It never fails to amaze me just how blinkered carp anglers can be at times. The boilie has become such an all-consuming industry in itself that you could be forgiven for thinking no other bait can actually catch a carp – and I’m sure many (so called) carp anglers out there actually believe that to be the truth!
Carp are masters at obtaining every little benefit afforded to them by their habitat, and in addition to the plethora of baits thrown in by anglers; they will know all the places in the lake that may offer up a natural bite to eat – without fear of getting hooked.
It’s safe to say that when some of these natural larders are in abundance, the carp may well ignore man-made baits altogether, so it always pays to keep an open mind about bait. My advice would be to always have a few options up your sleeve, and if a few of these are based on natural food items which the fish may come across in the lake on a day to day basis, then so much the better!
As a stalking angler at heart, I’ve honestly lost count of the number of big carp I’ve had on worms, grubs, maggots, snails and God knows what else. I got onto using snails many years ago when a friend gave me a job lot of snails he used to crush up and add into his rolled bait. They just looked and smelled so good that I decided to cut out the middle man; hair rigging them direct and leaving the boilies aside! On a water where the fish were known to be shy feeders that often left piles of boilies alone, I took a big fish within hours of casting out and they just kept coming. Two days later and I’m eight fish to the good and none of my three companions had had a touch on boilies…
The only problem with some naturals is storage – especially if you’ve got to keep them fresh, or alive! However, the guys at Pallatrax have solved the problem with their Naturals Hidra Range, which are, basically, dried 100% natural baits. You just take them out of the pack, add to a little water (with a little colour and flavour if required) and before you know it they’ve rehydrated and look like they were still breathing only seconds before…. They are astounding!
Thanks to the drying and hydrating process, they remain quite rubbery, though still soft, if that makes sense, so that in terms of texture they are great, but they remain firm enough to stay on the hook if you’re casting to the sun!
They take on flavours and colours fantastically well during the rehydration process, as they actually suck it all in as they take water back on, and of course will then leech it back out into the water when used. But, if I’m totally honest, I prefer to use them exactly as they come out of the tub – they smell absolutely fantastic and look so fishy it’s unreal!
I’ve been using these for a good while on a few tricky waters where it pays to do something a little different from the norm, and my results have been great. Unlike most naturals, you can just leave them out on the baited rig for as long as you like, same as you would a boilie.
Available in: Brown Snail, Black Snail and Water Mussel. The baits come in resealable plastic tubs at £6.95 each. More info at: http://www.pallatrax.co.uk
Give them a try!