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 "Making Successful Carp Baits Different By Going Back..." 
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Post "Making Successful Carp Baits Different By Going Back..."
Making Successful Carp Baits Different By Going Back To Basics!
by: Tim Richardson

Today I made a new batch of homemade baits and looking at the 5 kilograms of boilies which only took 30 minutes to make from start to finish I am filled with confidence! These balanced protein baits only cost 3 pounds a kilogram (no semolina or soya flour involved!) Anyone can look forward to fishing next time with renewed confidence and cheap homemade baits; reading on will be time very well spent!

Sometimes when talking with carp anglers about the more technical aspects of carp baits their eyes begin to glaze over so I have to start with the basics. The same was true when I learnt football, rugby, swimming, athletics and martial arts, commercial horticulture and various aspects of healing arts which ironically enough are totally natural to us and our senses already! Fish senses are the most potent starting point of carp bait design but all too often carp anglers begin by wanting a recipe involving ingredients and flavours etc that they rarely understand in terms of their effects when used combined in a bait of any form!

Many carp anglers just want a bait that works instantly and say they do not care a bit how it works. But here is a sobering thought; far more high profile carp anglers know a lot about bait design that those who do not – fact! The completive and dynamic competitive advantages of having a deeper working understanding of carp baits and how to apply them in diverse fishing situations is frequently the cornerstone of high profile anglers success!

>From Rob Maylin and Terry Hearn to Jim Shelley, Kevin Nash, Lee Jackson, Rod Hutchinson, Mike Wilmott and Kevin Maddocks and many others, all these really know how to leverage the finer points of bait knowledge to very great competitive effect!

Of course over the years 99 percent of all of these have been involved with and developed and promoted their own ranges of readymade baits and baits mixes, additives, flavours, boilies, pellets etc. Given their individual levels of experience and connectedness with extremely bait-orientated individuals is it any coincidence that these guys did this? Or is any surprise that the baits they made catch fish all around the country and even internationally all around the world for thousands of ordinary carp anglers?

The talent and skills and experience of the anglers using the baits is a prime variable in the success of all fishing baits and always will be, but great bait despite this can be very great levellers of catches for anglers fishing against better more experienced ones! But the fact is that with enough knowledge anyone can make baits that anyone else can catch on in nearly all carp fishing circumstances. That means you!

Now I do not mean get more information, a few recipes and go out and start your own bait company, but why not make extremely productive and unique baits for yourself but the economical arguments and competitive edges this can provide are huge and irresistible when you see the massive savings in money over the years (many thousands of pounds!)

At this very point of writing this article has no title and is based on a free-flow of ideas and imaginings and memories from my most recent homemade bait making. I was and am still a field tester to varying degrees for various companies over the years from the Rod Hutchinson brand years ago to Starmer Baits, Newfield Baits, Ccmoore and CW Baits most recently (among others.) All this along with my own bait making research in varying degrees of depth and practical application over the years has certainly led me to know for a fact that anyone with enough knowledge can produce their own homemade baits that will fish satisfying well against any commercial readymade bait available today.

But of course not to take anything away from the bait companies, they can and do provide baits that in many ways are a compromise to what modern carp anglers today expect, and this can very often lead to some of the best bait formats, innovations and additves, ingredients and flavours being withdrawn from fishing shops shelves due to them being less in demand because they are less fashionable and so sell less per square metre of shop space. In fact would it surprise you to know that many past bait products were not fashionable simply because they were so good everyone who used them and discovered these gems kept what they were using to themselves?! I hope this makes you think and also inspires you to looking for either the original or new products with similar productive effects!

Bait companies have many projects in development. These are obviously kept under wraps and are trade secrets. But again, what is stopping you starting your own personal projects to develop your own baits and bait formats that would be totally unique to you – forever more?!

Boilies have historically caught more big fish around the world than any other bait format. But commercially they are a functional compromise in regards to supplying the most practical baits that modern carp anglers prefer at this point in time. It is a funny thing that the baits that companies most push in adverts, catch reports, advertorials etc, are the format of bait that the majority of anglers will use in a way because their group conscience has been programmed to associate boilies, pellets more recently fake hook baits with big fish. They work, but are there other options you can create yourself to always stay ahead of the game – yes!

I have not said much about this ever before, but I used to use hard and soft paste some more soluble and much less soluble than others for certain big fish in Essex. Using paste is more common now in terms use as paste wraps around both bottom baits and buoyant baits but I have used it in a very different way. In the Seventies I used to have a lot of trouble in hooking smaller carp that were very difficult to hook using the side-hooking method of larger paste baits. Then one day while fishing tiny cubes of luncheon meat actually upon the point of a size 10 hook I realised a potentially really good idea.

In those days, the rig was a short 10 centimetre monofilament hook link with a shot and a light half ounce lead, a size 8 or 10 hook and bait directly on the hook. This was pre-hair rig and bolt rig days. I discovered that by fishing a combination of a hard and soft past on the actual point of the hook and using no drop on the bobbin bite indicator this produced loads more hooked fish. Using bigger special paste baits that were side-hooked conventionally more often than not produced lots of bits but far fewer successfully hooked carp.

