Most of my bottom bait fishing these days is done with the ever-faithful snowman rig. I’ve never been one to over complicate my rigs, preferring a simple, easy to tie rig that over the years I have built up 100% confidence in. It’s not un common for me to be sat behind 3 of these such is my faith in them.
The snowman consists of a bottom bait and a pop up, which negates the weight of the hook and bottom bait allowing the carp to suck it in easier and more importantly further back into the mouth, which gives you extra time for the hook to find a home in the carps mouth.
All things riggy
I prefer to fish this rig long at least 12 inches. I think the extra length helps to trip up the carp; it’s like giving them more rope to hang themselves.
I also think it has a better chance of “fishing” over the weedier spots. If I know, for a fact, that the ground I am fishing over is perfectly clean, or I am fishing over bait then I may shorten the length but only a little.
Along the length of the rig I place a couple of bits of the lead from your lead core twisted around the rig and covered in your chosen putty. This ensures the long rig is pinned down nicely. The twisted lead core is a nice little edge that ensures your putty doesn’t slip or come off.
The blob of putty nearer the hook has two uses; the first, as we have covered, pins the rig down but the second is it acts as a dropper adding downward force to the hook once it has been sucked in which I think helps turn more pick ups into takes by keeping the hook closer to the mouth whilst the hook link is slack.
Matching the colour of hook link to the bottom is something I pay a lot of attention to, preferring matt coloured hooks, hook links and swivels. If the ground I am fishing over is mega firm I will use a stiffer material to give the carp further problems trying to eject the hook bait.
I don’t like shrink tube cluttering my hook there isn’t any in my tackle box even if I wanted to use it. I feel my rigs turn well enough without it. I also think there are less edges to hang up or pick up weed. Just my own view as I know lots of people that do use it to good effect.
Hooks and hook baits
There are so many good hooks available these days so I’m not going to shove one down your throat too much as you will all have your thoughts and have hopefully established one or two that work for you.
The things I value in a hook are strength and sharpness. This may sound obvious but there are many hooks out there that do one or the other but few manage to perform both.
My favourite pattern is the Atomic Gunsmoke grabba, both wickedly sharp and strong. I have had some mega boat battles with some wild, continental carp often lasting for hours whilst trying to extract the angry beasts from every weed bed in the lake and I can, hand on heart, say that I have never been let down by an Atomic grabba.
Hook bait wise, the world is your oyster.
I prefer a brighter pop up than the chosen, food, bottom bait. This gives the whole set up a visual aspect as it sits up off the lakebed. Personal favourites being the hellraisers, the ever-faithful northern specials or a tiger nut combination with the top one drilled out and cork plugged.
A little tip when fishing the snowman with tigers is to skin the top nut with a sharp craft knife. This adds a very subtle bit of visual to your hook bait. I had particular success with this method on a very shallow lake I was fishing a few years ago. At the time it seemed that every carp that swam past this presentation ended up in my landing net and is something I have done ever since.
I hope you have just as much success on this rig than I have.
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