When I first starting fishing Weeping Willow, UK, I had no clue what spodding and groundbait carp fishing was about. I just used sweet peas and sweet corn with bottom rods. Then I tried carp rods with random boilies and pellets, no spod, no pvc, no method, slightly better results. Then I tried random groundbait and spod mixing with random boilies and pellets. Ummm, results indicated that I was wasting money as this was slightly better than using just peas and corn.
Then I paid attention to the daily/nightly temperature patterns, weather patterns, groundbait temps, aroma temps and looked at bottom composition of bouyed spots. Tailored spod mixes to ambient temps and matched pellet and boilies to the warm/cool weather flavors of groundbait/aromas and bottom textures. Amount of trophies and unis per 6 hours of peak time fishing took a dramatic rise.
I got a consistent pattern of Uni bites about 4 every 2 game hour period. I could only land 1 Uni at a time if there were more than 1 Uni on my rod stand. Swapping Uni rods tended to make me lose one of the Unis to line slack after switching rods. This amounted to 3 Unis per each 2 peak game hours. I usually got multiple Unis to bite within the first peak game hour but can only reel in 1 at a time. I prefer to fish carp during peak hours as there are more trophies and less young carps.
I keep tweaking recipes and bait combos to see if I can increase carp weight and attract more trophies and unis. I suspect there is a cold water combo of bait and groundbait that is more effective than pairing boilies/pellets to matching groundbait. I'll be testing this theory further. I can't do more warm water testing at this time because ponds do not get warm enough in the fall unless there is a competition with off season warm weather.
I'll be posting my Weeping Weeping Willow UK Carp Creels so you folks can see which bait and groundbait combos the carps preferred. My keepnet/creel is 1102 Lb max. I'm in the process of clipping and uploading my creels, weather conditions and chum recipes and combos to get a sense of how I made some of my observations. I'm sorry that I'm not set-up to do videos at the moment, but I did take many screenshots to record my findings. I'll figure out videos later as I've been requested to video some of the bugs I've encountered.
1 Day Warm Water Chum Creel (9 Unis)
1 Day Cool Water X Flavour Creel (6 Unis)
2 Day Cool Water Giant Octopus Creel (5 Unis)
1 Day Cool Water X Flavour/Octo Creel (9 Unis)
2 Day Cool Water X Flavour/Octo Creel Double Strength (9 Unis)
3 Day Cool Water X Flavour/Octo Creel Double Strength with Heavier PVA (12 Unis but odd weather change)
My Daily Carp Creel Diary will be posted in this forum at Carp A Diem.
Weeping Willow UK Carp Observations:
1. Warm water days are extremely sparse but the chum recipe is 2 ingredients.
2. Expect cool water days for awhile during fall and winter and expect to clutter your inventory with 5 ingredient all purpose weather spod mix.
3. If you plan to do both a tournament and farm before or after, you might want to bring both warm and cold baits and groundbaits. Tournaments can have unseasonal warm weather. Carp appear to be more attracted to sweet and nutty baits in warm water. They crave spicy garlicky baits in cool, overcast and rainy weather.
4. Medium PVA is more cost efficient than Heavy PVA. Heavy PVA is wasteful for exp and cash farming. Heavy PVA might be more useful in tournaments for slightly heavier carp. You'll only need 1 bag of groundbait per rod if you fish till you fill a 1102 Lb keepnet with 4 rods. You'll need 2 bags of expensive groundbait if you use heavy PVA. I'd like to use flat feeders to save on PVA costs, but this means I need to make space for 4 feeders versus 1 slot of stackable PVA. My tackle has limited space. Also, flat feeders tend to glitch for my steam PC set-up. This slows down my ability to manage multiple rods.
5. I suspect unis regenerate at least every 3 game hours in the same spot. Either move after the 3rd or 4th Uni, or advance to another peak period. I need to test this further to be sure. I usually just fish one spot because I'm dyslexic and easily get disoriented if I need to move around too much. I also hate reclipping my rods to a new spot.
6. If I didn't release all my regular carp, my keepnet fills up in about 1 hour IRL. Since I'm still exping, I aim for at least 9 Unis a creel, the rest are all trophies. Fishing like this takes a little longer but gives fast exp and has less wear and tear on a pricey gear.
7. I'm pretty sure X Flavour Aroma is just a cool way of saying Spicy Red Robin Mix by the way it obviously enhances spicy and garlic groundbaits. It's like the 11 herbs and spices that make Kentucky Fried Chicken "finger licking good." Red Robin is a traditional spicy bait enhancing additive by Haiths.
8. The combination of Giant Octopus and X Flavour aromas produces a synergistic effect on Garlic flavored boilles and groundbait. I'm from Hawaii where giant octopus are common where my grandfather fished. Giant octopus aroma contains sea food flavours a giant octopus would be attracted to. Octopus doesn't really have a smell unless it is rotting in the sun or have much taste unless it is enhanced with spices and soy sauce. I fancy chum made from various plant grains, spices and sea food flavoring as the equivalent of delicious sushi for carp. Haiths, the makers of Red Robin carp attractant discusses a similar formulation >here<.
9. Between 3.5-to-4.0 percent of aroma yields similar results to twice that amount. So about 2 percent of Octopus and 2 percent of X Flavour provides enough chemoreceptor enhancing magic for carp. I've doubled the aromas and have seen no great improvement in carp size or attraction. I guess the chemo-receptor carp AI is just keen to a certain amount of chemical concentration and chemical signature. Currently, the carp AI favors a 4% combination of seafood (Giant Octopus Aroma), Red Robin Spices (X Flavour Aroma), and Garlic with Spice boilies, pellets, and groundbait. This chemical signature will change when the weather becomes warm again in the Spring or during an unseasonal competition/tournament or when developers feel the carp are bored.
10. There are several warm water feeder baits and aromas, but only a handful of cool or all purpose feeder baits and aromas. Since it is the start of fall, the water temperature at Weeping Willows UK is cool and will be cool for awhile. Therefore, you need to make your own all season grain mix with all season carp aromas until Spring and Summer weather returns next year.
11. Weeping Willow UK ponds are silty and weedy. Pop-up boilies and pellets should logically do better per description of product. I still need to do more testing on the effect of leader length as carp tend to be bottom dwelling scavengers like catfish. I'm not sure if carp AI is more sensitive to color and motion during the day and aroma at night. Or if the baby carp hang more at the bottom or middle. I want less baby carp and more trophies and unis to exp on. So far, I'm getting more trophies and unis with pop-ups in the UK.
12. In Hawaii, where carp comes to us in the form of a revered Japanese Koi pet, carp are beautiful, smart and can be tamed. They will follow you eagerly around the pond and wait to be hand fed. Carp will grow wary of sameness and begin to reject favorite foods and textures which is why carp baiting is so complex. Carp develop a keen culinary sense according to weather and seasonal changes. I suspect the wild carp AI is programmed with similar chemo-receptor signatures, colors, texture, seasonal and weather sensibilities and boredom.