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Pedigree Chum mixer

(Tesco do their own brand, which is just as good)

Mixers can be used in various ways:

  • Drilled and used on a hair.

  • Have a slot cut into it & glued to the hook shank.

  • Pre-soaked and side hooked (my preferred method).

  • Use a piece of cork instead of a mixer.

To prepare mixers, I put about four good handful’s into a plastic bag. If you want you can add flavour or colour to the baits, add these now, whilst the mixers are dry. Next, pour on a little boiling water from the kettle. Carefully blow into the bag to inflate it, then holding the bag tightly closed, shake vigorously for about five minutes. You will find that the baits do swell a fair bit, but leave them to one side for an hour or so & all the moisture will have been absorbed. You’ll then be left with nice firm baits that can be hooked easily. I have found that the baits get tougher when they have been frozen, and they re-freeze OK too.

Mounting mixer on the hook

Floater Cake

An excellent bait, made from your normal boilie base mix, but higher protein mixes are better. Just add twice as many egg’s and flavourings as you would in your normal boilie mix. This makes a sloppy mix, whisk well and then pour into a foil lined oven dish. The ‘cake’ is then cooked in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the top is a light golden colour. You can ensure it’s cooked by sticking a cocktail stick in to the cake and seeing if it comes out clean (no mixture sticking to it). Allow to cool & then cut into hookbait size cubes.

The end result is a sponge like bait that will stay on the hook/hair for ages. Carp love it! Can be frozen, as you would normal boilies.



The king of all surface baits!

Fresh loaves are the best. Cut a fairly large chunk of crust, wrap the line around a couple of times & bury the hook - easy.

Whilst at Anglers Paradise in 1999, myself and some friends caught 54 fish on breadcrust. Fished amongst the weedbeds they just couldn’t resist! You could hear the fish when you were about to get a take ‘slurping’ for your bait. Exciting stuff.


Other baits

There other baits that are used, such as popcorn, floating trout pellets, pop-up boilies, and other dog/cat biscuits. Basically anything that will float and is edible can be used. The possibilities are endless.


Controller floats



Surface fishing rig's


The ‘disposable controller’ rig

A lot of the floater fishing I have done in the last couple of years has been in amongst weed or lilies. Using standard controller floats can become a bit expensive after a while, as many are lost during the ‘heave-ho’ with the fish. I have been making my own controller floats, that only cost a few pence each, from pieces of branch with a fence staple (a U shaped nail) in one end. I attach my hooklength, which is usually fluorocarbon, to a swivel which is attached to the mainline. To the swivel I tie the ‘disposable controller’ with 3lb breaking strain mono. This breaks during the tussle, leaving you connected directly to the fish, it makes landing the fish a lot easier as you’re in direct contact with the fish at all times. You can use different sizes of branch, depending on how far you want to cast. An added advantage is that the Carp are not spooked by a piece of branch floating on the surface, enabling you to use a shorter hooklength and as the branch is ‘fixed’ to the swivel, it acts in effect, as a bolt rig.


The Zig Rig

The zig rig is a totally different way of fishing floating baits. Instead of a float ro controller, you use a normal lead setup with a long hooklength. To fish with the bait on the surface, the hooklength need’s to be set to the depth of the water you’re fishing. I tend to fish with the bait between two feet & two inches from the surface. If you hooklength is so long that it’s awkward to cast, it can be carefully folded & tied with PVA string. Once in the lake, the string dissolves and your bait floats up, extending the hooklength. I have been experimenting this year with semi-fixed & running lead set-ups with the zig rig and I have found that you tend to get better takes on the running setup, as the fish doesn’t have to move the lead to register a take. Can be very useful when you want to fish a floating bait at range.



More stuff to be added soon!

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