Master the solid bags this spring!
Solid bags are a devastating tactic in the right situation all throughout the year, they will often get you bites when other tactics may fail, they are extremely versatile and should definitely play a place in everyone’s angling, but they don’t which gives the people that do use them a huge edge over others.
Perfect For Showing fish
Carp love to show throughout the warmer months of the year, they show for a number of reasons but it’s mainly to either clear out their gill rakers because they have become clogged up with detritus from feeding or they have an itch from a parasite such as a leach or argulus.
Of course, when they show themselves if you have your eyes set firmly on the water, you will notice any fish breaking the surface and it can be a fantastic starting place to cast your PVA bag of goodness, often leading to a quick bite.
Using a solid can often enhance your chances of a bite over a conventional rig because your hook link is protected in the bag, so it isn’t going to get caught on any debris as it’s falling through the layers. Not only that but you can pump far more attraction into a bag than you can with just a single hookbait.
Why bags over a baited area?
Don’t get me wrong, you can fish bags over a baited spot, but that’s not the route I would normally take, 9 times out of 10 I always opt for just single bags of food boosted to high hell with liquid attractors to cast at showing fish if I’m not 100% sure what the lakebed is made up of. Using bags also means you aren’t dedicated to any chosen area possibly wasting bait on fish that aren’t there. Carp can be extremely mobile throughout the warmer months and I often find myself chasing them around the pond. I feel when they are looking more for an easy feeding opportunity rather than grazing on a specific area, that’s when bags really come into their own. A high attract bundle of goodness can often trip up extra bonus fish that you may not have caught sitting over the top of a bed of bait.
Where to put them?
Solids are quite versatile in the areas you can put them, whether that be casting them out into the pond or fishing at close quarters and lowering them in under your rod tip. The only areas I would avoid using them in are extremely weedy situations, although your rig is concealed within the bag, if you cast into an area of dense weed then the chances are your bag will be covered and out of the view of a carp, ok you may still get the odd bite on spots like this, but it’s not a chance I want to take, I need to know I’m fishing and presented to the best of my ability. Fishing over the harder spots or even silt and low-lying silk weed I know my bags will sit proud on top of it nicely. If I’m not casting to a showing fish and I want to know what it’s like out there I will often attach a grappling marker lead to my spod rod and have a couple of casts looking for the right area to position my solid.
What to put inside?
There are numerous options to what mixes you can put inside solid bags, whether it be boilie crumb, bag mix or pellets, but the key thing to remember is to use small items, this ensures that they creep into every nook and cranny which will help you get your bag a lot tighter and will make it more aerodynamic. For me I like to use the Mini Ultramix pellets, there is a multitude of different sizes present in the bag so every space is filled, not only that but the pellets will also have different breakdown times too.
I find it extremely important to include a lot more attraction to the solid, rather than just pellets straight out the bag, I love the inclusion of liquids to give me an edge over other anglers. Most of the liquid’s CC Moore do are PVA friendly so the options are endless, but you’ll find the fish spend quite a bit of time off the bottom in the mid layers throughout the days and may only drop down to properly feed for minimal time, so a soluble oil is something I favour in these situations. Hemp oil is great, it is thin enough to put in a syringe and inject into the bags and can be used in the coldest of water temperatures without the paranoia of it congealing. The reason for using an oil is so when that bag breaks down on the lakebed, the oil will be working the whole water column and hopefully any passing fish will pick up on that scent trail hopefully stimulating it to drop down and investigate the small parcel of goodness.
The use of solids throughout the year for opportunistic situations has for sure put me extra fish on the bank, without all the disturbance of spodding or lots of leading about trying to find the perfect spot. It means you can get rods onto the zones where them fish are present and when you get it right, they really can pay dividends when other methods may let you down.