Always remember that carp are primitive creatures that learn by association. In other words if every time you picked up a plate of chips, somebody stuck a great big hook in your mouth, after a couple of times you’d soon think twice about about picking that plate up again. You’d move on to something else like steak, but once you’d been tricked again a couple of times, you’d move onto something different. What I’m getting at is that if you can change you approach to fool the carp it can pay great dividends in the number of fish you catch. Look at the size, colour and type of boilies that people are using, try and find out what flavours they are on.
Back in the late 70’s, early 80’s, I used to fish a very well stocked water at Winsford in Cheshire called The Ocean. Most people were using fruit or scopex (cream) type flavours at the time. Results had begun to slow down, however Catchum Products (Rod Hutchinson) produced a base mix with a meaty type smell called “Extract Blend”. I thought I’d give it a go with the same companies “Savoury Meat” flavour. Because the fish had never seen a similar boilie before, I began to get far more takes than the others, I was doing something different to the rest.
Being The Same.
However doing the same as everyone else, at times this can work for you. There is one water I know where everyone uses Active-8 boilies by Mainline, indeed so many of these boilies go into the water that the fish think they are now natural food.
Look at it like this, just think back to that plate of chips. Imagine now that there were plates of chips spread all other the place and instead of a hook in you mouth every time you ate a chip, you only got a hook in the mouth every say 100th plate you came across. You would be much less able to associate that hook in the mouth with a plate full of chips. After all you’d just eaten goodness knows how many chips and they didn’t cause you any problems.
What's best for your water is learnt by experience and trial and error.
I always pay great attention to the state of the bottom of the pool that I am fishing. The first time you visit a water or fish a new area of a pool, smell your boilie after it has been in the water for about an hour. If it smells OK then you do not have a problem, if it smells like you've tucked it under someone's sweaty armpit for a day, then your fishing over silt. Maybe it's just me but I never feel confident if my bait comes back stinking. After all carp hover up silt all the time into their mouths when they are looking for food, but it just doesn't do my confidence any good.
Some baits are able to resist taking on the smells of lake beds better that others. Fishmeals are the worst of the lot for taking on lake bed smells, birdfood baits seem the best of all for resisting them, 50/50 type mixes are also quite good in these circumstances. Then of course there is always pop-ups which will keep your bait away from those nasty odors.
You will find that on most lakes this isn't a problem, but just have a smell anyway, the first time you wind in.