Tim F. Richardson asked:
Do you need a big short cut to more fishing success?! Revealed here are proven bait recipes that have caught big carp and giant catfish from a very wide range of waters all year round that exploit professional bait design know-how and is for anyone wanting very effective but cheaper bait this year
There is a big movement towards more natural based nutritionally attractive baits that are optimised so more rather than less ingredients in baits actually gets converted so it benefits fish and induces them to want more of that bait in the future having had positive experiences with it as a result of eating it! Traditionally baits that are nutritionally stimulating have a suitable range of essential nutrients big fast growing fish like carp and catfish can utilise and grow bigger on.
But the point of fishing baits made with a focus on protein is not to grow big fish as big as efficiently as possible – that is the purpose of many aquaculture feeds, but this does not necessarily make this the top goal of a bait in fishing!
The entire point of fishing baits is to enable you to get fish hooked as easily, frequently and as effectively as possibly; preferably in as short a time as possible!
Have you ever noticed how most nutritionally-stimulating baits are also instant baits? Sure you can improve responses with these by conditioning fish feeding using regular feeding in both the short and longer-term with them. But the purpose of bait is merely to get as many chances of hooking fish as possible – and thousands of recipes of low nutritional value baits also do that when fished correctly!
Many anglers get confused about baits such as boilies and pellets because there used to be a popular approach to bait making that involved using very high levels of protein. However, many a great proportion of the ingredients in such baits were often completely wasted in effect. High protein ingredients, additives and extracts are more costly than most carbohydrate ingredients for example, which is why so many cheaper baits are based on carbohydrate ingredients such as cereals, grains, nuts, pulses and beans etc as in use of corn flour (maize,) semolina (wheat) and soya flour etc.
Baits that are effective for both carp and catfish tend to contain a sufficient content of protein elements they need in profiles they can utilise in terms of amino acids of various forms and polypeptides, among other essential related factors, such as betaine. Luckily for anglers new to bait making there are short cuts to providing such proteins and vital attractive bait elements.
For instance you might have noticed that many bait companies with utilise combinations of quality proteins very suitable for providing fish needs including fish meals and various marine and freshwater organism derived proteins, rich yeast products, milk proteins, egg proteins and various vegetable, poultry and other animal derived proteins.
Koi carp are very popular and various feeds for these fish have become so much more available in the last couple of decades. These foods are in many forms, from silkworm pupae, to extruded floating and sinking pellets and sticks, to granulated products and so on.
If you want to make a very complex bait using only a couple of ingredients and supply good levels of big carp and giant catfish food requirements so they get onto your bait once introduced, and come back looking for more this is a method many anglers have used in various ways for decades! For instance anglers used to grind up trout pellets and add eggs to make boilies or utilise cat and dog food biscuits and tinned foods etc. these foods are designed to make these creatures recognise these foods as food even on their very first experience of them and their first sniff or taste is vitally important.
These foods contain lots of proteins, carbohydrates oils, minerals and trace elements and other bioactive elements that further benefit the animals eating them. Food for gold fish and koi are very similar in their own way. For instance dog food may contain sweeteners to exploit the fact dogs have a liking for sweet foods, and also contain bacteria that helps dogs digest their food and helps the microoganisms dogs already have in their intestines to digest their food beyond what their own digestive enzymes can do.
The digestion of proteins is extremely important if only because they supply the amino acids which form the building blocks of life. It has even been proven that a life form such as a bacterium made up of just 2 or 3 proteins has a biorhythm or self intelligence that improves the organisms chances of survival by making processes such as cell division or other processes that happen in tune with things like electromagnetic energy and heat or other forms of radiation.
We humans and fish have such cellular intelligence programmed in us to enable us to survive, such as our sleep cycles and normal (and adjustable) monthly menstruation cycles in females. Some proteins are even phototropic for instance. We also have beneficial gut bacteria that help us most fully digest proteins, but in carp proteins are far more important in many ways compared to humans because they evolved surviving far more on proteins foods in their environment because of the relatively lower incidence of carbohydrate foods, as found on lakes and rivers compared to grassy planes or nut and fruit forests on land etc.
One very important point about proteins and bacteria for instance is that there is a very important symbiosis going on between animals, humans and fish, and efficient protein digestion. Plants of many kinds contain valuable proteins and many anglers tend to over look this. Although many large creatures are meat eaters it is obvious this takes significant energy to digest and anyone eating a big steak dinner will feel an energy drain as the body focuses resources on protein digestion.
However, many large muscular animals such as gorillas and elephants subsist on specific vegetation in the wild that they have evolved to feed on. These fully digest food by use of beneficial microoganisms such as gut bacteria attached to the intestinal walls and other locations.
Enzymes produced in the fish intestinal tract by microoganisms digesting food lead to the fish absorbing beneficial nutrients released or formed as a result of this activity. Some species of creatures are well known for a bye-product of fermentation in the gut including cows, and body builders eating lots of high protein foods, especially red meats such as lean beef for instance.
