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,