Marukyu Test Number Three

Hello again, if you’ve read the first few blogs you will know that the stakes are getting higher now. The target I set was to thoroughly test the Marukyu baits and successfully apply them to a specimen carp fishing situation.

Well having caught lots of Carp at Forda Lodges and Cottages as well as a nice 12lb plus Mirror Carp from the Bude Canal I made arrangements to fish a day ticket lake at Riverside Caravan Park, South Moulton, Devon.

This is a lake is 1 acre and it pays to book by telephone in advance as it’s can be busy at times. The Saturday I arrived it was busy as expected with five other anglers plus me the lake was full and I had the last swim. The good news was it was the swim I had in mind after checking the weather and using google earth to establish which bank the wind would be hitting. Two anglers had fished overnight and had a common carp early in the morning. No other fish had been caught in the last few days.

I like Riverside and have fished it once before, the lake is new, only created in 2010 and with a stock of just 50 carp all upwards of about 13lb. All the fish are new stock and therefor have not yet got used to eating lots of boilies although I’m sure they will. On my last visit I managed a small 13lb 8oz Mirror right on last knockings. It took a small boilie in amongst lots of small pellets.

This time I was intending to try two bait approaches. First of all I was going to set a small trap in the margin with a PVA bag containing my previous mix of EFG151, 1mm SDP Pellets and crushed ARB Protein Boilies, all from Marukyu with a ARB Protein Boilie hook bait that had been soaked in Krill Concentrate then rolled in Krill Powder before being air dried for a day or so.

My second rod however was my secret weapon; I had purchased three pints of red maggots. After my last trip to Riverside I had a feeling that with only carp stocked and no silvers to worry about naturals would give me the edge I was looking for. Most anglers fish boilies and with few fish being caught on them my confidence was up a little. Two and half pints of the maggots had been ‘Krilled’ with Marukyu SFA 400 Krill powder. I simply put the clean riddled maggots into a plastic bag with some of the Krill and tied it up taking most of the air out of the bag. Put the bag into the fridge overnight and then the next day into the freezer for a couple of days. The Krilled dead red maggots were to be my ground bait. The live maggots were also treated to some krill powder instead of the maize flour that the tackle shops offer and were to be used on the hook.

The boilie set up and rig was as per the previous two tests with a small silicone tube trapping the hair.

However for the maggot rig I need something different. The rig I use to present a bunch of maggots is a little different to the normal Maggot clip set up. The picture shows how it works, a small match hook on the end of the hair with a pop up corn below it. I hooked seven maggots onto the small wide gape match hook then pulled the point back into the fake pop up corn. This is tied KD style onto a size 8 Korda Kurve with a fairly long hair. The hook is heavy enough to sit flat on the bottom however as I was feeding maggots I felt the fish would be rooting right down in the mud and didn’t want the bait sitting up off bottom so I place a small number 4 split shot on the hair behind the pop up corn. When I tank tested the rig at home this made it balanced perfectly, the bait was tight to the deck but very light when the carp sucked near it.


I had also decided to used small PVA sticks of the Marukyu bag mix to add some extra pull near the hook bait, this also served to keep tangles to a minimum. I did add some Krill Concentrate liquid to the bag mix to dampen it and add some smell. With PVA bags I tend to use an uncoated braid such as Korda Supernatural. However as I was now fishing for bigger fish I decided to lengthen the hook link again, this time to about 8 inches. With this in mind I decided to use a coated hook link with a few inches stripped back, just simply to again help with tangles and also push the bait away from the lead. Korda N-Trap soft was my choice in this respect. Safe Zone leaders with a fixed lead clip and 3oz Square Pear completed the set up. An inline lead would probably provide better hooking but I wanted the lead to come off on the take as I prefer playing the fish without a lead swinging round in front of his nose were it can easily dislodge the hook. If I thought the fish were getting away with picking my baits up and not getting caught then I may have to consider using a inline but to start with if I got a take I wanted the lead gone.

