Author: Administrator

Announcing the Big Carp News Podcast

Welcome to the Big Carp News Pod Cast! We are delighted to share this content with you! Bringing you a number of podcasts over the coming months, connecting you with guests from all over the USA. Talking on everything from the History of carp angling here in the USA right up to current times and everything in-between!

So whether you are out on the road, out on a session waiting for the fish to show up or just relaxing in the comfort of your own home. Take the weight off and sit back as we are delighted to connect you with a number of guests here on the Big Carp News Pod Cast.

Listen now…

Meet the 20 Best Anglers on the Planet

David Moore was named one of the top 20 best anglers on the planet by OutdoorLife:

David Moore
Fishing since childhood, native Oklahoman David Moore dedicated himself to carp angling two decades ago. He was a member of Team USA at the World Carp Championship in Romania in 1999 and 2002, and led Team USA at the World Carp Classic at Lac de Madine, France in the fall of 2009.  Moore and his fishing partner took top honors at the Nature’s Trophies Carp Challenge in Ogdensburg New York, in 2010, landing a total weight of 377 lbs. 12 oz.
Moore is co-founder of the American Carp Society (ACS) and serves as tournament director for the CARP Tournament Series, based in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. He was honored in 2004 by the Carp Anglers Group with a lifetime achievement award for his passionate promotion of American carp angling.

Read the full length article at

Getting The Most Out Of Boilies – Lewis Read

We’ve got a few more articles stashed away from Gardner. These are great articles for those who are on the fence about carp fishing or just unfamiliar with the Euro methods to carp fishing.


Since their invention in the late 1970’s, boilies have become the undisputed kin fog baits for many carp anglers around the world. They have tremendous advantages over other kinds of bait and we asked Lewis Read to explain the various methods he uses to get the best out of the boilie.


The boilie is simply a mixture of different powdered foods, (the base mix) that are mixed with eggs and fish ‘attractors’ to form a paste that can then be rolled into small balls. These balls of paste are boilied for a minute or two during which time the egg in the paste cooks, resulting in hardened baits that are better at withstanding the interest of smaller fish species, but which are easily chewed up by the carp’s throat (pharyngeal) teeth. The bigger the bait, the more selective the bait will be in most circumstances. If you make your own baits this can be done very easily by simply using a larger diameter rolling table to make boilies p to 24mm in diameter. Proper donkey chokers!!


These days there are a vast number of colors flavors, shapes and sized available readymade. All of which offer the angler baits that are packed with attraction to stimulate the fish into eating them. They are also designed to be highly nutritious to the fish, making them beneficial for the carp’s health and more effective as a source of food. As such the fish will grow increasingly more aware of the bait over time as they eat more and more of it.


The most popular shape is a sphere because it is perfect for allowing accurate baiting with catapults and throwing sticks. Nice round baits tend to fly straighter, especially with throwing sticks that spin the bait as they are accelerated and flung out into the lake. Luckily this shape of bait also works exceedingly well with modern rigs. In fact considering the way perfectly round baits sin on the hair rig, and the way that baited rigs land on the lake bed, I am in little doubt that there are clear advantages to perfectly round boilies. If the bait turns or twists on the hair, it won’t make much difference to its position relative to the hook.

If the fish in your waters have been pressured, (i.e. fished for a long time by a lot of anglers), then changing the shape and size of the bait may catch the fish off guard. In this case you can use bigger or smaller baits than those commonly used by other anglers on your venue. A good idea, to vary the shape, is to try extruding the sausage with a bait gun then boil and chop it up into disks or tubes that allow more flavors to flood out.


Convenience apart, many anglers relish the sense of achievement of having caught carp on baits they have designed and made from scratch. There is a wealth of information in magazines and on the internet to give the novice a good grounding start in the world of bait making. Gardner supply a range of bait making products from low cost boilie Sausage Guns to the efficient Rolaball Baitmaster rolling tables, that can roll a great many baits at a time. Check out the Gardner baitmaking demo videos on their website (and on YouTube) as an excellent source of information and advice.


Making your own boilie may require a little elbow grease, but the finished product will be unique to you, and if you are lucky you could end up with bait that is a phenomenal fish catcher. You have the power to choose the attractors, color, ingredients, texture and density of your finished boilie, giving you the opportunity to tweak and customize the bait over time to really suit your own requirements.


For short trips keep your bait fresh by storing it in a bag with insulation – there are some that are available in the Gardner luggage range that are perfect for this; the insulated Bait Buckets that come with a freezer block or the new Pop Up/Bait Bag that takes 6 pots of hook bait and has a separate freezer compartment that takes up to 3kg of boilies.


For fishing away from home for any period of time, air-drying baits is particularly useful. If you lay your bait out on air dry trays in a dark and well ventilated location, the moisture content will rapidly reduce to the point that it prevents molding of the bait, therefore extending the shelf life. It helps to shake the baits around on the tray regularly (say in the morning ad then in the evening) to ensure that even drying takes place, and when you are fishing the bait should be kept in a well ventilated, dry, shaded spot in an open mesh Air-Dri Bag.Gardnersupplies these in 1kg and 5kg sizes. This will keep the bait in pristine condition until it is time to use it. Either use the boilies straight out of the bag when frozen, or re-hydrate air-dried baits in some lake water for a few hours before use, to reactivate the active ingredients. Some anglers actually take this opportunity to boost the attractors in the bait by adding some additives to the water to compensate for attractors that may have evaporated out of the bait during drying. Be sure to keep levels low as too much flavor will not help the bait either.


Both pop up (buoyant) and bottom bait hook baits may be boosted to help fish home in on a scent trail. Again, be wary of overloading with synthetic flavors, it is much easier to use natural additives rich in attractive amino acids like liquid liver and liquid fish proteins, or alternatively refined fish oils.


Alternatively, attractive boilie paste can be molded around the hook baits to offer a greater flavor trail for the fish to detect. Like a shark following the scent of blood in the sea, a carp’s super sensitive olfactory glands (the organ they used for their combined sense of smell and taste) will lead it to the source of the delicious aroma.


