Making world class carp baits is not just an art form and a science, but an extension of your own self. You can do it with the right knowledge and enough practice and catches feedback to hone your skills and experience, so things become as instinctive as they are for carp! Carp are constantly dynamically adapting individuals so the concept of the ultimate carp bait is misleading, however you can constantly adapt baits to keep your results much higher than the herd using readymade baits! For the best, read on now!
It might surprise you to discover I see fishing bait as an extension of my journey into ultimate personal health and nutrition and vitality and longevity. Carp are great teachers; they are our long lost ancestors! Carp really do respond to substances that we respond to, hand it is amazing how many substances that carp are renowned for being stimulated by such as chilli oleoresins in hot peppers etc and spirulina and now regarded as super foods by modern science!
Nutritionally speaking baits are about energy as all nutrition is diverted towards vital energy for survival, be it proteins, fatty acids, terpenes, carbohydrates, fats and a multitude of substances whatever they are, that ultimately assist in promoting the most energy efficient metabolism of the human or carp body.
But bait is not about feeding fish unless you happen to own a fishery and want to exploit paying anglers and charge then basically for feeding your fish. Angling bait is not about feeding fish or supplementing natural diets, but about inducing feeding behaviours even if merely curiosity feeding. Far too many anglers get caught up in how much of a bait will be biologically available and use mathematics to try to discern and refine limiting amino acids effects so maximised levels of nutrition are utilised and converted into tissues for muscle fibre regeneration and growth and repair etc and not for fueling metabolism and all pathways and roles requiring energy, from respiration to muscular contractions used in swimming to locate food and equally vital gill movements etc.
But frankly you can out-fish readymade baits sorted for amino acids simply by exploiting habit-forming (even addictive,) and exceptionally potent bioactive and enzyme-active bait substances etc within your own homemade baits. You could also do it many other ways, including using very high doses of fermenting products or bye-products within your baits. Certainly only a proportion of what is available that stimulates carp feeding is supplied by fishing bait companies and there are very many other suppliers and substances that are very potent indeed than these companies will generally admit!
Of course carp bait companies favour using substances that will be most profitable to them. In fact most of the more potent substances in readymade carp baits are not used in anywhere near the levels that you can use them within homemade carp baits, in order to out-fish readymade baits. Fishing bait companies do not advertise that fact in the flashy magazines do they?
As you can tell, I am not the biggest fan of the whole commercial side of fishing, and every time I see a flashy magazine with yet another round or barrel shaped boilie or pop up bait it just makes me laugh at the amount of conditioning and brain washing taking place because smooth-surfaced heated readymade boilies are not the ultimate bait and can easily be out-fished!
Why do you think the average angler is disappointed with his results using readymade baits? Surely fish should be jumping on the bank for them if they are as good as they are advertised! But in fact I know of some of the latest leading brand readymade boilies that have been used for pre-baiting on some high profile waters deliberately to prime fish for video making and the fish have left the readymade baits alone for two full weeks before the baits broke down without being eaten! I will not mention the brand here but it is one of the biggest leading brands in the UK and not Nash although they have obviously taken a bashing anyway, but if you want details about which bait I am referring to you can contact me to find out!
I might add that many companies will market a new bait based on results of field tester catches where they are provided with a far more potent version of a bait than the version the public will actually will be buying as the next big thing! I hope many of you take good note of this! Not all readymade bait companies are this crafty but if you find your results are average then think about making your own so you can always ensure your baits are even better of those that initial field testers get hold of!
Bettering bait is all about having a control bait and constantly experimenting and refining with slightly refined versions of that bait, altering levels of substances, substituting some for alternative ones and so on – really exploiting the fact you have 2 or 5 rods. Few anglers realise that even using 3 homemade baits each with a different flavour levels can hook different fish in a water due to the fact that each individual fish has a unique degree of sensitivity to any particular substance.