I was set up by 12.00noon, with a trap set in the margins on the boilie rod and a single hook bait maggot rig sent out with a underarm flick about two rod lengths. I had actually chosen the spot for the maggot rod based on the distance my little match catapult would send a pouch of krilled dead reds at full stretch. This was so that I could bait up with more maggots after dark if necessary and know they were hitting the spot. My plan was to add the maggots little and often with the catapult and build the swim up slowly in the hope that the constant sprinkle of maggots on the surface would attract some attention.

I started adding the maggots in short bursts of five or six pouches every half hour so that it eventually took me until nearly dark to have got two pints out there. Nothing happened during the daylight and while I was adding maggots to the swim however my plan did seem to have got their attention eventually as just on dark I started to get liners. It was about 10.00pm that it was properly dark and by 12.00 midnight I was sure that one of two things was would happen, either I would get a run or something was drastically wrong with the rig as the liners were so frequent I had no chance of getting any sleep.


I need not have worried about the rig as at bang on 12.30am the maggot rod was away with a one toner. I was up next to the rod having just had another liner and checked that the bobbin was still in the same place. I was therefore on it quickly and after a reasonably short scrap a perfect common of 18lb 8oz was on the mat on ready to have its picture taken. The KD rig had nailed it in the bottom lip dead centre and as I had wanted the lead was off on the take and the fish hit the surface as soon as I lifted into it.

After returning the common things continued in the same way with lots of liners. The fish it seemed were rooting up the bottom for the krilled maggots and every 20 mins or so one would touch the line and give me a single bleep with the bobbin settling back in place. If the fish were getting away with picking up the rig them the bobbin would normally move as the fish inevitably would move the lead. I was therefore confident in the rig and in my picture of what was happening in the swim.

After another brew I managed to get off to a little sleep. In between jumping up to single bleeps and checking things out I would drop off quickly as by now I was very tired. I was fast asleep at 4.30am when I was shocked awake by another screamer of take. This time the fight was a lot stronger and I was convinced it was one of the bigger fish. With legs like jelly I played this fish with soft hands and took my time bringing it to the net. By now it was half-light and as the fish went over the net I could see, a little disappointingly, that is was a mirror although not as big as the first common. I was surprized at the size of this fish considering how strong it had fought compared to the common. Anyway it was still another fish to boost my confidence in the bait, rig and tactics. It was a lovely Mirror although one of the smaller residents of Riverside at 14lb 9oz.


As the light grew the liners stopped and by 7.30am I knew the results were probably now in the bag. I packed everything away leaving the rods until last but no further action came my way.

So what are my conclusions? Well krilled maggots obviously out fished Boilie on this occasion. I was happy with the result and would be happy to say that after three tests Marukyu bait can certainly catch big fish as well as anything I’ve used before. I would like to continue this test with a few small changes to my rig and fish both rods on Krilled Dead Red Maggots. Also when the fish are having it a bit more and see if I can produce a big hit of fish including my target 20lb carp to complete the test. I’m planning this next week and have already booked my swim at Riverside with the fishery owners.

One thing very worthy of note was that out of six anglers fishing twelve rods, eleven on Boilie and one on Maggot only one rod caught in the 24 hours I was there. So although my Boilie set up didn’t produce on this occasion neither did anyone else’s. It therefore pays to think outside the box sometimes, Boilies are good for singling out carp when you have small fish to get past and also the carp have small fish to compete with. Think about it, if this lake had silvers in not only would my rig probably get trashed by them, the bed of maggots would probably have been eaten before the carp got there. My theory therefore is that given a choice in the matter carp like to eat smaller food items as they would naturally. But where other species compete for this food they eat what they can get or what is left for them ie Boilies.  Riverside is by no means easy to fish as you can guess but with carp to over 30lb I think it’s worth putting the effort in.

Until next week,

Tight Lines



Marukyu Test 2 Update.

