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By Jeff Vaughan
There are more fish caught in Canada on
Maize/Corn than every other bait put together, However you will
rarely see Colin or I using it !!
MAIZE: As it is the most popular bait lets deal with it first.
Good old fashioned Maize which is commonly called cow corn in
Canada is the cheapest and simplest bait to use. It also catches
loads of fish. For customers on holiday at our motel we supply
unlimited amounts of prepared corn for feeding and hook baits.
We also sell prepared corn for CAN$10.00 for a large bucket in
The very best way to prepare maize is to soak it for 24 hours
and then boil it for 15 to 20 minutes until soft. At the motel
when we are busy we are getting through 200 Kg a day !! (This is
dry weight so you can more than double this when soaked) It is
not physically possible for us to cook this quantity. Our corn
is soaked in purpose made vats positioned to get the sun. We
have three vats with corn in different stages of preparation.
The correct time to soak the maize is dependant on the
temperatures, but normally it is ready for use after 4 days at
its best between 5 and 7 days. After a week it starts to stink.
The carp still love it but the fishermen don’t.
When I first met Colin he was guiding for a competitor and I
used to smell the bastard 50 yards before I saw him, his corn
bucket stunk so bad. As we became friends and fished together I
was always up wind of him, once I was paying his wages I stopped
him using the really stinky stuff. It is interesting that before
Colin worked for me he could not buy a shag in Long Sault now he
is beating them away with bank sticks. (Enough said I think)
Moderately smelly corn is better than fresh corn and I have no
doubt the fish love the very smelly stuff, but frankly we catch
enough on our bait and I can still enjoy my lunch. It is very
important though to stress Fresh un-soaked or under soaked corn
is BAD for the carp, it can swell up in their digestive system
and kill them.
The maize is fished on a hair with normally between 4 and 6
grains at a time. Of course when it is tough a single or double
grain may get extra bites and last year two of our customers
murdered the place on strings of 10 or more grains. Personally
when I am forced to use it, it is almost always 4 grains,
normally two real and two plastic.
PLASTIC CORN; Probably 80 % of the baits I personally put into
the water have one or two grains of plastic corn included on the
end of the hair. If I do fish corn I ALWAYS have plastic on. I
do this for several reasons. Firstly if I am using Maize the
plastic on the end acts like a super Boilie stop. The name of
the game out here is often speed, when a shoal of fish move in
you will never hold them for very long, they wipe out your baits
and move on (see section on feeding) so you need to hit them
hard when you are there. Maize is good hook bait on its own, but
with the added plastic it almost never comes off so you can get
10 or more fish without changing the bait.
The second reason I like plastic is as a visual stimulator. I
use a lot of the bright yellow Fluro corn, especially on sunny
days. (I also use the glow in the dark version for very deep
water and night fishing) I also like the way 2 pcs of plastic
“Tips” up the chain of bait a little on the bottom, I think
again this is a visual target for the carp, but also is the
third reason I use it. When carp are on the corn they simply
hover above the bottom sucking like a vacuum cleaner, as most
plastic corn is buoyant this helps offset the weight of the hook
so the corn rises at the same rate as the free offerings. I do
not believe this is as critical in Canada as it is on hard
fished UK waters, The carp here are not rig shy, but you do get
the runs a bit faster with critically balanced baits.
GIANT CARP CORN; For those in the know, this is a bit of a
secret weapon in Canada, I never found it much good in the UK
but here it is ALWAYS in my bag. I am also now shipping this
mail order all over Canada as word leaks out. Two or three
grains of giant corn often sorts out the bigger fish. As I said
I rarely use maize because Boilies get the bigger fish, but on
the days when they only want Maize the giant corn is often my
bait. Incidentally, I still use one piece of plastic with the
giant corn, mainly just to keep the bait on for more fish. You
also will often see my regulars on the Big Mac rig (I will cover
this more with photos under the rig section) but basically we
cut a boilie in half and put one or two flat pieces of giant
corm between them. It looks like a little burger. After all
these are Canadian carp.
BOILIES; Before we bought the CCC it was almost impossible to
buy boilies in Long Sault, my partner Bob and I used to ship 50
kilos out by DHL for our 2 weeks holiday., as well as use up any
spare weight on our baggage allowance with more. I have changed
a little and no longer feed as many boilies as I used too
(although I still feed a reasonable amount) but probably 90% of
the time they will be my choice of hook bait.
When I fish in the UK I am fanatical about the quality and type
of boilie I use. Truthfully in Canada, most of the time I am
feeding and using whatever is selling the least in the shop. We
sell two types of boilies in the shop Mainline in 4 flavours and
our own formulated SAP boilies in 4 flavours. Personally I
usually use the Mainline boilies as my hook baits and feed the
cheaper SAP baits. I do not think the SAP baits get less action
but they break up faster so I can get more fish per boilie on
the Mainline (it is all about speed as I have said)
In general, sweet baits work better than savoury or fish baits,
and for some obscure reason almost EVERYBODY uses yellow boilies.
