Top Nash consultant Steve Briggs talks us through a simple but under used bait application trick.
There is often a confidence issue with bait and I get asked many times for advice about which bait to use where and at what time of year. To be honest I don’t worry about it nearly as much as I used to and knowing the Nash range as I do now I feel confident with just about all of them – although I still have my favourites. My most recent trip to Rainbow Lake is the perfect example of what I mean. I had two weeks in Swim 16 and in that time I had to get my bait established, get the carp feeding on it and hopefully catch a few fish and if I was lucky, catch one of the big ones!
Baits need to be instant but also have the quality to keep working for the duration of the session. Both the Key and the TG Active have done it for me this year but one of the baits I like most in the range is the 4G Squid freezer bait. There are freezers at Rainbow Lake, which obviously help with storage but in good weather I like to hang the baits in air-dry bags to dry them out and preserve them that way. That was only the first part of the bait plan though… I also looked at the Crab and Krill from the Instant Action range and thought that it would complement the 4G Squid perfectly.
Mixing different types of baits is something I’ve done more and more over the years and it’s worked really well for me. Actually the Crab and Krill has been almost overlooked and some people were asking if it was a new addition to the range. To be fair I hadn’t used it before myself but I had no doubts that it would do the job. The plan was to mix the two baits 50/50 but of course the beauty of having the shelf-life Crab and Krill is that should something go wrong with the fresh bait then I would have the perfect back up anyway.
My confidence was justified when the first fish of the trip fell to a double Crab and Krill bottom bait, a beautiful 50lb 12oz scaly mirror. Of my four rods I had two on the Crab and Krill and two on the 4G Squid. But I also had another trick up my sleeve - Gary Bayes had given me some hook bait hardening ingredients for the 4G Squid and I had made some large 30mm hard hook baits. As the session wore on I started to use those more as I knew that I could leave them out for several days if needed. Sometimes on waters like Rainbow, changing the hook baits every day is counter-productive and if I’m happy with the presentation I like to leave everything in place for two, three or even four days if necessary.
As the session moved in to the second week everything gradually picked up day by day and the fish started to get bigger! The midway Saturday produced a stunning 64lb 4oz common and after that every day some sort of action came my way with many of them being really good fish. Tuesday morning I had mirrors of 55lb and 56lb 8oz to photograph, while on Wednesday I had another big common of 63lb! But the best was saved for what is known as ‘Big Fish Thursday’ at Rainbow, when I latched in to the best of the trip, a huge common of 70lb 10oz!
It was a great trip in every way but the results show clearly that as the trip went on the fish came to feed more and more on the bait – and not only that but the bigger fish moved in too. That is a sure sign that everything was right and that they loved the bait that I’d presented them with. Mixing baits might not be everyone’s first line of thought but it’s worked for me many times now and I’ll be doing it a lot more in the future that’s for sure!