It’s rewarding to catch fish on bait you have made yourself…

Bait makingThese tips may be applied to most bait-making procedures and are designed to provide a simple guide for DIY bait preparation. Boilies, paste, chop-ups and other bait shapes can all be made from JB base mixes. Making bait in this way provides an opportunity to bring a unique profile to the recipe. It will become apparent, when incorporating unusual or multiple blends of flavour within the recipe, that it is possible to create bait that cannot be copied by anyone! This creates a huge advantage and brings a whole new concept to the world of specialist angling.

When preparing boilies or paste it is not necessary to weigh-out the dry powder-mix. The size and amount of eggs will determine the weight of powder absorbed by them. The number of eggs is the ultimate guide for the quantities of all additional additives. A typical batch of standard boilies incorporates 6 large eggs, and this should make-up about 1Kg of finished boilies.  Most recipes should ideally be made up by using either 6 or 12 egg mixes.  It’s a simple matter to multiply or divide the additive and flavour levels to match the number of eggs. This method is fail-safe and will ensure that boilies, pastes and special hook bait recipes made in this way will turn out the same every time.

For hook-baits or paste and when making small batches of bait, use 1-2 large eggs. This will make enough bait for a short session.  Fresh paste is best prepared with lower levels of flavour and this is mainly because the bait is not being sealed, skinned or denatured during the boiling process. For dedicated hook bait paste, make-up a moist, soft product not too sticky and not too firm. Then seal the paste in a plastic bag. After a couple of hours, and after the paste has rested, the excess moisture will be absorbed, and a more effective and pliable bait will result. Getting the texture and feel of a perfect paste may take practice. High quality base mix ingredients are at their most nutritious when they are not subjected to either boiling, long-term freezing or air-drying. Most of our base mixes will make-up paste that is soft enough to be used traditionally, with the hook completely covered, (not on a hair-rig!).  This is ideal for use in bait presentations such as: float fishing, stalking, rolling-tactics in rivers and for fishing in and amongst soft weed.

As a rough guide, most dry base mixes will make-up into about 1.4 times their weight in ready-to-use, boilies. For example: 10kilos of dry base mix will make-up approximately 14-15 kilos of finished boilies. This may vary slightly from mix to mix and is also dependent on additional liquid additives used within the recipe.

For making-up customised hook baits such as cork-ball-pop up’s, or wafters, then specialist equipment is not required. Small batches of bait can easily be rolled-out by hand or moulded into paste ‘ropes’ on a work surface and then chopped into different bait-sized pieces just prior to boiling, hence the term ‘chop-ups’. Perfectly round and firm boilies are only needed for fishing at distances in excess of 30 yards, or perhaps when nuisance fish are a problem. If larger quantities of hard/round boilies are required, then there are numerous table-top rolling tables and small DIY boilie-rolling machines than can easily be purchased for the task.

Adding Flavours

When adding high-quality, strong, flavours and additives to the eggs it is imperative to use the appropriate measuring kit. Syringes that accurately measure from 1ml-5ml, will be needed especially when using more than one flavour and as part of a recipe blend. Never guess the additive levels!  If in doubt, use less flavour but never more flavour!  Keep accurate notes of experiments and especially successful recipes – so they can be repeated. The dose-rates of JB liquid flavours should be kept low and a 1ml syringe must be used when measuring parts of one millilitre. 0.10ml/0.20ml, is one tenth to one fifth of 1ml of your chosen flavour/blend. This is often the maximum dose rate for just ONE large egg!

How long to boil?

The nutritional content of the bait, and all the ingredients within it, will be better protected when the boiling time is kept to a minimum. Very small boilies or ‘mini’ chop ups’ will only need to be boilies for 15-20 seconds. Typical 14-18mm sized boilies will need 30 to 90 seconds. Always immerse boilies in vigorously boiling water. Large sized boilies need more time, small diameter boilies, less time. Very high protein boilies made from base mixes such as Supermilk, Buttermilk, Sensia Liver & Genetix only require minimal boiling time.

Much harder boilies can be made by increasing the boiling time and including an extra boilie hardening ingredient. This is vital when making hook-baits and pop-up’s. For best results, add ‘JB’ Hook Bait Hardener Powder at a ratio of up to 10% by weight of the dry base mix before mixing with the eggs and flavour. After boiling, the baits should be air-dried naturally in a well-ventilated area, preferably on a mesh drying rack or wire tray. Dry boilies for 8-12 hours, prior to use or freezing. This will reduce the moisture content, harden the bait and render it more practicable for use on the bankside. The fresher the bait, the more effective it will be!  Freshly made bait will keep in a refrigerator for 5-6 days. Pre-frozen boilies should be used within 3 – 4 months.

My Recommended Recipes

JB base mixes are designed to be effective without the need for heavy or regular pre-baiting. Carp and barbel will quickly accept bait made with these recipes and they will do this quite naturally by instinct and natural selection. In simple terms, fish know these baits are beneficial to them and will actively seek them out.

Care must be taken when adding any extra additives to the base mix recipe. It has been said that the stronger the smell of the bait, the faster the fish will react to it. It must be remembered that over-flavoured bait and the use of too many ingredients may act like a repellent to fish. It is recommended, for long-term results, that low levels of flavour and additive should always be used. This is especially important when preparing bait that is just for free offerings. It’s perfectly fine to use stronger flavoured, hook bait recipes and this is effective when fishing single hook bait tactics and there is little or no fee offerings nearby.

The recipes listed below can be relied upon in all conditions and they will catch fish on even the most challenging venues. In order to add an advanced level of complexity to the bait, it is worthwhile using multiple blends of flavour incorporating more than one flavour type per recipe. Examples of this tactic can be seen in the recipes listed below. It must be remembered that subtly flavoured bait will have a much longer effective life than an over-flavoured one!

