Some time ago I wrote a blog in which I outlined a few of my low-cost base mix recipes and today I would like to revisit this piece and maybe expand on the recipes a little.
There are a lot of bait firms around these days and an equally large number of good base mixes, all of which are 'guaranteed' to empty the lake for you. As these mixes become ever more complicated and as the price of the raw ingredients continues to spiral ever upwards (thanks a lot, Brexit!), I thought I would spend a bit of time trying to outline how to get a good bait without spending a fortune.
Nobody would argue that the top commercially blended base mixes are not highly sophisticated and refined but the level of research and development that goes into perfecting a high performance finished bait costs money and it’s not everyone who can afford it. However, if you accept that you are not going to be able to create as sophisticated a mix as the bait firms, you will certainly be able to make perfectly acceptable bait for a fraction of the cost of the proprietary mixes.
I’m not suggesting you should abandon your favourite mixes altogether. However, you can make them go further by simply cutting the shop-bought mix with semolina or Polenta (maize meal).
Or you can cut out the expensive bait company base mix altogether and go straight to the bulking agents. You see, you can create a perfectly acceptable boiled bait by simply blending semolina and maize flour 50/50. Polenta is a widely used flour based on maize that is nutritious and yet it is cheap as chips and carp adore it. Here is a recipe that will definitely catch carp on any water:
225g Yellow semolina
Roll into 20mm balls and boil for 4 minutes.
Air dry for 3-4 days.
A simple yet effective boiled bait can be made using fine-ground Haith’s Red Factor. The ground down Red Factor is on the right in this next photo with the standard Red Factor on the left. Just grind down 500g of Red Factor using a coffee grinder. Now break five medium eggs into a bowl and whisk them up with any flavours or attractors you might wish to add. Roll out into boilie sized balls of paste then boil them for 2 minutes. The resulting boilies will have a potent attraction from the flavours and a level of reasonably good all-round nutrition.
One of the easiest ways to customise a base mix with is to add a strong attractor package to a comparatively low nutritional value bait mix. Though such a mix is unlikely to have an indefinite catching life, it will be fine for a one-off trip. In fact, it chould last a summer if you get the ingredients and attractors right. This is one of my favourite attractor/flavour packages. It consists simply of 20ml of Peri-Peri and 20ml of Toasted Sesame oil. (These levels are for pure attractor baits. For an HNV base mix I advise using lower levels.)
Don't confuse human taste preferences with those of carp. What may be agonizingly hot to you is nothing like as 'hot' as far as a carp is concerned, as carp can detect the active ingredient of chillies (Capsicum) more or less instantly. And Toasted Sesame oil is rich in healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, another component that carp can detect instinctively.
You could also boost the attraction still further by adding a squirt or two of your favourite flavours. Either of these superb, highly palatable commercial flavours will do the trick. Take note of the recommended inclusion level that is printed on the label on the bottle. The Plum is very intense and you should only use 1-2ml/500g. The Maple flavour is less powerful and a lot smoother and can be used at up to 10ml/500g. (NOTE: Other bait firms are available!)
This is our new, all-natural Robin Red, which we have created especially for use in boilie receives. Containing no artificial elements or compounds, it will deepen the colour of the finished bait, at the same time adding tasty attraction to the mix. It is highly palatable and carp seem to love it just as much as they did the original Robin Red. It is generally used at around 10% of the total mix but you can safely use it at twice that level. For instance, try substituting 50g of your favourite mix for 50g ounces of our new all-natural Robin Red. You will notice a difference straight away as your catch rate rockets.
You might like to try this simple recipe:
250g fine-ground Red Factor
200g Yellow Semolina
50gr 100% natural Robin Red UK/EU.
25ml Tamari Soy Sauce ***
5ml Toasted Sesame Seed Oil
(This photo shows the finished mix.)
Mix the powders together, then in a bowl beat four large eggs with a whisk or similar. Now add the liquid attractors to the eggs and whisk again. Now you can then form a paste prior to forming the baits. The boilies should be boiled for between 2-4 minutes depending on how hard you want the finished bait to be.
And this photo shows coated Boilie Chops made from the above recipe. They have been coated with neat Robin Red HB.
***Sanchi Tamari Soy Sauce is an outstanding liquid attractor.
Haith's Baits also offer several other low cost ingredients that are ideal for carp anglers looking for quality products on a budget; High Protein Crumb, Nectarblend, PTX, Softbill Food and Prosecto Insectivorous to name but a few. All are tried and tested boilie making ingredients from the Haith’s Baits stable and these specially formulated boilie ingredients can help you create a low cost, yet nutritious bait with a long catching life.
You can also substitute say, 4-6oz of ground Red Band Pigeon Conditioner, for the same weight of a more expensive proprietary base mixes to make it go a bit further. The ground Red Band is on the right in this picture. I am sure you can see for yourselves just what an effective ingredient this can be in any birdfood based mix.
