‘It’s rewarding to catch fish on bait you have made yourself’
These useful tips may be applied to most bait-making procedures.
Paste, boilies, chop-ups, or any shape of bait, can be made from my base mixes.
When making up paste and prior to preparing boilies, it is not necessary to weigh the dry powder-mix. The number and size of eggs will determine the amount of powder that is absorbed and this will also determine the additive levels and the final strength of the bait. Most recipes for making a typical batch of standard boilies incorporate 6 x large eggs, which will make-up about 1Kg of boilies. Recipes are normally measured in: 6, 12 and 18, egg mixes. It’s a simple matter to multiply or divide the flavour levels to exactly match the chosen number of eggs. This method is fail-safe and the finished bait will then turn out the same way every time it’s made.
For small batches of bait, say for hook-baits or just paste, use 2-3 large eggs, this will make enough bait for one or even two short sessions. A proportionately lower level of flavour and additive must be applied to bait made for hook baits only. When preparing dedicated hook bait paste; make a moist/sticky/soft product and seal the paste in a plastic bag. Then, after a couple of hours as the paste has rested, the excess moisture will be absorbed and a more effective and pliable bait will result. Most dry base mixes will make-up into about 1.5 times their weight in finished ready-to-use boilies. For Example: 10kilos of dry base mix will make-up approximately 15 kilos of finished boilies.
Specialist equipment is not required for making small amounts of boilies or when making hook baits such as cork-ball pop-up’s or wafters. 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 sized pieces prior to boiling, (hence the term chop-ups). Perfectly round and firm boilies are only needed for fishing at distances over 20-30 yards, or when nuisance fish are a problem.
A catapult or throwing stick will project correctly made 20mm hard boilies well over 100 yards.
When adding high-quality, strong, flavours and additives to the eggs it is imperative to use the appropriate measuring kit. Syringes that measure from 1ml – 20ml, will be needed especially when using more than one strong flavour and as part of a special 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 – then they can be repeated.
How long to boil?
The nutritional content of the bait and all the ingredients within it will be better protected when boiling times are kept to a minimum. For boilie diameters of 15-18mm, 30 seconds to 1minute immersion in rigorously boiling water will produce a firm boilie. Large sized boilies need more time, small diameter boilies, less time. Much harder boilies can be made by increasing the boiling time to 90 seconds and also including a boilie hardening ingredient within the base mix recipe. Use ‘JB’ Hookbait Hardener Powder at a ratio of up to 10% of the weight base mix for best results. Ideally, all boilies should be naturally air-dried in a well ventilated area, on a mesh drying rack or tray for 8-12 hours prior to use or freezing. Frozen boilies should be used within 3 months.
My base mixes are designed to work fast without the need for pre-baiting. Carp and barbel will come to accept bait made with these recipes through a genetically evolved means of natural food selection. In simple terms – they 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. The more flavour or additive that is used the faster the fishes reaction will be to the bait. It must be remembered that over-flavoured bait could act a bit like a repellent. For best long-term results it is strongly recommend that low levels of flavour and additive is used and this is especially important in free offerings. It’s perfectly fine to use stronger flavoured hook bait recipes or when fishing single hook baits in conjunction with little or no fee offerings. The recipes listed below can be relied upon in most conditions. When they are prepared correctly they will catch fish on the most challenging venues. In order to add an advanced level of complexity to the bait it is definitely worthwhile using blends of more than one flavour per recipe and this can be seen in the recipe examples listed below.