Rigs wise, the use of buoyant ‘Pop up’ hook bait, whether it is a boilie or any alternative bait, allows the angler greater control over the way the finished rig settles on the lake bed. For example, they buoyancy of the hook bait can make the hook stand up straight if you want it to and this means that the rig can function extremely effectively. It also means that when the fish sucks at the bait, even if it is being cautious in its feeding, the hook will be more likely to enter the fish’s mouth far enough for the hook to do its job! The combination of these benefits ensure more pick ups are converted into positive bites, and the resulting hook holds will be firmer giving rise to more fish in the net.


As a rough guide I would offer the following advicee when choosing whether to use pop up, balanced or bottom bait boilie:


Pop up rigs use a buoyant hook bait and a tungsten putty (Critical Mass) counter balance weight molded onto the hook link an inch or two away from the hook, controlling the distance the pop up settles above the lake bed. They are ideally suited to waters that have seen little angling pressure, have weed present or substantial depth variations. The fish will be used to picking up food items at different levels and will not recognize the pop up as being unnatural. Generally, pop up hook baits work best with a wider pattern of boilies. Have a look at this very effective pop up rig that offers supremely effective hooking potential and which is easy to tie.


Slow sinking, balanced bottom baits like snowman presentations, offer a subtle means of presenting bait tight to the lake bed, and can be used in almost any circumstances. Unlike pop up rigs, they really come into their own in waters that have seen a bit of fishing pressure, where the fish may be wary of eating angler’s bait. Because they weigh less than a standard boilie of the same size, they take a lot less suction to fly into the fish’s mouth. This means that hook holds are further back and the action tends to spook the fish into running, giving you a much more positive bite.


A simple but effective presentation is the ‘D’ rig, using either Subterfuge or Mirage Fluorocarbon or a standard nylon hook link such as HydroFlex (most mainlines can be used very effectively!).


Straight out of the bag, bottom bait hook baits are excellent for fishing boilies in silt or when the fish are feeding hard on mass particles. This is because they have their heads tight on the lake or river bed (or even in the silt) and you want the bait to be down at the correct level. In both these scenarios there is no point in having the bait wafting up several inches above the fish’s mouth as it’s very unlikely to be eaten until the majority of the bait in the swim has been eaten and the fish are picking off the remnants. For standard bottom baits, soft braided hook links or a partially stripped skinned hook link with a conventional knotless knotted hook and hair, are very effective and very simple to tie.


Almost as important as the rigs used when boilie fishing, is the application of the bait, both before and after fishing. The great thing about a good quality boilie is the more regularly you use it, the more the fish will recognize it, and the greater the association of the boilie as being a food source. This in itself will mean the fish will be more likely to feed confidently in a manner that will lead to them being caught!


Always buy the best bait you can afford, and if possible for a team with like minded anglers that will use the same bait. This way you will be working together to create a situation in which your bait is the one that the carp want to eat more than any other. If this is achieved they will search for your bait, swimming past other angler’s baits to get to yours, and then feeding with such confidence that they become much easier to hook. When this happens expect many more red letter days than blank days….


Rigs for Success – Keith Jones interviews Billy Flowers and Jamie Londers

Here’s a very interesting interview that should provide insight to anglers new and old.


Billy and Jamie are two very successful carp match anglers who also catch plenty of big carp when they are just fishing for fun.


KJ – Can you give me an insight into your thoughts on rigs, how important are they in your fishing?


Billy – We both have a small selection of fairly simply well proven rigs that we can rely on, the Fang Twister is perfect for bottom bait rigs, that hook really nails them, I might add a shrink tube kicker but that’s about it. The Fang X is perfect for pop ups, fishing off the lead or mid water baits. The Fangs are really sharp and very strong, we don’t mess around that much with rigs unless we are struggling to catch but even then we’ll only make small adjustments.


KJ What about hook link length do you vary that much?


Billy – I might vary it by a couple of inches but we both pretty much fish the same length regardless of the situation, with the right approach I think just about anything is fishable with the rigs we use. Seven to eight inches is the usual length. The only reason I’d go shorter would be to hit the distance when fishing at range. Using Missing Link coated braid and some rig putty, its easy to create simple effective rigs. Its all about fine tuning or making small changes rather than making major ones or over complicating things.


Other people we fish with can’t believe how paranoid we both are about steaming our rigs, one of the most important things in our kit is the kettle, not just for making tea but for steaming and straightening the rigs, using the sharpest hooks available is important but that’s just about it.


Jamie – The shrink tube on the eye really makes the hook turn and dig in, the hook holds with the Twister are awesome and totally reliable, I also like to secure the hair with blow back tube. That way if I’m fishing a baited spot and I wind in and find that the tube has been blown back onto the eye I know I’ve been done, I can then make a slight adjustment and start nailing the fish, that can be crucial in a match.


PVA is an important part of our fishing, I don’t think either of us would go fishing without a selection of bags and mesh. Nearly everyone uses PVA these days, its cheap and widely available so you might think that it won’t give you an advantage. But as with many tactics and methods many anglers don’t put much thought into how or when to use it, but used properly, PVA will give you an edge.


Billy – We use mesh and solid bags, small sticks are really effective for getting a quick bite. Solid bags can be useful for creating a different kind of presentation, if you trap some air in a solid bag or add some dissolving foam for example you can fine tune the way it lands. If the bag is suspended above the lead on a soft bottom or weed, as it starts to dissolve, the contents will be visible and readily available to a fish rather than lost in weed or silt.


This also helps to spread the bag filling around a bit rather than leaving it in a small pile which is how many anglers will be fishing them, so if you’re angling for pressured fish, solid bags can give you an advantage. You can also use the foam as a visual marker to bait up to, but you need to be organised and have your freebies and a throwing stick to hand so you can do this before the foam drifts off the mark.


