How much bait?
With running Dream Fishing Holidays on a day-to-day basis as well as owning Quest Baits Ltd, it is common for me to be asked how much bait to take on an overseas trip.
Now with selling bait, I guess you would expect me to be telling you to take as much as you can afford, but that nasty little thing I was born with and never managed to shake off kicks in and all that ever falls out of my mouth is the truth.
Small pockets of bait will always catch carp – fact. Whereas large beds of bait don’t always and can indeed spook them rather than totally turn them on.
I have fished a lot of overseas waters catching carp from 11 different countries and tend to fish all of them the same as I do in the U.K. It amazes me how many anglers are successful whilst fishing their home waters in the U.K. then go to France and fish totally different to how they would normally fish. When I go carp fishing, I simply go carp fishing, regardless of what country I am in. Having done it for so long, I feel as though I am pretty well qualified to comment.
I first fished in France in 1985 and to be fair, back then it seemed an edge to put a lot of bait in. The fish were un-pressured, and you could hold them for long periods of time. These days, it is a very different story with most venues being under a lot of pressure. In many cases, more pressure than most U.K. waters and mass baiting doesn't appear to be the best approach on many venues these days.
I am going to be referring to boilies here as boilies are always my main approach. They are one of the most versatile baits available to us. You can make them whatever colour you want, make them taste how you want, make them as hard or as soft as you want and use them whole or chopped into particles or even crushed into dust groundbait. One bag of boilies has so many different possibilities.
Usually if I am going for a week, I take around 30 kg with me and usually 2 x different boilies, expecting to have more than enough and bring most of it back home again. Yes, I know anglers who carry far more, but I can only comment upon what I do myself but usually hold my head high in terms of catching carp. In recent years, I have only used all my bait up twice. Once in France and once in Italy. It is rare I use more than 10 kg if the truth be known. But, carrying extra bait that you can still use when you get back home is not wasted bait and the times you need it, you would happily pay twice the amount for it to simply have more available. It just comes down to whether you can justify buying extra to bring back with you.
10 kg over 7 days comes down to just under 1/2 kilo per rod per day, if using 3 rods, which is enough to catch a fair few carp.
If bait is starting to go faster than you were expecting it to, then you can always start to bulk it out with bits from the supermarket. Carp love sweetcorn as we know, chickpeas are available in most places in a can or dry to cook yourself, I wouldn’t list everything, but the supermarket shelves will have plenty of bits the carp will eat.
A lot of the commercial venue will have a lake special pellet available that they feed their fish out of season. You can take advantage of these. I know anglers travel all over the world these days in pursuit of carp, but this blog is aimed really at what most of the U.K. anglers do. They travel to France and fish a commercial. Well, a high percentage of them do. Those who go seek out the non-commercial public venues are generally the anglers who have been around a bit and have their bait requirements sorted from previous experience.
So, there you have it, just a very quick summary of what I advise what are often anglers just dipping their toes into overseas fishing for the first time. As I eluded too above. Just go carp fishing like you would usually go carp fishing. Carp do what carp do. Regardless of where they live.
Best wishes as always