Big Carp Fishing Bait Tips – and Readymade Baits!

You hear all kinds of good and bad things about commercial fishing baits and the good news is they are mainly doing a fantastic job. However, you may hear about some baits that may hide unexpected fishing bonuses for you. So, if you use ready-made baits for your carp and catfish fishing needs, it will pay you to read on.

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If you are a beginner or not, it is very common to have an interest in making your own baits after having some initial success on commercially produced ones. Many more experienced anglers use ready-made baits all the time, but it is choosing the right bait for your fishing situation that really matters, no one bait will serve every situation. One significant reason for this is that other anglers may have exploited any particular bait on a water previously and your results on the same bait may lead to disappointing results compared to theirs.

My point is one of the key edges in fishing apart from watercraft skills, location and actual bait presentation, is to be the first on a rig, method, tackle innovation or bait format or design. I know many experienced anglers who have become lazy and stereotyped in their tackle, baits, rigs and over all thinking approach. Of course, many anglers just fish for a bit of peace, wildlife and country air, or a change to a “social” in the pub for example. But even these anglers who completely differ from some intensely driven and goal oriented contemporary anglers, can benefit from thinking a bit more about what they do and how they think about what they do in their fishing.

If most anglers realized that although there is such a thing as mean or average fishing results, no angler is doomed to remain just an “average angler” achieving mostly average results. Using commercial baits is a very good idea, with so many advantages attached. There’s time saving, potential savings of economy on quality nutritional baits and the feeling confidence when you have heard about big fish catches on a ready-made bait or mix at other waters.

It makes great sense to exploit ready made base mixes pellets, ground baits and method mixes etc that have been designed by often very technically minded guys. These companies often use the back-up of flavourists, aquaculture experts, nutritionists and the like. These baits have to be rigorously tested over months and even years. This is to refine them and discover the correct levels of ingredients and flavors that will be successful on a range of waters throughout the year.

Your trust in a bait and any company is extremely important and rumors can be very damaging. It is always best to find things out and experience things first hand rather than take any notice of things you might read online in forums especially. For instance, I used to use Rod Hutchinson products for years in all my bait making. At one stage there was a rumour going round that he was making savings and lowering quality standards by using things like wood shavings swept off the floor!

Well I was not fooled by this at all; my results told me the precise opposite. I bought some of his ready made baits instead of the base mixes I often incorporated into my base mixes at the time. (Yes, you can “bulk up” expensive base mixes very effectively with cheap protein ingredients like yeast powders, feather meal, peanut meal etc.) I looked for anything unusual and found in a particular meat boilie (meat baits were far less popular at the time) that there were what to me anyway appeared to be tiny “wood chips” in the matrix of the bait… But there was far more to this than first appearances indicated.

I thought a little about it. Firstly, the baits caught me fish, which is what I totally expected, being a new bait with a different profile, taste, hardness and so on. This little chips could actually be a deliberate inclusion I pondered. I reasoned that from a texture point of view, they would create a different “dimension.” They also would offer a different attractor leak-off characteristic to many contemporary baits like the soya, semolina instant baits and milk proteins so prevalent at that time.

However, the clincher was when I stumble across a bit of information regarding certain species of catfish which use an unusual behavior to help them utilize their food better. These catfish would scrape bark off the overhanging trees. I think they were “Salix” tree species. Being a professionally trained commercial horticulturalist of 20 years I should have taken much more notice; but the effect is what matters.

The inference was that this stimulated and improved digestion of some other their important harder to digest foods. (Many important processes, roles and substances are involved in “synergistic” ways in fish digestion.) Well if you investigate various wood barks you will immediately notice the common presence of sap, or resins. These are a kind of “half-way house” combination of often very potent substances. One of these substance categories is for instance the oleoresins. “Bingo” will some readers exclaim at this point. Oleoresins are very common bait ingredients and can be used in powders or liquids.

Vanilla powder from “Ccmoore is packed with vanillin, which has over 300 components to stimulate and attract your carp. Capsaicin of red peppers and chilli peppers is also very effective. Piperines of black or white peppers are very effective too especially for low temperatures and winter time. Essential oils and often proprietary fishing flavours have a variety of potent oleoresins at play, which can effect carp and catfish in “bioactive’ ways. (Think of the way chili powder “hits” you with a large dose for instance and how a curry gets to be “just one more” in effect.)

Its funny how many fishermen don’t see the “wood” for the trees…? It makes you think a bit more about what else is used your ready made baits than meets the eye. One company I heard about used “industrial grade casein” (used for glue manufacturing not food) because it was so much cheaper. The things is, their baits still caught fish; so how could anyone have known? There are many ways to alter or adapt most ready rolled boilies and pellets etc to achieve extra “edges.”

Those baits designed specifically with enzyme or “bioactive” components are best left to do their thing, although there are loads of additional proven feed triggering substances you can add from electrolytes, organic acids, various amino acids (both essential and non-essential,) taste enhancing and sweetening substances, oils and others most anglers won’t have probably heard of.

You may not consider over-flavoring and boosting your ready made baits these days with a glycerol or ethyl alcohol flavor for the winter for instance. But a good soak in an amino acid packed liquid or powdered palatant additive can do wonders; the more soluble feeding triggers leaking off the baits the better!

By Tim Richardson.

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