One of the most important aspects that has a direct effect on winter success is bait, there is no doubt about it, at this time of year the fish are feeding for shorter periods, on less food items in a 24 hour period. Understanding the carps habits and areas that they want to feed in is one thing, then knowing how much bait to introduce could be the deciding factor when it comes to gaining success or not.
Unlike other times of the year, the cold temperatures mean that the water has a decreased ability to break down baits, thus releasing the attractors from the bait much slower when water is taken on. You may notice that when submerged in water, boilies swell as they begin to absorb; this signals that the bait is releasing all the soluble goodness and attractors through a process of water being displacing attractors and pumping them back out of the bait through the pores in the skin.
In the colder months, these pores within the bait are much narrower, meaning that the transfer of water and attractors between the bait and lake water is much slower. This is one of the reasons why many anglers add warm water to their baits in the winter, to open up the pores and help flush out the attractors quicker when introduced into the lake.
A superb tactic that helps release vital winter stimulants and feeding receptors is incorporating liquids into boilie crumb, ensuring that maximum levels of appeal are achieved through the bait when introduced. Boilie crumb is effective for a number of reasons; firstly, by breaking the baits up it means that there is no barrier, or skin, to slow down the process of leakage when in the water. Boilie crumb is also extremely effective at soaking in good amounts of liquid, which only heightens the food signals that are released from the bait in the colder water.
Similar to using different sizes of pellet, boilie crumb is no different, wait varying sizes and densities of crumb aiding the pull factor of the bait in the winter. You will notice that when you introduce a handful of crumb into the edge, some of the slightly heavier pieces will gently flutter down and rest of the lakebed; these bits provide the hard, food items for the fish to eat. Due to the fact these items are only small, it encourages the fish to feed for longer periods, even in the depths of winter, meaning that they are more likely to encounter your hookbait. Some of the much finer pieces of crumb hang in the water column, creating a visual, potent cloud of attraction, which helps to draw fish in and over the baited spot.
When it comes to adding liquids to the crumb itself, initially, a light coating with warm water helps to kick start the process of the pores with the bait opening up ready to take on the valuable, nutrient rich liquids that help to deliver maximum levels of attraction in the cold water. A light dose of warm water is all the is needed before adding a covering to the crumb with two different liquids. These liquids vary in both aroma and density, providing the best of both when being absorbed into the bait. The heavier liquid will work close to the lakebed, leaching into the debris and spreading out across the lakebed, whereas the cloudier liquid helps to work up through the water column, generating a burst cloud effect in the water when the crumb is introduced.
The crumb is by far the most effective when spombed out, allowing it to flutter through the water column to the baited spot. With varying densities of food items present, getting the hookbait to closely match the neutrally balanced items is crucial when trying to trip up the finicky feeding fish at this time of year. The elite range of pop- ups effectively compliments the natural colour of Live System crumb, with the pastel like washed out effect, creating little caution from the slowly moving fish.
To ensure the hookbait is effectively balanced to sit low to the lakebed, with a similar degree of buoyancy to the attractive crumb, simply bore out a small section of the bait with a wide nut drill. Then add a small piece of putty and place within the bore of the bait, before threading the bait onto the chosen rig. Ensure that the hookbait falls slowly through the water, similar to the speed of the crumb to ensure mimics the natural behaviour of the crumb when feeding fish are present.
1- Begin by lightly crushing a few whole Live System baits
2- Ensuring a mix of chopped and fine crumb in the mix
3- Add a dash of warm water to activate the mix
4- Before adding some heavy, Roasted Nut Extract
5- Before mixing the crumb and liquids, before leaving overnight to soak
6- The finished mix is fluffy and cloudy, packed with attraction
7- Take your choice of hookbait, the Elite Golden Spice is a winning combo
8- Begin to bore out a small hole in the bait
9- Before adding the required amount of putty to balance the bait
10- Mount the hookbait to the rig and check it is balanced perfectly
11- The balanced hookbait will sit perfectly over the baited crumb mix
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