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501 Carp Fishing Bait Ingredients and Additives To Boost Your Catches Now! - by Tim F. Richardson

As you probably know by now, I have been writing about bait for 5 years now and it seems many anglers are taking up my ideas and being inspired into bait creation far more than maybe anglers have been doing for 15 to 20 years or more; so try the ideas given here – they are well worth trying because they really work!Boosting bait is not all about substances such as amino acids or flavours or palatants, appetite stimulators and other things either well known or totally new to bait-making. Boosting your bait potential is really geared to how fish have begun to respond to any established that fish may have been hooked on already and now is a bit heir of it than before – but still wants your bait. Well-designed baits that supply a broad or even minimal range of essential nutritional factors to carp, or even factors that simply boost metabolism or health or digestion in some and so on all work very effectively. This is why nutritional baits for example go on working for years needing relatively minor changes to give them a new lease of life.Most of the present readymade baits on the market are made from a collection of mostly very standard ingredients, additives and flavours. It is no surprise then when fish receiving such baits every day decide they may not be so hungry or excited about them after all and pick and choose much more. There are so many bait substances that offer benefits to carp that are not used in the majority of any readymade carp baits. This could be due to a myriad of reasons, from incredibly high cost, irregular supply, import regulations and restrictions, lack of scientific knowledge of the actual concentrations or combinations that best exploit potential of substances and so on. Obviously some bait company bosses are decades ahead of others in terms of technical knowledge and feedback from users, substances combinations, levels, ratios and best applications of substances known to date.Very often one of the biggest reasons an additive or ingredient is mostly not used in readymade baits is because the time, labour and costs it takes to prepare it simply may not be profitable to make it worthwhile. This does not mean that making the effort will not massively pay you off as a homemade bait angler! This scenario is rather like the sae anglers fishing off the East coast of America for cod. In years gone by these fisheries were basically fished out so they became too unprofitable to fish and even endangered the actual survival of the species completely in an area – as in the saga of the depletion of the now gone gigantic shoals of cod at the Grand Banks in the North Atlantic or the massive shoals of herring off Southern island.However, with the right refinements in baits, tackle, rig and fishing location and depth you can make some crazy catches of cod, but if you were a commercial trawler for instance the costs to catch this small amount of fish simply would not pay a profit. Homemade bait makers really can profit big-time from using even small amounts of very expensive additives and ingredients because although such things work incredibly well, few bait companies will invest in such substances and expect to turn a profit. I am not going to tell you some examples here that I have discovered but relate to you some examples of things to get your mind thinking about further possibilities – and many clues are found in bait ingredients in popular use today.Garlic is used in many commercial baits and is cheap. But garlic is not packed with protein and amino acids is it; so garlic effects have to do with other factors that are very potent indeed.The smell of garlic is different to that in air – different molecules are formed. It is wise to remember that carp can have many differences in the experience of substances in water that are often different to the experience of the same substance we have because of us experiencing substances in air. Maybe a bit more detail is required to illustrate this sort of aspect of bait. For example, many bait ingredients, additives, flavours etc contain volatile substances which when heated evaporate into the air – and we detect these substances very well – even with our dumbed-down senses! Ethyl alcohol is an ideal example that most people can relate to. In fact you can smell different compounds in different wines before you take them into your mouth. Some of these substances will give you a gut response too which I think in terms of fishing baits is extremely important.But not all substances that easily mix with air and disperse very rapidly will mix with water so readily! Many substances that when heated in air are released into the air with ease can in fact be surprisingly insoluble in water.I do not just mean certain compounds in liquids we use in baits but in the plethora of dry powder form additives and ingredients too. The relative densities of substances can have a huge impact on bait performance too and can either impact on fish at long range or when fish are right next to your bait – and effect the weight, firmness or texture and buoyancy of baits too. When we talk about flavours, so many anglers jump to ideas such as diacetin, glycerol, esters and so on, but milk caseins have flavour profiles, just as soya flour, L030, cheese powder, Marmite or even maize flour do.It amazes me how many carp anglers are actually shocked to discover that they can catch fish using baits made with zero additional flavours. I think that the majority over-look all the combined flavour profiles of mixed dry ingredients when they form a solution (i.e. with water.) For instance, how many anglers realise that the pretty well known liquid additive butyric acid is present in Marmite and in mature cheeses for example. Everyone knows by now how