In these days of recession saving every penny helps and the great bonus with making your own fishing baits is they really can catch you as many if not more big carp – for far less money spent. The vast majority of anglers really have no idea how their baits work in relation to the exploitation of vital carp senses and much of the discussion about baits in the past has often focused on recipes and flavors, and more recently the first 3 limiting amino acids. But if you think you know it all; no-one does, so why not read on!
The best thing about making homemade baits is the control and incredible satisfaction they provide in terms of control over your costs and catches and actual ingredients and so on you might choose to exploit to best effect! Most anglers discuss baits in terms of their favorite flavors or brands with very little focus upon exactly how such baits really impact upon fish senses which is a great shame (this aspect is a massive advantage lost on the majority of average anglers!) So if you want to know more about the truth about the real power of homemade baits and need help in designing and making them fast it really pays you back to find out as much as you can!
Today with the current economic climate plus ever rising costs, there is no better time to exploit making your own unique fishing baits to take full control and increase your budget-savings, choose your exact ingredients and levels you want to exploit, and to experience the amazing satisfaction of catching new personal best fish (on your very own budget-price, secret homemade baits!).
There is far more to exploit than just bait flavors however and the majority of carp anglers when discussing their favorite flavors and ready made bait brands never truly get to appreciate and exploit the proven potential of much less well known carp feeding triggers, ingredients, additives, instants, enhancers and so on, and continue to accept average catches and miss a gigantic advantage available to everyone with open eyes and ears! If you really want (or need) to save a fortune in bait in the coming years and wish to improve your fishing results and be able to leverage homemade bait-making to maximum effect there are many key principles and basics in regard to fish senses and nutrition to absorb for a start (and to understand how to seriously exploit) before you even pick up an ingredient or sniff a flavor!
These days more and more carp anglers are getting into making their own baits and this is no surprise! The average carp bait sold for a price of around 6 pounds here in the UK is very easily out-fished by cheaper better-designed and far more potently stimulatory homemade baits and all formats of ground baits, stick, slop, method and other baits including particles and pellets (besides boilies.) Very frequently I’ve personally out-fished much more expensive popular brands using my own homemade baits. As I and many others have proven over the last 30 plus years, anyone with the desire to find out more about bait-making, can take back control from all the bait companies and fish their own unique baits exceptionally successfully (and with this knowledge, experience and skill, can out-fish leading brands.)
The growing numbers of homemade bait-making anglers in the UK and all around the world reflect a movement towards the desire of anglers to take back control over every aspect of their fishing and the desire to understand more complete details about bait and actually how it works in relation to carp diet and senses etc that in the past has been largely ignored by the majority who have been dependent upon ready made baits!
When I began carp fishing in the nineteen-seventies everyone made their own baits out of necessity and it really was a challenge to find appropriate and accurate information about what exactly made carp feed and what fulfilled their essential nutritional requirements that you could actually get hold of and use in homemade baits, but all this experience and knowledge has meant our homemade baits can hold their own and even out-fish popular brand ready made boilies.
Homemade baits have always if so desired been a tremendously effective economical and unique edge in carp fishing, (being different is vital to constant success of course,) it is very easy to forget that the relatively few truly knowledgeable bait designers with the big bait companies all started out at home in their own kitchens or garden sheds!
Although I have only caught forty pound plus carp from 3 waters in the UK and my tally for fish of this weight is currently twenty, the fact is that if your goal is to catch big carp you must be fishing waters containing them. This is often limited by your location, time, personal connections and disposable finances. It is very easy to rack up high numbers of big fish if you happen to be a full-time angler, an angler local to most of the big fish waters in the country such as the Colne Valley, or have the funds and time to basically fish when and where you want on the many big-fish commercial waters and seriously establish baits on them.
Perceptions have changed in carp fishing to an unbelievable degree in recent years; my own twenty fish caught in the UK over forty pounds would be very average on some crazily-priced impossible to get into scarp syndicates today, but the fact is that if your goal is big fish, you must fish waters containing them or never achieve your goals at least until the fish you have present access to grow to that size if they ever do at all that is! (You cannot catch a forty from a water not containing them no matter what bait recipes you employ although your recipe might well grow certain fish into forties given enough bait and time!)
Many limiting factors are involved in both bait details and fishing itself; commonly it is lack of time and good waters, (or restricted access to them,) exorbitant membership or day ticket prices or bait costs involved in truly being able to establish a bait on a water for an average angler that limits catch results very severely that results in average or lower than average yearly catches for average anglers. Obviously if you are a sponsored angler, in the tackle and bait trades, are a full-time angler, or have the time and resources, or personal support and contacts available etc (which can all come into the equation of success) then your chances of carp fishing success can be far higher than the average.
Like most carp anglers, I do not have the luxury of any of these advantages and I have to fish against bait and tackle-sponsored anglers wherever I fish just the same. But one thing I have is desire, focus and willingness to constantly learn and refine my thinking which is so vital in fishing. Being able to make an effective homemade carp bait is a very well proven leveler to those advantages just previously mentioned.
