Long range bomb and bag tactics for autumn

It’s often thought of as purely a winter tactic, but the bomb and PVA pellet bag is becoming just as big a hit when fished in the warmer months for carp. 

Venues such as Gold Valley, Boddington Reservoir and Barston Lakes are all seeing massive match weights taken on ‘the bag’ – and it formed a key element of 2018 Bait-Tech Supercup champs Whitemoor Lakes’ approach as they triumphed at Barston.

They based much of their attack on the Main Lake around a bomb and bag, cast at long range for the venue’s big carp.

Ian action.jpg

Poole, Dorset-based angler Ian Dunlop was the best of the Whitemoor Lakes performers in the final, finishing third overall with a 96-12-0 net of big carp that he took fishing bag and wafters at 60m. But, as he reveals, it’s not all about blasting the bomb to the horizon, setting the clutch and sitting back as you wait for the rod to be dragged in...

What goes in the bag?

“I tie my bags the night before and go to great pains to ensure they all hold an equal amount of bait. 

“I measure out the contents with an old Fox Toss pot, and the mix is made up of micros, 6mm pellets, 4mm Mainline Cell pellets and some crushed Cell boilies. The fish at Barston seem to love Cell for some reason!”

Quick breakdown

“I’d noticed in practice that bites came within three minutes of casting out, so using a PVA mesh that broke down rapidly was vital. 

“I think the speed of the bite was down to the amount of spodding that carpers do on the lake, making the fish come to the noise created. Guru’s Speedmesh breaks down super-quick and was ideal.”

Use a shockleader

“Although I geared up with 8lb mainline, towards the end of the match I had two crack-offs as the line had been weakened from the strain put on it by multiple casts. This led me to attach a 10lb shockleader, and things were miles better afterwards. 

“The right rod and reel were equally important, as you can’t cast the distance needed with an 11ft tip rod. 

“I fished a 13ft Daiwa Tournament Power Distance rod and a Shimano Ultegra 5500 XTD mini big pit reel – it’s specialised kit, but necessary for throwing a bomb 60m.”

Dips are key

A lot of anglers reckon dips and additives make no difference, but I’m not one of them. Barston is shallow, and if you can put a plume of flavour into the water as the bomb and bag sink, your chances of catching are much better. Once I’ve attached the bag to my hooklink, I drop it into a pot of Mainline Hybrid Activator for a few seconds and this gives off instant attraction.

Best hookbaits

Changing hookbaits is important, as you need to hit on what the fish want. My two best baits were an 8mm Ringer Baits Chocolate Orange or washed-out Yellow Wafter that I doused in Mainline’s Hybrid Activator dip just before casting out.

Choc Orange Wafters.jpg

Accuracy – is it important?

From fishing Barston a bit, I’d discovered that casting tightly to the same spot wasn’t vital. Casting a bomb and bag a long way is not easy, and I settled on 60m and didn’t clip up, so the bait wasn’t hitting the same spot each time. As long as it was in roughly the same area, I was happy.