If it’s a solid bag the rig and hook will be inside the bag, but with mesh bags we don’t just hook it on, we always pull the rig through the bag so the hook point is imbedded in the mix. That way, when I feel the lead down, that’s another important point, I know that the rig has landed properly and I’m fishing effectively. Rig foam can also be compressed in the stick at the hook end, again fine tuning the way it lands will make sure you are fishing effectively regardless of the lakebed conditions, the added buoyancy can also be used to kick the stick and hook bait away from the lead. I’m sure most anglers are aware of rig foam but I don’t see many using it.


Jamie – Also what you put in the bag is important, again many anglers will be using pretty much the same thing, pellets and ready made stick mixes and ground baits, that kind of thing. Being linked with Nash Bait gives us a real advantage, there are so many ‘ready to go’ products that really suit our style of angling and they really work. There’s also plenty of options to fine tune and make things a bit different to what others are getting up to.



KJ – You’ve both had some good results on zig rigs do you use them all through the year or at certain times.


Jamie – I personally think that carp don’t spend that much time on the bottom, when they are they are either laid up or feeding. When they’re moving around if you can find the exact level they are swimming at and present a bait at that depth you’ll have a much better chance of catching them. Time and time again we’ve found that fishing off the bottom gets us more bites.


Billy – Zig rigs are a brilliant tactic and so under used which is probably why we’ve had so much success with them. When we’re match fishing the zigs really come into their own, particularly when combined with the new Nash Sloppy Spod Mix, that stuff really pulls the fish in and gets the swim buzzing, the boilie Dips are also good for this. We’ve had some massive hits of fish with the Sloppy Spod mix.


Jamie – We’ve even had carp smashing into the spod to try and get the mix out of it and into the water, that’s how mad it gets and as Bill says zigs are just so under used.


KJ – What about zig hook baits?


Billy – I’m not a massive fan of foam, I’d much rather use a 10mm pop up, particularly in a match situation when we’re looking for a big hit. We’ll have 10mm boilies in our spod mix so it makes sense to have the same flavour bait, usually a trimmed down pop up as the hook bait.


Jamie – Personally I think the foam is good on hard waters, two small pieces of foam, black with yellow on the top works well, but on the easier runs waters you can’t beat the Nash Bait Air Ball pop ups, they’re so buoyant, they’re perfect for zig fishing, they stay popped up forever.


Although the sloppy spod mix is perfect for drawing the fish in, its important to have some proper food in there too, we add the ten millers and also boilie crumb for that reason and most of that will end up on the bottom ready for the night when the fish will drop down nearer the lakebed


Billy – What we are trying to do is cover all options, we’ll be bagging up in the day time on the zigs, but if the mid water action starts to dry up say during the evening, the rods will be already clipped up to the baited spots so all we need to do is bang out some bottom bait rigs and we’ll be catching again. While we’re doing this, anglers in other swims will probably start spodding and putting out boilies and driving the fish off but we’ll still be catching over our spots because of the lack of disturbance.


KJ – What about positioning those zig hook baits?


Jamie – You need the hook bait more or less level, you don’t want the fish coming up from below and bumping into or spooking on the line, you need it in their face, otherwise they can be difficult to hook, you need it at cruising level. I probably wouldn’t fish a zig less than two feet below the surface, you need to give the fish room to manoeuvre above the hook bait.


Billy – If you are new to Zig fishing you need to experiment, if you’re fishing in eight feet of water, start at six feet off the bottom and then try different depths until you catch. Many people just don’t give it enough time, they might cast out a zig and after ten minutes try another depth. But within half an hour or so they decide zigs don’t work and give it up. You have to spend time perfecting your tactics, if you fish them right, zigs will catch you plenty of carp.


Another mistake I’ve seen anglers make is if they catch a carp at say six feet, then on the next session if they’re in the same swim they will automatically fish the same depth again. But every session maybe every day even will be different, so you have to start again and find the right depth.


Jamie – We tend to fish heavy leads so with long hook links, effective lead release is important, a Diffusion Weed Safe Bolt Bead is perfect for this, it won’t tangle and with the lead gone, you will be in direct contact with the fish which makes it much easier to get under control. Its not a lazy anglers tactic but if you work at it, Zig fishing is an awesome way to catch carp


Zigs are brilliant in the winter and also at night, hardly anyone fishes zigs at night, that’s an awesome tactic that will catch you plenty of carp right now!


KJ. Well that’s given us plenty to think about – thanks for your time


Targeting the Big Ones – Mick Henderson

Yet another article from our fellows at Nash Tackle. Enjoy.

Although an element of mystery in our fishing can create a real buzz, before embarking on a monster hunting campaign I like to make sure my target fish actually exist. Most of us have limited fishing time so don’t make the fatal mistake of chasing myths that may or may not be swimming in your target water!


With big carp fishing there’s often a very fine line between failure and success, attention to detail is important, long periods of inactivity are often the norm so you have to be fully committed and focused if you are to succeed.

If you research your water and find out as much as you can about previous captures you will often find patterns start to emerge. In my experience, big fish often have favourite areas or haunts were they like to feed and spend long periods of time. Some big fish tend to get caught from certain swims or areas at very specific times of the year, so as you stack up the information you will also be stacking the odds in your favour.

Once these areas have been located I like to start introducing some bait as often as possible so the fish can start to gain confidence in my chosen boilie. Initially if the fish can feed on my bait safely without the pressure of lines in the water and there are no potentially dangerous hook baits to be avoided, ultimately it will make them, I won’t say easy, but maybe less difficult to catch.

These areas can be anything from dense weed beds, deep channels, gullies or heavily silted areas holding blood-worm in abundance, neglected swims are always worth investigating or any area where I’ve spotted the tell tail signs of a big fish.


Its difficult to put a time span on this but as you become more tuned into your water, the pieces of the jig saw start to drop into place, but having said that there will always be a few pieces that don’t fit! Big carp can be very different creatures to the other fish inhabiting the lake and often lead different lives.


A prime example is the capture of my ‘pb’ mirror from a Northants syndicate lake I was targeting a few years ago. On this particular trip in June, the forecast was warm, plenty of sunshine with very little wind.