potently-smelling butyric acid is. You really can make boilies an many other baits that do not scare off fish by exploiting ingredients, liquids and additives that contain natural compounds etc; that attract fish and stimulate feeding behaviours - without using any additional flavours whatsoever.You read so many anglers in magazines explaining that they wanted to make a long-term bait for the biggest wary fish, so they omitted using flavour, or used only a low does of flavour. I many ways, if you use enough of a particular soluble dry powder ingredient or additive for example within your bait you can in effect provide a similar amount of minimum dose that adding a small amount of pure flavour component would add.Winter and the cold water conditions of spring time are excellent times to try new things because let us face it – if your readymade baits are not hauling then trying other approaches certainly can work. In fact there have been many times when I have fished using maggots in low temperatures and used my homemade pastes on a different rod and had the maggots left un-touched while hooking fish on the pastes. In my view, once maggots stop frantically wriggling around and have already excreted the bulk of the ammonia etc they expel upon the shock of entering water, they can be very limiting in terms of attraction. Meanwhile a soluble specifically-designed paste can keep on breaking down and releasing plumes of attraction without over-filling fish in the slightest.Here I will provide you with a very simple example of a soft paste you can mold onto your rigs that does not involve milk or fish ingredients: Why not try liquidised maggots, Marmite and whole wheat flour with the addition of enzyme-treated yeast powder, and enzyme-treated liver powder. Add a dash of dried crushed shrimps and insects pre-soaked in black pepper essential oil for example and CC Moore liquid Red Venom, and away you go. Try CW Baits for the dried shrimps and try CC Moore for the insect and other natural little feasts in their ground bait section. You might also like to try spraying some maggots with neat Scopex, Tutti Fruiti or Bun spice flavour for instance and include these in your stick mix, spod mix, PVA bag mix, method mix etc to get some extra vibration and movement into the proceedings. If you are wary of using flavours then flavour maggots avoiding synthetic and more familiar type solvent-based flavours and go for natural flavours or nature-identical flavours for example; these are much more easily found these days! Many homemade natural flavour creations can be produced in concentrated forms by using your own imagination and creativity. Simply warming up fresh cranberries and blackberries pulped and warmed up to evaporate water content without damaging the live enzymes and bioactive components of such fruits is just one idea. You can take advantage of such things (and discover many more such things) if you keep an open mind! Here is just an observation on normalised and bait industry conditioned anglers behaviours and perspectives! How many anglers expect to see a red fish meal boilie, or a pink shrimp pop-up bait, or yellow Scopex or Chocolate Malt readymade baits? Think about it; have you been conditioned to expect to see smooth firm round boilies or pellets that are dyed red and flavoured with Tutti Fruiti flavour for instance? (Note even dumbbells, barrels or pellets are still very common rounded shapes carp are well-used to dealing with!The bait tones of red and white obviously show up well in terms of sight feeding carp in various conditions. However, bait colour can seriously help or hinder confident feeding. For me bait colour is just no important because you actually want carp to feed with confidence and not admire what a wonderful Day-Glo florescent colour tone a bait is. These things really do sell bait for bait makers however. The point is that it is very wise to make your baits a totally alternative colour to what fish are used to – or mimic tones of natural baits. Much of the natural proteinous food items carp eat cannot even be seen because of the dense bottom silt they feed in.Often carp will suction and filter feed head-deep in rich deep silt for hours on end. Many senses are used simultaneously such as sensitivity to vibrations and electrical fields, internal and external stimulation by dissolved natural chemical traces in solution such as ammonia and amino acids (even betaine) etc, given off by various natural food items as they go about doing whatever they do in their life cycles. I really like to catch carp with black heads or that are a black colour right up to their shoulders where their silt-feeding habits have stained them!On a clay or gravel bottom or silk weed bottom, I was successful using white pop-up baits 30 years ago fished 2 feet off the bottom, especially at range but then I was also successful using black baits on the bottom in exactly the same spots using foam glued to the back of hooks to balance and negate hook weights to various degrees. It is obvious also that where fish feed predominantly with their heads buried it is normal to hook fish with a short rig fished actually within the silt and not over it. This kind of fishing gets me into bait design for silt and the ways you can make the power of a bait far greater without making baits repellant are very many indeed and certainly not limited to concentrated flavours.In terms of tones and colours, I have used flecked baits tinged with red, green, white and black with success as well as homemade baits skilfully moulded in red and white made using one base mix or even two completely different base mixes molded by hand to make individual baits. How many other anglers will try this I do not know but it really hedges your bets on all kinds of levels and I seriously recommend it (So feel free to let me know what your results are doing it!) I