Winter Carp Bait Flavors and Improving Baits Taste and Smell Attraction
Flavors are of particular interest to us in winter and can deter fish or even produce fish instantly. Their correct use is vitally important, even the decision not to use them. There are many more secrets of these often highly complex substances than is commonly known by the majority anglers and can truly make all the difference to your instant and long-term fishing success.
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Flavors are such a massive subject and one which attracts the attention of carp anglers and some very strong personal opinions too. The fact is that our personal fishing experiences and hard earned results forms our opinions. Sometimes results do not necessarily “fit current thought.” Fishing 3-4 days right through the winter, for example qualifies one to have a more realistic first-hand opinion of baits, flavors, current folk-lore on winter fishing techniques and tactics and so on.
For example, the frequency with carp will visit shallow areas where the suns heat radiates and penetrates the water and is absorbed by plants and vegetation in the water is surprising to many. True carp at times move into deep water to find comfort in falling temperatures, but carp acclimatize and change their activity sometimes in very surprising fashion. I remember drawing a lead back on one occasion and actually feeling fish being bumped during very low temperatures about a week after a thaw and hooking a beautiful mid-twenty linear koi carp which had never been landed before. Winter it seems can alter some fish’s diets.
Fish that have remained un-caught throughout the rest of the year can stray from their natural diets and be tempted by our baits. Even un-flavored fluorescent bits of plastic can catch fish when they have turned off’ to more conventional baits that are highly “charged” with normally attractive taste and smell substances. There is far more to flavors and exactly what they are and do than there first appears to our human senses and common knowledge.
flavors can definitely turn fish off the feed and deter them from an area but this response can occur where any substance is simply too over-powering to the fish senses. Their receptors are tuned to recognise very many key substances found in their environment, just as a child can detect 10,000 smells, while an adult can detect 30,000 smells. flavors as in the small bottle of vanilla flavor from the local supermarket works in carp baits but is now a feeble weapon compared to others in the modern flavor arsenal. Often cheap flavors like the ever popular vanilla are composed of water, a little expensive natural extract and ethyl alcohol. Some are made from water and propylene glycol, or some other solvent. However flavors can be based on very widely different substances.
The fast changing fashions of flavors means that many of the best flavors get ignored by the majority. It’s a good tip to use “unfashionable” flavors and such mixtures. Some of the very best are lost to us purely due to fashion. Rod Hutchinson told me at one time his best flavor in his opinion was his Blueberry flavor. Even compared to his Scopex, Mulberry, Spice and Mega Tutti Fruitti flavors it stood out and was a fantastic winter flavor. (Where is it now?)