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Winter Bait Choice is Critical

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1980's snow capture

There was a comment on facebook the other day that I responded to and thought I should add it here too.

Someone asked how important I think bait is.

My quick answer was…

‘I would say it is the most important thing. The best rig in the world isn’t going to be able to do its job if the fish isn’t stimulated enough to pick the bait up. There are periods when carp will eat almost anything but at scratching times when the fish aren’t really bothered about feeding then the tiny little extras added to the bait by some will make a massive difference. I always find the Carpology independent tank tests with different company’s baits very interesting and extremely revealing. I’d better not say much more or it will look like an advert but even with a great bait you still have to present it in the right area on a set up which will leg the fish up’.

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1990's snow capture

It struck home to me after I had posted that just how important this issue is at this time of the year. A poor choice of bait will most certainly results in very few fish being triggered to have a feed, but more importantly it can in turn ruin other anglers chance of sport if those baits are picked up and then the carp find that they can’t digest them easily, thus taking much longer to need to feed again, which will affect the other anglers sport. Not only that but it can be very dangerous feeding fish, or any other animal, food that it is going to struggle to get rid of.

Carp are cold blooded so their metabolism is wholly governed by the water temperature. In cold water not only does the carp slow right down with its actions but many baits congeal and trap in many of the attractors/stimulants that are supposed to be encouraging the fish to have a feed.

You don’t need a lot of bait in winter, so now is the time you can definitely afford to compete with anglers of all levels by using the best winter baits available with proven effectiveness for many years.

I am extremely proud of my own personal winter fishing achievements over the years, having caught from holes in the ice on three separate venues as well as snow captures from lots of venues as well as several half frozen lakes. My first winter carp fell to my rods in 1977 and there haven’t been many years gone by when I haven’t  winter carp fished. I learned a long while ago what the carp like in the cold weather as well as what they can easily digest. I fed my own carp in my own lake for many years as well as my fish in my garden.

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A snow capture from last year

If I was to stick my neck on the line to give my top two recommendations it would have to be Magnum White and Rahja Spice . Both baits have caught thousands of true winter carp for many years now and I know they will continue to do so. If ever you bump into me on the bank during the winter  – ask to see my bait. I can use anything I want but you will most definitely find one or the other or both in my bait bag. They are still the main 2 baits I use to compare new winter baits against.

If you are lacking in winter confidence there really is no need to worry about bait. If I’m not catching on either of those I have my location or rigs wrong.

Best fishes

Shaun Harrison


About the Author: Shaun Harrison

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Quest Baits boss Shaun Harrison has put over 40 years of experience into developing his range of carp baits ” This bait range is the culmination of the bait knowledge I’ve gained throughout my carp fishing career, a journey which started in the 1970’s. It has truly been a long and winding road – frustrating at times, fascinating and rewarding at others….. Our range you’ll only find proven baits, the ones I use myself 

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