Robin Green & Spirulina...Fanfare...Ta-DA!
I'll always remember the first time I used a Robin Red Boilie. It was on a small pond near my home in the southwest part of England. At the time carp fishing was seen as a somewhat esoteric pastime and the best advice at the time was don't bother! Robin Red and the hair rig together formed the essential must-have combo, the turning point when carp fishing became a great deal easier.
Robin Red has been responsible for the downfall of literally thousands of carp. Consequently the world and its wife were desperate to know the secret of its success. When I joined Haith's in 2001 I was deluged with letters, PMs, email and phone calls from anglers who wanted to know the secret. Most were amazed when I said I had no idea. Some scoffed, some laughed in disbelief, most were at best sceptical, and others called me a liar to my face! Sorry, Guys! To this day I still have no idea...NOT!
I guess it is no secret these days that some of the best attractors are plants from the genus Capsicum, which are cultivated for their pungency. Chilli peppers are widely used in many cuisines as a spice to add "heat" to dishes. This often strikes some anglers as curious, as they find it hard to associated red-hot chilli peppers with carp food. But the fact remains that carp don't just enjoy chilli, they adore it. So it will not surprise you to learn that one of the most important ingredients of our original Robin Red is a blend of peppers such as Paprika.
So there's one particular feline released from the enclosing cloth object! So…do you want another?
How about Spirulina? Spirulina is a form of bacteria found in algae that has positive nutritional benefits, as it is a rich source of numerous vitamins and minerals. It also has all the essential amino acids that are the building blocks of proteins (its protein content is at least 60%) and I am sure you know the importance of the role played by the essential amino acids in our baits. Spirulina is also extremely rich in the antioxidant Beta Carotene, which enables carp and fish in general to effectively fight diseases and biological challenges, allowing weight gains to be maximised. All in all you won't be surprised to hear that all these properties make it a superb nutritional ingredient for inclusion in carp baits.
So is Spiruina as effective as capsicum? I would have to say after many years using it as my 'secret' ingredient in my fishmeals that I reckon it is…it might be even better! Spirolina is the magic ingredient that forms the base of the new contender to Robin Red's throne, namely Spirolina. This is the vital ingredient of our revolutionary all-natural additive, Robin Green with spirulina This is one of the new line up of Robins that features all natural colour agents rather than synthetic dyestuffs and colouring agents, which are now banned in the EU.
This change was forced on the bait industry by new UK and EU rules and regulations that govern what can and cannot be used in baits, be they boilies, pastes, groundbaits or particles. It is now a legal requirement that fishing bait is classified as ‘Animal Feed’ (yes, I know…stupid bureaucracy). This in effect means that if a bait firm wants to export its products into the EU it must use only natural foods to produce colour.
Now as far as I am concerned the change to more natural alternative food dyes is 100% positive. After all, why feed synthetics when you can feed naturals? Makes a huge amount of sense in my opinion. The challenge comes when you need the natural bait to be as effective if not more so that the synthetic one. We have risen to this challenge and have gone to huge lengths to create highly effective colour foods that will be both highly effective and also relatively inexpensive.
Robin Green sits alongside the other Robins - Robin Red, Robin Orange and Robin Gold - to compliment the range of our natural colour foods. I was particularly excited to start working with Robin Green, as it contains Spirulina, something I have used on and off since the late 80s. The Spirulina content of Robin Green sets it alongside Robin Red; indeed some say it is the 'next' Robin Red, and there's no doubting the fact that Robin Green with Spirulina is proving to be every bit as effective as the original Robin Red.
So does it work? I should darn well say so. This gorgeous common is one of thirty big carp I caught in a week from a very hard-fished lake. The bait? A fishmeal-based boilie with Robin Green and Spirulina.
And this is another trophy photo taken in 2011 on a home-made boilie, which contained Spirulina in the days before Robin Green was invented.
I have been asked by a customer to explain the thinking behind Boilie Pizza as mentioned in a previous Blog. There is no magic reason behind my preference for baits that are semi porous. The simple explanation is that porous baits allow water to flow in while the attraction flows out. With boiled baits (round) this interaction takes a lot longer as the baits are completely sealed. Hence my frequent suggestion in many of my blogs for you to try alternative ways of creating carp baits such as boilie sausages, bricking (as per photo), and chops.
Boilie Pizza works in the same way. You may well be saying, they're not what you'd call aerodynamic and they won't go far from the throwing stick or caty. True, but think of all the situations when round baits and not required, maybe on a river where current may be a problem, or on small lakes where there is no need to cast forty or fifty yards when a catapult will do the job just fine.
This is a paste made with Robin Green base mix and particles. These can be boiled to make boilies or left 'raw' as paste baits..
Just to refresh your memory, these are chops. They are made by rolling out the paste into sausages, then boiling these for 3-4 minute. Remove them from the pan; allow them to cool and then cut the boiled sausages into chops of your preferred size.
Here's another gorgeous common that was also caught on a bait containing Robin Green and Spirulina.
Let's recap the method of making Boilie Pizza: First make your basic paste.
Next stretch out the paste as if you were making a pizza crust. A rolling pin does this job well, and if you haven't got a rolling pin and don't wish to get in bother with the missus, wife, significant other, you can use a bottle of water.
In the meantime boil a kettle ready to perform the next step. You'll find that a couple of pizza paddles will come in handy.
Now transfer the pizza crust to the boiling vessel. Here I am using a so-called Chef's Pan, an invaluable tool in my bait kitchen. I have loaded the flattened paste onto one of the paddles and then have carefully transferred it to the boiling water.
The pizza crust is now boiled for three to four minutes or until it pops up to the surface
Remove from the pan and place it on a clean dry towel and allow it to cool and harden. Let it cool fully, preferably for at least 24 hours.
Once cool place it on a hard surface. This is where you will find a pizza cutting wheel will be ideal.
Cut the cooled crust into strips to produce squares of finished bait. You can now finish the process by glugging the squares with the liquid attractor of your choice.
Here's an excellent yet low cost base mix that will certainly catch you carp. It comprises the following ingredients. Red Factor (finely ground), Haith's high quality fishmeal Grimsby Fishmeal, Robin Green and whey protein concentrate 80%.
This is Haith's Red Factor (see details here: https://haiths.com/products/red-fac
Leaving Red Factor in its original granular form is great when you need a bait to break down more swiftly but it can cause rolling problems. However, if you grind it down in a coffee grinder, rolling it out on a table is much easier. It all depends on how you want the bait to behave when on the lakebed. In this photo the finely ground product is on the right.
We now need to add further to the attraction properties of the mix, in other words, flavours, essential oils, aquatic attractors and natural seafood liquids, sweeteners and other extracts or powders. These will do the trick admirably!
It might be old but it can still hack it. This is probably one of the finest liquid flavours of all time, Richworth Tutti Fruiti. Often copied, never bettered. It is strong stuff so err on the side of caution; 3-5ml per 500g is ample. This is my last bottle of the original Tutti…I'll miss it when it's gone!
My last batch of Tutti-flavoured alternative hookbaits.
I find a set of measuring spoons invaluable when making bait. So many anglers tend to go higher that the recommended inclusion level. They think that if, say, 5ml/kg is good, then 10ml/kg will be twice as good. That is simply not true! Indeed one of the best bait pundits ever once said, if you can smell the flavour (in your bait) then there is too much in there!
See you next time!