You can also make boilies from seed blends, believe it or not. This will create a well-balanced, oil-rich base mix supplemented with high attract mini pellets and aniseed oil. Simply grind Red Band to a very fine powder then add to the other dry ingredients, then add these to the eggs, roll out and boil. This is the recipe:
50% Red Band (ground down in a coffee grinder)
1ml (20 drops) Feed Stimulants' Black Pepper Liquid.
Black Pepper Liquid is very similar to an oleoresin, with the exception that this liquid is water-soluble. This is a water-soluble version of Black Pepper EO and it is very effective when used in coarser seed-based boiled baits, as the coarse nature of the ingredients allows the attraction to react with the lake water, taking the tantalising smell of the pepper into the area surrounding the baits.
Red Band Pigeon Conditioner also makes a great groundbait, and I have also used it boiled then processed in a food processor to reduce the particles to a mush. This is then stiffened with ground SuperRed. In this form it can be used as a groundbait perhaps studded with boilie crumb and even whole mini boilies.
Most home rollers tend to make up relatively small batches of base mix, as they are generally not equipped with the sort of high tech equipment that the big bait firms use. What follows is a step-by-step guide on how to make boiled baits. It is a method I use regularly and can thoroughly recommend it for any recipe for a base mix. First measure out the required ingredients. This photo shows the ingredients I will use to form the base mix. Top l-r: High Protein Crumb, Nectarblend and Red Factor. Bottom l-r: Grimsby Fishmeal, Robin Green with Spirolina and Whey Protein Concentrate.
This is the base mix awaiting blending.
10% High Protein Crumb
20% Red Factor
20% Grimsby Fishmeal
20% Robin Green with Spirolina
10% Whey Protein Concentrate.
Place the dry powders in a polythene bag then blow into the neck of the bag to inflate it. Now twist the neck of the bag to form a temporary seal. Shake the bag vigorously to blend the dry powders together.
In a bowl break four/five large eggs and then add any liquid attractors such as flavours, essential oils, liquid foods and so on.
Here I have added some glycerin to act as a short term preservative and a healthy dollop of Trigga Liquid Food Additive.
Whisk to blend together the eggs and the liquid attractors.
Add the dry powders to the eggs and use a fork or your hands to create the boilie paste.
This can be quite a messy process, as birdfood mixes are generally quite sticky at this stage.
However, if you return the finished ball of paste to the mixing bowl and cover it with a dry cloth, and leave it to stand for 30 minutes, it will dry out and loose its stickiness.
After the paste has 'rested' it should be dry to the touch and ready to be made into boilies.
(Incidentally, did you know that the only reason we tend to roll our boilies into balls is to allow them to fly further from a caty or a throwing stick? Unless you actually need round baits then why go to all that bother. Non-round boilies have a lot going for them: carp may be less suspicious of boilie 'chops'; they tend to sit better on a slope; the open sides of the chops allows water ingress/attraction egress…and I am sure you can think of others.)
So the first stage of making a batch of chops is to first create long extruded sausages using a bait gun, or if you haven't got a bait gun you can use your hands and a rolling plate, as shown here.
Cut the long sausage into smaller more manageable sausages, ones that will fit into the bailing pan.
You will need a suitably sized pan in which to boil the bait. I use a deep straight-sided frying pan a.k.a. a chef's pan. Fill the pan with boiling water and add a glug of oil. This prevents the sausages sticking together while being boiled.
Plunge the sausages into the boiling water.
After four minutes empty the cooked sausages into a colander.
Spread them out on a dry towel and leave them overnight to cool and harden.
The following day cut up the now cooled sausages into chops of your preferred size. Note that each individual bait has two open (cut) sides, and this is a great help in increasing the attraction on and around the bait carpet. Once you have processed all the boiled sausages, place them in a dry bowl ready for glugging.
Now to make a glug. The first name on the team sheet each time I make a bait glug is Tamari Soy Sauce. I pour 50ml - 100ml of this wonderful attractor into my mixing bottle - an old plastic water bottle.
Finally I add 5ml of Tutti-Fruiti (still got a bottle of the original…ain't I the lucky one!) and 10ml of Feed Flavours' Vanilla Liquid. These two combined make a deadly attractor package.
Shake the bottle to blend together all the attractor liquids.
Pour the glug over the chops…
…every last drop! Waste not, want not!
Swirl the baits around in the bowl to ensure each bait is coated with glug.
Wait until the baits have absorbed all the glug and they are dry to the touch. The Tamari in the glug will turn the baits a dark brownish-red. They are now ready to use. Note: Thanks to the glycerin they will stay fresh for at least a month.
Now go out and fill your boots…or your weigh sling!
You don't get many of these to the £…or the € for that matter!
Next time I'll outline some of my favourite base mix recipes.
Written by Ken Townley