Ever since Dave Moore put together the 'bait of the century', namely Big Fish Mix, red fishmeal and red bird food bases are the go-to mix for thousands of carp angler across the world.
Dave…take a bow…your baby must be one of the most successful carp baits ever devised, a fantastic bait that is catching just as well today as it was when it first hit the shops back in the early 90s.
The red component of BFM is, of course, Robin Red but for some bizarre reason best known to themselves, a few (deluded) anglers have got it into their heads that the famous 'red stuff' is blown…as if! Well, how about a red fishmeal/bird food bait that isn't red, and not only that, it's shelf life too!
Most carp anglers will tell you that it is not possible to create a shelf life bird food/fishmeal bait as the open texture allows moisture to penetrate and start the breakdown process. This is not necessarily the case so here is how you can create just such a bait.
First of all, you need to make a balanced mid-protein base mix using ingredients sourced from Haith's Baits. This is my starting point; I will juggle the amounts about to achieve the desired binding properties and consistency. The photo shows the two base mixes each with their appropriate Robin.
200g Red Factor
200g Haith's CLO
200g Ground High Protein Crumb
100g Whey Protein Concentrate
100g One of the Robins.
That gives you a kilo of base mix and you will require nine large eggs to process the whole kilo plus the attractor liquids. The choice of liquids is entirely up to you. For flavour, I like 5ml/500g Richworth's Tutti-Fruiti (who doesn't), and I add a dash of sweetener in the form of 2ml/500g Sweet Cajouser from Nutrabaits.
To add still more to the attractor package, I add 20ml of Sanchi Tamari Soy Sauce and the same of Feed Stimulants’ Amino Compound Sweet Fruit.
Finally, to boost the nutritional fat content of the bait I add 15ml of Braham and Murray's Good Hemp Oil, which you should be able to find it in your local Tesco supermarket.
Here I have made two almost identical mixes, the only difference between the two is that one is made with Robin Green and the other with Robin Gold.
The liquids are added to the eggs and then whisked to blend the two together.
Rather than make round baits as normal, today I am going to create what I call boilie chops. First, break off a lump of paste and roll it into a sausage shape. Continue until all the paste ball has been converted to sausages. Here you see sausages that are about to go into the boiling pan. You'll note that I add several at a time so as to keep the water on the boil throughout the time that the bait is being added.
Keeping the water on the boil, quickly add all the sausages. Note that they are still whole. When all the sausages are boiling merrily, cook them for three minutes.
Turn the boiled sausages out onto a towel and allow them to dry for 24 hours. Here you can see the drying bait with the Robin Green versions at the top of the photo. After they have cooled and dried they should feel tough and robust. They are now ready to be turned into boilie chops.
Now we come to the process of turning these chops into shelf life baits and it couldn't be simpler. Since my last Blogs on the subject of Glycerin, there has been quite a bit of chat and discussion about it. I first used it way back when Nutrabaits was formed and was I looking for something that would emulsify the company's range of essential oils. Bill Cottam, boss of Nutrabaits sent me a bottle of a clear, thick, sticky liquid to try and on tasting it I found it to have a slightly sweet note. I knew straight away that this was Glycerin. (By the way, my tests showed that it was indeed a very effective emulsifier of essential oils.)
While testing it as an emulsifier I also noted that it seemed to have an effect on the shelf life of bait so I started keeping track of just how far I could go down the shelf life route using Glycerin. It turned out to be months rather than weeks and I have used it ever since, though I only let slip my little secret a couple of years ago as Bill had asked me not to let on that their own Emulsifier was in fact Glycerin.
So here is the key to extending the shelf life of your baits. Simply add 20ml of Glycerin to the eggs prior to processing and a further glug of the stuff over the baits after they have finished drying. Here I am using a light coating and this will add at least 6 weeks shelf life to your bait. No need to freeze or air dry; simply add enough Glycerin to ensure that each bait receives an even coating. Note: There is no need to drown the baits in the stuff!
I simply put the chops in a bowl, add the Glycerin and the give the baits a good toss in the bowl to ensure each receives a coating of Glycerin. How much? Twenty mils for a kilo of chops should do the trick.
After a few days, the bait will absorb all the Glycerin and they will be dry to the touch. If you want to extend the shelf life even further simply give the baits another light wash over, allow them to dry once more, and then bag them up… but NOT in a polythene bag, as this will make them sweat and mould can form.
I have found the best bag for my home-preserved chops is a sturdy brown paper bag as used by Haith’s.
You will note that I have written the date the bait was made on the bag as I have dozens of such bags scattered around the office and I like to use in date order.
In fact, you may also like to note the date the bait received its Glycerin treatment as this will also help to keep the bait rotated.
Here's a little tip for you: If you are using an attractor package that includes one of Nutrabaits top liquid foods, you might like to use their dedicated Liquid Booster instead of Glycerin ;-) .
I have had a lot of carp on bait preserved in Glycerin; I think they like the slightly sweet taste. Here's one I caught earlier!.
Written by Ken Townley