The largest creatures that ever lived such as dinosaurs like diplodocus and brachiosaurs and others growing over 80 to 120 feet long or more, appear thrived by feeding in the prehistoric wetlands where plant growth was extremely fast and importantly, it was much more energy efficient to feed in such conditions supported by water. Long-necked creatures like these dinosaurs and modern day giraffes and long-trucked elephants find it easy to cherry pick the richest leaves packed with nutrients including energy-producing chlorophyll at the tops of trees.
Carnivorous dinosaurs also utilised gut microoganisms in protein digestion just like eagles or vultures or cats and dogs today. The eating habits and gut organism fermentation bye-products of giant dinosaurs must have had quite an effect in altering the atmosphere of the earth after millions of years of *******!
In prehistoric times the air temperatures were probably a least 10 degrees hotter in many areas than on earth today and an added factor in the metabolism and growth of creatures of those times was that the level of oxygen in the atmosphere was significantly higher and nitrogen levels were lower. It is much more efficient to have a very large body with a corresponding surface area than to have a small body. I mean, just look how many breaths per minute a mouse takes and assess how much more energy it takes for this to occur compared to the number of breaths per minute of an elephant for instance!
Certain probiotic bacteria purposely included in pet koi and aquaculture feeds even result in fish being able to improve their efficiency of their respiration, which is over all linked to the efficiency of their metabolism also resulting their vital protein intakes etc in their food being utilised more efficiently and even improving mass gains of 20 percent in some Polish tests I found.
If you are wondering why Polish immigrants in the UK are stealing and scoffing our big carp it is because in their homeland carp are one of the favourite protein sources and it is simply what they eat there! It is no good waiting for these people to eat our carp stocks after arriving here purely out of ignorance – because then it is too late and the damage is done! Education needs doing before these people even get here!
I do appreciate that not all Polish people and certainly not all eastern European people are to blame and not all are ignorant of the cultural differences and differences in values we English anglers have compared to many of them – and of course carp fishing is becoming more and more popular in eastern Europe and carp angling for instance is becoming much more of a significant industry there and I have no wish to alienate nor victimise any fellow anglers who may be ignorant through no fault of their own.
However the UK police and environment agency have changed their policies and certain laws in direct response to the impacts of immigrants fishing for food (or profit.) I did not really believe it much of a problem until I found one Romanian guy fishing with 30 rods on a deal pier – he obviously does not know nor care about over-fishing and its implications for all of us in the future!
It is not racism but simple common sense to save our stocks and a big re-education of eastern European immigrants is necessary right now before even more prized and irreplaceable big carp of 30 or even 50 years of age find their way onto dinner plates! I guess I am a bit more sensitive on the subject of fish losses since recently my local Cranbrook Kent club lake was netted illegally overnight and the significantly old specimen English carp that were the pride of the club were lost after decades of tireless efforts by members. I hope they catch the scum that did this – they even left netted silver fish to die on the banks. To me this is just the same unbelievably wasteful ignorant Austrian angler who recently killed a massive record six gilled shark he hooked in the Irish Sea, regardless of a universal catch and release policy among UK and Irish anglers because of the extreme decline in shark numbers since the sixties!
After sidetracking a bit let us return to baits and protein digestion etc. Nitrogen gets released into the atmosphere in various ways over time and again bacteria have lots to do with this and also fix nitrogen in soil in ways that allow plants to piggy-back what the bacteria are doing so enabling them to utilise nitrogen.
If you want fast growing plants a nitrogen feed can maximum adequate water, minerals and sufficient heat etc as just like carp and carp digestion, plants too suffer from limiting factors! Nitrogen is a core part of proteins as used in growth and repair for instance, so you might see a pattern emerging in terms of the importance of nitrogen in amino acids, polypeptides, proteins etc – and supplying stimulating fish essentials in our fishing baits.
The first scientist to come up officially with the idea of probiotics believed that human aging was a result of toxins formed due to the putrification of red meat in the gut. The end result today is the mass use of lactic bacteria classed as foods and not drugs in the UK. Fermented milk products have been used by long-lived peoples for eons but there is a big difference between consuming fermented milk direct from a cow and many of the modern products we see pushed in slick adverts on TV!
Unfortunately most so-called probiotic yogurts consumed today are not as particularly effective or even beneficial as claimed due to being either inactive, or containing incorrect bacteria (or even perhaps harmful bacteria in some cases!) Also many brands can contain insufficient number of the right bacteria to do any good, or even contain extremely high levels of refined sugar – which is highly detrimental to humans in the long run and totally defeats the purpose of such products as so-called health foods!