Well I managed to get out for a few hours this evening, 5.30 – 8.30pm. Had some bait left from Thursday’s session on The Bude Canal. In fact I have lots left as using PVA bags and fishing short sessions the bait lasts a long time.

Anyway I thought I would got back to the venue from Test Number 1, Forda Lodges and Cottages in Kilkhampton, I do lots of coaching and tuition session here and it’s just a mile from my front door.

The main Carp Pond is full of Carp, Tench, Bream and silvers. I thought I would go and try my original plan for Test 2 which was to use Protein ARB Bollies to single out the Carp. They responded very well to the method feeder and Marukyu EFG 151 last time so I was interested to find out if  they would be as responsive to the Bollies as well.

Tactics we’re similar to what I did on The Bude Canal apart from I changed the PVA bags to small PVA Funnel web sticks. The stick mix was the same bag mix from Thursday with the addition of a little sun flower oil.

I decided to  fish just one rod as I only have one bite alarm working just now. I have four very old Fox Ultons and now three of them have given up, time for a new set I guess.

I found the fish in my second spot on the end of the wind after half an hour without a touch in the far margin I move the trap near to some over hanging trees were a strong westerly wind was blowing in. The rod was away within five minutes. I did’t make any sticks up in advance and could hardly keep up the takes were so quick. In the two hours between 6.00pm and 8.00pm I landed 9 Carp.

I wasn’t expecting the catch double figure fish at this venue, there are a few in the lake to about 14lb but the bulk of the fish are between 5lb and 8lb. I did have this lovely Zip Linear Mirror which was probably the nicest of the bunch.



So after three sessions testing I’m very confident that the fish like the Marukyu bait, in fact the response is so fast that I feel if I get close to them I’m going to catch. I have always liked to have confidence in any bait I use, basically it’s one less thing to worry about. I know that if I’m not catching then it’s not the bait and I can concentrate on location. All that remains for the final test is a venue with a suitable stock of fish to find and feed.

Tight Lines




Snap Crackle and Pop – Marulyu Test Number 2

Well it’s been a while since the first test and the weather has picked up with temperatures in sunny Bude up to 20 degrees on good days. I’ve done some tuition sessions and along with work commitments it has been difficult to get out. As with most people work comes first and fishing second, even if it is fishing tuitions or my day job in an engineering factory.

This has resulted in my plans for this second test changing a little. First of all I decided I had to get out, even if it was just a few hours. I’m lucky to work with a few carp anglers a couple of whom suggest I give the Bude Canal a go after work one evening. Canals are often neglected and Bude is no different with few all out specimen carp anglers fishing it. Word is that it holds some decent carp to high 20’s and a possible 30 pounder. That being said I would be happy to make double figures as this is my target for this stage of the testing.

In order to maximise my fishing time all the gear and bait was prepared the night before. Including making several rigs and PVA bags ready to go attached to fluorocarbon leaders.


I chose to use the Anchor Bait Delivery System leads with the hard inner removed but retaining the rubber that holds the swivel. This way the lead will slide off easily should I break the main line. The rig is exactly the same as in the first test other that being one inch longer at 5 inches long. This was a Korda Kurve size ten hair riged to 18lb Korda Super Natural braid with a small section of silicone tube trapper the hair near the point of the hook. The bait was changed for a 15mm Marukyu Protein ABR Boilie tipped with plastic corn. The whole rig goes into a PVA bag filled with a dry bag mix.


The dry bag mix is very interesting and brings a new element to my carp fishing, sound. The mix is really quite simple only having three ingredients. Crushed up ABR boilies, 1mm SDP Protein Pellets and EFG 151. The three are mixed dry in approximate equal quantities.

EFG 151 has many colours and some of the large particles in this ground bait are actually a lot bigger than the 1mm SDP pellets. The reason the mix is left dry is for the sound effect, snap crackle and pop once it gets in the water. This was the edge I hoped would work to attract quick takes if I was able to locate the carp.

