You may be looking for a new edge and keep trying costly new readymade boilies, but you have the power to make your own awesome baits extremely easily and cheaply – and far faster than you ever imagined! Such baits are very effective indeed when compared to standard baits because they can be made different to normal – and being different is truly the biggest edge in carp fishing! So read on to discover how to be an even sharper carper and get ahead and catch loads more fish this year and many years to come!
Today many anglers either care very much about the nutritional attraction of their baits – or not as the case may be. This is whether an angler always uses readymade baits or makes his own or uses both.
Ultimately the angler is aiming to be different and offer carp something irresistible – that overcomes instinctive and angler-programmed caution to as great a degree as possible. But most anglers actually do not do this because the basic format of their baits is far too standard. I may be stating the obvious here but if a big wary carp has been dealing with boilies and pellets on round, barrel or barrel shapes for the past 40 years it is pretty obvious he is going to be that much harder to hook no matter how mind-boggling the nutritional profile or potency of the enhancer and flavours and extracts incorporated etc in a readymade bait.
It is very obvious that carp learn by experience and association and this is at an instinctive level – basically just like humans. Without these instincts and constant behavioural adaptations survival is just not going to happen! Most anglers are unaware that the firmness and surface feel of the vast percentage of readymade baits makes it very easy for very wary fish to detect baits that are safe and baits that are not. I would go so far as to state that these days if you always use boilies that have been cut down into odd shapes or simple squeezed in half and stabbed a few times and chopped a bout with a pair of sharp nail scissors, then such baits will out-perform perfectly round or barrel shaped baits consistently.
A very striking example of how easy it can be to double your catches or get more fish that much faster is this example. In the nineties I used to fish a water in Essex where it was very noticeable that anglers using fresh readymade boilies straight from the bag struggled to catch many fish and blanked approximately 70 percent of the time when doing sessions of 12 to 60 hours duration.
In this situation I being a resourceful type of angler who always tries to utilise what I observe to best effect came up with many innovative alternative bait options that worked tremendously well but I never publicised what I was doing because that would have given other lazy anglers an edge they did not deserve!
The biggest carp I caught during this period was a leather of over 48 pounds, which I did not photograph as I had no camera, no sack and no mobile phone – you will learn why in a moment! I happened to hook this incredible fish on a homemade catfish rod which was the only rod I had left after someone had stolen pretty much all my gear the previous week when I had generously offered to go to get some more supplies from a local super market for a new friend who turned out to be a thieving you know what! It appears that the moment I left he began packing up my gear putting it straight in his car for a clean get-away. (Therefore going back to that water the following week was very strange with only one rod – and I really deserved that big fish!)
Later around that same period I hooked the fish called the little leather at Darenth Big Lake but lost it at the net so getting photos of forty pound plus leather carp has yet to be achieved – but who knows what the future holds! All through my fishing ever since the seventies I have kept aiming to observe how fish are behaving in response to angling pressure and change tactics, strategies and thinking. Before everything else a change of thought is needed so trying to keep an open mind is an essential asset.
Years ago I noticed I would hook very little-caught commons on small square hook baits as opposed to the round boilies that were very standard at that time in the eighties. This really got my thinking and it became obvious that anything that made fish less suspicious would produce more fish. One excellent idea from the early nineties that I came up with one day while helping a beginner on an Essex lake was this:
I noticed few fish were being caught on whole round readymade boilies straight from the bag. I had been messing around with crumbed homemade boilies since the mid-eighties and this idea occurred to me to help this new guy catch much quicker than normal. All I did was cut a few round 21-millimetre boilies to remove their outer skins so the baits were about 10 millimetres in diameter and square in shape.
Removing the outer skin of a boilie is one of the very best tricks to improve performance as the entire bait can more fully interact with the water in pulling fish to your hook. The extension of this is of course to soak these small square baits in whatever additives you wish. I think in the case in point, to help this guy I had made up a soak using LT94 fish meal, Marmite, halibut pellet powder, and crushed betaine pellets, plus a little Nash peach and strawberry oil palatants.
People who have heard of me for my ebooks consider that I am a homemade bait fanatic but in fact I am just as passionate about innovatively utilising readymade baits and bait substances applied in creative new ways. Making readymade baits become super-charged with potency with impacts that fish will never have experienced in such ways before is an area I am truly passionate about – because it is within the reach of every single angler to very seriously improve his or her catch results by doing this!
Creating your own homemade bait soaks as opposed to just buying them is a very exciting thing because you are literally creating new unique baits immediately and changing their nutritional profile, smell and palatability – all of which can be massive breakthroughs in hooking those elusive big rarely-caught fish that all anglers dream of catching!
The result of applying this bait soak treatment for a few hours on the small square baits previously mentioned was that after I had helped the new guy set up his gear he shortly afterwards hooked one of the very few linear carp in the lake at a great new weight of 27 pounds – and he was not surprisingly over the moon with joy because apart from being a stunning fish it was a very rarely-caught fish and was a new personal best fish for him!
This example proves a point about the fact that wary carp definitely fall for creative new and alternative bait ideas that offer different features and characteristics to standard baits. Note that at the time of this capture other anglers using round or barrel shaped readymade baits straight from the bag and also in dips and glugs were doing very poorly – yet this new guy caught just 2 hours after casting out on a new lake for him.
Of course there is a massive number of further ideas and insights that could have been adopted at that time but it really was a case of doing something there and then that was quick and easy so that this guy could use the idea himself in the future – again and again with success but also adapt and customise the idea and create new ones for himself! This is where I am coming from because so many anglers ask me for a recipe or even readymade bait to improve their success when what it vitally takes is creative thought that comes from observing your fish and their responses to standard and alternative baits and baiting and methods, learning about fish senses and bait substances (and why they induce feeding behaviours of various forms,) and creating practical new alternative baits and bait formats and different refined methods to overcome fish wariness all to great effect!
Now you might think that soaking boilies or pellets is a neat trick and of course many anglers do simply soak their baits in neat Minamino or whatever. But I like to cover nutritional attraction especially in multiple ways by creating homemade dips that carp have never experienced ever before; some that have metabolic-booting effects, some that are particularly enzyme-active, or some that are far more prebiotic, or probiotic for instance. Some ingredients and bait additives have come onto the market just in the last 5 years that have tremendous impacts upon fish feeding and attraction responses but many are not sold by bait companies so you need and eye open and do your research like me!
Ultimately you do not need a degree in nutrition or marine biology to catch fish, but even finding out just one new bit of information that exploits an aspect of how fish detect bait or digest baits better or see baits or hear baits or suck-up baits better, will definitely make all the difference to your catches. Fisheries are getting more and more competitive all the time so you need to exploit any edges you can create for yourself because these will most closely solve the problems and challenges you are faced with on your water! It takes experience, ability, insight and imagination as well as a sound understanding of fish to do this and not just the convenience of simply buying newly advertised baits off the shelf!
The vast majority of readymade baits are massively under-performing due to many reasons including their actual format and adsorbent or absorbent capacities and ways they transfer water from outside the bait to the centre of the bait so pumping out bait substances.
For one thing commercially made baits have to make a profit so they just do not contain the levels of substances they really could potentially contain – to far greater impact on multiple carp senses! But in adapting your readymade baits in special ways or even making quite simple but massively potent homemade baits (and highly economical ones too,) you will multiply your catches like so many others for sure! Revealed in my unique readymade bait and homemade bait carp and catfish bait secrets ebooks is far more powerful information – look up my unique website (Baitbigfish) and see my biography below for details of my ebooks deals right now!
By Tim Richardson.
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