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Improve Your Carp Fishing With These Ready Made And Homemade Bait Secrets!

If you wish to catch more big wary carp imagine manipulating and exploiting carp feeding responses even more in your favour using readymade and homemade baits and select substances! Read on for such secrets and much more!

So many carp anglers today are seriously confused about bait and which ones to use. To make things very simple here is a method that really hedges your bets and ensures that whatever baits you use fish will be much more likely to respond favourably! It is pretty obvious that most anglers today fall into 3 camps, those who use readymade baits all the time, those who use their own more economical homemade baits all the time and those who make their own homemade baits and maybe exploit aspects of readymade baits and commercial bait ingredients and liquids and so on in unique ways to make their baits different to normal.

The fact is that so many carp anglers understand so little about how carp actually experience baits in various ways and are nonplussed when it comes to understanding what baits do to water itself let alone to carp senses or digestion or metabolism or general health that benefits the catching of them that they simply miss out on such advantages – big time!

If you are pretty much clueless about the design of your baits and their modes of action you are like an adolescent who thinks he knows how the world works via his limited perspective but actually has barely any actual first hand experience upon which to base his belief system on! In case you have missed the point, advertisers of products focus on adolescents to a massive degree because adolescents are an extremely easy group to manipulate and influence without them even being aware of it. I you knew the truth of how much you were being influenced through tv soap operas, tv reality shows, direct tv adverts, mainstream magazines and newspapers, the news and through films and pop music for example you would be amazed.

Part of the process of getting you to buy readymade baits is nothing to do with what baits do or how they work, but simply giving you a mental image, impression or label to attach your feelings to. Feelings ultimately influence your buying decisions so your associations in your mind with any particular bait should be of great interest to you! The big picture is that most carp baits work on most carp waters when enough is applied in a short time or longer period of time.

This applies in the case of the cheapest semolina and soya baits to the most over-priced protein-rich ones. Basically though all you want is to get as many bites as possible, preferably as soon as possible. Ask any group of carp anglers to list why they prefer to use one bait as opposed to another and at least 9 out of 10 answers will have absolutely nothing to do with how and why the bait works. If you then anglers why they use this company or that company almost inevitably it will come down to an emotional response linked with a fogged-up feeling of brand loyalty but the focus will certainly not usually be on what the bait is doing to the fish and how a bait actually might out-compete any other baits (even within the range of the same company!)

I know a surprising number of bait company bosses who tear their hair out trying to convince the average carp angler who buys their readymade baits that one particular bait is far more productive than another yet the anglers simply dismiss it because it does not conform to their conditioning and assumptions about what characteristics a good carp bait has. I would say to a degree every bait company boss has this problem and this is why the average carp bait is a sad compromise of what carp will respond to and what anglers will respond to!

Especially over the last 5 years I have been testing readymade baits from leading UK companies in many ways to see what can be done to utilise baits in more innovative ways that anyone can exploit. A very big challenge for most carp anglers today is how to economise on baits long-term. Cheaper products usually contain less in them to inspire interest of fish but this is not much of a problem until you are faced with trying to make your baits compete against extremely sophisticated bait designs that are pushing the buttons of carp on so many multiple levels. But it is a fact that using a simple homemade bait packed with just one uniquely potent substance can compete with such baits. For some anglers, accepting this can take some seeing to believe it! I know from personal experience in testing substances alone and with bailiffs and leading anglers on certain waters that this experience this can result in a shock and provide an unsettling blow to the popular paradigms of what carp baits should consist of!

Obviously if you know nothing about bait in the first place then you are basically doing a lottery heavily influenced by media advertising, advertorial opinions and second-hand recommendations of friends whose motives or interpretations of baits may not quite be appropriate or up to your needs. If you are one of those anglers who is stuck in a rut of using one type of bait this is an interesting point. Every carp is an individual just like every human. Every carp has had its own set of influences in forming its perceptions of its surrounding environment and most vitally how it responds to all stimuli, opportunities and threats alike. Individual fish develop their own defence mechanisms of all kinds, just like every human individual does. Some carp will associate certain stimuli with danger quicker that other fish and are more sensitive to certain substances than other fish too.

