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Target Bigger Carp With Bait - A Discussion Extract

Tim F. Richardson

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Here’s a great bait suggestion. Bait is such a wide spectrum of opinions, and most baits success hinge upon the fact that fish have not been hooked on them before, to give them a maximum edge; that of being ‘different. ’ See how to here!

Even where carp keep eating baits where they get their energy supply from carbohydrate based baits containing semolina, rice flour, maize meal, soya flour and the like, they perhaps are homing in on the fact that so much of it is being used rather than looking specifically for it to supplement their natural diet.

So much depends on variables like water richness, stock density, angling pressure and volume and nutritional value and profiles of different baits applied in volume, history and time duration and regularity of bait introduction.

It seems that most baits will hook the biggest fish at some time, but some baits will seem to hook more big fish more frequently and this is not necessarily due to superior nutritional value, but more subtle factors in the bait.

Certain elements of flavours and additives may perhaps influence carp brain chemistry and behaviour, for example. For example why is it that a carbohydrate based ‘Tutti Fruitti’ flavour bait or similar, (when fished as a single bait, ) will get picked up on a day when conditions suggest no fish will be hooked on any bait?

Of course, you need your bait to trigger feeding response in the first place and that can frequently bring up the subject of carp nutrition.

This is not all it seems because carp will eat food that is contrary to their balanced health if there is something in the food or ‘non-food’ item, or in it’s characteristics that carp will particularly respond to. Even plastic and cork baits get consumed, but this is not as illogical as it might appear. Carp really are ‘sampling machines’ and even frequently pick up small stones to feed on algae attached to them.

Also consider for example certain enzymes in peanuts. This is similar to the hemp pre-occupation scenario, but in the case of hemp, there is a massively superior food benefit to carp from gorging on these.

In one discussion I’ve come up with this starting bait combination to supposedly target the ‘big guns’ at one particular lake. The aim being to make the bait different to the usual commercial baits going in and hopefully exploit various dietary needs that may still be present at times especially in the largest fish.

Beginning with 1 pound of top quality milk proteins perhaps including:

* 4 Ounces of sodium caseinate.

* 2 Ounces of 90 mesh acid casein .

* 2 Ounces of 90 mesh rennet casein.

* 4 Ounces of lactalbumin.

* 4 Ounces of soya isolate.

(You may have preferences for other options and ratios perhaps using whey protein or preparatory bodybuilding protein powders with natural enzymes like bromelain etc. )

A milk protein based bait is not that commonly used these days and has many advantages. The levels of ‘biologically digestible protein’ can be fantastic. Although the carp essential amino acid profiles cannot match those of marine meals, they have proven excellent for consistently catching big fish.

However, all the information here can be applied to any other bait or combination, and the success of far more economical bird food baits is very interesting in discerning what exactly makes these ingredients so effective.

Ingredients can be costly, but then few great quality baits come cheap and it’s all in negotiating best prices. Buying in bulk with friends always makes suppliers much happier to offer better discounts where possible. Many of the best bait additives are sourced through pharmaceutical companies, being ‘pharmaceutical grade. ’

I notice that many anglers in the States use baits based on carbohydrates, swearing by ‘Wheaties, ’ corn syrup and a supermarket flavour and so on. In your perhaps less intensively fished waters as opposed to many lakes in Europe, these baits will catch you plenty of fish. It is a known fact based on scientific testing of tank carp that carp do prefer food based on protein compared to carbohydrate even though they eat both.

This may sound nonsense, and in practice yes it does not bear out with very many variables in different fishing situations. However, if you speak to any angler who has fished for maybe 25 years and knows more than just a little working knowledge on bait he will add that there are carbohydrate baits that will seriously out-catch other similar based baits.

Mostly these have feeding triggers involved like various acids, alcohols, sugars, minerals and vitamins added and a percentage of amino acid providing materials too. These baits can more resemble the product of a chemistry lab, than just a mixture of plain old flours. . .

As another suggestion to cheapen your bait while retaining many nutritional and attraction advantages add perhaps a few ounces of brewers yeast powders, or high grade liver powders. It does pay to get the best quality and freshness you possibly can and bait companies often go to very great lengths to achieve this for you.

These 2 ingredients do not of course offer the same oils and amino acid profiles of marine derived ingredients. However, at a time when sustainability of resources is increasingly becoming a question of ethics, I like to use it more and more and meat and poultry meals are becoming more used and more and are now very popular. Blood meals and liver powders hold their own too for example.

In my research, yeast as a single ingredient, is one of the most amazing in terms of providing natural carp dietary benefits. Its carp attraction is very well documented. I always add yeast extract too, as it contains attractive salts, enzymes and certain brands contain enzyme containing plant extracts which really turn the carp on.

Commercially produced spirulina powder has very similar nutrition to basic fishmeal and has been used in aquaculture for years. It is becoming more favoured and has ‘hidden’ side benefits because it is a basic aquatic food of many forms of life and this impacts on its effectiveness too. In fact organisms that carp feed on naturally are drawn to feed on it too, and so when used to exploit this effect, you can achieve very effective ‘natural’ baiting of your swim combined with artificial too.

