A method I use quite a lot during the months of say August and September when the carp are having a good feed (especially for wary fish) is to feed with different sizes of bait. For example I will feed Quest boilies of 10, 15 and 20mm. I will then tie up a circular 6 bait pva stringer of different size baits and fish a hair with say a 15mm & 10mm bait on it which when the pva has dissolved, will sit right in the middle. The theory behind this method is that when the carp is feeding it will find it much harder to detect the weight of the hook than it would if it were just feeding on the same size baits. This method has brought me a lot of success and is the method I used to take fish to 55lb 4oz from Island Lake in France last year.
This is a method I first saw used in the late 1980’s when fishing the Church Pool on the Patshull Estate in the West Midlands. It basically involves whittling the sides of the boilie away (forming an apple core shape) to release more attractants from the bait at a quicker rate. This works because you have broken through the ‘sealed’ boiled skin of the bait. This method is particularly effective in the winter months when you want to give off a strong flavour signal without putting much bait in (which may overfeed the carp). The apple core works well with bottom baits, but I have had considerable success in the past using it with pop-ups. By whittling the bait away you can create an excellent critically balanced pop-up without having to use too much putty and thus adding to the subtlety of the rig (i.e. Instead of putting more weight on, just trim some more bait off).
This method works really well in the months of May and June when the carp can sometimes be thinking of spawning. I have always done well using sweet corn when the fish have been thinking about spawning. But when on a water with a lot of small fish, I couldn’t get away with just corn so the boilie tipped with corn seemed to me to be the natural progression. It works really well, very often producing when nothing else will. I don’t know if it’s just curiosity value or if it resembles spawn in any way to the fish, but it is certainly effective at this time of year. Also works well as a change bait at any time.