Do you have a problem with your present fishing bait or recipe? Some catfish and carp baits are very limited in their attraction and catch results, due to their high proportion of insoluble ingredients. It is in fact, the soluble proportion which truly stimulates the fish most effectively into eating your bait and getting hooked!

For example, you may have a very basic homemade bait which catches a few fish, perhaps a chicken meal based bait with added garlic and honey, bound together by semolina. So what parts of this bait are doing the real work of attracting the fish?

The chicken meal may be a course grade of unknown age and quality. Adding water to it shows it will not dissolve very well but gives off smells, oils and colours the water which also indicates the leaching of amino acids and protein bait particles suspended in the water.

The amount of water soluble amino acids are very important to the effectiveness of your bait. The freshness and quality and solubility of your protein ingredients such as chicken meal, are very important too. Your stimulating amino acid providing, bait protein content may be any of a variety of fish or shellfish meals, meat meals, etc.

The effects of your baits amino acid leak off and ability to pull fish into your swim and to your hook bait can be vastly improved as this effect is one of the central ones required to attract your fish quickly and effectively.

You might benefit by experimenting with dough and paste baits in contrast to using boilies for instance and experience the benefits of using more soluble baits and their advantages. The advantage of using pre-soaked pellet baits or soaking such pellet baits in amino acid based attractors need to be exploited and expanded upon too!

There are very effective natural flavours which are highly and actively stimulatory, as opposed to using esters and solvent type flavours. Even using predigested fish protein in solution with betaine hydrochloride and added salt, gives an interesting ‘alternative’ very effective flavour.

If your bait contains garlic, which is a very popular choice for catfish and carp, you have a bait which contains actually contains a stimulatory blood thinner with many other interesting qualities and many which are still unknown. The type of attraction or stimulation from the garlic can be enhanced and added to by using other extracts and additives also with such stimulatory properties. Even pineapple powder for instance.

Various mineral and vitamin supplements help here too and the salt form plant extract betaine hydrochloride is another example. You might wish to try celery extract alongside it with yeast extract too. Salts are highly stimulatory too and these have some involvement in to production and success of the popular ‘catfish soaps’ used in the States. (In fact fermentation of bait or bait ingredients is very effective.)

Your bait may contain honey, another very popular choice in homemade baits for catfish or carp. Refined sweeteners and energy sources such as honey, molasses and so on are very effective in baits, although some modern sweeteners and proprietary fishing bait sweeteners are extremely effective even in tiny doses in bait.

You bait may be based on desiccated ground chicken liver for instance. Chicken is a good protein for use in baits because its sustainable production for example, being fed on corn. This is in contrast to the use of fish and shellfish from the sea, or farmed fish fed on fishmeal and not vegetable sources.

In this case, the rate of demand is far outstripping the supply and using these ingredients for fishing bait may not seem that responsible when sustainable and very effective alternatives can be used as whole protein and amino acid sources in baits.

Many bait are severely limited in their fish attraction from range and immediate fish feed triggering capacity! Ideally you need that ‘extra something’ to get the carp and catfish etc far more stimulated into taking your bait and on a far more regular basis.

For example, all fish can actually sample and ‘feed’ on your bait before eating it by ‘filter’ feeding and sensing its water soluble elements in your bait. So in many ways they already ‘feel’ the effects of the bait before actually eating it. The more you can stimulate the fish like this using their own olfactory systems the better and especially at range too.

This way you are more likely to draw numbers of feeding stimulated fish into your swim. Ideally you will have the biggest fish competing between themselves for your bait. This feeding behaviour makes it far easier to hook them of course!

Therefore the real secret of a great bait is to give the fish amazing stimulation and benefits signals dissolved in the water even before the fish are even in your swim or near the bait.

For example: many powerful plant extracts and ingredients can be used, like betaine, chilli oil, salts, minerals, vitamins, liquid amino acids and predigested soluble meals as bait ingredients, all have this effect.

The author has many more fishing and bait ‘edges’ up his sleeve. Every single one can have a huge impact on catches. (Warning: This article is protected by copyright.)

By Tim Richardson.

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Tim Richardson is a carp and catfish bait-making expert, and a highly successful big fish angler. His bait making and bait enhancing books / ebooks:


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