The ratio of yellow boilies sold to any other colour in my shop
is about 40:1 so much so I have reduced the prices of the non
yellow boilies to get rid of them. There is no reason for
this!!!! Look in my bucket you will see red, orange and dull
brown boilies. Look on the site and see the photos of fish by
Peter the Dutchman or Vali, these two are probably the most
successful local anglers on the system, neither use yellow
boilies (although both use boilies most of the time) But Hey why
piss into the wind? Yellow boilies catch loads of fish so my
shop is full of Yellow boilies.
Some tips when using boilies. I find two halves (butterflied) or
one and a half boilies work better than just using a boilie
whole. I also some times trim them off to be more square
shaped.. I do this not because the fish are wising up on round
boilies but because I believe the scent/flavour of the boilie is
released more with the skin broken. I also often tip off my
boilie baits with fluro corn, again only as a sight attractor. I
have experimented with boilie size right up to 35 mm I find once
the boilie goes beyond 22 mm the runs slow down and you just
wait a little longer to catch another 20 lb carp. Big boilies
have so far not sorted out the big carp for me. In the same way
I see some guys with three boilies on a long hair. I do not see
much point in this. One, one and a half or even two regular
sized boilies seem to be the optimum baits.
POP UPS: Colin is the Pop up Queen of Long Sault, he carries
with him to EVERY session at least 20 different pots of pop ups.
I have three jars, White, Fluro Yellow and Bright Pink ( I do
have mixed sizes in the jars) In the main we use pop ups in a
similar way to the plastic corn, as sight attractors and to
neutralize the hook weight rather than to actually pop baits up
off the bottom. It is unusual for bait popped up off the bottom
to out fish bottom baits although sometimes it happens.
Snowman rigs are very effective here, for all the reasons
explained above. For those who do not know, a snow man rig is a
regular boilie with a slightly smaller pop up boilie on the same
hair. This looks like a snowman or in fact Linda who I bought
the Motel from. The boilie stays on the bottom but the popup
just lifts it slightly on the hair.
Truly popping up baits does sometimes provide bonus fish when it
is quite, especially in the faster water swims where it moves
around enticingly in the flow, but in the main the fish are not
used to looking upward for food, so it is the inquisitive fish
and not the hungry fish you are getting. Fishing well up with
Zig Rigs or floating baits, for me has never worked, there is
only certain times when baits zigged to sit on top of dense weed
can produce, We have one area my customers named Zig Rig Bay and
this is the only place we seem to bag up on mid water baits.
OTHERS; I sell Tiger nuts in the shop and they work well, in
fact the biggest fish ever to come out of Long Sault came on a
Tiger. Colin uses them a fair bit, myself less. If I could by
bulk sacks of tigers cheap enough to feed them in reasonable
numbers I am sure we would bag up on them. The same applies to
peanuts, and numerous other particle baits.
Sweet Corn (the good old Jolly Green Giant) will always catch
carp, they absolutely love it. However it is relatively
difficult to use, It is too light in weight to fire far with a
catapult does not stay on a hair well etc. Also worth a try is
the good old fashioned ear plug.. These are fished just like pop
ups and often popped up straight off the hook. As these catch
fish but taste and smell of nothing, this supports my assumption
about popped up baits catching curious fish.
Live baits, worms muscles etc. All of these will work, and
sometimes when nothing else does, but all attract nuisance fish,
especially the dreaded Goby. I also spoke to a guy last year who
told me he had all his biggest carp in Canada, including several
over 40 lb, on dead fish baits. I have worked in tackle shops
for 37 years so have a very acute bull shit sensor, but this guy
impressed me that he was on the level. Unfortunately this
discussion was held at a tackle show in the UK and I was too
busy to really discuss it.. What he said was logical, at certain
times of the year there are huge numbers of fry about and carp
will eat anything. Colin caught a carp this year with a six inch
Rapala plug cleanly in its mouth. If anyone has knowledge of
catching Canadian carp on dead fish baits I would love to hear
DIPS AND SPRAYS; I like a bit of dip or spray on my baits, Why
not? Maybe it gives and edge? Fishing with my business partner
Bob, who is a much better carp fisherman than me I found the
days I used dips I got much closer to him or beat him. You just
seem to get the run a little quicker than without it. I have
four dips I used last year, Pineapple, Muscle, Cherry and a new
experimental Mainline dip that I honestly don’t know what is in
it. I think any sweet dip will work as long as it is not too
concentrated. This year I am also going to try heavily oil based
dips to try to het oil slicks leaking out of the bait.
Just a word of caution on dips, If the water is over 10 or 12
feet deep or fast running, you are pretty much wasting your
time. Also be aware that some flavours are additives for bait
mixes and not made to be used undiluted as dips and sprays. A
flavour too concentrated can be the kiss of death !!!
ADVICE; You will most likely get more fish on Maize or Giant
corn; you will get a better stamp of fish on the Boilies.
(before people write in I know 100`s of big 30`s come out on
corn, but the above is my experience based on watching and
talking to anglers and Colin and my own fishing) SOMETIMES the
fish want only Maize and some times only Boilies. Most people
fish in pairs out here I always tell them one fish Boilie and
one fish corn and then decide what is best.
Here are some great articles to get
Fish Location |
Fishing the Method
Fishing With Corn
Float Fishing for Carp
| Getting an Edge
| Hook Baits
Quiver Tipping for Carp
| Marker Floats and