Too Much Bait Left in Swim – What Would You Do?

Readers Question; ‘If you arrived at a lake and found that the previous anglers, for whatever reason, had either dumped lots of particle because they had it left over, or just used an enormous amount of pellet or particle as their tactics – what would you do?’

Jim Kelly replies;

It is always difficult to know what to do unless you are at the lake and can observe what is happening e.g. fish activity.  My initial thoughts is that there is no point in just compounding the problem by adding more bait.

If I knew where they had fished I would initially try fishing a very bright fluro over the top of their bait, with no freebies introduced by me (an in your face bait to get the fishes attention).

The other alternative would be to employ a one fish at a time tactics and try small PVA bags in places that would naturally hold carp. If an area started to produce fish I would start to trickle some bait in and play it by ear. What I wouldn’t do is put a lot of bait in at the start.

Ron Key replies;

My first night tactics on a new lake are generally the same whether or not I know that the lake has been heavily baited.  I work on the adage that you can put bait it in but you can’t take it out.  If you bait too heavily too soon you can kill a swim and it could be days before the carp feed in that area again.  Working over someone else’s heavily baited swim from the week before, the start of your session could be slow.  As the week progresses their bait will start to work, the carp will become less cautious and you will have the opportunity to put some fish on the bank.

Rule number one is talk to the owner or bailiff. Try to establish how much bait has gone in, what it was and perhaps more importantly where it is.  I would then start my fishing close to those areas either with single hookbaits or hookbaits with a small 25mm diameter PVA bag of crumbed boilie, fast breakdown pellets or micro feed.  Ideally I want to attract the fish not feed them. When you start catching, you can then, based on your catch rate, assess how much and when to feed if required. If the bites are not forthcoming you can then start moving you hookbaits around your swim to locate the carp, safe in the knowledge that you are not leaving uneaten additional food on the lake bed.

I fish in France four or five times per year. Like everyone else I started by taking mountains of bait.  Now I usually take around 20 kilos of 10 and 15 mm boilies with me for a weeks fishing trip, but this is really just in case. In reality I rarely use more than 10kilos.

Paul Cooper replies;

This is an all too often occurrence on commercial waters where anglers have too much bait and do not want to take it home with them, either because the bait has started to go off or they simply have taken far too much bait with them.

A lot of this is caused because too many anglers in magazines and on blogs are over stating how much bait would be required at a venue.  If they are the only ones on the lake a large amount of bait could be used but if there are say 6 to 8 anglers on a lake then the amount of bait should be drastically reduced.
Too answer your question; I have come across this problem on a number of occasions and IMO the only answer is;

  • fish another area of the lake
  • fish off the bed of bait that has been dumped
  • use single fluoro hook baits that are popped up
  • do not introduce any more bait until you think the previous anglers bait has been eaten.

This happens more often than not.  Often on some of the French lakes that I fish I do not start catching well until Wednesday or Thursday – and the reason is because of other anglers bait. It is simply a waiting game for the fish to finish off last weeks bait.

I hope this helps but really there is not much that you can do other than educate irresponsible anglers.

Carp Fishing



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