I first started using this rig a couple of months ago on a small pressured syndicate that I had just joined. The lake has quite a large head of carp, with plenty of smaller fish backed up with a good amount of 30lb+ fish were the ones that I wanted to be catching! It seemed to me as though everyone was using bright baits on their rods and fishing with sweet, nutty boilies and pigeon conditioner or maggots, something that could be said for the majority of day-ticket lakes as well. In an attempt to gain an edge over them I tailored my approach to outwit the carp and hopefully select the bigger ones as well. Something less obvious, offering a food signal to the carp rather than a instant smell, does tend to pick out the bigger warier fish, and this is what I wanted in this well stocked lake!
Firstly I decided to go against the grain of bait and feed dark, fishmeal baits and the Odyssey XXX was the perfect match for this. I have always liked to fish with two baits on the hair, thinking that a bigger big will be a bit more attractive to a greedy carp, but also that a big bait is harder to eject. It seems the norm for people using two baits on the hair on most lakes is a bottom bait tipped with a bright, flouro pop-up in an attempt to try and catch the fish’s eye leading to quicker bites. However, on this lake I decided to go with two bottom baits on the hair, matching the baits that I was feeding over the top of the rigs. The thinking behind this was to try and get away from the many doubles and 20’s inside the lake, and try and select the fish that were feeding a bit more cautiously. In my opinion if a fish has eaten twenty or thirty boilies and not been hooked, it’s going to be happy to eat another one, but if the first time it eats a bright one it gets hooked- it is going to be a lot more wary next time!
To construct the rig I use around 12 inches of 25lb Sink Skin with a large piece of Covert Shrink Tube over the swivel in the lead clip to reduce tangles, and help to kick the hooklink out straight when it lands on the bottom. I opted for such a long hooklink as I would be baiting up with mostly boilie, in a large area. This will get the fish moving between baits and therefore a long hooklink will allow the bait to be suck in and the carp to move off and the hook will then take hold, giving excellent hooking potential. Going down the rig the next part is two small pieces of Critical Mass Putty to, something that I always use to try and ensure the rig lays flush to the bottom. My preferred hook for this rig is a size 6 Covert Wide Gape Talon Tip, with a large shrink tube kicker to help it turn into the bottom lip. Like most beaked point hooks it’s really easy to give the Wide Gape Talon Tip a really wickedly sharp point with a few careful strokes of a hook file and a quick buff with a Point Dr. That way the hook penetrates quicker and takes an even more secure hold, ensuring the fish won’t come off. For me, this is a vital point when fishing for big fish in weedy conditions, as it is pointless to go through all the effort of getting the bite for it to come off during the fight, and I have lost very few fish on these hooks! I always use a Covert Rig Ring on the hook rather than a piece of silicone, as it gives much greater movement to the bait, and I position this opposite the barb of the hook. The final addition is two 15mm bottom baits, which I drill out the middles of and add some cork. I do this so the baits are a bit more buoyant so to appear more natural to the feeding fish. It will also help with the bait being easy to be sucked into the mouth of the carp, therefore resulting in more bites! The final part of the set up is a long length of Heavy Plummet Leadcore and a Covert Lead Clip to help dump the lead with the heavy weed the lake is filled with!
Putting this all into practice I headed to the lake for a four night session. Arriving at the lake for first light I noticed a lot of fish showing in front of a swim called ‘Comfy’ so after a quick lead about to find an area I would be happy to fish on. After a couple of casts I found a lovely strip of clean, firm silt at the back of a gravel area. This is the kind of area always prefer to fish on silt as it is the area carp will naturally be feeding on due to the naturals in contains, rather than the bare gravel areas. All the rods were clipped up to the area, and a good helping of Odyssey XXX chops and hemp were spodded to the area before casting the rods out. I had two rods on the double bottom baits and one on a bottom bait tipped with a white northern special to see if it did make a difference.
It took a couple of nights for the fish to get on the bait, but with a lovely south-westerly wind blowing into the swim and light drizzle in the air the runs started to come! Over the next 24 hours I managed seven bites culminating in four 20’s, two 30’s and the biggest fish in the lake called ‘Single Scale’ weighing in at 40lb 2oz. All of the fish were absolutely nailed in the centre of the bottom lip, an inch or so back. This indicated to me how well the rigs were working, but also how confidently the fish were feeding over the rigs. I also didn’t lose a fish, a problem alot of anglers have on this lake. I was blown away by such a result quickly into my campaign on the lake, and with all the bites coming on the double bottom baits I thought that I had stumbled onto something a little special!
I was back for another session a couple of weeks later, and the run continued with mirrors of 28lb, 30lb 4oz and a common of 30lb 10oz on the first night! If that wasn’t enough over the next couple of nights I managed another nine fish that session including three further 30lb commons to a new pb common of 33lb 12oz, with all but two of these fish fell to the double bottom bait approach. It certainly provided me with an edge in my fishing, and I would recommend it to anyone fishing a heavily pressured lake with a large amount of smaller fish, as well as nuisance fish such as bream and tench, that can stop you getting through to the real big prizes!
How to tie Calum’s Rig
What you will need…
Step 1 – Take around 14 inches on 25lb Sink Skin.
Step 2 – Tie a simple blow back rig utilising a large Covert Rig Ring and a size 6 Covert Wide Talon Tip hook.
Step 3 – Thread several inches of large Covert Shrink Tube down the hook length as shown and carefully steam over a kettle. Calum also adds a long piece over the swivel which acts as a boom eliminating tangles.