Kev Hewitt is a seasoned zig fishing expert and here he imparts some valuable advice on when, where and how to get the best from this excellent tactic.
‘Over the years I have really seen the potential that zigs bring to the table during later winter/ early spring. When bites seem impossible and the fishing is slow a correctly placed zig fished at the right depth has every chance of producing a bite, particularly on deeper venues which are 10ft+ in depth on average.
There are a few key simple principles to zig fishing and the first is to locate the carp. Zigs allow you to spread the rods out and cover plenty of water to search out a bite. However, if one fish was to stick its head out then that can be a massive game changer. A zig cast straight into the rings of a rolling carp can literally bring instant bites. Worst case scenario at least you have a hookbait in an area a carp has visited and that gives you a realistic chance.
The depth is obviously key. There is a whole host of factors which influence this but my most success this time of year has come from a hookbait in the top third of the water column.
Hookbait wise foam, zig bugs, small pop-ups all work but most of my success has come from using a black coloured hookbait whether it be a slither of black foam or an imitation water beetle.
Bite indication is massively important and an ultra tight line coupled with a heavy bobbin is key, especially when many bites will be dropbacks. For this, I use the metal head barrel bobbins. They are mega heavy for their size and do the trick perfectly. Any bleep or indication and you know there with be a fish on.
During a recent session I had an instant result from a lake that had not produced a fish for over a month. Whilst setting up I saw the remnants of a swirl which just had to be a carp. I quickly got a rod off the barrow and cast a zig to roughly where the carp had shown. Before I had finished setting up the brolly that rod was away. It had been in the water for less than 10 minutes and I was soon cradling a proper winter carp from a venue which I had deemed in my mind to be near impossible to get a bite in winter. It was a real eye opener even for me.