personally feel that preparing or making up your hooks and rigs with small fake red worms, or special hook skins, or paste or actually threaded onto your hooks is much more important than what colour your bait is. After all, the vast majority of hooks on the market reflect light instead of absorbing it and up close carp eyesight is far better than anglers imagine; especially when teamed with barbels, lips, fins and so on and pressure sensing cells etc feeling for lines, abnormal tension or unnatural movements of potential foods etc.In my case I have tested all kinds of really weird and even shocking things on hooks and found that removing the coating off most hooks improves numbers of bites. This coating removal is done well in advance of fishing and my hooks are soaked in water to allow a coating of rust to develop. It may be carp are somehow attracted by this maybe for electrical-field related reasons, curiosity or maybe just the fact that this object is different to 99 percent of other objects in the water they experience regularly – including other hooks. Maybe it is partly to do with how light hits such prepared hooks contacting a matt rough surface instead of a glossy smooth one?! I always sharpen the final 4 millimetres of the hook anyway because in my personal opinion, the sharper and thinner this is the more fish will be self-hooked effectively. The importance of this finesse of 4 or 5 millimetres or so is lost on far too many anglers I think, and after many years of sharpening my hooks and fishing them against all kinds of chemically-sharpened hooks on the markets none have ever beaten the hooking ratio of my extremely manually sharpened hooks – fact!)I even went through a phase of testing those ready-painted green hooks against my coating-stripped megs-hand sharpened hooks and found that 4 millimetres is what really counts! The fact that I have actually hooked a carp (with a run achieved) by preparing a hook like this and using no bait is food for thought at least. If you have doubts – try testing for yourself but bear in mind sharpening a hook really does takes hours to do right – my hooks are literally thinner and sharper than needles and never have I ever seen another angler do much more than a couple of runs up and down the point with any forma of sharpener. So really do yourself a big favour and do it right and you will experience the difference big-time! It is true that I have lost a couple of big fish because the tip of my hooks have bent out usually just prior to netting stage. But would these have actually been self-hooked using less sharp hooks?! I know these fish would not have been properly hooked if I had not done the preparation as so many big wary fish can shake hooks very easily with enough practice and developed skills over thousands of hours of being fished for. In fact I think that in general the fish we actually land are the minority of the fish that actually get hooked on pressured waters because the majority of the time these fish shake the hook without giving much more than a single bleep if that! Also the vast majority of so-called self-hooking rigs are simply dependant on a fish going upright against a lead to pull in the hook, or moving a distance far enough to create pressure on the hook point from line drag and so on, yet we all know fish get off hooks attached to 5 ounce leads and get off running rigs with light leads. For me the hook finesse is the key to rig success, the mechanics of curved hooks and weight-negated hooks etc are all secondary however a curved hook is obviously maximising your chances with very many rigs combined with various curved stiff links, or coated hinged links, very supple and stiff combi-links etc. In my books if you make black and green baits that have a natural unami taste and boosted with certain probiotic and prebiotic additives and ingredients (which I will disclose in my further ebooks) impacting on bait performance and fast efficient digestion, such things are far superior to be sold on Day-Glo pinks, reds and yellows that are used by the masses!Being different in terms of bait is not about taking risks, but adapting to what fish may become wary of and giving them alternatives that also exploit their sensitivities and their simultaneous uses of them all! You can boost bait attraction using natural fructose concentrate and lactose concentrate from CC Moore for instance, or try their green-lipped mussel flavour, or their Belachan flavour and or other more alternative essences for instance. You might use such things not in neat form but cut with dextrose or powdered amino acids or liquid betaine or milk shake powders or whatever you wish to test next and my ebooks go into such things far more. Such simple ideas are a great change from the usual protein-based and other intense sweeteners used in the majority of commercial baits today. The strong natural aroma and solubility of the potent compounds in Manuka honey for example will make your baits extra-different and even more appealing! (Honey flavour is very over-looked; why not try it with Scopex or a popular flavour like Chocolate Malt for instance!)All this might sound pretty obvious to some of you or this might well really get you thinking much more about doing things differently yourself. Whatever the case, the impacts of such ideas will be pretty obvious to your fish and your catches - even if your lake is freezing over as you exploit them! (For much more valuable information see my website and biography right now!)By Tim Richardson.

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Tim Richardson is a homemade carp and catfish bait-maker, and proven big fish angler. His bait making and bait enhancing books / ebooks are even used by members of the British Carp Study Group for reference. View this dedicated bait secrets website now! 

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