Because of knowledge procured during the campaign I was really starting to get ‘under the skin’ of that fish and just knew it would, at some point turn up in the car-park bay. I set up camp in the central swim of the bay ( a neglected swim) which gave access to a large area of water. My traps were set on well fished spots, but because I used different line angles and fished a more ‘stealthier’ approach, the chance of success was greatly improved.

Just after first light the following morning, a ‘stuttery’ tench like take followed by a titanic battle, produced the largest fish in the lake, job done!


If you are angling for a special fish its easy to make the mistake of thinking that you need to do something different to your normal approach. I prefer to stick with what I know works and instead focus on the detail, I might only get one chance, so strong tackle is a must and I make sure the hook point is sticky sharp. I’m angling to land that fish not loose it!

Compared to some of the concoctions I’ve seen in the monthlies recently my rigs are pretty ‘boring’ but believe me, they are more than capable of outwitting the cutest rig shy carp. The more components you throw into the mix when constructing a big fish rig, the more chances there are of things going wrong, so I prefer to keep it simple.

Hooks have to be strong and super sharp, for me the legendry Nash TT Fang X ticks all the boxes. These have been my number one choice for a very long time, the latest updated version of the hook which has been around for a couple of years is simply as good as it gets.

Without doubt the number one hook link choice for a big old weary carp has to be Nash TT Armourbraid, it’s strong dependable, bomb proof in fact and ultra stealthy.

When dry, Armourbraid has a subtle stiffness which eliminates tangles and helps kick the hook link out and away from the lead when combined with a balanced hook bait, but on the lake bed it becomes much more supple and stealthy. The colour is interesting too, it just seems to melt away and disappear regardless of the lake bed conditions, a lot of thought has obviously gone into the design of this product.


My traps are normally set and left in position for the full duration of my session (48hrs) so its important to make sure the rigs are 100% tangle proof and sitting out there as intended. When presenting baits on or near the lake bed my big fish rigs consist of 12 inches of  20lb Armourbraid tied to a Fang X hook fished blow-back ring style and a longish hair.

A Diffusion Weed Safe bolt bead or an inline lead set-up fished with long lengths of fluorocarbon or Nash TT Core-Plus lead core leaders completes the set up.

I know its predictable, but for pop up fishing its got to be the chod, I’ve fine tuned my own version of the rig which can be fished effectively over any lakebed conditions, its also the perfect rig for chucking into the unknown at a showing fish.


I like to keep an eye on what others are up to but more often than not and particularly on pressured waters I choose a different path, in other words, be a shepherd and not a sheep. If you “clone fish” you will only catch the same as the rest, hoping for a lucky result rather than angling for one.

Bait is another aspect where some original thinking will pay dividends.  When using boilies, to create the ‘confusion factor’ I prefer multiple sizes and shapes. If the carp are browsing over one uniform size or shape of boilie, a controlled suck can be used to easily inspect and also reject any unwanted or potentially dangerous items.

Whereas a mix of food items creates confusion and greatly increases the chance of a mistake being made with the hook bait.

A balanced hook bait rather than using a standard/heavy bottom bait also provides a massive edge. My own home made balanced specials have had a dramatic effect on my catch rates and have played a major role in the down fall of a good number of my target fish.

Another deadly tactic that is very under used these days is the solid p.v.a bag. On the water’s I’ve fished in recent years everyone has been focussed on ‘the stick’ I’ve even met anglers who believe pva has ‘blown’ and will no longer catch carp? But I’ve continued to catch countless big carp using my trusted solid bag tactics and I can’t see any reason why that will change. I like to use longish hook links with a balanced hook bait and fill the bag with food items that can easily waft up from the lake bed when disturbed by a feeding carp. Big fish have the ability to suck in food items from a considerable distance, a short rig could well blow my one chance of  success. ‘Give them enough rope’ is the way the saying goes I think and it certainly makes sense to me.


Big carp are eating machines and can consume large amounts of food when they are really on the feed. I am a firm believer that good quality boilies will always be the best bait to use when targeting big carp. Boilies will out fish any other method in the long run; it’s a method that has proven itself time and time again. We all have our favourites that keep those bobbins moving and I am no different. Because I’m a Nash consultant I don’t have to worry about my bait choice, baits like Scopex Squid, Monster Pursuit, Mac 1 etc have an envious big fish track record, so all I have to do is concentrate on finding and catching them.

It’s hard to imagine how the modern carp scene could have evolved without the likes of Kevin Nash and Gary Bayes, both gurus in their own field, innovating and developing many of the bait products and tackle items crucial for the pursuit of big carp that we tend to take for granted.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my big fish ramblings, if you are hoping to track down a monster or two this season, remember it’s a marathon and not a sprint. Don’t expect instant success and be prepared for the inevitable highs and lows along the way. Stick with it and most important of all enjoy your time on the bank

Be lucky,   Mick Henderson

An Intro To PVA – Chris Maltby

The folks at Gardner were kind enough to send us some articles of their own. We hope everyone will enjoy.


If you were to look inside the tackle box of any carp angler in any country where carp fishing is popular, one item you would always find in one form or another would be P.V.A., or Poly Vinyl Alcohol, to give it its full name.


This remarkable product was first used in fishing by sea anglers who used PVA Tape to help tie up their rigs to prevent tangles on casting. Until then PVA had been widely used for medicinal purposes before its fishing applications opened up a whole new market for the manufacturers.


The beauty of PVA is its strength when dry and its ability to completely dissolve when immersed in water, without affecting or harming its immediate environment in any way (including the fish!).


In the early 1980’s Gardner launched the first PVA product specifically for use in carp fishing. The original PVA String was made by a machine ‘weaving’ together several narrow strands of PVA tape. This makes the PVA easier to thread boilies onto and then attach to your rig. The original PVA String is strong enough to withstand even long distance casting thus enabling you to fish ‘free’ offerings, the same as your hookbait, at any range.


PVA Bags, as opposed to string, allows other baits to be used such as dry particles or groundbaits. The contents of your PVA Bag makes a great attractor for your hookbait to lie in once the PVA has melted. Taking this one stage further, it is also possible to encapsulate your entire rig inside the PVA Bag before casting. This clever idea has a number of advantages –

1)      It is more aerodynamic than casting a PVA Bag hanging off a rig hook in the normal manner.

