So many more anglers are making their own homemade baits these days but need guidance. Knowing how to create baits to beat readymade baits is a very exciting edge indeed! Such boilies do not have to be made using rocket science, however using information based on more scientific research used together with actual practical fishing testing results and bait refinement is a powerful combination you can exploit to beat expensive readymade baits; so read on now and catch more fish in winter or summer!
So you want to make your own boilies? Please be prepared for some unexpected comments here, which are the result of three decades of making homemade baits to beat readymade boilies and mixes!
Although boilies have caught more big carp than any other bait format think about the bigger picture. The bigger picture is that boilies have remained within a very similar set of general characteristics for well over three decades and very many carp are today highly sensitive to boilies possibly with hooks attached. Boilies are very familiar to carp since the seventies and before when special paste baits were made with eggs instead of water in order to make them last longer and be more resilient.
Things back in the old days were very different to today. The vast majority of carp anglers used special paste baits and these often have relatively simple recipes and were highly water soluble compared to heated paste made into boilies that contained eggs. I make this point because it underlines something very profound. In my experience boiled baits or steamed baits have dramatic reduction in effectiveness due to the cooking and sealing process that occurs when the albumin proteins and other in the eggs and baits coagulate and so harden or toughen boilies.
The ingredients, additives and so on you choose really are not operating best in a sealed ball or cylinder or whatever shape of solid. The point is that conventional boilies work best when very well hydrated with water so allowing soluble substances to leach out effectively into the water column to pull in carp to your baits. This means the boilies are leaching the ingredients of the bait into solution and actually working instead of baits remaining solid and totally intact and thus barely producing any concentration of signals for carp to home in on. When baits are hard and intact and not hydrated they give off the least signals into solution to draw fish into your swim and be further stimulated into feeding so hydration by one means or substance or another is of paramount importance in order to maximise impacts on fish!
My advice for the average carp angler aiming to get into making homemade baits is to aim to begin by making special pastes. But what do I mean by special pastes? You can learn an enormous amount about bait formulation by making small batches of paste. I am one angler that has had numerous forty pound carp using homemade pastes against massed competition from groups of anglers using readymade boilies such as the many very popular boilies from Mainline.
I began my carp fishing in Essex and so have many links and connections with carp fishing as it evolved through the late seventies up until today, even witnessing the field testing of the original swinger bite indicators (from cliff Fox and his mate Colin.)
A number of us on an Essex reservoir syndicate were originally actually using these far more as fish locators in a swim than as mere bite indicators that indicated a hooked fish. We used the very first swinger indicators as fish number, movement and behaviour indicators from liners observed and patterns observed in the indicator movements.
We were all trying different homemade indicator designs at that time to reduce, add or remove friction or unnecessary line tension completely as we knew doing this would improve catches in many ways!
At the time this was happening we were all making our own baits. I had come from fishing club ponds and local Essex day ticket lakes using special pastes. These had little more sophistication than ranging from Marmite mixed with bread and water, to using mashed up sausage meat mixed with herbs, spices, wheat flour and eggs and maybe a cake baking propylene glycol or water and alcohol based flavour.
Such baits in the early days were fished straight on big hooks directly on the line and cast out with no added weight on the line. The tips of the rods pointed down towards the water while the butts were supported on ridiculously long bank sticks. When fishing at long range and by that I mean maybe 50 meters often actually getting enough force to pull the hook through the bait in order to hook a fish could be a real problem. The rods were much softer action than today and many carp rods available back then only had a one and a half pound test curve if that.
I fished using pike rods bought from a friend, which had a test curve of one and three quarter pounds and this certainly gave me more control and ironically I caught my very first twenty pound carp and twenty pound pike on these pike rods using carp baits!
I know these days there has been a wealth of baits made commercially available and for instance today we have an awesome array of pellets. I mention these because ground trout pellets used to be a favourite part of some carp pastes and boilies and were far more commonly used in many ways than even today. Ground trout pellets with ground up bird seeds, Phillips yeast mixture, egg binder and other nutritional ingredients and additives formed a very well known type of paste and boilie.
But the aim here is to show you a different way to create carp fishing boilies. Get away from the most common and most familiar ingredients and additives that commercial bait makers have used for decades and you will certainly reap big rewards often right from the very first cast!
In fact arguably the most potent moment in using a new bait really is the very first cast! This might mangle the minds of those addicted to nutritional bait theory teamed with baiting triangle theory but experiences add up over and over again that lead me to say this about the potency of the very first casts using a completely new and unique bait recipes!
At this point in time no fish have experienced being hooked on these new baits and so have the least reason to feed with caution and suspicion on the new baits!
Using totally unique new homemade boilies is a massive edge I can assure you! Time after time I have sought to hook big fish with totally new bait recipes right from the first cast and had upper thirty and forty pound carp using such baits of my own designs.
I get loads of anglers contact me about making homemade baits and so many appear to have the wrong idea in that they mistakenly think that simply ordering a massive load of ingredients and liquids and putting them together into a significant batch of baits will be enough.
Taking a totally new bait recipe to a hard water without ever having trialed that bait on easier waters and not having even refined and fine tuned any parts of it is just fishing on luck, that is unless you have years of experience and basically make baits based almost purely on intuition!
