The Boilie-Only Approach
Barry Swift explains why his results have drastically improved since he ditched using anything other than boilies.
For years I’ve fished a number of venues where you hear stuff like, “Particles work on this water” and ‘Boilies work on that water,” advice I generally heeded. However, when 2015 was coming to an end and I was sorting through all my tackle and bait, I couldn’t believe the number of bags of particles, boilies, pellets, liquids and powders I had, filling shelf after shelf in my garage. Believe it or not, I’m continually trying to simplify things in my angling and reduce the number of decisions I have to make when I arrive at any given venue, so it was while watching an online video of a well-known angler that I heard something that would change my angling quite dramatically. He said: “I only use boilies.”
I began to wonder if there was any point in having my garage shelves filled with various particles, etc. Also, was there any point wasting so much of my already busy life preparing particles and then carrying it all the way to my swim? Was any of it necessary?
Come early 2016 and I had acquired a ticket for a new syndicate; I was excited and set my goals for the coming year. One thing I said to myself was that bait-wise it was going to be a boilie-only year, just to see if it made any difference to my results.
As I started doing my usual 48-hour weekenders and, in particular, the midweek overnighters, I soon started to realise how effective a boilie-only approach would become, not to mention how much easier it was to just grab some boilies and go. I’ve never been one to pile in kilos of bait and generally fish for a bite at a time. I’m also a fan of shelf-life baits, and the NuttaS and SLK ranges from DNA fit my requirements very nicely indeed.
I visited many different venues all over the country and had a couple of trips to France and all I would take was a bag of boilies (enough for the session) and a bottle of Hydro Spod Syrup. I soon come to like the fact a lot of the thought process regarding bait was taken out of the equation and, for me anyway, it was now simply a case of the fishmeal SLK or the nut-based NuttaS. Yes, I’ve seen videos and read stories that certain fish like certain baits, but my thinking is that while you can’t please or attract every single fish in the lake, a decent boilie in the right place at the right time (which is the most important aspect) will attract a good majority and stack enough odds in my favour to get me a bite.
For fishing anything from 20-90 yards, my preferred method is to fish a boilie hookbait, normally a wafter, either on a simple hair rig or a pop-up when required (depending on the lake bed). Then to scatter, using a catapult or throwing stick, a handful or so of straight-out-the-bag 15mm or 18mm boilies, which is plenty enough to get a bite. Using this method has caught me countless numbers of fish and has become my main and favoured approach wherever I go. Knowing I can arrive at a venue, find some fish, or indeed a spot to fish, cast out and bait up with minimal disturbance has improved my confidence no end.
When fishing at distance and out of throwing-stick range, I will use a Spomb, something I would have used all the time when fishing with particles. One of my favourite bait accessories I own is a cheap ice-cube crusher, which allows me to chop up a small amount of boilies on the bank, perfect for my style of fishing. To the chopped boilies I add some of the Hydro Spod Syrup liquid and leave it all to soak in. This became such an effective ‘spod mix’, even though it comprised of nothing more than boilies and one liquid. I will also use this mix for margin work, as the attraction it gives off is second to none.
By using the chopped, crumbed and whole boilies, there are enough different sizes to keep any feeding fish in the area for long enough periods to come across my hookbait. I had confirmed to myself by now that buckets of spod mix filled with various particles and pellets were no longer required.
When I look back at my results since making the switch to boilie only, it has been my best and most consistent couple of years in carp fishing, and I’ve broken my personal best three times! Whenever and wherever I go fishing now, all I need to do is grab a bag of boilies and a bottle of Hydro Spod Syrup and I’m away!
Barry’s fishmeal boilie mix
For an unbeatable fishmeal boilie mix, I strongly advise you at least give this method a try, particularly during the warmer months. Take some SLK or S7 boilies, either chopped or whole, add enough matching Spod Syrup to coat the baits and leave to soak in or until the baits become almost tacky. Add some Krill Meal and give the baits a good shake to coat evenly. Baits can either be used straight away or left to dry and the Krill Meal will stick to the boilies, giving them a rough, high-attract coating. It’s such a simple and devastating method of boosting a boilie approach and has accounted for countless fish for me and I’m sure will do for anyone who chooses to use it.