Ant Ballard. New Improved Imitation Dog Biscuit.

The all new and improved Imitation Dog Biscuit is considerably smaller compared to its previous counterpart. Making this new version a much closer match in size to actual chum mixers. The Imitation Dog Biscuit sits nice and low in the water just like a real waterlogged mixer; and these two factors combined make it significantly harder for the carp to pick out and potential reject the your hook bait.
They incorporate a foam insert and split shot combination, which when used in conjunction with the recommended hook sizes, provides perfect counterbalance every time. Ensuring the hook always sits proud above the waterline. Completely out of view of those wary and suspecting carp.
This, and the additional feature of tapered sides, drastically increases their stability. So these are great even on choppy water.

When it comes to carp fishing playing the percentage game is everything, and I believe those little things that some anglers do as a matter or course and others fail to do, make an even bigger difference when it comes to surface fishing. A few basic things will drastically increase your chances of nicking them right off the top.
Firstly, focusing on actually feeding the swim. This is where you really need to take a leaf out of a matchmen’s book. A little and often principle when it comes to introducing free offerings is the key to getting fish competing. Once the carp are competing, and literally racing at every floater in sight they are far more liking to drop there guard and unsuspectingly engulf an awaiting hook bait.
Don’t get me wrong, on some lakes you’re not always going to achieve this competing response, but an unsuspecting carp that has enjoyed a few freebies without suspecting a rig will be far more susceptible to being caught.
I like to feed a mixture of sizes ranging from small 6mm floating trout pellets, shop bought mixers and larger 11mm floating trout pellets. The smaller ones are great at the beginning of a session and seem to really get the fish going. I personally like to give my freebies a nice coating of Sticky’s Cap Oil before introducing. The slick the oil created can pull fish from miles, and also flattens the surface off nicely. Often making it far easier to pick out your hook bait. Especially when fishing at a considerable range.
…So you have the fish competing and you feel like now’s the time to introduce your rig. The last thing you want to do is spook ‘em and ruin your chances. This is where over casting comes into play. You want to overcast your bubble/controller float at least 10yards past the feeding fish. Then with the rod tip high keep as much line off the water as possible, slowly winding, manoeuvring the rig back into position. Remember, if the carp don’t know there being fished for, they are far easier to catch!
Another key factor to consider is mainline and hook length choice. Personally I like to use floating lines for both. This avoids unsightly loops hanging below the surface amongst feeding fish, and also stops your controller or bubble float being dragged in and away from the zone, as a standard sinking mainline would do. A sinking hook length would have the same effect on your hook bait, dragging it closer to your float of choice leaving an unsightly loop of line below your hook bait. Not an ideal presentation.
A floating line also helps tenfold when it comes to striking following a pick up, aiding to set the hook. It’s far easy to whip the line off the surface, when compared to a line that’s taken on water, and sunk.
Several angling companies now sell floating mainlines and dedicated zig or floater hook length materials. I’m still personally a fan of the ever reliable Drennan double strength, but the ‘fly leader’ version. This stuff floats straight off the spool without the need for greasing.
Pick your breaking strains based on the angling scenario you are faced with at the time. But remember the low diameter lines and more subtle approach will get you more bites. So use the lightest mainline and hook length you can get away with. I like a hook length around 4-6 feet long depending on the distance I’m fishing, and although the double strength is a pre-stretched nylon, a long hook length like that will still have plenty of stretch in it to cushion those lunges during a long battle with an angry carp.
Another critical thing to consider when utilising these awesome new Imitation Dog Biscuits as part of your armoury, is hook choice.
You want to pick a hook with a wide gape for starters. The key is to really lightly nick the hook point through the top of your imitation. Leaving plenty of the gape free for hooking. I think its important to select  hook either with a straight point or only a very slightly beaked point. These type of hooks seem to take hold much quicker and aid when it comes to hooking those shyer biting carp.
Use the smallest hook you can get away with. Personally I like 10’s and 12’s. Depending on the fishing scenario I’m faced with. I always like to sharpen my hooks and that’s no different to when it comes to my surface fishing. That’s another advantage these counterbalanced imitation offer. Sharpening a hook with a file of course removes the dull tungsten coating. The shiny finish can increase glare and I believe this can spook fish. But with the hook completely above the water line, that not a worry with these imitations.
Another real blessing of using the Imitation Dog Biscuit is of course it will never go soft and fall off a hair like a real chum mixer would, but being weightier than the real thing, you get far less tangles. Which can be a problem when fishing long hook lengths and light hook baits.
Just remember to trap the line by putting a finger on the lip of your reel spool just before the controller hits the water, and this will throw the hook bait forward in turn straightening out your hook length perfectly. Takes a bit of practice if it’s not something you’d usually do, but it makes all the difference.
A final little tip to make your imitation mixers that slightly bit special, is why not soak them in a concentrated liquid flavour or sweetener of your choice. I leave mine soaking in hinders Betalin or a fruity flavour. Leave the foam insert sticks out of the biscuit when soaking to ensure they take on even more flavour , as more surface area is exposed.
So Get on the new Imitation Dog Biscuit for the ultimate surface hook bait, and tempt even the wariest of carp.


All the best for now,
Antony Ballard