The weather forecast was threatening the first frost of the year over the weekend with clear night skies and a wind that seemed to be coming from ever point of the compass. We headed out anyway, we’ve fished in the cold plenty of times in the past, take the right gear and it’s not a problem. Once at the water, it was business as usual, find the Carp which with the ever changing wind was not going to be that straight forward. We picked an area of the lake that had the odd fish showing and got the marker out. There was a weed bed at about 70 yards out in front of the swim but by now it was well on it’s way to rotting away and shouldn’t cause us any problems if we fished the back of it and hooked any Carp, they’d just bring the weed in with them! Friday night passed with out a run but there were fish crashing about in the early hours of the morning off to the right of our swim. Saturday went well for Adam landing two Carp of 19lb and 27lb (Pt2), both fish caught from baited spots, one at around 90 yards and the other at 30. Sunday was a wash out with heavy wind and rain. I moved onto the windward side of the lake as one or two Carp were showing at about 120 yards from the bank. The move didn’t result in anymore fish on the bank.
An introduction into making especially effective buoyant hook baits for catfish and carp:
As you are rolling all your paste into balls before boiling as you would to make boiled carp or catfish baits, put aside, maybe 50 paste dough pieces, for use as ‘buoyant’ hook baits; these are excellent great for specially attractive purposes!
They can be great fished on their own over weed or silt, or as a ‘snowman’ when used on the hair or hook with a normal sinking boilie, or used on a variety of hook rigs from the water surface, at mid – water, or on and just off the bottom etc; in fact everywhere you might find a feeding carp or hunting catfish!
You can incorporate a piece of cork, or small balls of polystyrene into these dough pieces or even use a high amount of cork granules in a dedicated base mix, to adjust the amount of buoyancy of hook baits you want. These are available from the commercial companies too. The advantage with these is that your hook baits are identical in nutritional makeup and signal leak – off to your ‘free’ or ground baits.
Another method is to put a small number of smaller, normal baits on a plate, and microwave them in time increments of, e.g. 20 seconds, removing them before they begin to burn. These are soaked in attractors before use, to maximize attraction.
Another method is to adjust the level of ingredients until you arrive at a floating test bait. I’ve also had this happen by accident, and not design while experimenting with more buoyant ingredients like sodium caseinate, shrimp and krill meals, even some egg biscuit based bird foods, for example.
I use casein as the base with sodium caseinate and then other ingredients, as this offers great nutritional signals, while being a harder more resilient bait. You can buy ‘pop-up’ base mixes too from Nutrabaits, Rod Hutchinson, Solar Baits, etc. Again, these baits are left to soak in an extract / flavor / amino acid compound, for example, to harden, preserve, and maximize carp attraction.
Such baits fished just on their own on hard fished waters can be very productive, especially casting immediately to ‘rolling, and ‘head and shouldering’ carp!
Making great ‘floater cake’ bait:
The easiest method of mass producing personalized, random shaped nutritional floating bait is:
Make your base mix as normal but with much more buoyant ingredient, like 6 ounces per pound of sodium caseinate. Adding shrimp meal or krill meal will have the same effect and these are great proven nutritional attractors in themselves.
Add 2 extra eggs per pound dry mix (with bicarbonate of soda to put more air bubbles into it to help it float if necessary), leaving the mix more liquid than solid. Whisk the mix, and pour into a baking tray, and cook in the oven until risen and just brown on top.
A good trick is to use a high level of ground-up dog or cat food biscuits in your floater cake ; like ‘Pedigree Chum’. These baits work great on waters where carp regularly eat these biscuits as free baits, and have previously been caught. Such big fish are usually much more difficult to hook, on the biscuits themselves as bait, even though all ‘free’ biscuits are eaten, hook baits may be rejected. Very frustrating for the angler!
This fishing bait secret books author has many more fishing and bait ‘edges’ up his sleeve. Every single one can have a huge impact on catches!
By Tim Richardson.