Fishing Preparation Part One: Essential Tips and Techniques

Fishing Preparation Part One: Essential Tips and Techniques

Thursday, 18th April 2019

Failure to prepare is preparing to fail. Corny but true and now as my season starts (I don't do winters!) my emphasis is on getting ready for the next few months fishing. Baits, rigs, tackle; they all need attention.

Bait, rig and tackle laid out on grass.

The first job is not so hard…I simply need to pick up the phone, ring Matt and UB Baits, and order three or four of his superb pop-up hookbaits. I have used Matt's baits ever since the 2014 trip to Le Queroy when I used them for the first time. Matt knows my preference for fruity flavours so Tutti-Fruiti was first on my list. Matt also told me he had a new bait out called Black Mamba. I liked the sound of these as the carp on one particular venue I fish shy away from bright hookbaits so these very dark ones would be ideal.

Two coloured mugs, one large.

You may wonder why I am including a photo of two mugs in a carp fishing blog! Well, that's easy to explain. I use them in my own quick and easy method of weighing out my most-used ingredients. For instance, I know 250g of any one of them just about fills the big red cup, while the smaller cup when filled takes 250ml of liquids. It is then very easy to combine the correct amounts of each ingredient by scooping up enough dry powders using the red mug and filling the smaller coffee mug with liquid. Here are a few examples:

Red mug on a scale, filled with fishing base mix.

Robin Red and Chilli Base mix.

Ready Mix in a mug, on a set of scales.

SuperRed, the superb 3 in 1 blend that I put together for Haith's back when Noah was in short trousers. It is extremely versatile (hence the 3 in 1) as it can be used as a groundbait, a Method mix or to create boilies.

Haith's Red Factor in a large red mug, on a set of scales.

Haith's Red Factor, one of my favourite base mix and paste bait ingredients. So that's the idea behind the mugs…do you get the idea?

Six bowels filled with bait ingredients.
Next up it is time to create some freezer baits for the coming months. I usually make my own base mixes using birdfood ingredients from Haith's. My standard base mix is pretty straight forward, being equal quantities of High Protein Crumb (top left), Haith's CLO (top centre), Red Factor (top right) and Haith's standard fishmeal (lower left). I use whey protein as a gelling agent (lower right) and one of the Robins to add spicy, non-soluble attraction. In addition, all the Robins have important taste enhancing properties, which adds still a more gustatory attraction. In this photo, the Robin in question is Robin Green with Spirulina (lower centre of the photo).
Haith's fishing ingredients in a mixing bowel.

Here you can see the dry ingredients prior to blending.

Five kilos of dry ingredients for storage.
I usually make up batches of five kilos of at a time and store it in a plastic bag which is then sealed in a plastic bucket. All my dry ingredients are stored in my cellar which keeps them cool and dry until needed. I am a bit old fashioned when it comes to boilies. I like the whole process of creating a bait from scratch.

 Robin Red Base Mix (labelled) in a bucket.

 Don't forget to label the bucket! This is my Number Two base mix, which used Robin Red with added Lecithin.

Brown-red boilies chopped up into circles.

Mind you, just because I like making my own that does not mean I don't use Haith's Baits own base mix blends from time to time. Let's face it, I designed them after all, so I know they are good! These are  Chops made with our Robin Red & Fishmeal base mix.

Two bottles of Feed Stimulants for fishing.

Now I need to pre-load and store my bulk supply of carp pellet with extra attraction. These two liquids are from the Feed Stimulants range and are among the finest quality fish extracts I have ever used. You can find all the information about the amazing range by visiting their website:

Brown pellets in a mixing bowel, with liquid attractor.

First, put a kilo of pellets in a bait bucket and add 25ml of each liquid attractor. Give the bucket a good shake to distribute the attraction.

Pellets in a bowel, covered by liver extract powder.

Now add 50g of Liver Extract Powder to the pellets.

Glossy brown pellets in a large mixing bowel.

Shake the bucket again and then leave the pellets to stand for a day or two. They will absorb all the attraction of the pellets and the powder and should become touch-dry after 24 hours. Store the pellets in open weave sacks so that the air can get at them. Alternatively, put them in a cardboard box.

Four oil bottles lined up.

There have been a lot of conflicting messages flying about on social media of late concerning the viability or otherwise of oils in carp baits. Some say that oils are useless in bait as carp cannot detect their presence as they do not possess oil-related receptors. While this may or may not be true (don't ask me!) there is no getting away from the fact that carp have a requirement for fat at this time of the year and there is no better way of providing nutritional fat than by using certain oils. The ones in this photo are all proven sources of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids which are great in any carp bait as they provide an additional fat source.

Dried red-brown chillis in a glass jar.
Dried chillies are a well-known carp bait additive, widely used to create attraction within a base mix. Indeed our own Robin Red & Chilli base mix was designed
specifically with this in mind.
 Chilli oil in a glass bottle.