2)      Presentation of your rig, even when fishing in weed or silt, is much improved due to the hook, hookbait and rig being ‘protected’ until the PVA has melted.

3)      Your hookbait is always right in amongst the contents of the PVA Bag as opposed to ‘nearby’ or alongside, thus far less suspicious to the carp.
So now we have PVA Bags in all shapes and sizes – Large, Small, Mini and Tubes (for longer distance casting) – and PVA String which also comes in various forms. There is Fishnet PVA Tape, which is a string but with a rough ‘webbing’ feel to help grip boilies and keep them in place on the string whilst casting. There are various diameters of string to suit varying water temperatures.


One of the most frequent questions we are always being asked is “how long does PVA take to dissolve in the water?” The simple and honest answer to that is “the warmer the water, the faster the melt, and vice-versa”. This is why there are now various types of PVA for sale, to cater for all seasons and angling situations.


Another major step forward in PVA has been the introduction and development of Mesh or ‘Stocking’ type PVA. This allows water to pass through, within and around the PVA parcel and its contents a lot easier and therefore speeds up the meltdown considerably. It is also very strong when dry and lends itself to knotting far more readily than the solid bags.


Different gauges allow for different water conditions and different baits. A fine mesh allows the use of small pellets, narrow tubing to accommodate boillies in a tight group and now there are several PVA loading tools to help get the best out of this tricky material.

The ‘Baggit’ is a simple funnel designed for directing baits into PVA bags.
The ‘Easi-Loada’ is a plastic tube pre-loaded with the mesh PVA all ready to use.


It’s simply a case of pulling off enough mesh to tie an overhand knot with (see photo), and your ‘free bait’ can then be loaded into the other end of the tube, straight down into the knotted end.

A second knot is then tied above the bait giving you a neat little package which can be cut and trimmed down for use.

These handy tools are really useful for creating the best bait presentations quickly and easily – the top anglers totally rely on them, no less than me!

The most recent development in PVA Bag fishing – and an idea that I really think could help your fishing – is the idea of loading small PVA mesh bags very tightly with crumb or groundbait mixes; then compressing the bait inside the bag with a dedicated plunger.

As the compressed mix begins to swell after casting, it finally bursts out of the bag and disperses further afield than a normal bag of free offerings.

 Also small particles are ‘fired out’ from the bag of compressed bait thus creating further attraction. Again, is it good practice for the bait and rig to be fished ‘inside’ the PVA Bag and there are special ‘Stick Mix’ needles available to help you achieve this.

(Photo with needle, etc)


A few tips for getting the best results from PVA


1)      ALWAYS store PVA products in a dry environment. It sounds crazy to remind people of this, but you will be surprised how easy water (and water vapour) can get around the place! Good quality PVA is not cheap to buy but very easy to waste…

2)      Try storing your PVA in a bucket of dry pellet. Not only will that keep the PVA dry, but it will also take on a bit of the smell and oily texture of the pellet…lovely!

3)      Non-water-based liquids, such as some oil attractors and flavours, can be added to PVA Bag contents to enhance attraction without melting the PVA.

4)      Practice making PVA Bags tight and neat; they will fly more smoothly on the cast and sink more quickly – vital when you need the bait to hit the spot fast.

5)      When using Solid PVA Bags, don’t forget to make a few small puncture marks in them before casting to help them sink quickly. Bags with no holes will float and drift until they start to melt.

6)      As you move towards the colder, winter period, scale down the size of the PVA Bags and decrease the number of free baits on your stringers. Carp are much less active in these conditions and will be put off feeding by larger quantities of bait.

7)      When making stringers, space the boilies apart to allow water in between to aid fast melting and separation of free offerings.

8)      Use the best quality PVA you can find. Inferior PVA does not dissolve quickly and

 will leave a nasty blob right where your hook is, and no fish likes the flavour of Poly Vinyl Alcohol, believe me! Residue from poor quality PVA not melting, or only partially melting, will prevent you getting bites…no one needs a day like that. It’s worth hunting around for the finest, even if it costs more – better that than blanking!

PVA is a top method that has revolutionised modern day carp fishing. There are many ways to use it, and you can experiment with what works for your fishing, but when you master the art, you won’t look back. All of theUKandEurope’s top specimen hunters are looking for the edge that PVA can give, and none of them leave home without it.

Ambush – Mark Watson

Here’s another article from our friends at Nash Tackle. We hope you enjoy!


According to my dictionary the meaning of the word “ambush” is the act of concealing yourself and lying in wait to attack by surprise.  This description certainly applies to the direction my carp fishing has gone in recent years.  Like most people, time is limited so it needs to be used wisely.


In order to utilize the ambush tactic, I need to first get on fish and then get my rigs out amongst the carp without spooking them.  This is easier said than done on the majority of modern busy venues, its certainly a difficult proposition on my current water where angling pressure and capture avoidance is a way of life for the carp that reside here. So I need as many aspects as possible stacked in my favour for the ambush to be effective.




Imagine this scenario, I walk onto my lake just as dawn is breaking to see a large dark coloured carp silently nut out in front of a vacant swim.  The other anglers on the lake are all tucked up and snoring when another, even bigger fish shows itself.  I rush back to the car for my gear and after working up a sweat with the barrow I am setting up in the swim with the carp still showing.  The last thing I want to do is scare them off but to catch them I need to cast baited rigs to them.  This is where doing your homework comes in handy.  If it’s a swim I have explored and fished before I will know exactly where baits need to be.


Whenever I locate features or have caught from particular spots, I like to mark out the distance to the zones with bank side markers or whatever is to hand. For example, the distance I need to cast to one hot spot on my current water is the exact distance as that from the edge of the grass at the side of the swim to a conveniently dug rabbit hole further down the path. I’ve also used bank side posts and branches or simply kicked divots in the soil. Then when the need arises, it’s just a case of pacing out the line and clipping up. I doubt that any other anglers fishing here will realize the significance of my markers, but for me they are a crucial element if I’m to fish effectively.