The most optimised and most functionally-effective bait is about guaranteeing the most potent continual release of feed-triggering bait substances which are most highly concentrated in solution possible; and that really sums it all up!
All heated bait is very seriously impeded in its functional potential to catch fish because bait substances in concentration in solution are the big key to the most successful baits and heated baits are coagulated and sealed so very little soluble substances are available to form concentrated impactful solution being sealed into the matrix of the bait! These heated baits have damaged under-optimised proteins so perform far below maximum potential and it really makes me mad that heated boilies are claimed to be the ultimate carp nutrition, the ultimate bait format.
In fact they are the crutch for anglers without the confidence to fish with truly optimised baits that do their real job of becoming mainly solution within 3 to 6 hours. Anglers in the main do not realise that it is far more potent to fish with a bait actively breaking down that with one that sits as a round or barrel shaped blob for 12 or 24 hours or more! I tested this over the decades and I have no doubt now that I know I get better results when I reel in with half a bait left on undissolved compared to reeling in with complete baits left on intact and undissolved. I have been promoting the fact that wrapping a heated boilie bait in paste is simply a sign that boilies are a faulty stimulation delivery mechanism and the paste is simply a pathetic last resort sticking plaster proving this! In the sixties and seventies highly soluble paste was known as the superior delivery system. Just because the paste baits of the time were not made with certain kinds of materials we have today and so could be sucked off by roach and other nuisance fish does not change the fact that paste is superior in stimulating fish than heated boilie baits. It is so ironical that now there is that hilarious situation where readymade boilies are being rolled, heated, and then are being crushed by anglers wishing to use them as feed like this because the little light has lit up inside their heads that heated baits are a faulty drastically reduced function under-optimised stimulation mechanism and that all heated boilies have this flaw!
You might be one of those anglers yet to figure things out and maybe you prefer to sit behind rods with baits delivering minimum stimulation possible. The fact is that the longer the time a bait sits intact in water the less and less it delivers stimulatory concentrations of solution.
When things get to the point where fish appear to only take washed out leached out boilies, then something is very clear. Many wary fish avoid fresh readymade boilies and this seems to be a challenge to far too many anglers to figure out. You do not need to wash out boilies or soak them in lake water to make them catch fish. You simply avoid using readymade boilies full stop. Is that so hard to understand? The biggest fish I hooked on Rainbow Lake including a world record fish came on soft alternative bait not hard stereotypical readymade boilies. I know for a fact that Martin Locke highly rates easily broken down baits for lake records, both on Rainbow and popular day ticket commercial waters such as Elphicks in Kent.
All you need to do to catch wary fish that are avoiding fresh boilies is try fresh paste on a paste coil on your rig, and use small fresh soft and also air dried paste free baits regularly introduced and maybe use a big ball of paste around your entire rig for example. Fish are rarely wary of soft baits. In fact the quickest most effective way to introduce a totally new bait mix to a water is not to use boilies at all, but using paste. I myself and my ebooks readers specially requested feedback have proven in massive Spanish and eastern European lakes etc as well as on commercial, and syndicate and day ticket waters here in the UK.
The very best homemade baits I can make contain 100 to 150 milliliters of liquid foods including other things such as active fermentation substances, digestive aids, multi-purpose enhancers, addictive and habit forming substances and far more than this. Think and focus on how much you can make your baits as effectively as much as possible and ensure when they actively dissolve they are producing the most exceptionally potent solutions in maximised concentrations when in action!
I do not recommend using liquid egg as a binder; it is the most obvious danger signal any wary carp detects and the vast majority of carp baits have been made using egg. Egg seals everything soluble far more inside the bait so it cannot pump out in optimum concentrations therefore guaranteeing that all such baits vastly under-perform; this is the sad truth about any readymade bait made with liquid egg. Eggs also inhibit digestion very significantly. If you must use egg my only advice is choose something else with binding albumins for example.
