1) Use fresh bait made with fresh ingredients. If possible, make-up paste or boilies the day before a trip or session and then use it immediately. Do not keep frozen boilies in a freezer for longer than 3-4 months and do not re-freeze bait that has previously been frozen.
2) When adopting a serious and sustained approach to carp fishing with boilies, it is best to avoid using shelf-life or preserved bait. Chemically preserved bait can upset the delicate digestive system of carp and this type of bait is not suitable for long term use.
3) When making bait at home, ensure all the ingredients are fresh. Just one stale ingredient will be likely to spoil the entire recipe. For this reason, never mix any fresh ingredients with old or time-expired products in the belief that the fish will not notice!
4) Use low flavour levels at all times and carefully measure all strong additives. Use the same number of fresh eggs for each batch of bait. For example; make-up boilies in 3, 6, 12, or 24 egg batches at a time. This is the easiest way to ensure the flavour leakage stays the same.
5) Keep a careful note of all the ingredients, additives, flavours and extracts you use. Include details about when and where the ingredients were purchased and then these can be purchased again at a future date from their original source of supply.
6) Make hook baits that faithfully match the free offerings. Incorporate exactly the same ingredients that are used in the main recipe. Carp are much more likely to pick-up and accept any bait that has been made with true food-value ingredients.
7) Reliable bait suppliers will be happy to disclose the core ingredients they have used in a bait recipe. Obtain a small amount of base mix powder and additives to make your own hook baits and pop-up’s. This will then match the free offerings and provide real food attraction.
8) It can be a false economy to buy boilies just because they are part of a cheap offer. Good quality bait might cost a little more but is much more likely to be effective and much less likely to be used by others. Properly designed bait does not require heavy pre-baiting and despite the potential additional cost it is probably more economical in the long run.
9) When concentrating on using boilie-only tactics, have the confidence to do so on all rods for a sustained period. It can be fatal to chop-and-change and to use different baits on each rod. Any new bait recipe will only be proven to be effective with regular all-out use.
10) Don’t change a successful boilie recipe without very good reason. Many previously excellent bait recipes have been completely ruined by the addition of unnecessary extra additives. If your results are consistent in all conditions, then stick with it.