A note on betaine and making simple baits more attractive. Enzymes are extremely attractive in their own right. Even a soya and semolina bait when soaked in dissolved betaine, becomes a different class of bait entirely.

Carp achieve far better digestion benefits by consuming enzymes in their food. Betaine is a great example and lobster extract and green and blue lip mussel extract along with quite a few lesser known ingredients, are great providers of this great additive. Molasses are often overlooked in this respect.

It is noticeable how many ingredients that have been enzyme treated are extremely attractive to carp and not just because of available amino acids, sugars, and other nutritional benefits, or even improved water solubility and digestibility, but because of the enzymes inherent in such ingredients even though they are inactive in the bait. They all have potential important roles to play in functions and processes in the fish.

You could add up to 4 ounces of ‘blue cheese’ powder or grated parmesan cheese. These ingredients are especially good in cold water conditions and supply taste enhancing amino acids and salts along with very attractive n-butyric acid, protein and other goodies.

Add a tablespoon or more, of millet with sesame seeds for example, per pound mix as this helps open up the bait texture, (which is quite dense) and adds essential omega oil content and B vitamins which are both very attractive to carp. You could add Niger seed or hemp seed instead for example, but I’d prefer to try and use ingredients and ratios that most anglers would possibly not consider. Ground-up seeds and nuts, even roasted add great ‘different’ qualities of nutrition, taste, texture and attraction.

The addition of ground oyster shell or prawn shell for example adds essential calcium and chitin plays a very major role in a carp’s natural diet. There is a new scientific process for breaking down the chitin in prawn shell and this could have some significance for making carp baits.

You can add the recommended amount of pepsin enzyme or multi-use enzyme to this bait although I won’t go into this here.

There is so much you could do to make your bait more ‘exciting. ’ You could add two teaspoons or more betaine per pound mix. This is a natural enzyme and is very well recommended. I get the impression it works best alongside lots of ‘free form’ amino acids (and certain B vitamins) and also with a natural enzyme source like celery extract or one of many others you could try.

Perhaps you might a add 1 tablespoon of squid extract to the above bait, or whatever your favoured combination might be at the time. Remember that baits go in so many cycles of use and fashion and it can pay you to be slightly out of step with your peers. . .

To the above mix try adding 4 to 6 eggs hens eggs are not the only egg you can use!

You might like to also add some or all of the following:

60 milliliters of ‘liquid protein amino acids’ bodybuilding supplement, or a proprietary carp fishing mixture per 4 to 6 eggs mix.

2 or more teaspoons of sea or rock salt.

1 tablespoon of yeast extract; ‘Vegemite, ’ ‘Marmite’ etc.

1 tablespoon of honey or any sweetener from fruit sugar, to molasses to much lesser amounts of sweet protein proprietary products. Perhaps 3 to 5 milliliters of intense sweetener or try Talin, Thaumatin B, etc.

15 drops of ‘Olbas oil’ or individual essential oils; this mix has eucalyptus, peppermint, wintergreen oils and pine terpenes. They definitely make your bait more exciting. These have very volatile components and this whole area gets me very interested. I add lecithin to my bait which I feel really add certain nutritional attraction but makes oil or fat content more potent and available in the bait.

1 tablespoon of garlic granules. (Not so much for the smell which is not present in water as in air, but its energy release and other carp function benefits. )

One teaspoon of turmeric. This could also be paprika, or chilli powder, cinnamon, or nutmeg for example. There are very good scientific stimulating reasons for adding ingredients such as these.

Great carp baits have often contained herbs or spices, even curry powder. Just think how they make you feel and how powerful they are. Many of our most powerful and addictive drugs are derived from herbs and spices. ‘Robin Red’ at anything from 1 ounce to 3 ounces and above is very relevant here.

You may choose to only just scald boil your baits to retain maximum attractive nutritional attraction.

I find that with milk protein baits it is especially important to make them ‘biologically or enzyme active’ to really get the best from them. One of the simplest ways is to ‘cure’ your baits (especially your hook baits) is in using plastic lidded tubs placed somewhere warm. E. the airing cupboard for 5 days, removing moisture each day. Then use these bacteria digested, powder covered ‘active baits’ at their peak

(You might wish to soak all ready baits in a mixture of betaine, squid extract powder, green lip mussel extract, spirulina powder extract, sea salt and sweeteners).

Experimentation and testing using a ‘control bait’ that you trust in many fishing situations, is the key to ‘revitalising’ old waning established baits.

The author has many more fishing and bait ‘edges’ up his sleeve. Every single one can have a huge impact on catches. (Warning: This article is protected by copyright. )

Tim Richardson is a carp and catfish bait-making expert, and a highly successful big fish angler. His bait making and bait enhancing books / ebooks:


* Are even used by members of the ‘world elite’ “British Carp Study Group" for expert reference. Gain from more understanding, expert bait making experience, powerful insights and cutting edge information; view this ‘dedicated’ bait making secrets website.


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