The recipe examples listed here may be used with confidence to make free offerings and hook baits. Stronger flavoured ‘hook-bait-only’ recipes utilising 1-2 eggs are a matter of choice and experience. It is vital that all JB flavours are measured and used with great care. Keep notes of your successful recipes – then they can be repeated!

Bio Shellfish Base Mix

Incorporating 6 x large eggs

  • 1.5ml Ala Salar, 1.5ml Roast Chicken Flavour, 5ml Liquid Shrimp Extract
  • 1ml Plum, 2-3ml Ala Salar Flavour, 5ml Shrimp Extract (An exceptional recipe!)
  • 2ml Ala Salar & 1ml Crab Flavour & 5ml Liquid Shrimp or Anchovy Extract
  • 1ml Ala Salar Flavour, 0.5ml The Sizz Flavour, 5ml Liquid Shrimp Extract

Taste F2 Base Mix – *For carp, barbel & chub…boilies & paste

Incorporating 6 x large eggs  

  • 1.5ml Roast Chicken, 1.5ml ml Ala Salar Flavour, 5ml Liquid Cheese Extract
  • 2ml ASM Flavour & 1ml Chicken Tikka Flavour
  • 1ml Cheese Flavour & 1ml Toppex Flavour, 5ml Liquid Cheese Extract

Yellow Creamseed   * Good winter recipes/also makes a firm paste

Incorporating 6 x large eggs

  • 3-4ml Dairy Cream Flavour (Add 1ml Plum to make this very fast acting but reduce Diary Cream to 2ml for 6 x eggs) )
  • 3ml Maple Cream Flavour, 10ml Spectrum Milk & Cream
  • 0.5ml Plum & 2ml Caramel Banana Flavour, a bit of honey as a sweetener…great!

Milk & Honey Base Mix     *No sweetener is required in this mix

Incorporating 6 x large eggs                                  

  • 1-2ml Milky1 or TM1Flavour and nothing else! (An exceptional recipe!)
  • 0.75ml Plum & 1ml Cream Caramel or Caramel Banana Flavour
  • 0.50ml Plum & 1ml Butt Ringer Flavour, (5ml Spectrum Milk & Cream optional)

Sensia (Liver Special Base Mix)

The complexity and strong inherent taste of this base mix means that it does not really require the inclusion of any flavour. For fast results however, very low levels of certain flavour combinations will be effective. Our recommendations would be to use just: Only 1ml with 6 large eggs of the following flavours may be used, either in combination or individually:  Ala Salar, Roast Chicken, Chicken Tikka, Crab, ASM, Muskspice, The Sizz.

Genetix Special Base Mix

The overall complexity and strong inherent taste of this base mix means that it does not really require the inclusion of a flavour. For fast results however, very low levels of certain flavour combinations will be effective. Our recommendations would be to use just: 1ml to 6 large eggs of the following flavours either in combination or individually:  Ala Salar, Roast Chicken, Chicken Tikka, Crab, ASM, Muskspice, The Sizz.

Buttermilk Base Mix   *No sweetener is required in this mix

The taste profile of this base mix means that it only requires the inclusion of a small amount of flavour. Very low levels of certain flavour combinations will bring fast and effective results. Our recommendations would be to use just: 1ml – 1.5ml to 6 large eggs of the following flavours either in combination or individually: Plum, Cream Caramel, Dairy Cream, Caramel Banana, Milky1, Toppex, Maplecream, TM1.

Big Rivers Base Mix 

Incorporating 6 large Eggs

  • 2ml Ala Salar & 2ml Roast Chicken, 10ml Shrimp Extract
  • 1-1.5ml The Sizz & 2ml Chicken Tikka
  • 2ml Frost & Flood, 1ml ASM or 1-2ml Chicken Tikka (good flood-water recipe!)
  • 2ml TM1 flavour and nothing else!

The Syndicate Mix  

Incorporating 6 x large eggs

  • 1-2ml ASM Flavour & 10ml Spectrum Original
  • 2-3ml Ala Salar & 1ml Roast Chicken flavour, 5-10ml Liquid Cheese extract
  • 1ml Plum & 2ml Ala Salar Flavour (very effective when fishing over silt!)

Bombay Spice Base Mix

Incorporating 6 x large eggs

  • 2-4ml Chicken Tikka Flavour *A very good recipe for carp & Barbel
  • 1.5ml Ala Salar & 1.5ml Roast Chicken Flavour
  • 10-15ml Liquid Shrimp Extract. (nothing else!)

Frost & Flood Base Mix

Incorporating 6 x large eggs

  • 2-3 ml Frost & Flood Flavour, (5-7ml Amino & Liver Compound optional)
  • 2ml Milky 1 Flavour, (10ml Spectrum Milk & Cream optional)
  • 2ml Maple Flavour plus 1ml The Sizz Flavour. (unusual combination for barbel)

Supermilk Base Mix    *Our flagship milk protein bait

Incorporating 6 x large eggs and no more than 1-2ml of a flavour/combination as listed below. This base mix has a wide range of uses for carp, barbel and chub.  The high milk protein content helps provide a huge instant food signal making this base mix the perfect carrier for low flavour levels as single hook baits and when using minimal freebies. By far the most effective flavour combinations are those listed. Let the base mix do the work! Recommended flavours to be used individually or in careful combination: Plum, Milky1, TM1, Toppex, Caramel Banana, Cream Caramel, Butt Ringer, Maple Cream, Frost & Flood, Ala Salar, Roast Chicken.