If you’re going to make the most of a situation presented by a showing fish, you want to make one cast and be sure that your hook bait is presented effectively. Also you don’t want to be left agonizing over whether the hook link has tangled! In this situation I also want to use the lightest lead possible to reach the required distance.  To help this I’m currently using 12lb Nash Bullet Mono instead of my usual 15lb and will continue to do so until the weed comes up and the extra strength is needed.  Stealth, concealment and anti tangle properties are maximized by incorporating a length of Nash TT Core Plus lead core into my rigs where it is permitted. I keep everything simple and functional,


I can’t go on much further without mentioning the fashionable chod rig.  I’ll be honest and say that the choddy is far from my favorite rig but I’ll always have a few tied up ready for this situation.  If I’m going after fish that are in an unfamiliar swim or in an area I know to have a messy bottom I’ll employ the choddy but not over clean spots.  For those I’ll use either a low pop-up on a multi rig or a balanced bottom bait.



Bait choice is a personal one but if I’m fishing the venue on a regular basis then I will have been steadily applying a top quality food bait, I’ll also have a supply of cork ball and Nash Airball pop-ups.  For ‘one off’ trips to other lakes or for casting into the unknown I also have a supply of Fluoro Airball pop-ups in various flavours.


Often when fish are showing a single hook bait is all that is needed but a stringer or stick will boost attraction and reduce the tangle worries.  The humble stringer does seem to have taken a backseat to sticks over recent years but with Nash TT PVA Stringer Tape it has never been easier.  It grips the boilies in place and provides a reliable total dissolve without residue.


In the past I’ve used sticks a lot, but after my initial tests they have been dropped in favour of the new Nash Soluballs.  Loosely described as ball pellets, they are a vast improvement on the ones which were available to us some years ago.  Ball pellets of old were basically carriers of flavours providing not much in the way of nutrition. But Soluballs are very different. Formulated with an attractive high nutritional value there’s one containing the same flavours and attractors to match every boilie in the Nash range.  They start breaking down immediately when submerged in water and create an irresistible cloud of attraction when disturbed by the carp.  What I really like about this baiting situation is that despite the boosted attraction, the only real substance for the carp to actually eat is the hook bait and if the rig is an effective one, then pretty soon another carp will be in the album.  Soluballs also take on Nash Bait Food and Boilie Dips, I’m sure the forward thinking anglers out there can find many uses for them.




I’ve enjoyed some good captures using the ambush, but one of the most pleasing was my capture of Starburst from Willington in Bedfordshire.  I had arrived early that morning to see a nice fish which may have been the venues big common launch itself out of the water out in the middle over a spot I knew well.  It was in line with a pylon and soon I had a stringer on the spot and a choddy in the rough next to it and was climbing into the kip bag as I’d driven straight down after a night shift.


I woke at around 10:30 and heard a loud splash coming from my right.  Another followed but it wasn’t a monster carp boshing.  It was in fact an idiot tench angler in the next swim which was only 20 yards away, raking it out!  I was not amused to say the least but kept my cool, made a brew and went for a walk.  Luckily for me the fish had the same idea to get as far away from the idiot tench angler as possible.  I found several carp mooching around in a set of pads at the other end of the lake so I knew what I had to do.


Previous knowledge told me that there was a small gravely patch to the left of the pads and after a little observation I noticed a common was using the same route to get in and out of the pads.  There was zero bank side cover so I had to be as stealthy as an 18 stone lump could be.  After what seemed like an age I had one hook bait with a 2 bait stringer on the gravel and a choddy in only 18 inches of water on the common’s patrol route.


I was sat well back from the water waiting for action when I noticed carp moving along the margin further along.  I filled my pockets with pellets and crept along to take a look.  It was at that point that the choddy rod tore off so I legged it back to the rods.  The fish kited a long way to my left so I had to follow it.  At one point I was on my tip toes with a barbed wire fence between my legs as the fish tore off on another run.  Not something I can recommend.


Eventually and three swims further down the bank I had the fish circling in the margins, a hefty clump of weed was stuck on the line about three feet above the fish and I had only limited control on the proceedings.  I had to wade out a little and scoop the fish up like a salmon as it turned and as I did I dropped the rod to raise the net with both hands.  It worked and Starburst was mine!


I always look back on that battle with a smile, for the record she went 45lb 6oz on the scales and was ambush fishing at its best. And certainly more fun than sitting behind static rods or festering in a bivvy.




Stealthy ambush tactics, in essence getting an effective rig and bait onto feeding fish without spooking them can be effectively applied when you arrive at a lake or after a move of swim, or in any situation when a fish catching opportunity presents itself.  On the odd occasion when I move swims at night, having distances pre marked on the bank allows me to present baits where I need them without any fuss and with minimal disturbance.  A good bait, a suitable and effective rig, a light lead and minimal disturbance are the keys to success.

Practicing and perfecting this type of approach has earned me plenty of bonus fish and it can for you.


The Big Carp Conundrum – Jamie Clossick

Here’s another article from the boys at Nash Tackle. Enjoy!



I’ve started fishing a lake that’s new to me this year and despite my initial optimism, at the time of writing this article, it feels as if the venue has well and truly kicked me in the proverbials.


Because this is the first year the lake in question has been open during the close season I was convinced there would be a definite ‘window of opportunity’ but in actual fact it’s been very slow starting after the exceptionally cold winter that we have all had to endure.


When thinking about the venue it reminds me a little of the Yateley car park lake, it’s a similar size and over many years it has been fished by some very good quality anglers, so the carp have seen it all.


The lake contains an impressive stock of fish; in fact one of the best that I have ever fished for, with just the right numbers of carp and a subsequent level of difficulty that I need these days if I’m to stay  interested and focussed.


The two biggest fish are very tricky to catch and tend to get caught about once every twelve months.


I have come across this type of fish many times over the years and it always intrigues me that even though they are the biggest and therefore you would assume the ones that eat the most, they are often the least caught.


I’ve often sat and pondered the problem, although there are many variables in the equation and each lake may be very different, some of these ‘once a year fish’ do seem to have certain things in common.


