Big Carp Fishing Baits for Consistent Specimen Fish Catches
Some big carp baits have endured the test of time over many decades. Some have especially proved themselves far more productive long term for the bigger specimens.
If consistent big carp catches matter to you, read on. By an big fish bait maker of 30 years experience.
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Some big carp baits have endured the test of time over many decades. Some have especially proved themselves far more productive long-term for the bigger specimens.
Many anglers desire consistent big carp catches and baits that can possibly level out differences between an angler’s abilities, time available and money resources, experience and so on.
There is no doubt among those anglers that use “high” or “balanced” nutritional value baits, that they produce long-term big fish results. Providing the essential dietary requirements of fish can very much determine the initial and repeated behaviour a fish has towards such a bait. Refining the taste of the bait is a very important part in this too. But what is the mystery and incredible cumulative effects of specific nutritional baits can have and how do they really work both short and long-term to achieve the hooking of a fish?
Comparatively few anglers understand why such baits work and often, when asked about them, a vague “something to do with protein, oils, flavours, minerals etc” is offered. It seems to me that many anglers drop the deeper questions about bait, when things get any further than the “name” or label, or flavour a ready made products is marketed as. But anyway, why would an angler even benefit from knowing how and why their ready made baits work; they catch fish after all?
It is common for an angler to see an advert or “advertorial” with their current favourite fishing heroes and buy the ready made bait being recommended and use that. This is fine for very many anglers, but then very many anglers make up the majority who only achieve the kind of results the “average angler” achieves. If you want more certainty about better than average results, you require more control over this vital aspect of your fishing.
There is of course nothing wrong with “borrowing confidence” from recommendations of successful and “high profile” anglers. They must use bait of some sort; so why not think “If it is good enough for them, it is good enough for me.” Many anglers over-look the fact that most of these anglers would also do very well on any quality bait and “crap baits” too… If you team up an exceptionally talented angler with outstanding bait, the results will be as expected, but then they will do it with “humble baits” too. Think Dave lanes catches off the surface at “Horton” or Rod Hutchinson’s results at “Redmire” on particles for instance. Many an angler would turn to a tiger nut or peanuts, hemp or maggots, if boilies and pellets were banned on their water.
The days of the cheap “crap value” semolina and soya flour baits with a flavour (and similar) that dominated many waters in the past have been replaced by a completely different generation and quality of baits used today. (Sure there are artificial or fake baits being used today, but these are hook baits only!)
Quality baits are those designed specifically to provide for the needs of a particular species of fish using a balanced and broad spectrum of highly nutritious fresh ingredients which have more favourable digestibility and therefore higher nutritional value. The “bioactivity” and solubility and components of such baits varies extremely widely being designed with various different approaches and angles of stimulation and attraction in mind.
Anyhow, some “club water committees” seem to like banning such baits due to the changes in feeding behaviour of their target species which may be roach as opposed to carp. (These guys need to adapt their tackle and baits!) Sure, you need to check on certain particles like peanuts and so on, but then particle baits are easily available, ready prepared these days.) Why would you ban quality nutritional boilies and pellets anyway; many fish species grow bigger, faster by regularly feeding on them and meeting their essential dietary needs so much more efficiently.
Not only this, pest and disease immunity can be improved, especially over the winter and spring periods and general health and condition is improved, if not fish longevity too. Why would any responsible fishery owner not want such benefits? If over-stressed fish need to they can often “turn-off” boilies and pellet baits and thrive on the more abundant natural foods made available by the far lower dependence of fish upon them. Most lakes have one or a few so-called “natural feeders” that are never, or extremely rarely caught on anglers’ baits of any kind.
I’m sure this has much to do with the way their receptors are developed, actively adapted and coded for various substances in their environment. In a related way, it is not dissimilar to an individual who is unable to put on muscle due to the way their genetics, body chemistry and metabolism are set-up even when eating a high protein diet. In contrast, a different individual can seem to put on the pounds, or remain muscular even on a vegetarian low protein diet.
‘Blind spots’ in physiological processes are very common types of developmental adaptations, mutations etc in nature. These contribute to diversity and the ability of organisms to survive threats like changes in food availability and opportunities involving the need to adapt to new foods available in the environment and so on. We are to a great degree a product of the diet our ancestors and the foods available in their environment, just like carp are. (In fact the links and commonalities between humans and carp are very significant when it comes to designing fishing baits.)
I’ve seen exceptionally talented anglers dominate catches on a lake using “crap” baits, but would an “average ability angler fare so well on highly pressured waters? Indeed many more famous contemporary anglers have swapped the bait company that sponsors them fairly frequently; how confusing is that for those anglers who know very little about bait? There are definite advantages to having a general background in fishing of many kinds before going into carp fishing.
Learning about the behaviour and feeding habits of different fish and the kind of baits, tackle, methods and principles to catch them effectively gives a carp angler huge advantages. New anglers starting in carp fishing have far less “real grounding’ to apply to carp and are far more dependant on help from other anglers on the bank and magazines and so on. This can be disadvantageous because certain biases can develop which can obscure what is really going on and far better baits and tactics to overcome challenges.
Statements like: “Pop-ups do not work here,” or “You need to be “in” on this bait to catch” or “This set-up is the one to use” and so on. The advice can be well-intentioned and certainly effective at the present, but things can change very rapidly, especially when fish are being caught by anglers using the same or similar baits and tactics. Thinking ahead of current successful baits, methods and approaches etc is one of the more “hidden” aspects of successful carp angling.
If you are user of “food” type baits like modern boilies and other baits like pellets and dough baits specifically designed for catfish and carp, then you are familiar with “the jargon.” This refers to the theory that nutritionally balanced fishing baits will induce better results as a results of consistent bait introduction and positive recognition. This can result in fish treating your bait as natural food that they derive significant dietary and energetic benefits from.
