Friday, June 20, 2008

Colored Hooks - Should You Use Them

By Simon B Rogers

Fishing in Devon with colored hooks, yes, you either love them or hate them, or maybe you are ambivalent. There are now a multiplicity of ranges of colored hooks from silver to the latest camouflaged hooks and everything in between, why?

As you are all aware, what ever fishing you are doing, whether it be a Devon fishing holiday or not, bait presentation is considered a major part of attracting your fish onto that colored hook and finally out of their watery home. Making the bait culinary delight as attractive as possible, or at the very least what your fish expects to see and thereby, not spooking or scaring it off.

So, by the same logic you can use the different colors and match them to your bait, therefore allowing them to blend in with the bait and not appear out of place.

Some Devon fishing holidays proclaim, Yes! the "scientists" agree that most fish can see colours. Some self catering cottages and fishing centers re not so sure, I am generally used to seeing the word mad before scientist, but this time I think you should believe them. Some think that fish may see more colour than humans (that "mad" is creeping back)

"They" say it is possible that fish can see ultraviolet light much like insects, giving them the ability to see not only what humans see, but also things we can't.

Distance is obviously restrained by the clarity of the water, our holiday cottages and fishing lakes are very healthy, which stirs up the sediment at the bottom of the lake, this means the fish can probably see up to about 10 feet.

Remember that they are looking through a watery surface which distorts their view. Water pressure changes as they change their swimming depth, which may also distort their vision. Don't forget that light rays bend when they enter the water, fish can see objects above water that are far to the side of their window or vision.

The fish eye placement gives them a wide field of vision. They can see in all directions except straight down and straight back. Depth perception and 3d vision is possible by looking directly ahead viewing the object with both eyes. Otherwise it only has 2d vision since it is viewing an object with only one eye.

So it is quite possible that colored hooks will give you that additional edge you may be looking for.

Based on this, it makes sense to use a dark bronze hook with similar colored baits such as pellets, tares and casters.

For a light nickel (silver) hook whiter baits could be used, such as bread, plain colored maggots, pinkies or squats.

Red hooks can also be bought and baits for them would be red maggots, bloodworm and jokers.

While golden hooks are moor suited to sweet corn and bronze maggots.

Also new to the market are camouflaged hooks which are very effective for bottom rigs blending in superbly with the bottom terrain of the lakes.

The beauty of self catering cottages and fishing is that you can keep as much tackle in your cottage as you like, making it available for you throughout your Devon fishing holiday stay.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Irresistible Secret Fishing Baits For Big Carp And Catfish!

By Tim F. Richardson

One of the most little used baits these days in carp and catfish fishing is paste due to the predominance of commercially produced carp and catfish boilies and pellets and other forms of baits. But the basic point of a bait is to give you an advantageous edge against the suspicions of fish previously caught on your bait so using something different literally has massive fish catching benefits! Pellets and boilies are in many ways limited by their physical characteristics and both are heated and compressed during their formation leading to common features which wiser fish can recognise and therefore easily avoid if such baits are associated with previous danger!

The training of goldfish to perform tricks dispels forever the myth of a fish's 3 second memory. But many fisherman know fish have long memories and can avoid baits they have been hooked on in the past. The advantages and use of dough and paste bait are very little known compared to general knowledge of fishermen regarding many other baits.

Paste and dough type baits often have great solubility, which is a key factor in their major effectiveness. But practically all their characteristics can be manipulated or adapted to suit fishing needs and situations. Why use baits that any other fisherman may already have hooked your target fish with when such fish can be far easier to catch on original and unique new baits which only you can exploit to its full potential!?

For example, both carp and catfish have certain essential nutritional requirements which means you can exploit these things in your baits so basically forcing your fish to eat your bait as it contains what they need to survive. Many species of catfish like the channel catfish can thrive on a diet high in carbohydrate if it is soya based for instance. But carp are different; they are basically diabetic in the way they deal with carbohydrates and the energy from carbohydrates as a result of food digestion is not fully transferred into the fish and in fact carp fed on purely high carbohydrate feeds can easily drop in weight and lose health.

Both carp and catfish have increased metabolism (rate of oxygen consumption) as temperatures increase. The fishes need for more food is raised as a result of increased metabolism as more energy is required. One of the best ways to pull fish into your swim in an excited state is to use soluble protein based paste baits packed with fish essential amino acids and you can use your paste bait fresh, or use it in hard air-dried form and your fish will consume these with great enthusiasm!

The ingredients, additives, flavors and other ingredients you can make paste or adapt commercial ready made baits to make them new and unique are legion. I cannot recommend the homemade adaptation of ready made baits enough and this does not simply start and end with simply soaking them in a favourite flavour or in dips. In fact, you can top commercial baits very easily by exploiting using the commercial base mix used in the ready made baits you like to use, but use your own personally chosen secret additives, flavours - or whatever you like; this really is very effective and in the UK the best fish on such a bait I've had was a 46 pound leather carp back in 1999...

Of course using a ready made base mix of dry powders as your paste or dough bait is one way to quickly make a bait without any knowledge of bait making, but then just consider just for a moment just how satisfying it is to be able to catch every new personal best fish on your own personalised secret bait! I've been making baits for over 30 years for carp and catfish and one thing is clear; you can easily compete with any commercial baits using homemade ones and with a gigantic saving of 75 percent of the cost of expensive ready made baits! In fact I have noticed that anglers who use ready made baits spend a fortune on them and largely waste their potential because they do not realise they are fishing using a bait fish are more often than not already pre-conditioned to be very wary about; hence so many anglers get disappointing results on them which is a big downer!

The possibilities you have with paste and dough baits to provide highly irresistible bait features to boost and enhance and differentiate your baits from any others the fish may have regularly experienced are endless. One of the top benefits is that you can put much higher levels of the most effective ingredients into your baits; far more than commercial bait companies can afford to include! It takes a bit of knowledge to select which ingredients to use, but the results on such baits are just amazing compared to ordinary ready made baits - and the best part is that you can make baits with ease that can out-fish your ready made baits using friends!

By Tim Richardson.