In my view the best way to balance healthy beneficial gut bacteria for instance is to take a supplement of acidophilus every day and take a herb and spice and aloe vera supplement to clear gut mucus so allowing hugely increased absorption of nutrients. Bran is very proven too for stimulating tiny gut wall protrusions called alveoli, which lengthen so increasing the surface area of your gut that actually absorbs nutrients and oat and wheat bran is well proven in carp bait use alongside wheat germ for instance!
You might wonder sometimes when observing carp for example, why they **** algae off stones, or simply appear to feed in clay that seems devoid of sediment-inhabiting organisms such as bloodworms. But fish need more than just nitrogen and amino acids and minerals and trace elements in bottom mud is important and algae and microscopic organisms are beneficial too.
By feeding on bottom mud sediments etc fish can take into their gut various bacteria etc that are useful in helping them digest food. There is more variation in such organisms found in the gut compared to the gills foe example but these organisms are also found in water and sediment and should make an angler consider the wider picture when it comes to carp baits and their ingredients and modes of action!
Chlorophyll is obviously just one example of a potent substance carp take in by consuming natural algal growth that is highly beneficial to them.
Going back to bait design, fish feeds have been designed to keep fish from getting diseased, so keeping fish from getting unduly stressed but being ill, and elevate their vital energy levels and metabolism so they are in balance and feed regularly and are able to correctly digest and utilise the feed itself. This produces conditions that favour the growth and over all health and condition of fish. Betaine and wheat germ are just 2 feed components used to alleviate stress in fish among other reasons for their inclusion including improving feeding response and digestion.
It is your choice whether you use a range of bait ingredients to make your own fishing baits or utilise expert knowledge that has gone into the development of readymade fish feeds. One trick is to make a paste or boilie or pellets type bait out of aquarium feeds discs produced for catfish. In many parts of the USA readymade catfish pellets are easily available and can be incorporated into fishing bait designs of many kinds.
What matters most is your hook baits effectiveness. Even if the feeds you decide to use as part of your homemade baits are the most expensive complex prebiotic and probiotically active cold water koi feeds for example, you know your bait is going to be recognised as a potential food source immediately because these feeds offer so many reasons for fish to consume them.
However it is wise to hedge your bets and make your baits more stimulating and attractive because usually in aquaculture or with pet fish, the fish are only a short distance away from where feed is regularly introduced, and in reality in fishing, you usually need to pull fish in from perhaps quite a distance away so do make sure you design your baits to do this whenever necessary!
This is where things like extra enhancers and taste and smell factors including flavours, oils, spice extracts and so on can really help, as well as added appetite stimulators of various kinds. To make an easy basic bait for carp and catfish, all you need are some good quality koi pellets ground up into powder, some semolina to assist binding, some liquid foods or eggs as a liquid, and maybe a little extra flavour and pure betaine or betaine hydrochloride. Using trout pellets and halibut pellets is not ideal for carp but koi pellets are designed for carp! Catfish have faster rates of metabolism in warmer temperatures so things like high oil salmonid pellets and oily marine halibut pellets for instance are good for catfish able to burn off this oil as energy in the summer for example.
Simple mix a kilogram of ground koi pellets with perhaps 300 grams of semolina, with maybe 2 grams of betaine crystals. Make a liquid mixture using whisked eggs if you wish, or just water and any of a range of common condiments for example, or additional flavours etc. Mix the powder to the liquids and form a paste or dough.
This method can be adjusted infinitely as you can do almost anything – even add some of the new probiotic N-Gage base mix powders from CC Moore to boost bait through-put and fish response for example. Prebiotics and probiotics are not really new concepts. Antibiotics have been exploited in fishing for many generations and it is very significant I think to realise how many things with this property such as honey have been used as preservatives for thousands of years and have not been used in carp baits for many hundreds of years just because they are sweet with strong distinctive aromas!
Catfish are drawn to many substances carp are also drawn to and as catfish are so much more active in warmer temperatures use of various oils in particular can be very effectively exploited.
However in my experience it seems to me that if you wish to avoid catching catfish then using certain herb and spice oleoresins (among other things) and products and extracts that are rich in them for instance, can result in far more carp captures with few accidental hooking of catfish.
Just one successful alternative idea for an year round flavouring of homemade baits I have come up with is simply to mix a crab, cream and Scopex concentrated flavours. Obviously it is best to experiment with ratios of each and with differently based products etc form various sources but this will lead to further success! With a bit of practice everyone can make extremely effective unique homemade baits, and you do not necessarily need to make loads of them either; just a few baits can catch you loads of big fish! Having refined a secret bait of your very own for a water or range of waters that you have absolute confidence in is an indescribable feeling
If your aim is to really out-fish established readymade baits there is much more to exploit in the world of bait making to give you unique edges, but whether you are a rank beginner or experienced angler, with the right information you can save hard-earned money and make your own economical baits that catch big fish – and even beat the most expensive popular readymade baits! (For much more information see my website and biography right now!)
By Tim Richardson.