My general preference is for feeding over as small an area as possible, although there will be certain conditions when a wide spread is better. One of the main advantages of a baitboat (any controversy arising about baitboats please post as a seperate topic!) is that they drop the feed and bait in a very tight area, and is the same reason why PVA bags and swimfeeders score so well. Hookbaits in tight-fed areas are more likely to be accepted along with the freebies, but wide-spread baited areas are more likely to be found by carp and will encourage more carp to feed in the area. As I said earlier, it's down to the particular situation as it really depends on the water, the proliferation of carp (and other species) in that water, and probably many more factors that affect the issue.
I remember Rod H speaking about Redmire and saying about spreading one pint of hemp over an area the size of a tennis court. I think on most waters nowadays that is unrealistic, considering the number of anglers now feeding particles, but the basic principle is the same, give them an area to graze over.
I think Rod hit the nail on the head. The circumstances will always dictate of course, e.g. angling pressure,time of year, overall fish population, etc. A water i am presently targeting is responding to heavy baiting over a large area, I think the amount of food fish in some waters can get through is phenonemol, especially particles.
I think we must be talking about two different things here. Sounds like you're on about spreading a bait around so that carp get a taste for it, whereas I'm talking about feeding a spot to tempt them to feed in that spot, a spot where my hookbait is lying.
No Graham, spreading the bait about in the swim that you are fishing. The thought is that a bigger spread will mean that the fish will graze, move onto the next bait, when they pick up the hook bait they are ready to move onto the next bait and get hooked. Very small piles of bait mean that the fish don't have to move and thus can inspect/reject the hookbait at will. It also means that you have a larger table at which to seat more dinner guests.
It's exactly the same theory I've used for many years for catching medium sized bream, ie, those that you usually find in large shoals in the 3lb to 7lb bracket. But with carp, especially the larger carp in a water where I'm not interested in drawing in lots of fish, I'm more inclined to think that small pockets of bait will work better.
Does that mean you don't agree with the theory that feeding fish will arouse the curiosity of the carp and attract them into the area? Or are you suggesting that this theory only works with smaller carp? And yes exactly the same as bream fishing.....
Sorry Graham, this is beginning to sound like a personal exchange/argument (where are all you other members?)... My point is that if you are fishing to a feature, e.g. a 6 foot wide bar or clear patch and you only bait with a PVA bag you are putting your faith in a 6 inch wide circle of bait. If you lightly scatter the whole width of the area and then concentrate your feed around your hookbait you have more of a chance of intercepting the carp on its patrol, it then can browse and home in on the higher concentration of food. The hardest part is getting it to stop in the first place and I feel the wider scattering will have a better chance of achieving this.
Have to say I agree with Carpy man on this one...where you cannot see the fish I think a wide scattering of bait with a concentration around the hook is best. I think attracting silver fish in helps to attract Carp later on.
I think this is a good method if you just want to catch "a carp" and are not that bothered about the size. If you want to catch the bigger fish then I am not sure its the best approach.
Much of this debate revolves around the nature of the water. If it's a water with only big and even bigger fish, ie, 20lb to 40lb plus, then there isn't much you can do to select the bigger ones. However, if we're refering to a water that has a very wide range of fish sizes, ie, single figure to 30lb-plus, then there are a number of things we can do, including not baiting a wide area to attract lots of fish, but presenting a very large hookbait amongst a small patch of feed.
in an area where the bigger fish frequent based on what past experience has taught us.