By Dennis McFetrich

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The world of bait in carp fishing can be mind bogging so I thought I share some of my own views on the subject.  

My thoughts on bait

I’m  often bemused by some of the ingredients claimed to be included into boilies by some bait companies. I know the receptors in a carp’s mouth are very sensitive and can pick up the nutrients in bait with incredible speed. However, when you put several ingredients within the same bait giving off the same signals, surely all you are doing is overpowering the bait making it less attractive to our beloved quarry? Another question I am often asked is ‘do I need to pre-bait?’ This is something I have never done. I believe that if a bait is carrying the right trigger signals, it will catch fish from the start. More importantly to me, go on catching time after time and year after year, even on the same waters. You only have to look at the results of captures on The Island Lake in France to see that those fish are getting caught time after time on the Hartford Mix.

A leading question I am often asked is how much bait should I put in to get a bite? This is a very difficult question to answer and it is greatly dependent on how many fish are in you're chosen lake and indeed the way the fish are actually feeding at various times of the year. Are they pre-occupied on naturals and just picking off the odd well placed bait? Or are they ‘on the munch’ eating everything that is put before them? Or perhaps somewhere between the two? If there was such a formula I would be a very rich man but for me less is more.

Carp have incredibly sensitive receptors in the front of their mouths and within a second of holding a bait in their lips know if they want to eat it or spit it out. Therefore a well placed single hook bait will at times ‘out fish’ lots of bait. However, for my style of fishing I like to put out between five to ten handfuls of bait to get the fish feeding confidently and hopefully make them more likely to make a mistake!

Remember the MCF bait you are using the fish WANT to eat it!

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