Have you ever wondered why one ‘lucky guy’ seems to catch the biggest fish again and again, while the majority of other fishermen just seem to get the average catches? Why is that?
Many of us would love to catch those big catfish, carp, bass, trout etc, every time we go fishing. It may just be that the guy is a genius angler, but real fishing success is often simply about using bait that is more effective than most other anglers baits at getting round fishes natural fears and resistance to eating it!…
But how can we achieve this? Well here’s a few of some of the best most proven methods of increasing your catches, especially for carp and catfish, but can be applied very effectively to many other species:
1. Try taking a look at the most popular baits where you fish and eliminate any similarity your homemade bait has with them. This especially applies to your own unique fishing bait recipe or formulas. This removes the fishes ‘danger reference points’. This gives your bait a massive ‘edge’ because the fish will not associate your bait with danger, anything like as much as with the baits everyone else are using – after all , the whole point of a bait is simply to fool the fish into taking a hook into it’s mouth!
2. Make your bait different sizes, odd shapes, density, colors, flavors, with different attractors and additives, the more different to the usual bait the fish experience, the more effective your bait will be potentially be. Making your own bait puts the odds back in your favor and the power back into your hands – literally!
3. Absolutely pack your baits with “powerful ‘free amino acids’ (the type bodybuilders use as a liquid protein food supplement.) Even if you’re making a proprietary bait using a ‘commercial base mix’ that anyone can purchase, this will really set your bait apart and make it preferable to fish!
4. Pack bait with minerals, vitamins and trace elements – get a health tonic supplement from your local drug store. Very few people realize that these are in fact amazing attractors in their own right! An astounding edge is to massively increase the attractiveness and soluble nutritional message leaking from your bait, by soaking your hook bait in a mixture if fresh liquidized sweet corn, molasses and liquid protein food (so-called ‘free amino acids.)
5. It has been proven that when tested carp were provided with a number of complete foods providing all their nutritional requirements, preferred the food that had been sweetened. E.g., try sweetening honey and molasses, fruit sugar (fructose), or saccharin.
6. Add Sea salt to your bait – this is one of the most proven and unbelievable fish feeding triggers, and a great nutritional taste enhancer full of minerals. Nearly every animal and fish cannot live without salt!
7. For many fish including catfish and carp, pack your bait with fresh good quality digestible protein – it doesn’t need to be a large proportion, no more than a third of your bait. Ingredients such as trout pellet powder, meat and poultry meals, blood meal, fish meals and shellfish meals and liver powder are great.
Add energy rich carbohydrates to provide balanced nutrition and binding. For example, soya flour, semolina, or even ordinary white or brown wheat flour. For carp try adding some wheat germ it has excellent properties!
8. Add a small amount of oil to your bait for a balanced nutritional value. For catfish this could be you favorite fish oil. For carp the best is probably pure cold pressed hemp oil; it’s natures ‘super food’ and is one of the richest and most healthy and nutritional oils known to man and fish!
9. Give your bait some protein that’s been ‘pre-digested’ or ‘hydrolyzed.’ This is easily achieved by adding a small amount of proprietary powder, like pre-digested liver, fish meal or shellfish extracts to your bait; available from bait companies all across the worldwide web.
This method is incredibly effective, improving the fish attractive ‘amino acid profile of your bait. Fish are extremely efficient at detecting and utilizing amino acids, and you may well find that with the higher the rate of inclusion of these highly fish digestible ingredients, your catches and numbers of bigger fish soar too!
10. Allow your bait to ‘cure’ for 3-4 days prior to use; this allows your bait to start to ferment and lets bacterial enzymes release alcohols, sugars and increase the level of pre-digested proteins in your bait; all amazingly extremely good fish feeding triggers and attractors. See the difference this makes to your catches!
11. If you use ‘boilies’ rather than paste or dough baits, try chopping edges off your hook baits as if other fish have been ‘playing with your bait and taking small chunks out of it; this can really make the bigger fish ‘feel’ safer when they sample your hook baits – try piecing your hook baits right through to release the maximum attraction even from the center of your bait; it really works!
12. Try wrapping your bait and your hook (except the point) in a paste or dough. Try a mixture of ordinary flour, marmite, parmesan cheese, garlic granules, curry spices, sea salt, eggs and liquid amino acids – this mixture is pure ‘dynamite’ and really makes them bite!
13. One of the most successful paste / dough baits of recent times is made from a mixture of fish meal and a couple of pre-digested ingredients like pre-digested, liver powder, fish meals, pre-digested yeast powder or pre-digested shellfish extracts. Try binding them together with just ordinary flour and loads of liquid amino acids / protein food supplement.
The addition of corn steep liquor powder or liquid, and pure betaine is a massive boost to the power of attraction. (But use no eggs, or water in the mix; just ‘liquid protein’ amino acids. (A body building supplement.) This can be used as bait ‘soaks ‘and dips for pellets and boilies too. Experiment with different proportions to get your dough / pate to hold and last on your hook for different times. When you ‘bait up’ or ‘chum your swim with free baits like this, to attract the fish – hold on to your rods!!!
14. Add natural ingredients to your bait, for example, bird foods contain all kinds of fantastic foods fish love, like insects, seeds, grubs and worms. Many times, these encourage smaller fish to find your bait, and these can lead the bigger ones to your hook. Spirulina is a great attractor that attracts natural aquatic animals to your baits. These gather and form a brilliant natural ‘free bait’ so attracting fish ‘naturally!
15. Add a ‘crunch factor’ to your bait – many fish have food detectors inside their gills, and allowing fish to experience eating your bait like it was natural food, e.g., like shrimps or snails or mussels, is a great way to ‘turn them on’ and get more confident feeding and more bites!
The ‘chitin’ in this hard material is also a massive natural dietary requirement for carp, essential for healthy liver function, healthy blood, and repair and growth of skeletal structures. It is also high in nitrogen; an important building block of protein, also essential for repair, growth and other processes and functions in carp.
16. If you use ‘boilies’ for carp catfish, etc there is a simple method of improving them: If you buy your baits frozen in a bag, then open them up and let them defrost and ‘warm up for 3-4 days in advance of fishing. This gives bacterial enzymes the time to start breaking down your baits and releasing very attractive alcohols, sugars and amino acids for example. It really works well for better catches and can even promote quicker bites!
Making and adapting your own and readymade shop – bought baits to make them different to the rest, and far more effective than normal is a science, and a very satisfying ‘art’. When you have armed yourself with a range of great baits, the confidence you feel is awesome and especially satisfying when you’ve designed them made your own homemade baits yourself; and they catch your next ‘personal best!’
I could show you many real life examples of how using edges like these and others, have resulted in fantastic big fish catches.
I love researching and writing about fishing bait because it is one of the fastest short-cuts to success! I am into bait in a big way, having even researched the subject with a Ph.D biochemist to reveal the reasons why and how baits really work to catch fish. I’ve found that a little bait knowledge can catch you more fish, but the more you know – the more consistent your catches can become – and the more big fish you catch!
The truly amazing thing is, ANY angler can achieve truly amazing catches with just enough of the right bait knowledge! Then other anglers will wonder what his ‘secret to success’ is…
The author has many more fishing and bait ‘edges’ up his sleeve. Every single one can have a huge impact in improving your catches…
By Tim Richardson.