Photo of Buckwheat in a black bucket

Winter Particles: Effective Bait Techniques for Cold-Weather Fishing

Though the water temperatures are certainly dropping fast and the nights drawing in, carp can be very active at this time of the year and many experts agree that particle baits, seed blends and even nut baits are very effective during the early winter months of November and December. At this time of year carp are on the lookout for food to build up body fat and overall condition to see them through the coldest part of the winter and that is why particle baits are ideal as they are high in energy-providing fats, backed up with good levels of dietary protein to improve general health and condition.

You should look for a bait that provides all of the following criteria. The bait must smell good, should be easy to ferment, have a reasonable level of nutrition and should be widely available in quantity without costing the earth. Particles can be encouraged to start fermenting by using heat. The standard method of preparation for most particles is to soak them overnight then boil them for 15-30 minutes.

This is usual sufficient to start the fermentation process off. Some particles should be drained to encourage the process. For instance, cooked maples that have been drained will start to exude a thick gooey, sweet-smelling liquid after three days or so and they are at their best like this. Well-fermented maples are one of the best winter baits going. Maize ferments better if the grains are allowed to remain soaking after the boiling stage. Though maize can take a bit of time to get going, you’ll know it once the grains kick off. Here are some top winter particles and particle blends.

  1. SuperRed
  2. Mini maize
  3. Red Band
  4. Groats
  5. Crushed Tiger Nuts
  6. Buckwheat
  7. Maples
  8. Chickpeas
  9. Hempseed 

One big advantage particle baits have is their low cost. There are many suppliers out there but Haith's Baits is the cream of the crop! 

Photo of a black bucket with SuperRed bait being poured into it on a silver spoon


Photo of red and mini maize mixed together in a black scoop

Blend of red maize and mini-maize. 

Photo of crushed tiger nuts in a black scoop

Crushed tiger nuts 

Photo of fermented maples used as fishing bait

Fermented maple peas

Photo of cooked groats in a black bucket


Photo of cooked buckwheat in a black bucket


Written by Ken Townley

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