Tiger nuts are one of the most popular carp baits. They are sweet to the taste and they have that ‘crunch’ factor carp anglers seem to find so appealing these days, but nutritionally they appear to have little food value, and there seems little doubt that if over used they can cause health problems. So why do carp eat them and keep on eating them? Well, I wish I knew! All I do know is that tiger nuts will most certainly account for numerous carp this year and every one that follows.
Now accepting that they are so popular, and thus carp must see them time after time, is there any way of giving your tiger nuts an edge? Well, yes, as it happens, and one of the most surprising to some of you is the fact that I believe tigers work better when they are fresh. Unfortunately in the main the experts always stress the importance of preparing them so that the frogspawn-like jelly is produced. However, every man and his dog is using them like that so I’d like to propose a slightly different way of using tigers.
Over the past couple of years I have been using fresh tigers my findings have proved conclusively that fresh bait (used straight from the boiling pan) is actually better!
Here’s how I prepare my tiger nuts nowadays:
• Take a kilo of tigers and add 30ml of top class molasses.
• Add boiling water to cover the nuts and dissolve the molasses, stir and leave to steep for 24 hours.
• Now bring them to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
• Drain off the flavoured water in which they have been boiled, rinse thoroughly and add fresh water.
The nuts are now ready to use
• I split the prepared tigers into freezer packs of 250g each, as I find this amount if ideal for a weekend or 2-3-day session. More is too many if you see what I mean.
• This method also allows you to make up small amounts of prepared tigers on a daily basis while at the lakeside and you don’t need to wait for days for them to become slimy.
You can create special tiger nut hookbaits flavoured to your own design.
Simply fill a small bait pot with tigers and add a smidge of your favourite flavour, then top up the pot with water.
The tigers will soon swell up and they absorb the flavour-laced water and they will last at least 6 months.
Particle blend with pellets.
Here’s a good idea, one that is just that little bit more different to the usual groundbait mixes one sees these days. The preparation takes a bit of time but once you have got it all done the rewards can be excellent.
First mix together equal amounts of Red Band, hemp seed and mini-maize
Soak the blended seeds etc overnight and then bring them to the boil in the water in which they have been soaking. You will need to boil the mix until hemp seed starts to split. This tends to overcook the Red Band and the mini-maize, but that is not bad thing in this particular groundbait, as these overcooked bits tend to make the whole mix extra sticky and gooey.
Next make up a blend of different pellets and soak them overnight in fish oil
Next morning add to the pellet mix a few mini boilies and some chops including some that are identical to the ones you will be using as free offerings and hookbaits.
Now scald the blend of pellets and chops with boiling water so that they turn into a paste and then add the seed mix and mix thoroughly
If you’ve got the consistency right you should be able to form balls of groundbait that can be introduced into your swim by catapult
Here’s another crafty idea.
First you need to make up a rig with a slightly longer hair than normal
Next add a few crushed or chopped boilies to some PVA micromesh and form a small, neat parcel. Using a lip-close baiting needle, thread the hair through the centre of the parcel.
Now bait up the hair with one or two larger bits of crushed boilie.
Insert the bait stop, then cast out and allow the bait to settle and within a few minutes your rig and hookbait will be sitting on the lakebed surrounded by an enticing spread of goodness, as you can see from the photo.
Proof of the pudding!