Here's a quick and easy base mix that fulfils all the carps' dietary requirements when the water temperatures are low.
The ingredients are top l-r: High Protein Crumb, CLO, Red Factor: bottom l-r: Provimi 66 fishmeal, All-New Robin Green with Spirulina, Whey Protein Concentrate.
This is the full base mix recipe:
20% Red Factor (high fat to boost metabolism)
20% Haith's Baits' CLO (mid-protein and high fat)
20% Provimi 66 Fishmeal (obtainable from us - supplies protein)
20% High Protein Crumb (an additional source of protein)
10% Robin Green (highly attractive cold water additive). ***
10% Whey protein concentrate (as a binder).
***NB: The latest version of Robin Green now comprises 100% natural ingredients including the widely-praised Spirulina.
First place the dry ingredients in a bowl. As you can see, both CLO and Red Factor are quite coarse in texture so you may prefer to reduce the particle size to about 80-90 mesh. The other ingredients are fine-textured and will not require any grinding down.
Use a coffee grinder to grind and blend all the base mix ingredients together
Place the dry base mix in a polythene bag that can be sealed reliably and then add the powdered attractors (details follow). Seal the bag and shake it vigorously so as to distribute the attraction evenly. In this photo you can see the mix has been ground to a fine powder.
I like to use both liquid and powdered attraction to boost the natural attraction of the base mix. In the cold water temperatures of winter you need both soluble and non-soluble ingredients, in this case the soluble Betaine HCL and the non-soluble GLME which attracts via the taste organs.
I like my baits to taste sweet so I include both a powdered and a liquid sweetener in the attractor package. This powdered sweetener from Feed Stimulants is based upon one of the new-age natural sweeteners, Stevia. It is 100% natural and leaves no bitter after taste, as is common with other powdered sweeteners. This intense sweetener will improve the palatability of any carp bait and being so highly concentrated you don't need a lot, just 1g/500g.
I have always been a fan of Nutrabaits' Sweet Cajouser and I use it a great deal. It has a lovely, mild, maple-like aroma and taste and is soluble in water so any carp approaching the bait carpet will be able to 'taste' the sweetness coming off the baits.
Citric acid is a weak organic acid that is widely used in the food industry as a preservative. It is also a highly significant feeding trigger and attractor. Again this requires only minimal inclusion rate or 1g/kilo.
I like to supplement the nutritional properties of my bait and there is a liquid attractor that is tailor made for cold water carp fishing, namely Nutrabaits' Trigga ice Liquid. This amazing blend of spicy attractors and natural emulsifiers is a vital part of my cold water baits. I include it at a level of 50ml/kg (25ml/500g).
Finally, to reinforce the preservation aspect I include 20ml/500g of vegetable glycerine, a water-soluble, sweet-tasting, liquid that helps preserve the bait and boost attraction.
So now we can start making bait!
Add 30ml of Trigga Ice Liquid to the eggs
…followed by 15ml of Glycerine.
Use a whisk to bring the eggs and the liquids together.
Now slowly add the dry ingredients, i.e. the base mix and powdered attractors.
When all the powders are added use a fork to create a ball of paste.
Cover with a cloth and allow the paste to stand for 20-30 minutes. In that time it will firm up and loose its stickiness, which will make it easier to work with.
The finished paste will look like this if you have followed the recipe so far.
Now create sausages of paste. You can either use your hand, a roller such as the one in this photo, or an extruder. Process all the paste into sausages.
NB: If you are going to make round baits, now is the time to use your rollers to create round balls of paste.
In this instance I will make sausages. This is because I can only fish with a bait boat these days due to arthritis in my shoulders so in my case there is no need to make the baits round, as they only come into their own when you need the baits to go long out of the stick or the caty.
Now it is time to boil the sausages. I use a 30cm sauté pan, but any large pan will do. As I will be cooking all the sausages at once I add some oil to the boiling water. This prevents the sausages from sticking together or to the bottom of the pan.
Now add all the sausages at once and boil hard for three minutes.
Empty the cooked sausages into a colander.
This photo shows the cooked sausages after they have been drained.
Spread the sausages out on a dry towel and leave them overnight to dry properly.
Once dry use a sharp knife to cut the sausages into your preferred bait size.
I can get about 350 x 12-16mm baits out of this mix.
You will note that I have added no flavour as yet so it's time to address that. (It is always a good idea to add a good dollop of food liquids and flavours to the finished bait rather than adding it to the eggs prior to making the bait. The heats generated while boiling the baits will denature much of the protein content on liquid foods and will also cook off many of the esters and amines that make up your flavours.)
First pour 30ml of Sanchi Tamari Soy Sauce into a small bottle such as this water bottle. NB: Other soy sauces come a distinct second best as far as salt content and free aminos are concerned!
You can now add your flavours as required. This combo has done the business for me on many occasions. I add 5ml of each.
Once all the liquid attractors are added give the bottle a good shake to blend them all together.
Empty the dry chopped bait into a bowl - the one in which you made the paste will do just fine. Start to pour the liquid attractors onto the bait
Don't waste a drop!
Give the bowl a good shake to distribute the liquids evenly.
Finally bag them up and pop them in the freezer. Even if your plan to fish within the next 24 hours after making the bait, it is always a good idea to freeze it before use. Why? Because freezing draws all the liquid attraction deep into the heart of each individual bait, which will be released once the thawed-out baits are introduced to the water.
Here's one I caught earlier. Tight lines.