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Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:47 pm
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by: Tim Richardson

If you are looking for something different to boost your catches, you can never be stuck for choice and there are some very effective ones too. Nuts are one very special ingredient and bait that has caught fish reliably for ever. There are many reasons why such an often ‘foreign’ food item produces fish. But fish just love them!

One important mention is nut preparation. Unless nuts are used as finely crushed or flour form, they need correctly soaking for at least 12 to 24 hours to ensure they have fully absorbed water. Many fish have died as a result of fish eating nuts thrown in as ground bait or chum, and then had nuts swell up as they absorbed water, but inside the fishes’ own digestive tract! In the States nuts dumped directly into rivers do not seem to decimate carp however. Why I do not know especially as much of this waste is not ‘human grade’ and likely to have toxins as a result of fungi or bacterial activity. Perhaps resistance has been developed as a result of this seasonal activity of dumping?

Let’s focus on ground baits. Frequently anglers use loose nuts or seeds like sweetcorn, or maize, tiger nuts or peanuts, pellets or boilies for ground bait. Some use live baits like maggots or bloodworm. Nut oils like tiger nut oil and peanut oil and pellet type oils like marine halibut oil are being used with great effect to enhance baits. But one often overlooked method is using homemade ground baits and these can be so successful! They can incorporate the ingredients used in your pellets or boilie mix. They can contain the flavours and oils used in your hook baits among many other components.

You can even add live elements like bloodworm, maggots or worms to stimulate your fish and get them digging in the silt for far longer, giving your more time and chances of successful bait pick-ups. Besides this point, many fish love to feed on tiny particles of food and this is often more natural for them. Often this type of baiting will produce fish successfully whereas ground baiting with ‘whole baits’ like boilies, big pellets or cut meat or fish baits will not. Even the addition of cracked corn, soaked corn flakes or maize flakes can bring your swim alive, adding corn steep liquor is an obvious edge here.

Ground bait traditionally in the UK was made from bread crumbs. Bread crumb ground bait is very effective for carp and many other species even catfish, because it is a great carrier of liquids, for example liquid liver, blood, corn steep liquor, all manner of flavours, liquid fish protein, liquid amino acid and vitamin / mineral additives. I’ve caught many big carp and catfish using ground bait. How you use it and what you combine with it regarding your hook bait, and near hook proximity attraction all play a part in your individual success on a particular water and the way you need to fish there.

Making a boilie from various nut meals is not uncommon. Even a simple recipe like the following can be the basis of your ground bait and be ‘tweaked’ to attract all kinds of species if not carp or catfish:

Peanut meal (roasted is often higher in protein.)

Crushed tiger nuts.

Crushed almonds. (Especially high in vitamin E and very good on waters hard hit by high fish oil baits like pellets and fish meal boilies with bulk oils.

Crushed brazil nuts.

Tiger nut flour.

Brazil flour.

Eggs or gelling agent.

Sweetener. E.g. Molasses, fruit sugar, brown sugar, icing sugar, Talin, Betalin, Thaumatin B etc.

Ground nut or tiger nut oil.

Amino acid containing additive.

‘Super sweet’ taste enhancer or similar.

A teaspoon of nutmeg or cinnamon per pound of dry powders is optional. So many taste and smell options are available. Fenugreek is another good additive, especially if you use natural and synthetic maple syrup as the flavour.

Some may prefer using an essential oil component like geranium terpenes. If you add crushed hemp, then hemp oil with fennel essential oil is a good combination. (Including fennel seeds and black pepper add another dimension for example.) Aniseed is well proven for holding fish in a swim, but is used so much it can lose its edge, but with so many other choices who needs it?

A flavour is desired by many anglers. Well very many are good, but I’d go for Rod Hutchinson’s “Chocolate malt.” Dynamite bait’s “Fish Gutz” is another good one. This is the much whispered about coffee flavour of recent times, although Rod Hutchinson’s Coffee flavour from the past was brilliant.

Adding a small amount of chocolate powder or coffee powder adds a different dimension to this bait in certain stimulating ways. Fish detect certain compounds like caffeine, and stimulatory phenols in the case of peanuts and almonds especially, which create a ‘I want just one more’ effect. Carp have proven to possess dopamine neuronal systems. These can be very much linked to preferential behaviours and ‘the feel good factor’ in the brain. This doe not mean that this response is always good for you or for carp either!

