Essential Expert Tips for Making Your Homemad Carp Baits and Catfish Baits!

by Tim. F Richardson - Date: 2006-12-28 - Word Count: 1707 Share This!

How to creating a 'dry powder base mix' and how to mix this with other ingredients successfully:

The standard dry mix (e.g., ground trout pellets / semolina / soya flour) measurement used, is 16 ounces (1 pound in weight or 500 grammes approximately (half a kilogramme).

Start by placing your dry ingredients into a big strong polythene bag, blow some air into it and tie up the top securely.

Shake contents very well until the powders flow evenly.

Put some powders into a large bowl or pan, e.g. one pound of dry mix, crack 4 to 6 hen eggs into another large bowl and add your non dry and liquid ingredients. (Some may require accurate measuring using a needle-less syringe.)

Examples of additives to put in at this stage might include sweeteners, liquid molasses, squid extract, sweet garlic oil, liquid amino acid compound, liquid betaine, flavour components, honey, yeast extract, anise extract etc.

Beat these very well until the consistency and color are even.

I tend to over flavour with an alcohol based flavour if I'm making baits to be fished as purely lone 'attractor baits' with no free offerings being used.

Add the dry powders, small amounts at a time, until the mixture forms a moldable dough. (It's sometimes good to leave the mix in a sealed bag somewhere cool for 2 to 3 hours, and even leave the 'soaking' paste dough in the fridge overnight. This allows the liquids to penetrate into even the least soluble ingredients and really helps bait performance by maximizing its water soluble liquid attraction!)

By weighing any dry mix in a bowl, you can find the weight of dry mix required for each further 4 to 6 egg mix. Please note that every base mix you design is different and needs refining for the best mixing / rolling/ digestibility / attraction / water solubility ratios you require for your particular fishing circumstances!

Roll the dough (like in bread making) to release air. You have many choices at this stage like perhaps use a rolling pin to flatten the dough on a bread board, and then cut your dough into many odd shaped pieces. (A very quick bait making method, and a proven one for excellent catches!)

Or perhaps squeeze small pieces into dense blobs, or roll dough into sausages and create cylinder shaped pellets or flat cylinder shapes, or flat discs. (Ideal for weed and silt etc). Or chop dough into pieces and hand roll them into balls of varied sizes. (And even chop these pieces in half for another alternative shape!) A little vegetable oil on your palms will help if your baits are sticky.

I really aim to create baits that will look, act and feel different to the regimented commercial baits that the majority of anglers slavishly use predominantly these days; doing this is SO worthwhile!!!

Prepared paste will ideally feel like a moldable bread dough without being sticky, this is very quick and easy to make boilies with minimum trouble, mess and time!

Try placing sausages into an empty, very clean mastic gun with the end nozzle cut to a diameter of e.g. 15 millimeters, and extrude smaller sausages to put onto a, e.g. 'Gardener' bait rolling table (a dual half round grooved device that chops and rolls simultaneously producing many round baits very fast!

I like to roll out sausages of various diameter and boil these, chopping them up when dry. I also make molded hook baits between thumb and forefinger, some with specially added cork granules to make them buoyant.

Put on a large pan of boiling water (when boiling I add sweeteners like molasses, honey, brown sugar, black treacle, and liquorice extract and sea salt. This really gives your boiled baits 'different' extra attraction despite having the usual firm skin).

I will often spike my hookbaits or cut pieces off them to ensure their surface releases attractors much faster and can also absorb bait soaks more efficient. This really produces noticeably faster too at times. I've even caught fish to mid twenty pounds 'on the drop' straight after casting the bait in the water.

Put some bait into a sieve or chip fryer, and boil the baits for up to an average time of 90 seconds. (The less the better to retain the nutritional qualities of your bait.) Don't forget that with using alcohol based flavors, these are boiling away into the air as vapors with every second!

Milk proteins should have the VERY MINIMUM Boiling, or you'll reduce their nutritional attraction and benefits, by damaging various amino acids in the proteins, (some much more than others!)

