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   Wooden balls and crayfish.
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   Old Thread  #2  4 May 2014 at 1.44pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #1
An alternative rig has recently found favour with me and my mates thanks to the arrival of the Rig Marole Bore Ring. These are a blessing for the Wood Ball Rig as all you need do is simply screw a Bore Ring into the wood ball.



The ball can then be mounted on a Multi Rig or any other hook/rig arrangement you favour.



When you land a carp you can either change the ball and pop the one just removed back into the glug pot or simply touch up the hook point and chuck the same rig it out again! The balls retain their smell/attraction more or less indefinitely.

These wooden balls have been a God send for me an my mates so if you are faced with the prospect of being driven mad by the activities of crayfish, why not give them a try.

I hope this helps some of you put a few lumps on the bank this summer.
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   Old Thread  #1  4 May 2014 at 1.32pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
There seems to have been something of an explosion of crayfish in UK waters, while they proliferate in many EU countries. They can be a real PITA and as far as I know there is not a bait that they will not try to eat. Some have said that crays won't touch tiger nuts: I have seen them cover a bed of tigers so thickly you couldn't see the bottom and the crayfish ripped them to shreds in minutes.

I have watched the crays in a French lake devour a kilo of shelf life boilies in less than ten minutes and seen them crawl all over a carpet of pellets, groundbait and other feed.

So what can we do to stop these pests from ruining our day?

Here are my basics:

1. Bait: There is nothing they won't eat but there is one trick you can use which I picked up from Bill Cottam when he fished the Commons Lake Syndicate in France that I ran in the mid-90s. I'll come to that in a minute.
2. Hooklink: Only the stiffest, toughest nylon or fluoro will do as they can cut through ordinary nylon and low diameter fluoros in seconds.
3. NEVER use a soft braided hooklink as they will tie it in a tangle of knots as they mess around with the bait.
4. The same goes for Coated braids, the exception being Hydrolink 25lb which is stiff enough and tough enough to withstand the critters!
5. Light running leads are a no-no as they will drive you crazy with the alarms bleeping like a mad thing until the hookbait is gone. While they are attacking the hookbait they will drag it all over the place and there is every chance that the hook will be blunted or the hair tangled around the shank.
6. Use a heavy inline lead. We have found that they will eventually get fed up with trying to move the bait around if they cannot actually move it too far.
7. Use very short stiff rigs as this too will stop them from moving the lead/rig around too much.
8. Always bury the bait stop in the bait. If it is left outside of the hookbait as normal they will remove it in seconds and have the hookbait away just like that! You may also consider gluing the stop in place.

And so now we come to the bait itself. This was Bill's big edge on the Commons Lake and many other guys on the syndicate would tear their hair out as he got run after run while they got plagued by the crays. The answer is of course wooden balls.

These can be bought online or in craft shops. I bought 3 dozen of three different sizes in 1997 and I have still got most of them as you simply don't loose them as you would other hookbaits. Mine have been stored in a glug of Nutrabaits Fruit Special since they were first purchased and the attraction seems as good today as it was back then.

I used a 1mm wood drill to create a hole for the hair.



As for rigs, well as outlined above I use short stiff rigs and these days the hooklink material is 30lb Mirage. This is how I create a crayfish-proof rig. First I tie a four turn overhand knot in the end of the Mirage and pull it tight.



Next I thread the hooklink material through the drilled hole and pull the knot down so it is tight to the opening.



Now I pull hard on the other end of the hooklink material so that the knot enters the bore of the hole, and then I trim away the tag end. The 'hookbait' is now held securely in place by the knot.



Using a knotless knot I attach the hook. I like the Fox SR pattern with its beaked point as this resists damage on stones and gravel better than straight pointed hooks.



As mentioned I prefer a semi fixed inline lead for this rig for the reasons given above. You can see the short length of my hooklink in this photo.



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   Old Thread  #30 13 Jun 2018 at 8.44am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
I'm fishing a lake at the moment that only seems to get krays in certain swims. Many times I have reeled in to find the braid hook link in a mass of knots. So I bought some 15mm wooden balls and will be giving this a shot. Thanks for the tips Ken
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   Old Thread  #29 1 Apr 2018 at 4.29pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #2
The bore ring can be very handy. I have had crayfish cut dental floss or mono hairs.

The wooden balls I use have been soaked in Marine17 and Tunamino liquid.
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   Old Thread  #28 15 Mar 2018 at 0.47am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #26
fishing wild boar lake, not sure if they have a cray problem but better to be prepared
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   Old Thread  #27 15 Mar 2018 at 0.47am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #25
thx very much for reply am going in september and now have my balls in soak
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   Old Thread  #26 15 Mar 2018 at 0.07am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #24
Which lake are you fishing, I did Fox two years ago and didn't have a single problem with the krays
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   Old Thread  #25 14 Mar 2018 at 2.45pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #24
The longer the better. Bear in mind that really prolonged soaking - and I am talkin months here - will affect the buoyancy and eventually they become bottom baits.
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   Old Thread  #24 5 Mar 2018 at 6.46pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #1
good evening i know this is a really old thread but am off to abbey lakes and believe they have trays in there so have just ordered some wooden balls, question is how long do i need to glue them for before they become soaked enough to use them
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   Old Thread  #23 2 Jul 2017 at 12.06pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #22
Glad to hear it worked for you, mate.
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   Old Thread  #22 4 Jun 2017 at 8.42am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #21
Just back from a week on a French venue which had crays and poisson chat present. Had a pot of these glugged for about 3 months in Nutrabaits Spice Cajouser mixed with Tamari. Used them on a "German" type rig with a bait screw on a rig ring on the hook shank. Had one of the old leathers at 37.8 and you should have seen the look on my mates faces when they saw what I was using as a hookbait! Wooden ball..? A wooden ball...??

Excellent tip, many thanks Ken!
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   Old Thread  #21 3 Jun 2017 at 3.20pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #20
Something i would of never of thought about Ken,

A reason why pages like this can be brilliant! Thanks
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   Old Thread  #20 2 Apr 2017 at 5.56pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Thanks for the information Ken.

Going back to Gyrn for a 48 in a few weeks and i will put this in to practice.
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   Old Thread  #19 14 Dec 2016 at 12.37pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
Sounds like a sure fire way to blow a flavour on the given water. Good for holiday visits where it wouldn't matter so much.
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   Old Thread  #18 8 Dec 2016 at 2.25pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #13
are you saying you were using the Fruit Special flavour neat as your long term soak

Yes, Dave.

Ken. Are these hardwood

Yes, Andy.

If I wanted popups or snowman could you use balsa wood or would some foam do the trick?

Eric|: I would imagine balsa would be too soft and would probably go even softer in a long term glug. Foam will be torn to shreds quicker than a boilie!

Sorry for the long delayed replies. Only just revisited the original thread!
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