I first wrote about groundbaiting for carp way back in 1985.
I had just returned from a non-fishing trip to France and saw how the French anglers had perfected the technique and some were even using it for carp! In 1985 the UK carp scene was not ready for an off-the-wall strategy but that’s all changed now; these days the bait firms have caught on, and so has the carp angling fraternity and I have literally lost count of the number of big carp I have caught with the aid of a well applied carpet of groundbait. So here are a few ideas for you based around only a small handful of Haith's ingredients.
I'll kick off with my 'baby' SuperRed. This is one of four purpose-designed groundbaits that are based on our flagship ingredient Robin Red. The range was put together by myself up at Cleethorpes over the course of several days experimenting with various bits and bobs looted from the warehouse and was designed with a multi-purpose theme in mind. Each of the four can be used as a groundbait, a Method Mix or, when ground down to a fine powder, as a complete boilie base mix. The most complex of the range is SuperRed, but the other members of the Red Range - MarineRed (fishmeal), HoneyRed ( honey, strangely enough!) and NaturalRed (insects)- are equally effective as ‘Three-In-One’ mixes. The entire range will blend superbly with just the addition of water to stiffen, but oils and liquid foods such as molasses or Corn Steep Liquor can also be used to boost attraction.
I have to say, I have a soft spot for SuperRed as that was the first blend that I put together. It is by far the most complex of the four and I'd love to tell you what it contains, but I'd have to kill you afterwards! Suffice it to say that SuperRed is a blend of eight separate ingredients, as you can see from the photo.
Initially I designed SuperRed and its stable mates purely as a groundbait and I guess this is how most people initially look at , and with good reason. Use it mixed with lake water and liquid attractors to form a wet, sloppy mix that spreads its attraction not only across the lakebed but also through the water table as it sinks. The crushed ingredients lend additional attraction by being in part, neutral in density with a tendency to waft up off the bottom in a micro-mass of tiny particles as the carp feed. Clearly in this guise it is best suited to fishing the margins or being introduced from a boat. This is SuperRed mixed up as a wet groundbait.
By reducing the amount of water and other liquids you can create a much stiffer SuperRed groundbait that will form tighter balls than most other groundbait formulations and can thus be fired a considerable distance out of a caty or via a groundbait sling without breaking up or falling to pieces in flight. Incidentally, you can toughen these groundbait balls still further by air drying them in the sun. They will harden like cannonballs if you leave them long enough!
SuperRed can also be used to introduce boilies into your swim as the binders used are powerful enough to support whole baits, chops or crumb.
I fancy a plateful of this myself! SuperRed, hemp seed, sweetcorn and the odd boilie or two. Again this can be mixed either wet as shown here, or by using less water the mix can be stiffened to be balled up and fired out using a caty or sling.
I have caught loads of big French carp on this blend, which is HoneyRed, Nutrabaits Techni Spice shelf life boilies, tiger nuts and Frolic dog food, which carp adore.
As you have probably gathered by now I put a lot of faith in Haith's Hemp seed. Crushed it forms a part of SuperRed but I also like to blend in some Trigga pellets and a tin or two of sweetcorn. This is a deadly groundbait mix that has also accounted for many decent carp from both home and abroad.
Our new Micro Complex has been designed so that after preparation (soak + a 20 minute fast simmer) you can achieve a gloopy seed blend that will pull any passing carp down onto the bait carpet and instil preoccupied, confident feeding. I think from looking at this photo you will agree that we have succeeded admirably.
I like to keep Micro Complex fairly 'wet' and if not using a boat or bait boat I put it out with a Spomb.
Of course any seed blend can be enhanced still further with the addition of one of the Liquid Robins such as this Liquid Robin Red.
As you can see a good glug of the 'magic' liquid works wonders when added to prepared Micro Complex.
I have been using this enticing blend of groats and SuperRed ever since I first joined Haith's Baits as a Consultant in 2000, when I first put together the recipe for SuperRed. This blend has accounted for literally hundreds of good carp. Why not try it yourself, especially now Summer is almost with us?
I am often asked about river fishing and the above blend seems to be particularly effective when fishing for river carp. This lovely common tipped the scales at 28lb and it tripped up on a Nutrabaits pop-up fished over a bed of SuperRed and Groats.
Talking of groats, these are right up there in my Top 10 all time favourite mini particles. They are a doddle to prepare and the milky liquor they exude can be a magnet for carp in lakes and rivers. In my opinion, groats are on a par with hemp seed when it comes to pulling down carp onto a bait carpet. Groats soak up flavour like a sponge and carp adore them. This is how I go about preparing them by the lakeside:
• Place the required amount of groats in a bucket.
• Add a good dollop of flavour.
• Add one tin of evaporated milk and 50ml any of the liquid food additives.
• Top up with lake water and stir well.
• Leave to soak overnight in the neat attractors and evaporated milk and next morning they are ready to use.
What could be simpler?
While fishing I never throw away old baits and the boilies you see here have been removed from the hair and added to the overall groundbait. I also add CSL Pellets in the mix as they break down rapidly once in contact with water and add considerably to the overall package as well as helping to bind the groundbait together.
Popcorn maize is very effective on venues that have seen a lot of standard maize as it is less than half the size so the carp will readily accept them when they may be a bit cautious on standard maize. If you use maize - an who doesn't - and you find results start to fall off a bit, try switching to popcorn maize. You prepare it in exactly the same way but it does not take as long in the boil phase. I like to combine it with hemp seed, Red Band and a good helping of small shelf life boilies. These are Pineapple and Butyric and Techni Spice from Nutrabaits.
This pretty mirror is one of hundreds of carp I have caught down the years using groundbait of one kind or another in conjunction with Nutrabaits boilies. This one came from that prolific French fishery Le Queroy.