Carp Fishing With PVA Bags – With Amanda Hook

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Carp Fishing With PVA Bags – With Amanda Hook

In this blog, Angling Direct’s very own, Amanda Hooks talks us through how she uses PVA bags for carp fishing and her top tips and tricks for beginner anglers.


Most of my carp fishing throughout the last year has been with PVA bags, and I’ve had a lot of success using them. I first learnt how to tie them whilst out with Phil on a small pleasure lake. It is safe to say that those first few bags I tied, didn’t exactly look the part! However, with a load of practice, I can now tie PVA bags well and confidently.


When is the Best Time to Fish with PVA Bags?

The best days fishing I’ve had with PVA bags is a hit of 3 carp in the space of a few hours in the right place, on a really hard day ticket lake during mid-summer. I’ve heard of a lot of anglers using PVA bags of bait in the autumn or winter when the carp are feeding less. Nevertheless, PVA bags offer fish just a mouthful of bait so, they’re really good for quick bites! Placing PVA bags of bait to show fish has proven super effective, whatever time of year it is.


What is the Best Bait for PVA Bags?

I really wanted to spend a lot of time dedicated to one type of carp fishing method, so I could really hone down on one thing and become good at it. After using lots of different things, I’ve found that using a small wafter bait usually around 12mm or a small dumbbell wafter, with some micro to 2 or 4mm pellets, and sometimes adding a ground bait mixed with some liquid attractants.


Benefits of PVA Bags for Carp Fishing

What I love about PVA bags is how perfectly the bait is presented and hides the scary bits from a carp, i.e. the lead and the hook link and even the hook with the balanced wafter perfectly poking out. It seems the most perfect way to trick those spooky carp. A perfect little package!


Best PVA Bag Rig for Carp Fishing

I use a simple short hair rig inside the bag, keeping it all nice and neat and not complicated at all and I’ve caught plenty with this rig. Meaning I’ve now got loads of confidence in using them every time.

After having recommendations from Phil Spinks, and testing out different things on my own, I use the ESP Anchor Braid with the Thinking Anglers Curve Point Hooks if the rules on the lake are micro barbed/barbed. If the rules are barbless, the Korda Krank Hooks both in a size 8 also suits the presentation of a PVA bag, keeping it all nice and neat.

Casting PVA Bags

I’ve started using smaller PVA bags which helps to cast that little bit further if I’m trying to cast at a distance. What I struggled with the most with PVA bags is probably the weight of casting the bag at a longer range. If you don’t get it in the right spot first chuck, then ideally you need to tie a new one and recast. This can be time consuming unless you’re super prepared and have pre-tied a load before your session. Preparing a few PVA bags at once is a really good idea to save time and prevent you from being lazy and thinking “that’ll do for now”, which I am guilty of!

PVA Bag Fishing Success!

My most recent success from PVA bags was this cool little mirror, again from a super tricky day ticket. And my first proper night bite! With having so much confidence and success with PVA bags over the last few months, it’s been hard to want to change and try something else within carp fishing.

Spodding Practice

I would love to learn something else and to have another armoury in my bag so I’ve had a couple of lessons with Phil around spodding and went off on my own to try a couple of times and it's safe to say it isn’t coming naturally. Spodding with fishing bait is something I really want to keep practising and working on. In the meantime, I’ll continue with PVA bags when I’m keen on getting a bite on a harder lake.


Read more posts from Amanda Hook, here.

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