Spodding for Big Carp on the River - A Pavlovian Response

A spod is nothing more than some kind of container that you attach to your line to cast out particles. I never leave home without a couple. Our river carp have been conditioned to associate the splash of the pod with a reward - something good to eat, Pavlovian conditioning. Of course on the other hand a few of those particles might have hooks in them that leads to a negative conditioning of carp learning how to avoid the hooks. Here is how we condition our carp with a simple spod, turning a bad fishing day into a great one this September.

Craig "The Carpier" wants to practice casting, I was boring him to death, the morning feed didnt happen due to a cold front. I tied on a spod and let him spod the whole river. I decide to check on the boilies cast out past the center of the river near the far spodding over the deep channel. As I move a boilie to check it is not snagged it starts to pull away very slowly. I like it when they move off slowly, usually a Big Carp does that. After a long dog fight that saw the line go into the razor sharp rocks twice I get a look at my BFC, a beautiful wild common. The Carpier does the netting, into the weigh sling to get an accurate measure - 31 pounds, a new PB for Oatmeal Jack. Pretty good because no one thought this part of the river even grew a 30 pounder, but this has been the year of the BFCs called to the dinner table with a spod. Most of our 20+ have come in on spodded fermented maize and cracked maize or even spodded sweet corn this year. It is such an effective technique that we ALWAYS use it.

The Carpier returns to spodding the whole entire river, his casts are now aimed instead of random and he is building up some concentrated areas of chum. I climb a hill to watch the carp eating his chum, wonderful. Off goes another rod and the Carpier grabs it and immediately claims it to be a big one, it just wouldnít come in. Hours later he pulls in a spectacular new PB of 26 pounds of healthy fall common carp. Pictures and congratulations for The Carpier.

No more bites for an hour, with canoes putting in and going every which way but away from our lines. The Carpier, bored again, returns to spodding attempting to bring in more PBs or just to scare off the canoes. I watch to guide his casting into a hole that is visible in the clear waters. He is building a good table of chum for the carp. Within two minutes of his last cast here they come, some big ones. They went to each spoded pile, ate a mouth full and scurried off to circle back again and again mopping up all the chum. The Carpier gets a fast but short run, line gets cut on the rocks, the carp stay put eating maize, he cast on top of them and they rush madly away, only to come back in 3 or 4 minutes looking for more chum and tearing up the bottom.

We are running dangerously low on chum and hook baits, they are eating us out of bait!! Its 4 pm and we decide thatís enough, we are out of chum and the carp are mopping up the little bits that fell out of the spod on its way to the middle of the river. They get smart for some reason when they are doing this, they donít pick up the bait very often, I think they watch to see where we cast. I reel in one rod, start to reel in another and then the last rod goes screaming, a nice fat 18 pounder, it probably started the day as a 16 but ate a lot of our chum.

We went in hoping to catch a lot of carp today but we only got 5 carp including a new PB for me and The Carpier. Sorry Carpier, I didnít find a one hour photo place to developed the picture of your new PB. There are several web pages with direction on how to make your own spod, or you can buy one ready to use.

By Oatmeal Jack, October, 1998, Potomac River, MD, USA

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