On many commercial fisheries I’ve noticed that the carp aren’t really that interested in feeding at this time of year.
Post-spawning torpor and the unpredictable weather has made classic summer baits like pellets, corn and paste a bit too much of a gamble.
Don’t pack your gear away just yet, though, because there’s one bait that not only appeals to fickle carp, but also catches plenty of other species to keep the float going under – and that bait is chopped worm. From a small roach to a 20lb carp, nothing can resist a worm!
I can only presume it’s all about the protein content of the worms, which is why meat also works now. Unlike meat, though, worms will catch the lot and that’s part of the fun, never quite knowing what you’re likely to catch next on the pole.
Here's how to fish with them...
Give them a chop
Too fine a chop and you’ll bring in too many small fish like perch. Bigger pieces are better, only cutting each worm into four or five sections.
Get the catapult out
Although I’ll pot worm in, this is only to create a focal spot to fish over. Alongside this I’ll loosefeed casters to pull more fish into the area.
Use small baits
I feed big bits of worm, but a smaller hookbait is miles better. A worm head or single caster is good, especially for skimmers and quality roach.
Fish a light float
It’s a good idea to use as light a float as you can, and in 5ft of water, a 0.3g slim Chianti-style pattern is perfect so I can catch as the bait falls.
There are occasions when groundbait can improve the peg. If skimmers arrive, I’ll mix Spotted Fin Milled Expander into the chopped worm.
Avoid little fish
Sometimes you’ll find it tough to get a worm head or caster hookbait through the little fish. This is when to make a switch to a hard 6mm banded pellet.