I use lactalbumin, blood plasma powder and other substances instead all of which ensure baits work from truly from the centre and are not sealed on the outside by congealed insoluble egg albumins. Try washing heated egg off a plate and see how insoluble it is. If egg is all you can get, use whole egg powder instead of liquid egg. Whole egg powder will make baits firm right through but not seal baits as much as liquid egg although it will still make very definitely under-performing baits compared to using far more soluble materials instead. At last resort, using whole egg powder is better than using egg albumin which will seal your baits like glue and turn them into drastically under-performing hard bullets which is as far from ideal as is possible!
Eggs contain very little to trigger feeding compared to various incredibly potent substances. So simply remove all egg liquid and powder from your baits, add instead 200 or 300 grams of very high protein powder of any kind which is primarily composed of water soluble proteins that bind. Preferably such additives and ingredients will have a fantastic nutritionally stimulating profile. Avoid carbohydrate binders totally as they are not going to turn fish on compared to soluble protein rich binders.
You do not have to be stuck in a standard kilogram of base mix type mentality. Most of my base mixes are so varied and so most often they will be a basic 1200 or even 1500 grams and this works for me because I find it very difficult to fit all I want to in the levels I want to within a kilogram measure, and anyway I prefer to do things my own way and this alone enables me to make baits different.
So many anglers contact me through my site and ask questions about their own bait recipes. They most often ask the question what is my analysis of their bait recipe and its possibilities for improvement. Inevitably most recipes people create are very much like the majority and are very standard recipes indeed and also well over 90 percent of all the bait recipes I have seen that people have shown me make exceedingly under-optimised baits; so I know for certain people need loads of help to understand the bigger picture as fast as possible! The key is testing and refining constantly yet anglers seem a very scared group, very cautious of testing bait batches, yet methodical testing is the only genuine way to refine baits to create the best baits possible!
When I ask them how much they have refined their recipe through testing different versions on three rods for a period of time over many sessions they never say they have even tested 3 different versions!
Why is it that almost without fail anglers think the thing to do is to commit to one bait recipe, by simply buying a load of additives and ingredients and liquids, putting these all into one recipe and expecting then to have created the ultimate bait, with zero refining and absolutely no prior testing of small test batches of bait of similar recipes involved whatsoever! This is simply insane!
For me a bait recipe is simply a base to start out from to refine and constantly re-define improving it all the time! Carp are constantly dynamically evolving creatures that change in response to baits all the time. Why should your bait be a fixed parameter, a fixed paradigm?
I do not subscribe to the balanced and high nutritional bait theories anything like to the degree that I used to. This fact might shock a few people but I do not subscribe to these theories as being the best approach because so many of my best multiple big fish captures have not come by using that approach; but instead by simply turning up a the water with a new improved refined version of what is basically a totally new bait! The reason for this success is so very obvious. My goal is to give the fish the most potent experience of feed-stimulatory food they ever had in their lives so my homemade baits are created solely with this in mind.
Popular readymade baits are made for profit and by their nature are a compromise of resilience, durability and attraction, and so have reduced function and reduced potency particularly if heated! They include many characteristics that make anglers consider readymade baits look like good carp baits but which actually are simply features and characteristics that make it easier for wary carp to treat with suspicion. Remove the danger reference points and characteristics fish are all too familiar with and you massively increase your success.
Make your homemade baits exceptionally powerfully potent in unique ways, features, modes of action etc and you will win over any popular readymade bait on the market. The simplest way to remove the most obvious danger reference characteristic is not to heat your baits, and keep them soft and pliable and water soluble.
A giant question to ask is why on earth do carp baits need to be any fixed shape? That is just an old mindset conditioned into the herd by constant flashy adverts showing round and barrel and cylindrical and other standard boilie shapes.
