There aren’t many tactics that will tempt bites from sluggish commercial carp at the moment, but popped-up bread is one that can bring a response says Jamie Hughes..
With their appetites hit by the freezing conditions, mirrors and commons are proving hard to fool – but Jamie Hughes has kept the rod-tip hooping round by combining rod and line tactics and this supermarket favourite.
There’s more to it than just chucking out a bit of bread and hoping for the best, and this week the MAP-backed star reveals his winning approach with winter carp.
“It’s understandable why people would instantly go for a small hookbait but something big is much better,” said Jamie.
“It will stand out a mile in the clear water and a big carp or F1 can slurp up a big mouthful of bread with minimal effort.
“I punch out discs of bread and then thread them on to a hair rig. I will have no hesitation in using up to six discs at once to make a really obvious bait.
“The buoyancy of the bread will pop it up off the bottom. The lead will sink to the lakebed, taking the bread with it, and the bait will then pop up.
“If you use a foot-long hooklength, that is how far off bottom your bait will be presented.
“Sometimes I will place half a 6mm Bag ‘Em Matchbaits pop-up boilie on the hair rig as well to make it even more buoyant.”
Vary the depth
“The coldest water in the lake will sometimes sink to the bottom and with this in mind, fish could be sat up in the water in the warmer layers. It’s a matter of trial and error to find out where they are.
“I will start popping the bait up six inches and will keep increasing the length of my hooklength until I start getting indications.
“Don’t be surprised if you end up catching with the bread popped up three foot off the deck.”
“You might only get a handful of bites so you need to have faith that your tackle is up to landing every single fish.
“Mainline is 5lb MAP Optimum to 0.15mm Power Optex for F1s and small carp or 0.19mm for proper carp, finished off with a size 16 eyed PR36 hook.
“I also use an inline olivette instead of a traditional leger, stopped at the hooklength by a quick-change bead. . It creates less disturbance when hitting the water but is just as aerodynamic as a bomb for casting.
“I carry a range of sizes, from 4g up to 12g, but on a typical commercial fishery where you’ll only be casting 30 yards or so, an 8g olivette will do nicely.”