I arrived at the huge, mountain lake in the Alps to be greeted by crayfish traps and stories of large shoals of bream. With distances of over 200m on the cards, the last thing I wanted was to employ a hook bait that may be snaffled by bream or pinched by greedy, aggressive crayfish. Unfortunately, large crayfish can be a very difficult animal to combat.Their large, sharp claws can get through standard boilies, pop-ups etc with ease, so in order to fish properly you have to use something hard.
Consequently, I learnt a new method known as The Ring Of Tigers or Tiger Cluster, which is a hook bait that was shown to me by my good friend Tom Dove who regular fishes crayfish infested waters on the continent.
It consists of 4 tigers nuts as a hook bait, balanced off the back of the shank. In an ideal world you utilise the largest tigers you can find. I often sift through my tigers and pick the very largest – the tigers that scream out to you! It provides a huge mouthful to any sliver fish, and they’re very hard, making it a great deterrent.
The difference in using the ring, compared to say just a single tiger, is that if a cray is lucky enough to remove one, or a few, your hook bait will still be attached. That said, they find it all very difficult, and therefore generally leave it along.
To create it, first of all tie and secure on a single tiger nut. I like to balance this out using a sliver of cork. I then pierce the side of the bait and slide dental floss through it. After this, I then thread the hook baits and cork onto the flow. A few granny knots pulled down tightly will reveal a nice bunch of deliciously tasty tiger nuts. Burn the tags and then adjust the tigers on a presentation that you are comfortable with. If you drop the rig in the edge you will notice it slowly wafting on top of the hook.
This is a brilliant presentation for tackling tricky venues where the carp respond well to Tiger Nuts, especially big fish waters and european venues where there are nuisance species present too!