I landed a couple of good fish up near 20 lbs. in the last two days. The key to success was using a pop-up. I've written before about pop-ups. These are buoyant baits (sometimes plastic, sometimes boilies) that are hair rigged with regular baits such as corn. The buoyant pop-up lifts the bait slightly or gives the offering a neutral buoyancy that carp seem to love. You see, carp have a tendency to bang your bait with their head or swish it with their tail before taking. When carp do this, neutral buoyant baits tend to lift up and settle down in a natural look that the carp find very appealing. You may remember back in the spring when I landed those record size mirrors using a pop-up that I made from a white plastic worm
I'm getting more sophisticated. My friend and fellow RI CAGer Paul brought me back from France some very interesting 6 mm Mistral pop-up boilies. I used one of these along with a kernel of maize (pineapple/whiskey flavored) to score my big fish of the last few days (see photo at right). Just corn on the hair got nothing. The one place in the US you can buy these small boilies is Big Carp Tackle (www.bigcarptackle.com ). Note that most bait makers in the US sell 10 mm pop-ups which work well with big fish. Another friend and fellow RI CAGer Kev Wasliewski, known for his creative baiting techniques and catching unusually large numbers of big carp here in RI, swears by plastic pop-ups. These are sold in every online store that deals in bait. They are plastic imitators of maize, tiger nuts, and boilies. They can be placed in flavoring to spice them up. They, too, can be used with real bait (corn, chick peas, nuts, boilies, etc) the same way I am using my pop-up boilies. If you want to use pop-ups, you almost have to be fishing with a hair rigged hook. It just wouldn't work putting the pop-up directly on the hook.