My friend set up his line with a method feeder using corn and a foam popup corn as hookbait on the hair rig. For those of you unfamiliar with method feeders, they are a type of sliding sinker, typical shaped in spirals or with "wings". Method mix (ground carp bait) is squeezed onto the method feeder and cast out. As the ball of bait mix hits the bottom, it crumbles all around the bait, making for a well placed attractant for carp to feed around your hookbait. Additional balls of bait mix are chummed out as well, usually by making tennis ball size balls of bait and throwing them out either by hand, or using a specialized catapult. He set his line up using a traditional rod pod with bite alarm, to indicate the slightest twitch or movement in his line.
Personally, I find these methods a bit extreme, so I set up a simple hair rig with some corn nibblets and a foam popup corn, placing the rod into a "spike" type rod holder in the ground with my baitrunner drag set extra loose. I then chummed out some corn as well as some boilies, just in case I decided to switched bait during the session.
We got set up around 8:30 AM, no activity at all throughout much of the morning. I switched to some home made garlic / cayenne boilies around 11:00 AM, still no action. A bit after noon. my friend got a couple line bumps that registered some beeps on his bite alarm. About half an hour later, he got his first real run, he set the hook and eventually lanced his first carp of the day, about 10-12 lbs.
Seeing his success on the corn, I switched back to my original set up of corn and foam popup corn. We fished for another 2 hours without any activity, periodically chumming corn around my line and method bait mix around his.
Around 2:00 PM, I pulled out some "toasted" corn a brought along for a snack. The corn isn't actually toasted. Rather, it's soaked, fried and salted, puffing up a bit during the process and turning hard and crunchy (goes real well with cold beer). My friend had never seen any, I offered some for him to taste.
As toasted corn floats, I jokingly mentioned using it as a popup instead of the foam corn, he thought it may me a good idea. As I hadn't caught anything all day, I figured I didn't have much to lose by trying. Though I couldn't pierce the toasted corn with my baiting needle without cracking the corn, I manage to drill a hole through it with using my boilie drill. I set it up with a couple corn nibblets on my hair and cast out. Stil not too much activity, and our outing was nearing to an end as we had to leave by 3:30 PM. However, we noticed some sturgeon jumping around near our lines, so I was hoping that the fishing would pick up.
Sure enough, as often (miraculously) happens in fishing, my line went off at 3:25 PM, 5 minutes before the end of the outing. I set the hook, and the fight was on. It didn't feel like a carp when I hooked into it, I thought it may be a sturgeon or big channel catfish. Eventually, it started running like a carp, which I confirmed when it surface for the first time. I landed it within a couple minutes, a bit bigger than the one my friend caught, somewhere in the 13-15 lbs range.
It's always fun catching carp in new spots using new types of fishing bait or methods. This catch was extra sweet, as I had fished nearly 7.5 hours without a bite, and proved to myself that thinking outside of the box can pay off at times.