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If I had to describe what my spring has been like in one word, it would be “fun”. What started off as a very slow season has turned into my most productive season yet. In the last few weeks, I’ve gotten into a good pattern of catching a few fish every outing. This consistent action has given me an opportunity to solidify some rig ideas as well as some general fish thoughts.

A fool and his hooks

As you may or may not know, I am the type of person to tinker around a lot with rigs. However, having this many choices at your disposal can easily lead you down the slippery slope of questioning whether or not your rigs work. Having developed firm confidence in my longshank hook - tigernut - plastic corn rig last season, I struggled trying to arrive at a pop up presentation I felt good about. You see, I really wanted to figure out if “wild” carp fed by sight, for example on a bright pop up. After a few iterations and some sage advice, I have found what I need.

If I could go back and give myself advice, I would tell myself to keep it simple. My pop up rig is now just a short shank hook, knotless knotted with little separation between the pop up and the hook. Additionally, I make sure not to use a hookbait that is too big for the size of the hook. For example, if I am using a 10mm pop up, I use a size 8 hook. For 14mm pop ups, a size 6. Too big of a hookbait will get in the way of the hook.

Do carp feed by sight? Yes, definitely. They will readily take a bright hookbait without any bait around it. Color may vary from place to place and day to day. Yellow is probably a good place to start, especially if you are feeding corn. If you see fish around and you are not getting bites, chances are they cannot see your hookbait. Recast or tweak your presentation. I will say that there was a day where I had 3 fish on 3 substantially different rigs, the only consistent thing was the color of the popup.

I’m looking forward to what summer will bring. Perhaps the fishing will slow down or maybe I’ll get into something better than ever. I leave you with this, my first ever saltwater fish caught on my own volition. Yes, it is a “trash fish” but we all know how much joy even a trash fish can bring.

Hello Mr. Sea Robin. I think I love you a little bit.