Monday, August 9, 2010
Fishing carp with hair rigs
Most of the carp fishing I did up until last season was done using boiled corn as hookbait. It worked well until gobies reached my carping grounds. Ever since then, fishing with canned or frozen corn has become a lot harder once mid May rolls in and the gobies join the other bait fish in stealing the corn before the carp get to it. I've experimented with fermented corn which is a bit harder, but the stuff smells horrible and a pain in the neck to haul around. It's also hard to chum it out to the distances I cast to.
Last season, I started experimenting with boilies mounted on hair rigs for the first time. I had limited success, but they still outperformed the corn for most of the season. This season, I have switched over completely to boilies. It's a lot cleaner, baitfish don't bother with them, an I can effectively chum with a catapult no matter how far I'm casting.
After downsizing from 20 mm to 16 mm, I've noticed a huge difference. The carp are hitting a lot more, and to my surprise, the average size is up close to 5 lbs! I've also been experimenting with hook size for the hair rigs as well as hair length. Though most carpers seem the prefer a short 1/2 inch hair rig, I've found found that my hookup ratio increases from 40% to 90% with a longer 2.5 - 3 inch hair rig when using a 16 mm boilie.
I also picked up some smaller 12mm boilies, though I haven't got around to trying them yet. I will probably run the short / long hair rig test with only the 12 mm's, and then run another test using 12mm against 16 mm to determine which works best.
My wife and kids are only too happy to be part of my research team, as I like to fish 2 lines side by side for effective "scientific" testing. They've all beat their personal bests this season.