Sticks are attractive to carp at the best of times, but cramming them with Goo takes them to the next level, says Jamie Londors.
I've always been a fan of using PVA sticks. They serve many purposes, all of which are greatly beneficial to us carpers. There are times when we need to do absolutely everything we can in order to succeed and the addition of a PVA stick has always been something that I have used in order to boost my chances.
If you're like me and you find yourself constantly using rigs that incorporate a split shot or a piece of putty beneath the hook, then I have a little tip for you. It's only something small but it's made my life a lot easier. I know that this type of rig is often deemed unsuitable for stick fishing, but they're not. I simply cut a hole in the stick, sometimes at both ends, then wiggle my needle around inside to bore out the stick slightly. This makes pulling a lump of putty or a shot into the stick nice and easy.
At all times of the year, but particularly during the winter and spring, sticks are very effective. When you're fishing for bites rather than a hit of fish, in my opinion there's nothing better than a PVA stick coupled with a bright hookbait. I use the stick mix shown here, which is absolutely loaded with Goo, because the carp find it unavoidable and hard to resist. Making sure that the fish are aware of your hookbait is one of the most important things at this time of year and this stick mix almost guarantees that they'll be able to detect it. Not only does it pump out flavour and food signals, but you have the visual aspect too. It ticks all the boxes and any carp that passes by is sure to spot it, even in murky water. Once they spot it, they have two choices: eat it or ignore it. Hopefully, it's the former that they decide on.
Making Jamie's Goo sticks
- STEP 1: You will need some Mainline High Impact Groundbait, Pineapple Supreme Goo, Perfect Peach Power Smoke and a Boilie Funnel Web PVA System
- STEP 2: Start by pouring some Groundbait into a bait tub
- STEP 3: Cover the majority of the groundbait with Pineapple Supreme Goo
- STEP 4: Mix it in thoroughly – the mix will change colour slightly and look like this
- STEP 5: Add a good dose of Perfect Peach Goo – aim for a nice big puddle in the middle
- STEP 6: Give the whole lot a good mix
- STEP 7: Tie an overhand knot in the end of the PVA
- STEP 8: Pour a small amount of stick mix into the tube
- STEP 9: Compress the mix using the plunger then push the stick out of the end of the tube
- STEP 10: Carefully tie another knot tight against the top of the stick
- STEP 11: The finished stick should be small, tightly compacted and full of attraction
As we pass out of winter and into spring, the lakebed will be at its most lifeless and large areas may be littered with dead weed and rotting leaves. Time has almost stood still for a few months as everything, including fish activity, has been at an annual low. By this point in time, however, the fish are waking and they'll start to clean off their favourite areas once again. In the meantime, we want to be able to fish effectively and the addition of a PVA stick is great for ensuring that that all important hook point is protected. You will often find yourself casting at showing fish during the spring and that could well mean casting over dirty ground. Adding a PVA stick enables you to cast pretty much wherever you like; as long as you can get a drop on the lead, you're fishing effectively.
When casting to a particular spot, or most importantly at a showing fish, you want a rig that isn't going to tangle. The great thing about adding a stick is that it will almost guarantee that your rig sails out there unhindered by tangles. The added weight kicks the bait out and away from the lead, separating them perfectly during flight; in fact, you can actually watch them on their way through the air. Watching your rig is always worth doing as a tangle is the last thing you want, but with a stick it's made easy. Sometimes you'll even notice a double splash where the stick and lead land separately. Depending on the range you're fishing, it might be worth carrying a couple of different sized PVA Funnel Web Systems. I find that the boilie size is perfect 99.9% of the time, but for the longer range work, the Long Chuck is the one. Whatever size you opt for, when casting with a stick attached, that rig is going to be sitting proud and ready to catch you a carp.
This method is great for getting you a quick spring bite, so if you're on the bank any time soon, be sure to give it a go. I'm sure it'll serve you well!
Attaching the stick to rigs with putty or THE split shot attached
- STEP 1: Start by cutting a small hole into either end of the PVA stick
- STEP 2: Pull the rig through the stick using a Stick Needle – the shot or putty will pass perfectly into the holes you've created
- STEP 3: Carefully nick the point of the hook into the bottom of the stick and it's ready to cast