It’s always harder to bag a bite in the winter when the temperatures drop and the metabolism of the carp slows down. Some people will turn to evermore complicated rigs and set ups in an attempt to get amongst the fish during cold weather and for some it works, though I have to say, I’ve had much greater success by trying to keep things as simple as possible.
One of my most simple winter approaches is the imitation corn aligner rig. It’s nothing new and nothing fancy – just plain, simple, and for me, very effective! To be honest, I’ve had great success on it all year round, especially when stalking, but during winter when you don’t want to be putting too much bait out, it’s a great little tactic that’s banked me countless fish over the years.
Making the rig could not be any easier; just tie a length of braided hooklink to the eye of a hook using a Palomar knot. Then select and mount a piece of imitation corn lengthways onto a baiting needle, before then sliding it onto the hooklink. Then, slide it right the way up the link and onto the shank of the hook itself until only the top of the shank is left showing.
Have a play around with the exact positioning of the corn on the shank, as you need to make sure it turns in properly to set the hook home, but it’s easy enough to do after a couple of attempts and by running the rig over the palm of your hand, you’ll quickly gauge the ideal positioning. The rig is best suited to a wide gape hook around size 8. The buoyancy of the floating corn helps to add a critically balanced edge to the bait, and I love to fish it over hemp, maggots, casters or just about anything else to be honest!
My favoured components of late for this rig (and as used in the image) are the Terminal Contact Green Braid and Terminal Contact Hooks from Pallatrax, twinned with imitation floating corn from Enterprise. Job Done!