Too much chocolate or crisps, biscuits, candies or cookies are not nutritionally good for you, but give you a temporary ‘lift.’ Sugar, fats, opiates in milk and wheat, salts etc are addictive to humans and carp love them too. But too much of these and it either means disrupted physical health and mood and even diet or behaviour-induced diseases like fatty liver, fatty heart, heart trouble, obesity etc. Activated dopamine neurons are powerful aids to learning and repeated behaviour. The ‘just one more’ syndrome is a great thing to exploit in your bait any way you ‘ethically’ can without harming fish health. You can see the links between our love of curry and the use of chilli powder in baits. Hemp and the abuse of cocaine and similar substances. Even tobacco and alcohol are fish stimulators at the correct level and in the right dose.

(Please note nicotine is fatally poisonous even more toxic than cyanide... Smoking this stuff is insane. We used to use it as a kill-all insecticide in glass house plant production using nicotine shreds. Even this has caused human fatalities. Funny that nicotine is a naturally produced insecticide and we should choose to smoke it. Incidentally Indigenous American Peoples use pure willow leaf tobacco in sacred ceremonies, but knew all about its power and how not to abuse it! Anyway, virtually all drugs of abuse use activation of dopamine neuronal systems.)

In the case of carp, in some fishing situations where anglers fish predominately with certain nuts introducing huge amounts, carp get hooked on these baits like peanuts and tiger nuts. They can eat them at the exclusion of anything else, resulting malnutrition and weight loss. Although nuts contain healthy omega oils, protein and vitamins, iron, they are not particularly digestible and not especially high in protein. (Some roasted peanut products excepted.)

Nuts are very attractive baits in their own right, but their attraction can be enhanced.

Now if you cannot get any of these ingredients you can replace them with many others. Even ground rice, corn flour, semolina or ordinary wheat flour can be used. Desiccated cocoanut is very good too. Many commercial ground baits contain this. The trick is to ensure your finished bait has added soluble attraction and feeding stimulation. For example, you could add a teaspoon of sea salt per pound of dry powders. Peanut butter is a great additive.

I read an amazing story as a kid once about a young boy who landed a stupendous uncaught giant carp from a nearby lake by using a homemade peanut butter sandwich. The irony was that it was laced with cocaine and the carp had a ‘fatal attraction!’ Fortunately the story was made-up, but it really got me thinking about making baits ‘addictive!’

Various seeds can be added to your nut baits too and roast sesame and pumpkin seeds are higher in protein being 30% protein or above. Hemp seed and crushed hemp seed or powder have always been good as is hemp oil. However, how many anglers have used hemp protein?

Nut milks instead of ‘conventional flavours’ are well proven, coconut milk combined with condensed milk is a tasty combination for example.... Milk powders can be very useful in ground baits improving solubility, nutritional attraction and even binding as with Vitamealo for example. ‘Tahini’ or creamed sesame seeds when sweetened make a brilliant base for an alternative paste or dough bait.

Malt extract is very useful proven additive too. Another water attracting or hygroscopic ingredient to attract catfish in particular, is LO30 fish protein. The spray-dried form can be incorporated into ground baits, pellets, boilies or dough or paste bait mixtures and is highly effective. The popular liver powder, green lip mussel extract and blood powders and green corn steep liquor and even Vegemite, Miso soup, are all proven nutritional ground bait additives to add. Betaine HCL is another and many betaine products are now available, and combined with added amino acid type products are excellent.

Making hook baits with crushed nuts and seeds impregnated into the surface provides a different texture and leak-off rate of attractors to your baits which can be more productive than ordinary round skinned boilies. I like to use a mix of crushed nuts and seeds in high levels in my paste baits and air-dried pastes and ‘just skinned’ boilies in a PVA bag along with fresh paste. The irresistible effect of this lot ‘melting’ around the hook bait is fantastic. I have often used a slower melting paste actually on the hook alongside pellet or boilie or nut bait or baits on a hair (or hairs) to trip-up those warier fish.

You can make a sweet nut bait with an added proportion of ‘creamy’ squid liver extract, and fully expect big catfish and carp with this unusual combination. Nut baits go far beyond a chopped or skinned or glugged tiger nut or flavoured humble peanut. Creative bait making, even simply mixing proprietary base mixes and ground baits together works wonders. The added bonus is you can make those more expensive products go much further by additional nut meals and bird seeds. So why not make some homemade baits, go nuts and land more crackers!

The author has many more fishing and bait ‘edges’ any of which can have a huge impact on your catches.

By Tim Richardson.

About The Author
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...

For the unique and acclaimed new massive expert bait making / enhancing ‘bibles’ ebooks / books:


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Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:14 am
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