I guess I first saw plastic carp baits when I was at the World Carp Classic at Madine more than 12 years ago, if memory serves me correctly Partridge were giving away free samples to all the competitors in the competition at the post match presentation.
Only sweetcorn was available at that time but it caught my eye instantly, especially as I had been having some considerable success in the UK using the method coupled with Maize on the rig critically balanced by a disk of yellow pop up foam! As good as it was the foam would take on water after a while and render the hookbait a tad less efficient, the new plastic version fitted the job perfectly.
As it turned out Enterprise made those early versions for Partridge so when Chris from Enterprise showed me his range I felt they were simply perfect and as neat as you could ever wish to see, besides that Chris had a rather remarkable range of other plastic baits that matched other baits I had traditionally used for carp for years, such as Maggots, Casters, Peanuts, Tigers and good old Chum Mixers, in fact I had that much success on the various baits. I talked over several ideas I had in mind with Chris to see if we could jointly develop the ideas and make them a reality.
One such idea was the “Glow in the dark corn” I had a fairly good idea that Carp would be attracted to baits that glow on the bottom in murky deep water or during the night purely because I have done loads of sea fishing over the years and I knew it made a very positive difference when lures or plastic glow in the dark rig beads were used for all kinds of sea fish so why not carp? and for that matter other course fish, I felt it was well worth a go.
Chris was slightly hesitant initially but when I offered to stump up the money for my own exclusive glow in the dark corn he knew I meant business! So he kindly made me some Green and Blue prototypes in corn and full and half boilies in various sizes for me to try!
I ventured out onto Oxlease on Linear Fisheries which was to be the first test venue, to my delight I caught very well on the glowing baits at night and interestingly in the daytime so at least I knew it didnt put the carp off!
Next trip to trial the “glow in the dark” was another Linear venue the popular St Johns, by the time I got to the lake we were into a very hash Winter period and I arrived in minus 6 Siberian like conditions to fish with my old mate Simon Crow, Simon was slightly incredulous when I showed him my glowing corn and proceeded to put it on all my rods and cast it into the lake over a big bed of spodded maggots, I think I had 5 twenties on it in two nights fishing, even I did not expect such an amazing result especially in those conditions, how exciting that was I can tell you!
I remember showing the boilie version of the Glow baits to Shaun Harrison while we both were fishing on the Mangrove syndicate, when I told Shaun of my run of results on these unusual baits he asked me if he could try some, I gladly let him take some, I received a phone call from a rather excited Shaun telling me he had just caught his first English forty on the plastic boilies and he related the story of how he could see the bait eerily glowing in the carps mouth in the pitch black during the fight.
Glow in the dark baits are made of a material that absorbs both light and sunlight, this causes it to react and give off light, it is also activated by UV light, that’s why you can charge it with the small UV lights Enterprise sell to do this job, another way is I found out by accident through my liking of sterilizing my baits to get rid of any human smell by dipping them into boiling water, when I tried this with a night glow hookbait it lit up like a light bulb “supercharging” it although briefly, it is handy in an emergency if you don’t have sunlight or a UV torch handy.
I don’t know about you but I consider plastic baits a very strong part of my armory these days, I don’t say that lightly as if they didn’t work I wouldn’t use them, not only do they work but in certain situations I have out fished real food items! Often getting bites on plastic when more conventional baits were struggling, at first when this became apparent it really did leave me scratching my head, I was quick to see some of the more apparent reasons for their success though and the more I thought about it the more obvious it became.
Most normal baits are porous and take on water so no matter how critically you may balance them they will become heavier and added to the weight of the hook, hooklink and perhaps tungsten putty or a split shot acting as a counter balance you can soon see the hookbait could behave in an unnatural way when waterlogged in contrast plastic remains totally constant in respect to its buoyancy which keeps your rigs perfectly balanced and imparts more natural behavior like your free offerings at all time.Another issue is colour, plastic baits keep their colour perfectly whereas normal baits such as Maize become quickly discoloured particularly when fished over dark silty lake beds, to me this is a key factor in the plastic baits success, if they can see it they will find it easier most of the time!
Of course the vivid colours you can create with these synthetic baits is vast and very eye catching, the popular trend of tipping food baits with a brightly coloured piece of corn is testimony to how effective the visual aspect can be, quite often the tipped boilie will out fish an identical boile that’s not been tipped.