Think about it for a while and look up the actual density and shape of all the richest protein dense natural food items and inevitably they are soft and pliable, from the meat of mussels and snails to larvae, insects and frog spawn and snails eggs etc. Even other fish such as fry which carp predate upon despite being fed loads of high protein baits are soft and pliable.
None of these baits look and feel like marbles or little barrels. Machine formed baits predominantly form smooth surfaced baits and even if they have ridges and so on, machine formed boilies are still hard compared to natural foods. The chitin carapaces of mollusks are not the thing that turns fish onto feeding. It is the substances they crave inside, which are soft that stimulate them. It is very easy to be more successful when you actually really look into how and why fish are triggered by natural substances within their natural foods.
In effect over a period of 22 sessions of one particular water, I had more fish over 40 than all by one person, who fish loads more than me anyway, and I fished a new homemade bait each time I fished. This and countless other experiences have shown me that this approach does out-fish established readymade baits predominantly used by the herd on a water. In this case it was Mainline, Essential Baits Nash, Carp Company, Baitcraft and Mistral Isotonic baits that were out-fished, but it could have been any baits including Ultimate Carp nutrition or even the CC Moore baits.
Even though I am a CC Moore consultant my homemade baits still out-fish their baits purely because the total functional format, combined potency, unique characteristics and modes of action and impacts of my baits are optimised far beyond what is profitable for any bait company to offer as a mass produced readymade bait without going bankrupt, especially in this financial climate!
Also my baits take a significant amount of time to prepare because they are designed to be active on multiple levels, and by this do not solely mean just on an active enzyme basis but many other ways. It often makes me wonder why my bait secrets ebooks and my Crafty Carper magazine articles are not read in more creative ways because the answers and inspirations are all there yet so many anglers seem to want to play it safe and merely aim to reproduce what looks and acts like a very standard under-optimised readymade bait and this lack of pushing forward in creativity saddens me.
Then again I have 35 years experience of making homemade baits including 6 years researching and testing baits and comparing results on all kinds of baits pretty much on a full time basis, so my confidence and instinctive awareness about what works is a little different to the average angler using readymade baits who is just starting out making homemade baits in order to out-fish readymade baits and fulfill their dreams!
When your bait is optimised for water solubility, and maximised for break down between 3 and 6 hours you have a winner. Easy – just test a small batch of each recipe in a glass of water and time the break down.
The big key about bait is ultimately they need to stimulate as many chemoreceptors as possible and to do this all your bait substances need to be water soluble. I use high potency high PPC liquid lecithin with any oil / essential oil / terpenes / oleoresins etc that I use. This vastly improves dispersal of all bait substances synergistically improving digestion and triggering feeding also.
I steer well clear of basing baits upon any carbohydrate and cereal based binders and also avoid soya – this actually inhibits digestion and is a far too familiar potential threat marker – just like eggs, which also inhibit digestion. The only aim of substances in my baits is to deliver concentrated feeding stimulation – I Never aim to feed fish. I have over the years caught more fish by constantly changing my recipes each time I go to a water so each time fish experience a new unique feeding experience they have least reason to fear – no prior hooking on such bait… This flies in the face of BNV and HNV theory which I have tried in vain to prove is better than my own approach – but that’s why HNV and BNV are just theory – and flawed – massively!!!
The fact is that scientists cannot even measure the actual levels of protein turned into tissue accurately in humans using just 2 foods combined. So to claim it can be done with carp is just hilarious. Just because a fish meal packet profile states 94 % digestible protein it is so misleading. In the case of LT94 for instance this figure actually applies to tests on mink – but the first limiting amino acid Ultimate Carp Nutrition experts will not admit flaws in their approach…..
Basically feeding triggers, and bioactive most potently thermogenic and enhancing active metabolic antioxidant substances including short peptide chain low molecular weight substances, short and medium chain fatty acids, addictive peptides, thermogenic herb and spice extracts, alternative betaines etc are what I focus on more than Anything else.