Some waters that I have fished offer a very different challenge, the lake itself could be rock hard and doesn’t give up that many bites, but the biggest fish is the one that gets caught the most.


The Lady from the Cambs Pit is one such example where each year there are roughly twelve different fish caught, most of them once or occasionally twice a year. The only thing in your favour is that The Lady and the Black Pig, the two largest residents, normally make up at least a third of all the bites during a season.


Another one was the now sadly otter ravaged Willington fish that I was lucky enough to have a couple of autumns ago at 46.12 (pic)


Again the lake is fairly tricky but that fish was caught nearly as many times as all the other carp put together making it a more than viable target.








The one thing that many of the more elusive fish have in common is mouth shape.


The rarely caught ones, unusual in the fact that they are the biggest in the lake and as I’ve mentioned, you would assume they eat the most, often have what I call the ‘hoover’ shape mouth where the top lip protrudes over the top of the bottom one so that when the fish is horizontal, both top and bottom lips can touch the lake bed, it’s rather like the shape of a barbell’s mouth.


Examples of these fish are Paw Print in the Wyre Lake up North and also Mr Angry in the Manchester park lake.


Both of these are 40 pound plus fish and tend to get caught once or twice a year at the most.


Now I haven’t really had a chance to observe any of these fish feeding at close quarters so I’m not completely sure of the reason why they are so good at ‘getting away with it’ but I have two possible theories.


We know that a carp’s mouth is equivalent to our hands. Everything they pick up is with their mouth and it never ceases to amaze me how they can sift out the items that they want from all of the stones, leaves and general rubbish.


They are obviously very adept at sorting out the food items and simply ejecting the rest.


These carp will certainly know what a hook feels like and maybe the ‘hoover’ shape mouth is better suited to the ‘sorting’ process, which in turn means the fish routinely feed on our baited areas and get away with it or deal with the problem of a rig more efficiently than other fish?


For the hook to turn and take hold, most rigs in common use rely on the fish lifting its head or moving in some way to tighten the hook link. So perhaps a more logical explanation is that because of the fact that both lips are tight to the floor and the fish can feed (hoover up the food) without lifting or up ending, conventional rigs are rendered ineffective.




I have been trying to think of an effective rig or presentation that could be used to get around the problem, the hinged stiff link or the chod rig seems the most obvious choice, but can it provide the solution?


I think a short stiff section that cannot be ejected or turned around has to have more chance and is totally the opposite of a conventional coated hooklink or supple braid rig.


The trouble is I only like using the stiff link on hard bottoms and I have major reservations about using the chod as an all-purpose rig.


I caught the Willington fish using a hinged stiff link but with a six-inch braided boom section, I’m happier using this on a wide variety of bottoms so maybe that could be the answer for me to tempt one of these elusive big fish?


While I was back fishing a couple of weeks ago I did manage to land my first carp from the lake in question on my standard knotless knot coated braid rig. The first fish from a new venue always gives the confidence a boost so I was really happy, at least I was until the following morning when I had fish all over me but nothing had happened.


I had awoken at first light and as soon as I looked out of my peg I saw a nice mirror head and shoulder about 25 yards out letting me know that there were fish around. It was a really carpy, warm and overcast spring dawn and I was sat on the edge of my bed chair with my heart racing, as I was sure that another first light bite was on the cards as it was the previous morning.


I saw many fish ‘show’ all being definite feeding boshes rather than the launching that happens at this time of year which I believe is part of the cleaning process as they awake from their winter slumber, but still nothing happened.


I was leaving at 10am to travel back home and although I was sat on my hands expecting a bite at any moment, by 9am it hadn’t arrived and I was worried.


Eventually I gave in to the temptation to go around and have a look at the two spots that I could see from the tree in the viewing area which at any other time could have jeopardised my chances of a bite by spooking them, but it seemed as if something must be wrong and anyway I only had an hour left.


I crept around and into position and immediately a small common and a known forty plus common swam past two foot from the bank so I knew that the fish were still there.


From the tree I then looked at the other spot as another very large common swam out of a cloud of bottom debris, the fish had obviously been feeding hard.


I had been ‘done’ on both of my visible spots with the freebies having disappeared with just my hook-bait glowing at me after having fish show in the area all morning.


My rigs had let me down and left me wondering, could the fish I had picked up the day before just been a fluke and do I need to work on the rig?


As I write, since that last session three of the four biggest fish have been caught and all were either on a chod or a hinged stiff link!!


The Subtle Things – Iain Macmillan

We’ve recently received a plethora of articles from Nash. We hope that you all will enjoy!


The Subtle Things – Iain Macmillan.


There’s know doubt that there will always be anglers on any lake up and down the land that consistently manage to catch more than the masses.

Some may just get lucky on a regular occasion, some may do more time than others, but most of the decent anglers who catch more than the average, rely on a small armoury of subtle edges or refinements that help to stack the odds in their favour. Most are not ground breaking or represent major steps forward in carp fishing, they are just tried and tested tactics that give the angler behind the rods more confidence in what they are doing.

For as many years as I can remember I’ve always tipped my bottom baits with something or other. This not only gives the bait some added buoyancy, but also raises the carps awareness to its presence and hopefully it will entice the fish to pick the hookbait up much quickly than normal, thus resulting in more bites and fish landed.


Since my introduction to the extensive Nash range of artificial baits which go under the ‘Mutant’ banner, I’ve watched my catch rate rocket.

Admittedly not out of sight, but so much so that unless I’m using a Choddy I won’t cast out without one of my artificial balls of wonder!!  I have used the standard plastic corn in the past, and I’ve had great success on it, but the Mutant 10 millers are a different gravy, I’ve found that they balance out a 15 mm bottom bait perfectly and give the angler the desired balance between something bright to attract the fish’s attention. This creates a hookbait that flies into the carp’s mouth and puts them bang in trouble at the first time of asking.

For me now, the plastic corn has lost its appeal and I’ve fallen in love with the Mutant 10’s. It’s a confidence thing, I know full well if I tipped my rigs with the Mutant plastic corn I’d probably catch just the same fish, but bugger that, I’m not about to change the winning formula.

