MAKING EXPERT CARP BAITS -- Exploiting ‘Olfaction' - Bait Detection And Highest Attraction!

by Tim F. Richardson - Date: 2007-01-24 - Word Count: 1079 Share This!

* How do you guarantee your catfish or carp fishing baits are detected and treated as 'food' by stimulating feeding responses and behaviour from various distances away from your bait? By enhancing your baits using knowledge of fishes own senses! *

Protein and other food detection occurs in the olfactory organs, situated in various 'external' and internal carp locations. Carp flush water through their 'peripheral olfactory organ', the two nose openings above the mouth.

The carp's nose senses variations in the electrical fields surrounding them, as in the 'ionization' of the surrounding water. These changes show a miniscule, or strong variation in pH, that carp detect as possible stimulatory food message 'pathways' to follow.

(It has been proven that carp have different receptor sites in the olfactory 'bulb' showing stimulation by different pairs of amino acids, e.g. Tyrosine and Phenylalanine.)

To make this easier to understand, perhaps think of a 'car battery': The ionization of the water builds up a strong charge which is electrically stored. As this builds up, the pH of the water changes in the battery, to very strongly acid.

Electrical current strength / flow, can be measured on an electrical meter. The meter shows changes in the electrical 'frequency' of charge, produced by the ionized acid, dependant on it's concentration of positive or negative ions.

In the case of amino acids, for example, carp detect the potential food signal from a great distance, depending on the concentration and 'species' of aminos 'freely ionizing' the water, depending on water pH, and temperature.

Dependant upon the potential proximity of the food item, numerous taste and smell receptors in the nose, and in and around the mouth, and on the tips of the 'barbels', are stimulated. These send electrical signals to the carp's brain, telling the muscles how to manoeuvre the fish appropriately; to approach the food item, and investigate it.

The carp may treat it with suspicion or caution as a potential threat, dangerous though edible, or eat in a confident 'frenzy'.

All carp behaviors though instinctive, are influenced by angling pressure and by previous experience of captures or stress associated with fishing activity. Carp learn and can be trained by anglers, even inadvertently, what is beneficial to their well-being, or not! I wonder how many carp anglers are aware of this fact?

A carp can 'map' in it's brain, past experiences by association; like perhaps an area of a swim where it has been hooked in the past, or it keeps hitting lines crossing through the water. These become a reference point of recognition, it remembers as dangerous, e.g., a particular bait appearance, certain flavours, smells, tastes or colors.

In a very hard - fished water a carp might even flee area with lines crossing through the water, until the carp senses it clear and therefore 'safe' to return. (Disguising and hiding your lines can really pay-off!)

To demonstrate how important these detectors are in finding and recognizing food, koi carp had in fact, THREE, not TWO sets of barbels, 200 years ago, before they were selectively bred out of them for 'aesthetic' purposes!... If some species of catfish get barbels badly damaged, they can become 'blind' to food signals, so starving to death!


If we could, we would use a boilie hook bait of pure concentrated amino acids and mineral salt solution, for example.

This is because carp detect these substances extremely well in their environment, and so produce baits with the potential to get a hook in the carp's mouth the quickest!!! Uncooked and un-boiled baits in the form of pastes or doughs are ideal because olfaction senses these far more efficiently than conventionally 'skinned' boiled carp baits.

Liquid flavours, 'dips' and bait 'glugs,' do help to impregnate boiled and cooked baits to improve the triggering of olfaction response. So many extracts, chemicals, natural ingredients and highly refined and even 'pre-digested' ingredients help the performance of your baits.

Baits with sweeteners and taste enhancers work far better than those without across a range of waters and times of year, and in winter, just using a small amount of an essential oil (e.g. like black pepper oil), in your bait, or as a dip, can turn a blank day into a red letter day!

Adding a higher level of 'whole' (un-pre-digested) protein food ingredients, or even better, lots of pre-digested protein foods into your baits, like liver, fish or shellfish proteins, with the addition of lots of 'free' liquid amino acid protein supplements, will seriously boost your big fish catches in numbers by truly exploiting carp olfaction!

Even soaking your boiled baits in a simple dip of warm water and sea salt make a huge demonstrable difference, when compared to using baits fresh out of the freezer. Even defrosting baits or warming them up a couple of days in advance can produce better results owing to a strong 'bioactivity' in the bait cased by bacterial enzymes acting upon the ingredients in your baits.

Depending on the ingredients used this effect can vary upon the olfaction triggering response of the carp. However, how many times has the 'lazy' angler cast out a bait still left on the hook from the last session, only to have it taken immediately by a big carp, while the 'fresh' baits used for the rest of the session produce very little!

Carp 'olfaction' is an advanced subject, concerning neurology, physiology and carp brain stimulation. For better fishing results it may be worthwhile investigating much more fully regarding bait design and application of your boilies...Even using maggots in various ways in your baiting approach help because their movement and activity is more stimulatory than simply a static bait.

It also involves so many more parts of carp than just mouth, 'nose', lips and barbel sensory abilities as there are different 'food' sensory areas on the fins and even on the body of the fish.

Such sensitivity deserves fully exploiting by maximizing your bait design presentation and 'free baiting' techniques to stimulate the optimum feeding response and get those big carp feeding on your hook 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, but reprints with a link are OK.)

By Tim Richardson. 'The thinking angler's fishing author and expert bait making guru.'

For more expert bait making information and 'cutting edge' techniques see the expert acclaimed new ebook / book:


Related Tags: books, fish, homemade, fishing, bait, ebook, protein, ingredients, proteins, baits, carp, catfish, paste, boilie, boilies, flavours, flavors, hook, dips, pastes, maggots, sweeteners, glugs, enhancers

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