Angling’s supreme innovator, Andy Findlay, sheds some light on yet another home-made tactic that is getting him some impressive results!
Those in the angling world that know me will know just how much I like to create and come up with new tackle inventions or adaptations of baits and methods. Second to this, they will also know that my favourite bait for big bags of carp is… paste!
It is common knowledge that fish wise up to certain methods and tactics; this is why we get crazes in angling. You will notice how every year we see certain new methods do all the damage at different venues up and down the country. The following year the exact same method may not work at all and something new will replace it.
It is for this reason that I feel keeping one step ahead of the game really gives me the edge and even catches me fish that nobody else can catch – the biggest, cleverest occupants of the lake!
If you're fishing for big fish, use a big bait!
If it wasn’t for the guys at Pole Fishing magazine mithering me to give away the secrets of my latest bait innovation I wouldn’t be telling anybody. Over the last year or so I have caught thousands of pounds of fish using my new home-made bait, and during the warmer month's I see no better tactic for catching big bags of carp. There isn’t a venue I will go to without my secret concoction.
I call it corn paste, and it is quite simply exactly that – corn that I have pushed through a sausage mincer to create a stodgy, sloppy paste. My thinking is that fish have wised up to the taste of fishmeal and see it as an indication that anglers are about. On the flip side, a bright ball of yellow paste is irresistible to the carp and more importantly they have never seen it before, so have every confidence in slurping it right up.
I prepare it at home the night before a session and it needn’t cost you much at all! I find I have had good results using Sonubaits F1 corn, although supermarket own-brand sweetcorn can also work well. Roughly five tins pushed through the sausage mincer fills a 3pt bait tub, which is plenty for a standard session. Adding half a handful of micro pellets helps to soak up some of the excess moisture.
As with standard paste, corn paste is a bait that will target the biggest fish in a lake, so everything about this way of fishing has to be positive. My setup is made to be robust and no-nonsense. I use 0.17mm diameter Reflo Power straight through to a size 10 PR 456; I see no need in using hooklengths for this type of fishing, I don’t want any weak spots in my rig.
I never have any shot on my line when paste fishing and using a self-cocking paste float means I can read when my bait has come off, when I am getting line bites and most importantly when I get a proper bite. The key attributes of this float are its 2in bristle, its thick glass stem, which is super-strong and stable, and its double eyes, one at both the top and bottom of the bristle, reducing the chances of a tangles.
Feeding And Hooking The Bait
Getting your hook bait into the swim is arguably the biggest challenge when using paste. I see a lot of people trying to swing the bait out to the required place, usually unsuccessfully with the hook bait dropping off halfway to its required destination. In fact, if doing it this way is successful your paste is probably way too stiff anyway.
Getting your paste to the correct spot should be easy and following my simple guide should give you a good idea of the best way of doing it in the most efficient way possible.
1) Mega Cad Pot
Having a good Cad Pot is vital to paste fishing. Firstly it is the only means to getting your paste to the swim consistently every time; positioning it as you would using other baits is the most accurate way of doing it.
Secondly, this method of fishing involves feeding positively. By using a big pot, in this case a Mega Cad Pot from Preston Innovations, I am able to feed a good helping of corn along with my large blob of corn paste.
2) Work It Out
Throughout your session you will soon get an idea of the size of fish you are catching. You can then alter your hook bait accordingly. Don’t be scared to use a hook bait that seems extraordinarily large – big carp will soon slurp it up! A golf ball-sized blob is usually what I will end up using.
3) Hooking The Bait
Use your thumb/finger to create a small indentation to push your hook into. This will ensure once you have folded the bait around your hook that your hook is at the bottom of the bait, meaning your float will sit properly in the water.
4) Big Hooks
You can soon see how using a big hook makes sense when fishing a big bait like paste. Your hook is completely hidden within the bait, so using a big hook like a size 10 is only going to benefit you in hooking more fish. If you look closely I have even left a long tag off the back of the hook; I curl this between my fingernails, which helps ‘grip’ the paste to keep it on the hook for longer.
5) Give It A Dip
Once I have moulded the bait around the hook and line I always give it a dip in a bowl of water I keep on my side tray. This helps the bait stick together, allowing it to get to the bottom of my swim without dissolving as it hits the water.
6) Ready To Go
The final step is to drop your paste into your Cad Pot and get fishing, simple as that!
There's no point in rushing when every fish is a double!
The Pole Fishing cameras join me at the brilliant Glebe Fishery in Peckleton, Leicestershire. I have sat myself on one of the famed big-fish pegs on the venue – the boards on Uglies pool…
On a venue such as this I feel no need for messing around with other tactics, when I am certain paste will work from the off. The only difference would be the way I start the session. If I was to leave the swim for the first hour or so before going on it I would generally feed it with a full 250ml cup of corn with a couple of blobs of paste in to give them a taster.
Today, I am going to go straight in with my bait and a handful of corn fed through my Cad Pot. I would generally expect a couple of feeds before getting a bite, but such is the brilliance of this venue I am into a fish within the first five minutes of the session! A carp of around 10lb graces my net, not a bad start!
My next few put-ins also produce bites; my float is constantly dipping and diving due to liners and the commotion of fish beneath the surface. It doesn’t take long to work out the difference between these false indications and a proper bite and on occasion my 15H Preston Innovations elastic was being ripped out of the end of pole, due to the confidence the fish had in taking my bait.
Teamed up with a puller kit my elastic is handling everything I am coming up against with ease. I have played around with different elastics over the years and always find myself coming back to 15H; it is in my eyes the ultimate big-fish tamer.
Corn Paste definitely sorts theboys from the men!
It doesn’t take long before I am well past the 100lb mark, including some real monsters – carp up to 20lb in fact! Fish that in my eyes just do not get caught otherwise; they look darker in colour than others I have caught from here before, almost wild looking, and I am convinced these fish avoid baits such as pellets, which they will have grown to realise are used to catch them.
Feeding through the Cad Pot is working well and I can moderate the amount of feed I put in with the bait, depending on what is happening in the swim. I catch a big bream at one point, which tells me I am not feeding enough to have the carp competing, otherwise they wouldn’t allow this species anywhere near my bait.
It feels like no time at all has passed before it is time to pack up. In just a short session I have managed to catch some really big fish, coming back with a fish almost every drop in. It is easy to see how a weight can be built up quickly when catching fish as big as these.
I suggest you get out on the bank and try it yourself, but remember… it’ll be our little secret!
Visit http://www.polefishingplus.com/backissues.aspx For Andy Findlay's EXCLUSIVE Video Guide To Paste Fishing!
Sponsors: Preston Innovations, Sonubaits
Pole: Preston Innovations Response M90
The Glebe Fishery
Location: Peckleton, Leicestershire
Contact: 07711 711650