Another edge I’ve used for years is to glug my artificial baits, even before my involvement with Nash I used their Sweetcorn Extract for years as a glug. These days since being privy to the rest of their range of glugs, oils and palatants I’ve now started to experiment with the Strawberry Oil Palatant. This stuff smells so good its unbelievable!


It was actually something I saw Nash’s Alan Blair and Matt Downing demonstrating at an open day in the spring, I noticed it was so strong and oily that it turned the white plastic tub a lighter pinky colour.

As with all my artificials, I pierce them before leaving them for months in the oily liquid to soak so it can be properly taken on board, again its just a confidence thing. If you bore them out first then surely more of the liquid will end up in the bait rather than just coating the outer layers.

Not that technical I hear you cry, well the best laid plans certainly are not, like I said subtle changes that WILL make all the difference to your catch rates.


It’s the same with rigs, I get loads of people at shows and on the bank asking about rigs and I’m sure the public expect you to have a battery of fancy rigs with all sorts of dangly things hanging off them to boost catch rates, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.  I tend to use 3 rigs for 99% of my angling, which are a coated braid with a size 7 Fang Twister hook for my bottom bait/tipped angling, a Choddy for weedy situations and a zig/floater set up, that’s it!!  And I also know that the majority of the so called ‘big name anglers’ use exactly the same.

Steve Renyard who is something of a rig guru, constantly changes his rigs as he is ultra paranoid that the fish get away with it far too often, now I wont argue with Steve’s results as he rinses everywhere he goes, but on the flip side of that I catch more than my share on very standard rigs.  At the end of the day I suppose if you put a half decent rig in the right place you’ll catch them, but put an all singing & dancing rig in the right place and the fish don’t stand a bloody chance eh?


I’ve had a few instances this year on Monks Pit where I know I’ve been done as the silicone on the shank of the hook has been blown right back up the shank of the hook on retrieval. So with all things going well on the catch rate front I tried changing things about a bit for two reasons. First I’d obviously been done, and secondly I was convinced some of the bigger residents that only grace the banks a couple of times a year were definitely feeding but getting away with it.



It coincided with a bit of filming I’d done with Rich Whilby on rigs, so I got out the old Ting Tong magic hat, fumbled about a bit inside it and out popped 3 lovely crafted works of art in the form of the stiff hinged rig, even Birchy commented that they were too nice to actually cast out into the pond!!  Now if I’m honest here I wasn’t 100% sure why I had changed all 3 rods, I suppose in for a penny and all that, but surely the carp wouldn’t know what had hit them if they so much as sneezed near one of them hinged stiff rigs.  I’d love to tell the story of how I caught all the big uns in the place now but in truth the following morning I took the things off and went back to what I know, and do best, which is keeping things simple!!  And the result a bit later in the month, loads of 30s, a couple of 37s and the icing on the cake with ‘Mr Grey’ at 44.6, stupid bloody stiff hinged thingies eh??

What I’m trying to get over here is just keep an open mind to what others are doing, I mean Lee Birch is catching as many as I am on Monks Pit on his version of the stiff hinged rig only he fishes the boom section with a much more subtle hooklink, again a little edge that works for him, but he was scratching his head as all around him were catching bigger fish than him and I think it was getting to him a bit.


I suggested he move over to the Fang Twister/coated braid rig which I was doing well on, but like me and the stiff hinged rig, Lee doesn’t have loads of confidence in that particular rig so you have to get through the rough times and come up with something that you’ve worked out for yourself and had success on, and believe me the rewards feel even sweeter.

Lee’s time will come, he catches far too many to not have his day, although he had over 60 fish in a season from Monks last year yet no 40, then lads come on this year and have 7 or 8 bites with two of the big boys in for good measure, I’ve worked it out in Lee’s case anyway, its his crocodile shoes (he’s a Geordie boy) nobody catches big uns if they wears crocodile shoes!!!!!


Another great edge for the Choddy is to fish a bright pop up over your free offerings, this tactic is a bit like the plastic baits theory, as in you are trying to get the carp to come in and nail the hookbait first rather than waiting for the fish to clean you out before buggering off.  I know it’s a tactic lads like Gaz Fareham and Jon McAllister swear by, and I’ve included them in my armoury of late with good results to show.  I think the underlining factor in all of the above is little things do make all the difference in the long run, and as immaterial or superficial you think they are in other anglers hands, they all provide the ‘personal touch’ in our angling, and who are we to argue with that?

I suppose if we all angled and had the same approach then carp angling would be so stale and the fish would so have the upper hand as they very obviously learn by association and will only get nailed on the same old things, so many times.

I’ll leave you with this bit of advice, we all sit behind motionless rods for hours upon hours, so use that time wisely, think about what you are doing, maybe tie up a couple of modified rigs, they could get you those extra bites. Why not experiment with those artificial baits and flavours?  Get busy and get catching, see you next time.





Submitted by David Moore:


We sometimes get questions about our store and how it works from time to time.


Here are 3 common questions-


“How do I know you have something in stock?”


At BCT we work diligently to keep anup to date and accurate inventory count.  What you see in inventory is what we typically have.  We have variants ie. Hooks ‘type & size’ in the below example.  You’ll also notice the drop down of packages currently in stock.  We do now offer a few ‘drop shipped’ items that are ordered regularly and brought in with our usual inventory items.  Another exception would be Delkim alarms which we have drop-shipped from Angling Solutions in most cases.  We aren’t perfect and sometimes do make mistakes but that is relatively rare these days.


“Why does an item I add to my cart then show “out-of-stock’?”


If you are buying the last item it moved the item from BCT inventory to your shopping cart so if someone else is try to buy it while you are shopping it can’t happen.


“Why does my cart show up empty after I put items I want in?”


This is tied in with the above after a certain time of inactivity while shopping the items are placed back in BCT Inventory.  If you want to have items saved you need to add them to your ‘Wish List’ you can then move them to your cart when you are ready to purchase them.