Smaller baits can take less time than e.g. 18 millimeter ones. Whatever you do, remove them from the boiling water the moment they start floating.

Lay the skinned baits to dry on cloths on wooden fruit boxes or cardboard boxes or bread trays and keep turning them over to dry and cool evenly. Leave them to dry, usually from a few hours in warm room temperatures to 3 days or more depending how hard or dry you want them!

As they dry, your finished boiles will shrink and harden and absorb any strong smells or odors nearby, so ensure you dry them in a clean environment away from chemicals, paint, cleaning products etc that may be left around inadvertently! (Not good!)

To preserve your baits there are many preservatives to mix with your dry bait mix before mixing, many are great for winter baits as they replace eggs which could affect results in colder water temperatures.

Put, e.g. a pound of finished boilies into individually marked freezer bags, with the date and mix and attractors or flavors clearly written. Or carry on drying them until they're 95 % plus dry, and store them in air -drying net bags, paper potato bags or similar, somewhere dry, away from rodents!

I like to put about 30 to 60 milliters of natural attractors additives and amino acid compound with boilies into freezer bags before freezing and shake the baits to distribute them. This can more than double your catch rate! For winter, try adding a favorite 'raw' undiluted flavour, like Tutti Fruitti, Scopex, and Megaspice etc.

For waters with excessive bait robbing fish or crayfish for example, use higher levels of casein in your dedicated hook bait mix, and after boiling and drying, leave your baits in a sealed container full of sugar. This is a very effective way to harden your baits and make them effectively last much longer!

To calculate the finished weight of prepared boilies from eggs and dry mix in advance of production, the eggs, (usually large hen's eggs) are 30 to 40 % (average) the weight of the finished bait per pound.

To make my baits different from many shop - bought, uniform shaped, machine rolled boiled baits, I boil my baits over a various range of times, e.g. short 10 to 90 seconds (with nutritional baits) up to 5 minutes with carbohydrate baits with overloaded attractors.

For a useful quick bait tip for short range hand thrown or catapulted baits for example, or in a bait delivery 'spod' cast out at range, use dough rolled flat and chopped finely into bait pieces. I even leave portions of this procedure un - boiled as paste pieces, to be used as free baits and in P.V.A. bags, and dry these separately.

This gives baits of varied size, shape, consistency, texture and density, allowing for much greater attraction to carp, making it very much more difficult to detect the hook bait… Doing this is very worthwhile ; most of my biggest fish have come through using this edge !!!

Floating or 'Pop - up' boilies:

As you are rolling all your paste into balls before boiling, put aside, e.g. 50, for buoyant hookbaits. 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.

You can incorporate cork or small balls of polystyrene into these or even use a high amount of cork granules in a dedicated base mix, to adjust the amount of buoyancy you want. These are available from the commercial companies. The advantage with these is that your hookbaits 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 / flavour / 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 carp seen bubbling or 'rolling, and 'head and shouldering'!

Floater cake:

The easiest method of mass producing personalized, random shaped nutritional floating bait for carp fishing is:

Make your base mix as normal but with much more buoyant ingredient, like 6 ounces per pound of sodium caseinate. Add 2 extra eggs per pound dry mix (with bicarbonate of soda to put more air bubbles into it to help it float), 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!)

By Tim Richardson N.D.C.H. The 'thinking man's fishing author' and bait guru.

For more information see:

Related Tags: fish, homemade, fishing, bait, baits, carp, catfish, paste, dough, boilie, boilies, pellet, pellets, betaine

By Tim Richardson N.D.C.H. The 'thinking man's fishing author' and bait guru.

For more information see:

Tim is a leading big fish angler with many incredible catches to his name. He is also a nationally recognised carp and catfish bait guru in the UK. His best selling bait making manuals are used by members of the elite "British Carp Study Group" for expert reference. This comprehensive information and research can help beginners and experienced anglers alike.


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