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The benefits of fishing single hookbaits

09/01/2020 - Tactics & Edges

The benefits of fishing single hookbaits
Just like zig rigs, if you have not previously fished single hookbaits you may question their effectiveness. However, it only takes one carp on an otherwise quiet session using this method to convince most, that fishing single hookbaits has a place in their fishing arsenal.

The main barrier to overcome with single hookbait fishing is that nagging feeling that the carp simply won’t find your solitary bait in a lake that holds billions of litres of water. That is totally understandable and something that most of us fishing with single hookbaits experience at first. However, carp are masters of their waters and know their environment and are easily capable of detecting single items of food. 

Proof of this is evident when you throw a maggot or two into the margins of any lake of any size. Do this, and you’ll see the effects maggots can have on a still-looking lake. Suddenly the margin is alive with silverfish. To our noses, these baits are just fishing baits that we won’t eat, but to carp, these are the baits that can make up a large portion of their diet. You can smell a bacon sandwich from a mile off; carp can smell a single boilie close by too. Many anglers believe that high-attract boilies, which have been left in a dip or glug such as the DT Baits Boilie Dip, will give you a massive edge as the strong scent of the boilie seeps into surrounding water.

If we accept that carp can find your bait (this has been proven by Zig Rigs and single hookbaits extensively over the years even when the hookbait is plastic or foam), then let’s look at some awesome advantages of using a single hookbait. If the carp are feeding timidly, attracting a fish to your bait can be tricky. In this situation, fishing with a single hookbait can put the odds in your favour and massively increase the chances of getting a take.
Single hookbait fishing also allows you to adapt to situations quickly too, without being punished for any of your earlier decisions. You can swap from one bait to another and quickly change from one flavour or colour boilie to another and be fishing again in minutes. This type of carp fishing can be compared to lure fishing for pike or perch. When a lure just isn’t working for an angler, they change their lure. Well, when a bait isn’t working in carp fishing, it would be lovely to be able to scoop out all of the bait you have put in the water and replace it with the bait that will work. However, that isn’t possible with anything other than single hookbait fishing. A savvy carp angler could be fishing three different baits, if you catch a few carp, see which baits are providing the goods and change the other rigs accordingly.

It is also a good option to start with a single hookbait if you are following another angler into the swim. If you are on a week-long trip carp fishing in France, often you will not meet the departing anglers who fished the lake the week before. Therefore you have no way of knowing how much bait is sat on the lake bed in front of you. Rather than pile even more bait in, fishing a single hookbait for the first day or two to gauge the swim and fish activity is a good way to approach the situation.

Fishing with a solo hookbait is also great for those anglers that love to keep on the move. You can cover lots of water, even on smaller lakes without the fear of leaving behind a massive pile of boilies each time you pack up your barrow. On well-stocked lakes with good winter form, it can be a benefit to move every thirty minutes or so. During the winter, the carp aren’t feeding too much, and when they do, you need your baits in front of them, so moving them around in the winter is a must.
Another big advantage for most anglers when it comes to this style of fishing is the ability to cast these baits a bit further than most methods. You don’t have a PVA bag weighing your rig down, and you don’t have to worry about hitting the same spot with a spod either. So you can really give it some welly when you cast. If you are fishing a pressured lake, such as day ticket complexes like Linear, fishing at range can give you a superior advantage over the other anglers. 

If you’re struggling with your casting with single hookbaits, it can be amazing how much further you can cast by adjusting the size of your hookbait. Going from 18mm to 12mm can massively reduce drag and can put yards on your cast. This isn’t going to turn you into Darrell Peck overnight, but it will improve your casting fairly dramatically.

Now, bait choice. You’ve got to choose your baits wisely when it comes to single hookbait fishing. The popular way to go is highly flavoured and brightly coloured boilies. Frank Warwick invented these bright boilies nearly 40 years ago, and they have been a staple of single hookbait fishing ever since. However, don’t be afraid to buck the trend when it comes to bait. A single dull coloured hookbait fished straight out the back can be highlighly effective if the fish have started to associate bright coloured baits with danger. Or try wrapping your hookbait in a carp paste, which can be especially good if you are fishing in the margins.

So, there you go, if your local lake has been targeted by spodders and heavy hitters, give single hookbaits a try and surprise them all by catching when they are sat behind motionless buzzers!