In my own opinion if you are looking for a recipe to give miracles then think about the implications of this. If you do well on this bait what will happen? In the vast majority of big carp waters I have ever fished fish wise up and feed more cautiously on a new bait once enough carp have been hooked. This means you are basically using a bait which fish now associate with danger and this can dramatically impact upon your ability to hook fish while they feed so craftily if they do continue to feed on the bait.
These days, just because a bait is highly nutritionally attractive this does not actually guarantee that once enough fish get hooked on it that fish will refuse to eat it and I state this having witnessed this many times when testing popular readymade boilies which are nutritional active enzyme type food baits.
I have used made countless unusual types of original homemade baits which are active in many ways and I have frequently designed bait recipes based on substances not commonly associated with carp fishing; and certainly the ways of approaching making carp baits is legion.
Just one way of approaching initially designing carp baits is to find out far more information about why and how carp actually detect bait substances, and to what degree they are sensitive to these substances!
But this alone is not enough and I definitely consider that finding out what bait substances do when in contact with water, and in contact with carp sensory receptors and related systems, and internal processes is vitally important! All these things make a very dramatic difference in how potent you can make your baits and how easily you can bypass fish caution and induce the strongest most intensive, most confident fish feeding!
There is nothing like it to experience carp feeding on your very own homemade baits in such a state of stimulation that you are literally anticipating a take from a big fish at any second, and then it happens right on cue!
I know many anglers are price conscious and I know how important it is to not waste time and money on bait that is not actually the most potent solution! One of the reasons I did not simply buy readymade baits over 30 plus years of big carp fishing is due to having to economise firstly and secondly because I knew for a fact I could make baits for less money that would catch as many if not more big fish than any readymade bait available. To earn that kind of confidence from all the hard times and great times took countless thousands of hours testing baits methodically and comparing results in different conditions, in different weather and different seasons all year round.
If you have any fears about making your own homemade baits you have no reason to worry! I discovered that there are no mistakes in making carp baits; there are merely results that teach! That means that no matter what recipe you put together you have the opportunity to learn from it.
So if this means you made a bait that was too sticky, or broke down far too quickly, then you can use other experiences of making different recipes that maybe go very hard, and stay physically intact for far more hours than you really need maybe, but the mix perhaps binds together perfectly and rolls like a dream. I do not favour rolling of boilie paste but I am a contrary type of person and know the benefits of not doing this totally unnecessary procedure which in effect makes your homemade baits act and feel like all those millions of machine rolled commercial boilies!
This is not the aim of making homemade boilies at all though, because the best benefits and competitive edges of making your own baits are in the fact that you can control and make different every conceivable factor, mode of action, feature, characteristic etc that the machine rolled readymade baits actually have that cause fish to be wary of them!
But again I state that there are no mistakes in making homemade carp baits! Sometimes mixes will simply not roll, and sometimes they roll but then melt when steamed. Sometimes experimental bottom bait mixes will float. But all these are absolutely invaluable because all these can be creatively used as powerful solutions to fishing problems and opportunities you encounter, and the more you make homemade baits the more creative solutions and competitive edges you actually build up in your very own personal arsenal!
Bait making mistakes might at first appear to be mistakes but then they always have a lesson. As a result of my boilie recipe designing endeavours I have utilised my mistakes for making far more potent particle mixes and ground baits of all formats, from stick mixes, spod and slop mixes, to pastes and method mixes and even different uniquely potent treatments for meat , fish and sea food baits and even foam, rubber and plastic hook bait balancers and other fake baits etc.
Even if you begin your bait making days by choosing to use gram flour (chick pea flour) instead of soya flour in a cheap 50:50 soya and semolina base mix, or maybe abalone extract instead of Belachan powder for instance, you will reap the rewards of being different! Personally the last thing I would do is make a homemade bait using soya and semolina because I know such a base mix really is a massive wasted opportunity to make a seriously potent bait you can have every confidence with easily equal or even beat any readymade bait. Bait potency is something really important in terms of internal effects of baits on fish, and even a minimal inclusion of some substances can make a huge difference to your results, and this may be an unusual extract of a fruit or bark, or root, or leaf, or marine extract or whatever it happens to be.
If you use liquid Robin Red, why use the straight out of the bottle version when nearly everyone on the planet has access to it and carp are so very familiar with Robin Red components in powder and liquid form?
From my perspective everything can be improved if merely by altering a level of something, or its concentration, or its potency in some way. For instance what if you added to liquid Robin Red a flavour based on liquid lecithin and natural esters, and uncommon spice essential oils and components for example? Such things may seem small changes yet they provide carp with a new and unique experience which could easily encourage them to feed and bypass their natural caution!
Many anglers get really scared of flavours. The funny thing about flavours is that they encompass a gigantic range of substances far beyond commonly used synthetic flavours, nature identical flavours, partly natural flavours and so on. Understanding far more about flavour substances is a massive edge!
Carp can identify substances in solution or very partial solution down to a few parts per billion and you can exploit this incredibly acute sensitivity to multiple maximum effects using flavour substances, and these may also be sweeteners or taste enhancers, palatants or appetite stimulators! Revealed in my unique readymade bait and homemade bait carp and catfish bait secrets ebooks is far more powerful information look up my unique website (Baitbigfish) and see my biography below for details of my ebooks deals right now!
By Tim Richardson.