Some fish will develop more complex behaviours in terms of dealing with rigs and dangerous baits as a defence mechanism, while some fish might well avoid familiar fishing baits all year except for special periods when their bodies cannot get what they need from natural food due to its scarcity and so fall for carp baits and perhaps only get hooked maybe once or twice a year, if that. Some fish simply find an area to escape fishing pressure feed predominantly on naturally food and rarely stray past the boundaries of their haven which is when they may become more vulnerable to capture.

Some carp are loners and others are shoal fish. Some carp may be 60 years old and highly experienced fish and are a lighter weight than their younger less experienced brethren maybe at a mere 10 to 20 years old (if that.) Now just like humans, every carp has its own unique DNA. The DNA of humans and fish changes over time due to many reasons. One factor is diet. Fish and humans are naturally designed to exploit new food sources that supply the vital energy they need to sustain basic functions so it is no surprise that humans and carp can senses substances and potential food items they have never ever experienced before within their environments!

In case you had over-looked this point, some fish and some humans will be more sensitive to certain substances than others and this can be for a multitude of reasons. Perhaps the body cannot assimilate or naturally generate a vital substance needed in the body well enough to supply the body with enough of it. This can mean the person or fish will be more sensitive to food items containing that substance. If this sounds far-fetched, just try a food with no salt compared to one without, or compare the taste of a low fat food compared to a normal fat level food.

Humans are pretty messed up in terms of their responses to foods today. For instance there are generations that have become genetically altered by the influence of refined sugar in the modern diet that can be traced back initially to grand parents refined sugar consumption. Since 1900 the average human liver has doubled in size due to the negative impacts of the so-called modern food industry and the incidence of over-eating foods containing substances the liver has been over-loaded with. The liver is the area of the body that is very vital in detoxifying and clearing the body of all kinds of things including food substances that in lower levels are healthy. For instance consuming hemp or sesame seeds may be very healthy for one person, but my simply over-load another person.

The way bodies respond to food substances is very much a product of long-term sensitisation. Some substances very definitely alter behaviours and even taste bud sensitivities. I am certain most carp are acutely aware of the fish protein LO30 used in so many baits today just as much as baits utilising lactose (milk sugar.) Both these are notably potent taste enhancers in their own way and can condition carp onto baits but they can do the opposite in some fish if negative experiences are linked with such substances.

You can say the same about solvent based flavours of course, and with familiar substances like robin Red which is one of the most over-used products in readymade baits known to man. Never forget that an individual carp will test a bait if it needs substances a bait provides, but if it has been satiated by months and years of that bait and has been hooked a lot on it then a different bait that supplies it needs will obviously potentially produce a more confident feeding approach. It is well known that if a bait is far too familiar to a wary carp (in any way including shape, colour, flavour, movement, baiting pattern on the lake bed etc,) then such a bait can scare a fish right out of a swim!

If you have been through the process of testing a recipe of bait for a number of years then you will be familiar with this phenomenon: you will normally find there are fish that just do not get caught on that bait. However when you change to a different bait recipe, these other fish can appear as if by magic very quickly, if not immediately! It is no surprise that new baits catch out wary fish, but also no surprise that if a change in bait recipe provides new substances a carp need or much higher levels or qualities of them then a carp can be very much more vulnerable to such a bait. It might be noticed that certain bait substances will incite feeding behaviours even if substances in a bait have no nutritional value whatsoever, or cannot be digested when consumed because carp lack the enzymes and gut microbial species to complete the job!

You can see the advantage of fishing multiple different baits if you want to hedge your bets about baits. Even on a single day, parameters in a swim can change an lead to a fish feeding on one bait more in contrast to another and fish may go through various feeding modes and behaviours over a period of time in a swim which baits having distinct different characteristics can exploit!

It is purely conditioning that has led to the majority of carp anglers today using just the one type of bait on a rig. Most anglers will use one or two bottom baits or pop-up baits of one kind on all their rigs, even when using 3 rods. Unless you are some kind of master I would suggest there is much to be discovered and benefited form using different baits of different rods.

I have done loads of bait testing and substance testing in the last 5 years, not in tanks with juvenile carp in artificially filtered water or unnatural water quality, but in real fishing swims. This has involved a lot of fishing with simple homemade baits fished against readymade baits. Like many anglers I have used baits from a range of bait companies and these have varied hugely in price. Yet I have not found any benefit in using expensive baits over cheaper ones. But I must add here that the key is often not what a bait is made of and intended to do in your swim and to the fish, but exactly how and why you apply it and fish it and this takes bait and fish know-how as well as hard experience and a little fishing talent too.