The common focus of many anglers in regards their baits is the “flavour” it has, or less degree its “protein content.” High protein boilies for example have been very popular in the past and there have been situations where anglers have used bait ingredients to achieve the highest crude protein levels in their baits. Often , milk proteins have been used because many milk derivatives and fraction have very high protein content, with quite a number quoted as having 88 to 96 percent protein.
Carp for example do not require “protein” at least “whole protein” as such, but certainly have essential dietary requirements for nitrogen and amino acids among very many other “essential” requirements. The protein content of a bait is often quoted as doing all the major stimulatory and attraction work of the bait. Certainly, the soluble components of such a bait do much of the work compared to the insoluble and least digestible components.
Some nutritional ingredients have stimulatory effects which can be as or more important than the nutritional benefit to the fish upon attempted digestion. I’m referring to milk proteins like casein for example. Enzyme treated casein is far better from a nutritional and stimulatory perspective than whole casein powder, it having significantly more solubility for a start. The taste and smell of milk proteins is undeniably very potent to carp, even the humble normal milk powders used every day. Used in ground baits for example, these readily prove their worth.
Things have changed drastically in carp fishing in the UK over the last 50 years.
The commonly held popular theory of milk proteins seemed to be a product of the age, where few anglers used much bait if at all, and the secrets of nutritionally stimulating baits were not yet being exploited by the majority of anglers using ready made baits as they do today. Also there were far fewer carp anglers in the past and far less carp in any numbers of any significant size.)
The fact is that the use of two to ten kilograms of free bait boilies or pellets, or other baits for a single night session, is a common practice for many modern carp anglers. The fish are getting filled up and sustained on more food than they need on many waters. The long periods of time during a season where no fish are caught, as in the winter period on many waters demonstrates how many fish no longer really have to feed all year round. A spring and early summer binge is commonly being replaced by the “traditional” UK October pre-winter feeding binge of 20 or more years ago.
The popular UK theory about bait was that carp “preferred” high nutritional value ones where lower nutritional value baits were introduced. (These were mostly carbohydrate based baits made predominantly from soya flour and semolina.) When fishing with fish and milk protein based baits, on some waters in the 1970’s and 1980’s depending on many variable factors, this may well have been the case. However, I have always fished a variety of baits side by side of both low protein carbohydrate type and of high or balanced nutrition types.
On balance, the baits which caught most fish were the ones I used the most, it became clear that a balanced nutrition bait had a frequent edge especially for bigger fish with greater nutritional and energy requirements. In this respect the bigger fish can be easier to catch as the nutritional baits appear more big fish selective. Many American anglers and those in countries “crawling with virtually un-fished for carp” have yet to discover this experience. I’ve yet to notice maize, plastic baits, hemp, sweetcorn etc to be as big fish selective…
But it is very often the case that the introduction of large amounts of a variety of baits, from pellets, peanuts, maize, boilies and so on, can massively impact on the feeding habits and feeding locations of fish in any individual fishery. Even if it is a “50 / 50″ semolina and soya flour mix, on many waters where this is introduced, if enough is regularly introduced it can for a while dominate catches. Carp generally tend to exploit any readily available regular food source.
I remember it striking me that carp often have the habit of binging on large amounts of bait smaller fish cannot handle. Just imagine all the occasions where lots of ground bait, maggots, sweetcorn, pellets and dog biscuits have been used over the course of a day and build up in an area or swim. At some point, often in the evening or following morning, the carp will move in and devour everything left. So there appears to be efficient energy benefits to eating a new bloom of food appearing in a swim.
Of course carp are conditioned by repetition into behaviours so they will respond to bait being introduced. On some lakes they will roll over a freshly baited area upon its initial introduction, but wait to feed on it for 3 or 4 days if they have been constantly subjected to heavy fishing pressure. (Fishing over washed out nutritional baits is a well-known edge where fresh boilies used as ground baits may even act as a deterrent.)
It is not necessarily the new wonder “HNV” bait that dominates a water all the time. There are factors here which complicate things. For instance, just how much of the fishes dietary requirements satisfy them to the extent that they do not actually need to consume all the nutritional baits being introduced? How does this affect the impact of newly introduced nutritional baits? (Is it healthy for fish to feed on beds of 20 kilograms of “Marine pellets,” or oily fish meal baits? Oily “glugs” are still being promoted by some “names” in fishing magazines.)
I remember fishing a water in the early 1980’s to 1990’s against someone who is now the boss of one of the biggest UK tackle manufacturers. This guy had access to all the refined extracts etc available from the Far East; money was no object. Over all, he told me himself, for the time I did and what I knew about bait and how it worked at that time, I did extremely well for catches. (Although my fish were often not as consistently big as his on his more refined often far more sophisticated enzyme active, self-digesting baits.)
My point here is that despite the series of sessions where this guy pre-baited heavily with a new special pre-digested bait etc, he did not eclipse me all the time, even on my less refined “attractor combined nutritional style” baits. Being able to “pre-bait” while actually fishing (or beforehand) and keeping your “HNV” bait going into a water every 2 or 3 days at least, is very important in getting it established. This practice is a key part of exploiting balanced or high nutritional value baits.
That said, the results of many contemporary anglers using different companies ready made “HNV” or “biological nutritional value” type baits can often be very similar, as all these baits become “natural food” fish become dependant on. In such situations, using new baits you have made yourself, or ready made baits that you have been adapted and enhanced, can prove highly productive.
Such baits certainly can produce for you as many, if not more big fish than the “standard versions” of popular established ready made baits.