Question from Marcus,
I’ve been fishing big rivers for a number of years now and there’s still one aspect that continually trips me up. In my case it’s the ability to hold carp in my area on the St Lawrence River in the US/Canada. Shoals of up to 200 fish averaging low 20′s pass through the swim on a regular basis – lets say hourly. The ability to hold this shoal for longer than it takes for them to clear out the bait is almost impossible. In the past I have dumped 120Kg of maize off the side of a boat in to 24ft of clear water – 4 hours later it had all been polished off.
It’s clear that quantity of bait makes no significant difference to holding these transitory fish in one location. My thoughts turned to creating ‘distractions’ in the area through widescale use of bicarb of soda, this creates a relatively short-term fizzing and bubbling and may hold the carp due to their inquisitive nature. How I could delay the breakdown of the bicarb to give longer term attraction still troubles me today.
The final thought I have is around the ability to leave a long term attractor in the water. With the development of Gel Baits I’d hoped that the ability to leave a semi-permanent scent trail in my area would hold the fish, I fear that the quantity required would financially outweigh the benefits.
So, in a long-winded way, I’d be interested to hear of other ideas outside of piling in the bait that might be adopted to hold these large shoals long enough to pick off a fair few fish before they move on.
Answer from Shaun
From what you have said I doubt very much you would hold the fish for very long. You won’t stop the carp from doing what they have always done on the river systems and that is to graze over large areas. Even if you could introduce enough feed to hold them in an area I doubt very much you would be able to introduce enough of what they require fore a balanced diet and then they will soon be roaming again to search out the food items needed.
I certainly wouldn’t encourage you to introduce the bicarb to the river system. Yes carp are curious but will still move on if the food isn’t there for them.
All you can really do if you want to sit in the same swim is to bait with very small items of bait which take the carp much longer to clear than Maize etc. Small pellets and seeds are the most convenient to use.
Surely you are better off adopting a more mobile approach and move with the fish keeping one step ahead though. This is what I would look to be doing and catch them with minimal bait as they pass through then leapfrog again.
Hope this helps. I would be interested how the other Bloggers would tackle this situation.