There’s just something about tiger nuts that scream ‘carp’. If I were allowed to pick just one bait with which to go and bag a carp, a nice slimy tiger nut coated in its own juices would probably be it! It’s often the case that a tiger nut can provoke an instant reaction. Their crunchy texture and distinctly sweet taste mean they can on many occasions tempt a carp to pick up a bait where a boilie might well fail.
I think carp will often view an effectively presented natural bait with much less caution than they would a boilie, and as such, they can be a devastating bait for a number of approaches. Whenever I go stalking I always make sure I have a bag of tiger nuts close at hand!
Presentation could not be easier, as they can be fished in exactly the same way as a boilie. However, depending on the particular situation I’m faced with, I would use one of the set-ups shown below.
Braid Presentation Of Tiger Nuts
For all my stalking and for any close range work I prefer to use a braid over any other hooklink material. My favoured braid for tigers is Rod Hutchinson’s Edge 2000 HPPE braid in green. It has all the suppleness required yet retains enough rigidity on the cast to avoid tangles.
Using a knotless knot, I fish the tiger just off the back of the shank and find in most cases this approach brings the greatest rewards. In addition, I usually favour a critically balanced presentation. This may sound very complicated, but in essence, all you are trying to do is make the hook bait react in the same way as the freebaits around it.
Use a bait punch and foam to create a critically balanced hook bait.
When a carp moves over a bait to investigate, it will often suck and blow out really hard or wave its pectoral fins to disturb the baits on the bottom. Those that lift up off the lake bed in a natural motion will often look less conspicuous than those attached to a heavy hooklink which remain anchored on the bottom – no prizes for guessing which one the carp tend to avoid!
The way around this is to make sure your hookbaits waft up off the bottom in the same way as the freebaits. The easiest way to do this is to use a bait punch. Carefully work the punch through the core of the tiger nut and remove the plug. You will then be left with a neat hole through the nut. Simply place a piece of foam into the hole and trim off any bits sticking out. That’s it; you can now attach the bait to the hair in the normal manner. Ideally you want enough buoyancy so that the whole rig and nut just sinks when placed into the water, ensuring it will react in exactly the same way as the free offerings.
Stiff Rig For Tiger Nuts
If I am fishing tiger nuts at range I favour a stiff link, which ensures there are no tangles on the cast. My preferred hook link is ESP Ghost Fluorocarbon which has great refraction properties. Again I use a knotless knot approach and simply mount the nut off the back of the shank.
Critically balanced baits on stiff links do not work quite in the same manner as a braid set up, so I often use a popped-up approach when using stiff links. The picture here shows my normal popped up fluro rig, which has one artificial floating tiger nut and one normal tiger nut. One of each type means the weight of the hooklink is just enough to hold bottom, if not, a small piece of putty can be moulded around the link.
With regard to freebies, I tend to use a mixture of whole tiger nuts and lots of crushed up pieces. These can then be dropped over the bait if stalking or fishing at close range, or can be placed in a PVA bag if fishing at range. I often use a mixture of hemp and crushed up tiger nuts, used in liberal amounts this mix can be used to devastating effect on waters where boilies are the norm.
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