As the cold weather draws in, feeding activity decreases and feeding spells become briefer. If you're using popup's its vital to make sure that they're holding that hook up until a fish comes across it! If you're using cork balls then generally these are fine for 48hours but when using airball mixes (fluoro's/high attract/non cork popups ) these have an annoying habit of losing their buoyancy in a relatively short space of time. Combat a droopy and badly presented rig by drilling out a small section of your popup with a 6 or 8mm Drill bit and plugging it with our Super buoyant 'STICKUMUP' Zig foam. A number of our team report having left baits out for as long 72+ hours before getting a take, and more often than not, the bites have come from bigger carp. Whether there is more to this or just sheer coincidence is hard to say, however it shows how important it can be to make sure your rig is still working effectively when it's been in the water for an extended period of time. (Dan Handley with a 36+ Dinton Pastures mirror known as 'the pretty one'- The take came after the rig had been out for over 72 hours) Just an 8-10mm length of Zig stick will keep your hookbait up indefinitely, ensuring your rig is still primed ready for a bite even after 72hours!. There are a number of colours in the range, so if you're using a popup that matches your freebies then you can use one of the more subtle tan, brown and black sticks to plug your hookbait or if you like the idea of a bit of added visual attraction then one of the brighter Zig sticks such as yellow, white or orange Is ideal. 'STICKUMUP' Zig Sticks are available in 6 & 8mm, in both mixed colour packs and single colour refills here.
The Multi rig is a proven big carp catcher. Its a wonderfully effective rig that can be used with both popups and bottom baits but it can be improved with this simple method. Many anglers will tie up a multi rig attach their bait and cast out with little thought, the problem is that freshly stripped coated braid is very tightly woven and this can hinder the rig performing as well as is possible. By simply using your finger nails or a pair of pliers you can work the fibre's of the hinged section of the rig and loosen them up hugely. You wont cause any damage to the stripped back section of braid if you gently work it with your pliers but you will see a noticeable difference in how freely the end section of the multi rig turns and this could just make the difference between a fantastic Hook hold and a poor one. Little things like this may seem insignificant but in carp fishing any advantage you can gain could work in your favour and help to put more fish on the bank.
Confidence plays a big part in Zig fishing, having confidence in a small piece of coloured foam midwater can be difficult and can impact negatively on your Zig fishing. When you lack confidence you tend not to commit fully, and take a half hearted approach to the method which could result in you writing off zig's altogether. Whether you're new to using Zig rigs or are a seasoned Zig user why not try adding some movement to your zig rigs with Maggots! It could be a real confidence boost and whats' more carp love 'em! Give it a try it with one of our Size 8 Duropoint Chod hooks, a 10mm length of our 8mm 'STICKUMUP' Zig sticks, Maggots(you could also use Squats or Pinkies) and Some super glue. STEP ONE) Tie up a standard Zig rig using one of our Size 8 Duropoint Chod hooks and a 10mm Length of our 8mm diameter 'STICKUMUP' Zig foam, Secure the foam with a micro Hair stop. Apply a generous amount of Rig or Super glue to the top of the piece of Zig foam as below. STEP TWO) Take a maggot, Red, Yellow or Orange maggots contrast nicely with our Black foam. Hold the maggot very firmly, squeezing it to prevent it wriggling and apply the head end to the Super glue. Hold it securely until a bond is formed, fifteen seconds or so should do the job. STEP THREE) Repeat the process with another couple of maggots, we think three is sufficient for a very effective Zig rig! Be careful not to get them stuck to your fingers! STEP FOUR) Make sure your maggots are securely attached to the Zig foam, you may want to add a little more Glue just to make sure. STEP FIVE) Time to get fishing and Land some Zig caught Carp! With your maggots well and truly stuck to the Foam, your confidence in Zig's should have improved already, and the carp will certainly find them a lot more interesting too! Our 8mm diameter 'STICKUMUP' Zig sticks are perfect for this when coupled with one of our incredibly sharp Size 8 Duropoint Chod hooks, a real winning combination.
Carp fishing can certainly become tougher as the cold weather draws in. However if you make changes to your approach it really can pay. Bread is a bait that is generally associated with summer and surface feeding carp but it can also be used to great effect on the bottom in the winter. Many lakes see lots of bread being fed to waterfowl in winter, It seems to be somewhat of a tradition to take a walk around a lake over Christmas and new year to feed the ducks. This is something we as anglers can exploit. Much of the bread intended for ducks will simply sink to the bottom, and you can be sure that this is a food source that the carp will undoubtedly be aware and feel safe feeding on. By presenting a little PVA stick of breadflake near to the action we stand a good chance of benefitting from the free feed that's going in on a regular basis and to which the carp are well and truly tuned in. Use your Loaf - A Simple PVA Stick of Bread flake and a neat little Rig tied up with One of our Size 8 Duropoint® Curve shanks, a Micro hook ring swivel, line aligner and a slither of STICKUMUP zig foam or artificial corn for a hookbait. Carefully balancing your hook out with the hookbait will aid in inhalation of the rig should any tentatively feeding carp mouth at it.
Zig rigs are a great way to target carp when they're not in the bottom third of the water column. They're more versatile than many realise, being suitable for use in a number of seasons. Above: Two of our 10mm STICKUMUP Zig balls cut in half and used on a short hair as part of a Zig rig WINTER: during winter carp tend to hold up in spots where they feel comfortable spending their time. This isn't necessarily going to be near the lakebed either. The thermocline can often dictate the depth at which carp will be. If you can locate the carp at this time of year and present a bait at the right height in the water column then you could be in for a good session as numbers of carp will often shoal at this time of year. SPRING: Carp are just starting to wake up from their winter of inactivity and they're looking to feed, quite often a bit of colour will buy a bite very quickly. Insect hatches are starting to appear and carp will almost certainly be feeding on them. A zig can easily resemble some of the Naturals that the carp will be feeding on and will be readily taken. SUMMER: High pressure and hot weather will often see carp milling round in the surface layers. Often very lethargic and unwilling to feed with any gusto but if you can put a Zig rig at the right depth then a carp's inquisitive nature may well get the better of it and result in a take, where other approaches may fail. AUTUMN: Traditionally a time where carp will feed heavily, many pile in the bait and this can result in big catches. Our Zig products can be used to add colour and buoyancy to bottom baits add extra buoyancy to popups too. Below: Our STICKUMUP zig sticks are perfect for plugging boilies and Tiger nuts to add buoyancy and a fleck of colour. A definite edge. Rig pictured made u with a Size 4 Duropoint Curve hook, Micro hook ring swivel and our Trans Khaki Super Shrink.