water column ultimately allowing you to fish confidently and knowing that you have minimal feed, maximum leakage and a highly desirable hookbait prime and ready, it’s a win win in my eyes.


Shop with confidence

Now Available From Your Authorised Wychwood Dealers