Your measure of success may be the consistency with which you keep on catching different unique individual bigger fish from a water. If this is the case then the protein content and higher cost of a readymade bait may not be the influencing factor at all in your success.

Many other factors and characteristics in a bait can lead to success that have nothing directly to do with protein content. (It may be noted that fish can be fooled into responding strongly to baits that have many features of popular protein-rich baits readymade baits but which actually contain far less protein!) Consider the protein contents of baits such as peanuts and tiger nuts or even bread. Richard Walker knew a thing or two about fish feeding behaviours and their responses to baits and his record common caught on balanced bread crust and bread paste and not some special paste of that era needs to be thought about more than is has been by most modern bait fashion- following carp anglers!

The justification for bait prices is often the high cost of quality protein ingredients used in their manufacture, yet such baits are often most suitable for waters that are hungry waters which have fish that tend to binge feed. This is especially the case in waters that hold a good head of fish. In low stocked richer waters where natural food is very plentiful and where fish tend to be highly opportunistic and on the move a lot grazing as they go you would be surprised at how simple a bait can be that catches such fish.

But even waters with a good head of big fish a cheap simple bait can easily catch as many fish as a very protein rich bait. However when I call bait recipes simple you have to be aware that what is often not simple about a bait even if it contains just a few ingredients is the impact particular select bait substances have on fish responses of many kinds! It is a bit like saying drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes is simple. Their effects are complex and very profound! Alcohol and cigarettes provide specific hormone and amino acid dumps in the body that lead to a drop in nervous tension and (in some individuals note more than others) lead to addictive behavioural responses. Yet all I am referring to here are just 2 substances; nicotine and alcohol.

Have you ever wondered why some people feel they want a cigarette while drinking alcohol? How about having a coffee? Some people feel the need for a wheat and fat based biscuit or even chocolate; why is this and how does this relate to addictive substances, brain hormone and amino acid releases that change body physiology and actual behaviours?! All this kind of thing can be related to carp and carp baits – and even the simplest bait containing just 2 ingredients! Consuming or even sensing any of a range of substances can recondition behavioural responses dramatically and this does not just occur in humans.

I guess now you can see that you can make a habit forming bait out of just 2 or 3 ingredients without a bait costing an obsolete fortune every week. There was a time I was buying readymade baits at prices from 6 to 12 pounds a kilogram to test them against homemade baits that cost 3 pounds or less. I found I could exploit various aspects of the readymade baits and top them within my cheap homemade baits. Basically the idea is you choose a major characteristic or set of them in a readymade bait and copy them but do it in a way that costs much less than actually buying the readymade bait. It does not necessarily cut the bait company out of the equation because you are still buying their products to achieve this.

For example, you might simply buy a small bag of Richworth Tutti Fruiti baits, freeze them in lake water to remove a proportion of the all too familiar flavour, and re-freeze and then defrost them in CC Moore Feedstim XP liquid for instance. You still have many favourable characteristics of a bait you trust, but altered it to make it different to get around negative fish conditioning using a product from a different company that you also really trust.

I use the method of making very cheap homemade boilie and pellet base mixes by cutting commercial base mixes with different more economical ingredients of many various kinds, some of which are not in mainstream use in commercial or homemade bait making. All it takes is a little know-how of fish responses and vital requirements and feeding triggers etc to find alternative ingredients to use. You might go for a coarse wholemeal chapatti flour mixed with gram (chick pea) flour for instance, boosted with maize protein or hydrolysed poultry protein for example. You might just go for CSL powder and tiger nut flour to bulk up a popular base mix to make homemade baits.

Obviously you will want to make sure you bait really is as potent as possible while being more economical and sometimes it is a really good idea to focus your attention not on bulking baits out but making a readymade base mix recipe even more concentrated. A very example is adding a much higher level of LO30, or Robin Red, or concentrated yeast powder, or concentrated garlic powder, or boosting you base mix with more hydrolysed liver powder for instance. The list goes on and on and I really like to find new more alternative substances that fish will not fear at all that are not offered for sale by bait companies and this is something anyone can do with enough bait knowledge – so find out more!

(For much more information on making unique homemade baits and adapting readymade baits and altering for many applications and unique purposes see my bait making secrets website Baitbigfish and biography right now!)

By Tim Richardson.

Tim Richardson PhotoAbout Author
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