Chilli oil is also effective, as carp can detect the presence of capsicum. Oil in the bait will act as the medium wherein the food signals are carried into the water table. You can make your own chilli oil by adding 100g dried chilli flakes to 250ml of olive oil. Leave them to stand in the oil for a week or two and, bingo…Chilli Oil. This can now be used to great effect in boilies, particles, ground baits or Method Mixes.

Large bottle of soy sauce and Red Factor in a mixing bowel.

I use a great deal of soy sauce in my bait making. The sauce in this photo is the best there is, bar none! You can make a quick and easy and highly effective paste bait by simply adding the sauce to some CLONectarblend or Red Factor. Allow the dry ingredients to soak up the sauce and as it does so it will stiffen the mix very effectively. The mix can then be formed into groundbait balls or used as a simple paste. (See part two for more details.)

Super Red in a mixing bowel, mixed with soy sauce.

You can make a more complex groundbait/paste bait by using SuperRed and the soy sauce.
Hand holding red, seedy groundbait ball.
Simply add the sauce to the SuperRed and again allow the dry blend to absorb the liquid. The resulting groundbait balls will be highly attractive when they start to break down on the lake bed, releasing all the juicy attraction of the complex food blend plus all the free amino acids in the sauce.
Bag of Robin Red boilies next to a mixer filled with red boilies.

Now is a good time to prepare your boilie crumb. I use an old Braun food processor to make crumbs. I picked up this old model at a car boot sale for a quid. Using it I can process five kilos of boilies in less than ten minutes, reducing the whole baits to boilie crumb in next to no time. It will transform a kilo of shelfies in a minute flat! Here Dynamite Baits' Robin Red Boilies are ready to be crumbled in the processor.

Crumbled boilies in a food blender.

How good is that? This shows just what a fine job the battered and bashed Piff-Paff-Poff has done. (Anyone old enough on here to remember the advertisement?)

Red boilie crumb in a blender, with soy sauce.

The crumb can now be boosted with liquid attraction. Again I use the Tamari Soy Sauce to add still further to the overall attractive properties of the Robin Red Boilie Crumb.

Glossy, red blended pellets in a food processor.

Add 25-50ml of sauce to the crumb and give it whiz in the processor. That looks so nice!

Blended red fishing crumb in a bag.

For storage return the processed crumb to the original bag, where the crumb will soak up the liquid still further ready to pull the carp when you are ready to go fishing. The bag can be re-sealed along the top edge.

Blender, soy sauce bottle, red boilies and bucket of fishing crumb.

Less than a quarter of an hour's work and Boom! … six kilos of boilie crumb ready for the weeks ahead.

Brown bottle of glycerin.

Do you want to extend the shelf life of your fresh, homemade boilies by weeks or even months? If so let me bang the drum once more for good old glycerin.

Lots of brown-red spherical boilies.

Some may say that I've banged on enough about glycerin but if you take away one bit of advice from these Blogs let it be my tip about glycerin. I kid you not, it really does work. Here's proof…In January Haith's sent some RR & Chilli Base Mix to Rollin' Baits to be made into 15mm boilies. Back came the perfectly made boilies at the end of January.

Sealed bag of dark brown fishing boilies.

I got a batch of 5 kilos in early February and bagged up the bait in one-kilo batches, with an additional glug of glycerin on the 12th February. I then sealed the bags.

18/2/19 written on plastic packaging.

I kept the bags in the office and every couple of days gave them a good shake until none of the glycerin was visible. It had been absorbed by the baits. I marked the date on the bag  - 18th February 2019.

Preserved spherical, brown boilies in plastic packaging.

Here they are nearly two months later (photo taken on the 16th April '19). As you can see the baits show no sign of deterioration despite being sealed in a poly bag.

Three bottles of liquid boosters for fishing.

You can add a flavour of your choice to a glycerin glug/preservative, or if you want a ready-made glycerin-based glug, these are ideal!

Ken holding a large carp.

See you next time when I'll give the low down on a quick and very easy (to say nothing of highly effective) paste bait! Here's one I caught last year on it!

Four red boilies on a fishing hook.

On the first of the month, I posted a photo on social media of a rig I had been using to good effect. A week or so later a guy got back to me thanking me for the rig, as he had used it to great effect on a French fishery and caught a personal best carp on it!... I was flabbergasted. It was supposed to be an April Fool's joke! Who's the fool now!

Written by Ken Townley

  • Comments

"Dicas Fantasticas." by Reinaldo José da costa
12 May 2019

Ola amigo,quero parabenizar pelas ótimas dicas e receitas,sou do Brasil e já fis ótimas capturas com suas receitas,mesmo com a dificuldade de conseguir alguns ingredientes que não temos por aqui,e o custo muito alto para importar. Obrigado e Parabéns.

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