I have previously briefly covered the use of particle type baits and how during the summer months they can offer a major edge when the weather is hot and the fish seemingly preoccupied on natural food. With this in mind and to expand on that I thought a follow up article and more in depth look at one particular particle maybe of help to some of you. Despite the fact that there are some excellent particle baits out there and all very effective in their own way. If I had to pick one bait it would have to be the awesome tiger nut. In this short piece I’d like to share with you just why this is my number one particle bait choice. Tigers or growlers as they are sometimes referred to have been on the carp scene for many years. Infact if you read any of the early Savay lake written articles from the likes of Hutchinson and Maylin you will see that tigers have been used with great success for the last 35 years at least! Whilst back in the 80’s many anglers possibly found them hard to get hold of for those.
That took the trouble to source them the results were well worth the effort. These days the availability of well prepared tigers is easy, walk into any well stocked tackle shop and you can usually pick up jars, tins or tubs of prepared quality nuts. As well as this there are a number of particle suppliers up and down the Country who sell a range of tiger nut based products, again the consumer can be confident that the baits are prepared and cooked in the right and safe way.
Cheshire Particle is one such company that I have huge confidence with and their freshly prepared range of baits is second to none.
"Jarred and perfectly prepared"
When it comes to tigers they can be fished in a variety of ways and once you realise that they actually come in various forms then you can really start to get the best from this humble little nut. From jumbo to mini, chopped or skinned, tigers can be purchased in a variety of forms. You can even buy coloured and flavoured versions, as well as some awesome black and white ones.
"Black and White a great edge"
The combinations are many and that’s even before you start to look at adding nuts to other very effective particle type baits. One of my favourite periods over the last few years fishing tigers was around 15 years ago when I started to fish some of the Oxfordshire pits. Tigers soon became a very effective bait to use and the fish in those Oxford gravel pits responded very well to the good old tiger! Surprisingly I found that the use of tigers was just as effective in the winter as the summer with a number of good 20 and 30lb fish falling fowl of them even in the colder months. In recent years a few other venues have proved to be very good nut waters, in particularly a couple of good sized East Midlands pits. The common denominating factor being the gravel covered bottoms of these waters. Its no coincidence I’m sure that the carp in these waters love to crunch. When it comes to fishing with nuts there are a number of presentations and effective rigs that can be utilised. If possible and where suitable one of my favourite methods is to use solid PVA bags filling them up with either PVA friendly nuts or by simply drying wet tigers off with some kitchen roll and adding them to either a PVA friendly liquid base or suitable nut based ground bait or ready
"PVA bags perfect for PVA friendly nuts"
prepared bag type mix. One question that I know gets asked and one I’ve been quizzed about before is just how many tigers does an angler need. Well obviously there are a number of key factors. The length of the session, the stock of fish and of course the amount of other baits likely to be used are all important. As a genera rule I think tigers work just as well in smaller amounts and find a couple of handfuls around each hookbait generally fine. Mixed with other particle type baits such as hemp or partiblend seed type mixes then 1 kilo of nuts to every 5 kilo of cooked seeds is plenty. When it comes to choosing hookbaits then you really are spoilt for choice. Both white or black tigers make excellent alternative ‘hookers’ and perfect when fished over standard coloured nuts. One method that really has stood out over the years is to add some form of buoyancy to your hookbaits. This can be done in a number of ways, but I prefer to partially drill out the centres of the nut and add a cylindrical slither of cork or rig foam. By adding this the hookbait can be made to hover just off the bottom allowing excellent hooking ability as a simple slight suck from a hungry big carp and the weightless baits fly back into the carps mouth.
"Returning a gravel pit beauty"
Fished on a suitable lead set up and you are almost guaranteed a well hooked carp every time! There’s no doubt in my mind that if used correctly tiger nuts can really offer a great advantage over standard boilie type angling and over the year have produced some excellent results for both myself and friends from a huge variety of waters. On a final note and one that should not be over looked is that some fisheries especially day ticket type venues may have restrictions or even bans on the use of tigers. This I feel is perhaps a little unjust at times but rules are rules so please check your venues rules. If allowed then give them a go and before long I’m sure you will see just how effective they can be.