Thinking back it was all part of the buzz of carp fishing to watch a silver foil cylinder or washing liquid top swing and climb and jump very erratically up and down towards and away from the rod for many minutes at a time. It was a right old cat and mouse game of trying to strike at the just the right moment. Much of the time the fish got away with it and empty strikes were very common until further refinements in the approach were made. The big problem for newer carp anglers was often that they tried to copy the conventional thinking of the day just as many carp anglers still do today. This leads to more problems than you need because often a method or bait format that worked last year so successfully can actually become the brick wall that prevents you maximising your catches a year later once fish have become wise to them!

It might seem weird now, but most commonly in the Seventies and earlier, you could spot a carp angler by the way his rod rests held his rods quite a number of feet off the ground with the but of the rod pointing maybe 4 feet off the ground or more with the rod tip pointing down towards the water. This was combined frequently with a bite indicator hanging on the line perhaps 3 feet or more actually below the rod and with the pick-up on the reel open to allow line to be taken off freely. The idea was to give the fish lots of free line to play around with at the bait and rig end and then at the reel end when the fish ran off.

The fish would be hooked by engaging the reel pick-up so trapping the line and striking the rod backwards in a huge sweeping motion. The through actions of carp rods back then absorbed a lot of the pull of the fish when doing this! But of course frequently the fish did not want to run off any more than anything from a couple of feet to just a few inches and this resulted in a regular carp fishing game of chance and hypnosis involving the angler becoming hypnotised by the constant swinging and jumping up and down of the bobbin!

Later, while those anglers with the new breakthrough extra line attached to the hook bait hair rigs were tearing carp waters apart, others were still struggling using side-hooked baits (albeit in specially boiled forms.) Part of my breakthrough was in using my watch leads from my crabbing and early sea fishing exploits in my course and early carp fishing. In those days you could get crab lines complete with little watch shaped leads and hooks and orange nylon line. These things fascinated me along with all the different baits you could try and tempt crab with!

The principle of leads that gripped the bottom despite the currents of the sea seemed a good idea for carp fishing when I discovered it was actually the rig that should self-hook the fish, not the strike! Imagine the stick I got from other carp anglers seeing me using a 5 ounce lead on the one and three quarter pound test curve carp rods I used early on!

>From that time sharpening hook has been a big thing for me and this point is very much underappreciated by far too many anglers because I have yet to find a hook model in ready chemically sharpened form as sharp as my manually diamond-sharpened hooks - so do try it! I spend hours sharpening hooks because ultimately this is the most important part of your entire fishing tackle and will convert more mouthing of baits into landed carp than anything else!

It was only in 1981 that I used a bait attached to the hook by extra line. It might sound strange now but because I was catching so well on my paste on the point of the hook set-up that I just did not bother to use it very much because it did not catch me any more fish than the rig I was already using. Of course looking back now I do wander what it would have been like had I used it more on perhaps bigger fish containing waters. But hindsight is a misleading thing and I was completely happy doing my apprenticeship hammering out the bigger fish from the small fish carp waters that I could get my parents to drive me to or that I could cycle with my gear to at the time (I was only a kid after all!)

I feel that part of the biggest problem in modern carp fishing is that baits get sampled all the time but do not necessarily convert into landed fish because the fish get rid of the hook, often just signalling this with a single or a couple of bleeps on the bite alarm – or none at all! But if you use not just any bait but the kind of bait the fish really want despite it being a threat then you will get more mouthing of a hook bait, and even eventually hook a fish that may have mouthed it multiple times perhaps over the course of 48 hours. Sure some fish will approach a bait and never touch it and others will touch it with their fins or lips and never mouth it because of their extreme caution, but the surely the job of a great bait is to ensure the fish cannot resist eating that irresistible one more bait!

Bait making is all about testing baits and getting feedback in terms of bites, observed fish activity on the baits, reaction of fish in terms of various behaviours and locations and timings in relation to newly introduced baits, actual fish catches and so on. It is not at all to do with if you like the smell or taste or not even though many carp anglers think they taste and smell baits like a carp. (No human has senses many times more acute than a blood hound whose senses are dull when compared to a carp!)

As soon as you discover carp can detect some substances in solution in concentrations as low as 1 part in a billion then you see how clearly human senses are not a very reliable guide to carp bait! Starting out making very economical homemade baits (much more correctly potent) by exploiting carp senses and not our own is far more reliable. For more information see my bait making secrets and readymade bait secrets ebooks website Baitbigfish now!

By Tim Richardson.

About The Author
Now why not seize this moment to improve your catches for life with these unique fishing bibles: “BIG CARP FLAVOURS FEEDING TRIGGERS AND CARP SENSES EXPLOITATION SECRETS!” “BIG CARP AND CATFISH BAIT SECRETS!” And “BIG CARP BAIT SECRETS!” For these and much more now visit: Baitbigfish; the home of the world-wide proven homemade bait making and readymade bait success secrets bibles!

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[Note: Due to a size limitation, the title, above, had to be abbreviated. Apologies to the author and - Admin]
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Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:58 pm
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