Harry Charrington reveals how rig fashion has led to fewer anglers using PVA mesh, and explains how it remains one of the best and most versatile methods available to carp anglers…

There is no doubting that, sometimes, we’re faced with fishing for carp in a scenario where putting a lot of bait out is either not an option, or actually counterproductive.

Most people in these situations will turn to a single hook bait, often a bright smelly one, and that’s fair enough. I do my share of single hook bait fishing, but one thing that can be even more deadly is the use of a PVA mesh bag. Late winter and early spring is a particularly good time for the use of PVA, either when searching out a lake for its inhabitants or casting at carp that show themselves.

Depositing a mesh PV bag of pellets, with pinpoint accuracy remember, around your hook bait is very often just too much for a spring carp to resist. I’ve proved this to myself on very many occasions, not least on a match at Essex venue Bird’s Green. The water was extremely coloured and I combined small hook baits with golf ball sized mesh bags of pellets fished tight to an island. The fish were cruising along the island margins and I don’t think a single hook bait would have been enough to draw them down. That addition of pellets, however, did just that. I went on to win the match, and by some margin and to this day I’ve used mesh bags in a variety of situations to great effect.