So…baiting patterns and how much bait? For me this depends on each individual spot I am going to put a rod on and will greatly depend on the type of bottom I am fishing over. Whether I think it is an area fish already go to feed or am I trying to ambush them as they head for a certain feeding spot.  The latter being my preferred situation.  

Nearly all lakes have areas where fish show consistently but you cannot ‘buy a bite’ there. These ‘larders’ as I call them are usually silty pockets that contain blood worm in huge amounts and when the fish visit these areas they get totally pre-occupied on these tasty morsels to the exclusion of everything else.  Without a doubt fish will be caught from these areas, but it will be when the rich supply of goodies is nearly at an end. It is far better to try and ascertain the route the carp will take to get to that area i.e. gravel bars, side of weed beds, channels through thick weed – all good spots to set your traps. In this situation I would bait quite lightly, scattering three or four handfuls of bait all along the route I would expect the fish to take.

We are not trying to create a feeding area, rather just giving them a tasty appetizer before the main course.

Single hook baits can score well sometimes, but again I like the thought of the fish getting more and more confident with each bait it eats because it likes the bait it is eating. I use this sparse baiting pattern along side bars and gullies, but when I start to fish more weedy spots then I like to give fish a bit of bait to search for, usually  between six and ten handfuls is enough to get a bite. I cannot see the point of putting in much more. If the fish like your bait, they will come and find it, “believe me” they know it is there. I keep this pattern much tighter, because the fish are going to be feeding in a fairly weedy area they become more confident, taking baits that are up in the fonds of the weeds, as well as the ones that are down on the bottom. This heavier baiting will also hopefully pull more fish in to the area which is not normally a spot where they would feed.

It makes me laugh when you see anglers going out to France with sacks of this and kilos of that because the lake they are going to has a big head of carp. I presume the theory is that they will put enough bait in to keep the fish in their swim. If you put out 5 kilo of bait or 5 handfuls of boilies a shoal of 20lbs plus fish will eat the lot in one visit. You will still only get one or two runs before that shoal is gone and you have to bait up again. I know which one I would rather do.