Although beginning in carp bait making is like starting junior school again – when you are really competing against bait companies (and individuals) who are exploiting professionals with PhD’s in food science, fish nutrition, electrochemistry and so on, you can be certain your efforts will pay-off, big-time! Although certain anglers will rave-on about balanced nutritional value baits being as fully digestible as possible and sorted down the third limiting amino acid level, you may noticed that well over 90 percent of all carp caught in the world are not caught on such baits! This is because only a handful of well-connected bait designers can actually produce baits to this effect!
But whether you are an instant high-attract bait proponent or not (I favor both nutritional and components of the high-attract approach together) the nutritional, metabolic and health impacts of a fast and efficiently digested bait cannot be under-estimated! It figures that the more energy a fish has available after eating your baits and the more your bait offers in potential rewards (that carp are most sensitive to in them,) the more chances you have of fish actually mouthing baits and consuming them repeatedly.
This of course results in far more chances of your hook baits being picked up by stimulated fish and more captures of fish and bigger fish over all, than very many competing baits can produce that so often have much less to offer carp!
The average carp angler has been conditioned by appearances to associate carp baits with flavors; many are still on the basic level of asking other anglers what flavor they are using which is really missing the point! The real key to long-term success for average-skilled anglers is the use of nutritionally stimulating baits, intrinsically and additionally containing optimum levels of both dry and liquid form nutritional substances carp essentially need in order to survive.
Ready made baits are being offered by countless companies, but a large proportion of the materials used within these baits in the large majority of these baits are in effect wasted by the fish. This is due to these baits being indigestible to varying degrees. Make no mistake, these baits still catch carp, but why use baits that are going to give you average results. Worse still cheap baits will allow you to blank totally unnecessarily!
When you can make the effort and use baits that are as near to being fully digestible and rewarding to the fish as is possible these can easily enable any average angler to compete against better anglers possessing more time and experience who use cheap or free ready made baits with less to offer fish in terms of nutritional rewards?
Flavors and the leverage of high levels of concentrated flavors for instance in hook baits is another approach to the nutritionally-based one. The more talented and better-skilled carp anglers catch loads of big carp using these if only on a single-hook bait fishing approach, but they do not always produce the consistent results average anglers hope for especially when on rich waters and when used against more experienced carp anglers on hard waters who will predominantly use really well designed balanced value or highly nutritional value baits.
The most famous flavors used in instant attractor baits need no mention here, but suffice to say, you can easily over-dose almost any bait using these flavors for adequate results (at least in the very short-term) on a variety of waters depending on certain competing factors of course! Flavors vary enormously in their level of bioactive potency and the degree to which they stimulate the combined and individual senses of carp. Certain chili extracts for instance will initiate biochemical and physiological reactions within carp that actually involve pleasure – from a pain response (this is one reason we like hot curries!).
In my opinion the best starting point in making homemade baits, is to get to really become familiar with many of the natural feeding triggers carp are most sensitive to (as in getting to know your enemy better than yourself as they say!) Once you start to see why carp are naturally so sensitive and stimulated by betaine for example things start making a lot more sense when it comes to designing and making homemade baits.
There are not so many truly potent carp feeding triggers as so-called attractors or incitants and these really need to be studied. From monophosphates, amino acids, (and other amines) similes and analogues of natural substances (and other genuine natural substances and synthetic copies and combinations of these and so on, the list of things you can exploit is very exciting!
Many great more well-known carp bait substances result from natural bacterial and yeast processes acting on proteins etc; such as butyric acid for instance. In the aquatic ecosystems abounding a carp existence, many forms of bacteria that are found in different balances and producing different effects and impacts in the water are a good idea to study as are both specific and beneficial carp gut flora and their implications in bait-making and bait digestion!
You might then seek out the very highest quality products available that contain the most stimulatory (and most limiting) and most potent substances in regards carp growth, health, metabolism, immunity-boosting impacts, impacts upon the liver, heart, circulation and fat and sugar processing and storage etc, for bait use, all at a reasonable price.
On the absolute basic level, it is very possible for the beginner to boost a simple homemade 50:50 soya and semolina boilie base mix by the addition of high levels of a additives or ingredients that will supply many potent feeding triggers; such as fermented shrimp powder, de-fatted green-lipped mussel extract, enzyme-treated liver powder, enzyme-treated yeast powder, corn steep liquor powder, Ccmoore Feedstim XP powder etc; these and others will make all the difference!
Please beware there are many hidden factors in sourcing bait ingredients; such as taste enhancers or squid extracts that have been cut with cheaper products and constant experimentation is the key to outstanding results; but this is the learning curve that literally everyone that makes new baits is on. (If you look up ingredients from Phil at CW Baits for instance as well as big companies like the highly regarded Ccmoore you will not go wrong!)
So do yourself a very big favor to improve your results (and bank balance,) and discover more about making truly effective economical homemade baits. My unique carp and catfish bait secrets ebooks (at Baitbigfish on Google etc) are very stimulating reading!
By: Tim F. Richardson
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