So with everything checked and double checked I pack the Land Rover before 7.00am and went to work watching the clock for a swift exit at 4.00pm. Heading down to buy a day ticket at the local Post Office in Bude then onto the canal after collecting the wife from work at 5.00pm I was on the bank at 5.15pm. Only one rod is allowed and this along with the limited time I had was playing on my mind in my quest for a carp over the 10lb mark.

Bude Canal is one of the few remaining in the UK with a Sea Lock, and I set up in a swim where I could see the sea and the surf crashing onto Summerleaze beach. It was quite an odd feeling, being right next to the sea but fishing for carp. The weather was blowing a hooli, 30 – 40mph South Westerly and a fair bit of rain so conditions were good for a bite or two.


In front of me I had a few boats moored up and I hoped they would be holding area’s for the wandering Canal Carp. I was set in minutes and initially I thought I may see some boat traffic so I decided I would fish the near margin at the base of the shelf. The first of my pre-tied rigs was dropped in about six feet from the wall and I carefully set the rod on the rests.


The first fish came to my workmate Daryn who was fishing almost under one of the boats opposite, a nice mirror of 11lb 9oz. Just after we dealt with his fish I noticed that my swinger was on the deck, on closer inspection the line has pulled out of the clip and was bow string tight, not slack as I had left it. A little puzzled I reeled in to find the silicone sleeve trapping the hair was pushed round to the eye of the hook, a sure sign that something had picked up my hook bait and got off the hook. That horrible feeling that disaster has struck was starting to sink in. I check the bite alarm only to find it was not working; everything was working except the roller didn’t cause the alarm to sound.

Fish 1 Colin 0.

Daryn was kind enough to loan me spare alarm he had with him and I decided to give the same spot another go for a while. After half an hour or so Daryn had another fish, a small Common, and the gremlins had started to set in. I was thinking that the hooked fish may well have been hooked for a minute or two and spooked any carp away from the area; also I was watching fish being caught near the boats where I had fancied I should have fished in the first place.

Lessons learned I set up a third pre tied rig and put in a near perfect cast near to a moored boat on the opposite bank. 20 minutes or so later the rod was away and a powerful carp took line as it motored up the central channel on the canal. It turned and came into my feet at a considerable pace and then managed to take out Daryn’s line before being bundled into the net. The Half Linear Mirror looked stunning on Daryns unhooking mat. All of the Bude Canal fish that I have seen so far are in mint condition and this one was also fin perfect. Into Daryn’s weigh sling and it went 12lb exactly and my mission was accomplished in just under 2 hours fishing.


Given my early incident with a faulty bite alarm I was happy with the result. Bude Canal is not a runs water by anyone’s estimation so a combination of swim choice, bait and bait application worked for me on this short session.

So far so good for bait testing Marukyu bait for specimen carp fishing. The next test will be on another even tougher venue that I have only fished once before. I have a week off work coming up as the factory is shut for the week at the end of May. My target will be a 20lb carp, however tactics are yet to be finalised for this venue and also may change as the session progresses. I hoping it will be at least a 24 hour trip this time and not three hours.

Tight Lines, Colin

All Sharks with Team Shed

Bull Huss

Bull Huss

Had great day on the Team Shed with Dean, we powered out of Bude at 12.00 noon and soon I was dropping into 100 foot of water after Cod. Dean informed us that so far no pollack or mackerel had been caught this summer so Cod was the target.

Nothing happened for an hour or so then Dean sent down his bait dropper and soon the action started with Dog Fish, Bull Huss and a Tope all coming aboard.

I tried the Isome baits early on but once we started catching shark species on large chunks of bait I swapped my rigs over and joined the party.

I have a plan to try them again later in the summer when the summer species have arrived or to use them for some LRF or Light Rock Fishing for wrasse and whatever else may take them.

In any event I will post the results.

Tight Lines