My baits are basically the most biologically available very water soluble powerhouses that are actively breaking down and self-digesting and improving digestion when within carp. They can out-fish any readymade bait and that has been my finding fishing against all readymade baits fished on second and third rods over the years. These days my best baits are optimised to become instant-acting addictive solutions with exceptional potency to act upon chemoreceptors on multiple levels exploiting olfaction and chemoreception and palatial and throat and other internal responses to the maximum! For me this is the proven method of how to make carp fishing bait irresistible.
Remember, bait substances are doing one thing and that is inducing biochemical changes including brain releases of amino acids and hormones that directly cause feeding that make fishing hooks get inside carp mouths!
I personally do not go for bulk and volume in terms of bait. I go for predominantly for maximum bait potency! This means all kinds of bioactive substances, thermogenic substances, habit-forming and addictive substances. I would rather sit behind 3 rods with homemade baits optimised for solubility and maximum potency than sit in a swim with any readymade bait that is made for profit and is steamed or boiled; all cooking drastically reduces bait function, solubility and bioactive potency!
I have focused much of my bait testing and research upon catfish. Catfish have a higher protein and energy requirement than carp just like halibut, salmon and trout; these all have higher metabolic rates. This is a very big clue to many things that work exceptionally productively when designing big fish carp baits!
Incredibly concentrated digestible and exceedingly soluble protein is a very major cornerstone of bait and though it is just one part of an approach it is very effective, yet so many people still make their baits not bioactive and not enzyme-active, and even make baits based on carbohydrates and this is really a great way to make vastly under-optimised baits! Remember this as carp utilise protein far more efficiently than humans.
We are land based with access to loads of carbohydrate sources and we live in air under gravity forces. However, carp live in water with all the extra energy requirements it takes to swim in water to move. Imagine how much more energy efficient you have to be to move 100 metres in water compared to walking on land in an air environment. Carp are exposed primarily to mainly very protein rich natural foods from algae and zooplankton, to bloodworms, shrimps, mussels, bloodworms and insect larvae and insects of a massive diversity all of which supply their essential amino acids within their proteins.
Without the atoms in protein molecules carp cannot form enzymes, amino acids and structures etc that allow them to take up and use oxygen in their cells; the basis of metabolism and actual being aliveness.
Sure flavours work but most only work because they increase solubility and dispersal of bait substances acting as carrier labels for bait substances which all ultimately create a change in the water that fish are acutely sensitive to. The fact that flavours can change bait pH is mute because so does any particular substance to some degree. Bait pH (when in solution of course) is mainly important only as far as making baits more noticeable to carp receptors amongst other clutter such as dissolved minerals and ammonium issuing from decaying plant detritus etc. Bait pH is far less important than having true feeding triggers in very high water soluble concentrations in baits.
When these are made biologically active things are even better as they are even more water soluble and become highly energy efficient and easily digested instantly through the gut wall! This is a massive advantage. One hidden aspect of making enzyme-active baits to pre-digest everything within your baits is that your bait will be vastly more water soluble! This is so massively vital because it is this property that allows the release of bait substances that can makes a far more dramatic pH difference by the presence of concentrated soluble feed triggers and enhancing peptides etc!
Also carp will certainly home in on the difference they detect in the water around them due to dissolved bait substances, including compounds rich in hydrogen, and even nitrogen which is the so important in building bodily proteinous tissues!
Hit your fish with as many angles of attack not merely nutritionally-speaking but using many addictive substances and there will always be enough reasons that your baits are intrinsically composed of to make your fish feed repetitively enough for you to catch loads of big fish! The best way to create irresistible bait recipes is to build them upon substances which are all intrinsically addictive to carp or are cumulatively habit-forming at the very least; think about it! Revealed in my unique readymade bait and homemade bait carp and catfish bait secrets ebooks is far more powerful information look up my unique website (Baitbigfish) and see my biography below for details of my ebooks deals right now!
By Tim Richardson.