Modern carp Fishing Part II
In the first part of “Modern Carp Fishing” I gave you an overlook about the different carp species available in this part of the world. All of them can be found in India too, so I think it should well be interesting for you to hear more about our ways to catch them. After introducing you to the carp family, the different waters and good fishing spots it is now the time to talk about baits and prebaiting strategy. Originally I planned to inform you about tackle too, but this article will get too long so I’ll save this topic for the next part of Modern Carp Fishing.
-catching big carp is great fun, here now the basics about baits that work well-
There are plenty of traditional baits that are good for catching carp. All these traditional baits will still nowadays help to catch carp. A list about all suitable carp baits would be endless and would include things like banana, worms, maggots, paste/dough baits, potato, soft sweet corn, noodles, luncheon meat, peeled crabs etc. The just mentioned baits (and many other traditional baits too) have one thing in common: They are soft! So not only carp could eat them, but also all smaller species which nibble on the baits and try to get their share of it. All too often they even hook themselves or just empty the hook without a bite being detected.
-These are traditional carp baits. The problem: Even small species likes them…-
So experienced British carp fishermen searched for the solution to this problem. The key to better success was hard bait that can stay in the water for hours without getting too soft. Smaller fish can no longer nibble away the bait from the hook!
-These are boilies, bait magic for carp fishing-
Nearly 30 years back it was Fred Wilton from the UK who developed the new wonderbait which later got called BOILIE. His original idea was not only to develop a hard bait, but also to create a bait with a very high nutritional value. Bait that offers all the contents of a perfect fish food! His idea was that the fish get addicted to that source of food. Today we know that the development of a hard bait was much more important as the food value factor. Some fishermen still prefer very expensive high protein bait ingredients (like the milk proteins casein & lactal bumine), but there are loads of good and cheap bait contents that can be found easily. The flours of wheat, roasted soy bean, rice, maize, fish and pet food (meal you get from milled dog/cat or bird food) can all be used to form good carp bait for catching big size specimens.
-Everything needed for making boilies: All ingredients and tools to work more efficient-
How to prepare boilie bait:
After you managed to get suitable ingredients (later you’ll find a simple recipe, but there is plenty of room for own tries) you have to mix them till they form into a well blended, uniform powder. Perfect for doing this is a plastic bucket that can be sealed with a lid. Don’t overfill it. Just fill half of the bucket and then shake and roll it for several minutes. After a uniform powder mix has been achieved you crack open ten eggs into a bowl.
Some people also like using the eggshells within the mix, as it gives a crunch to the bait, which resembles mussels, crayfish and snails while the fish eat it. Personally I prefer using sweet baits that are either sweet scented, sugared or hold ingredients that basically help to give the bait a sweetish taste. I often add a liquid intense sweetener to the eggs. In Europe sweetener is available from the fishing tackle shops, but a good replacement is the sweet liquid that is used for coffee and tea. I also add liquid food color, liquid scents or spices to the eggs. Other fishermen think totally different and are very successful too.
For a start, you could try Vanilla essence, but be careful while flavoring. Too much of it could kill the bait. Fish have sensitive taste organs and could totally refuse to take the bait that “stinks” or smells too much. Too little flavour could only make bait less attractive, but it will still work! If you feel unsure about the right dosage I would advise to use only a small amount of flavour within the bait and additionally pour some liquid essence over the baits after they are finished. This will give a high short time attraction level, but will not destroy anything. The high flavour levels on the skin get washed away by water soon and will not cause a sharp smell of the boilies. Colored baits can be detected more easily in some situations.
-Adding liquid scent to eggs, the syringe is used to add a precise amount of the liquid-
After everything needed is added to the egg liquid, you have to swirl it gently, and now you start adding the powder ingredients to the egg mix. As a rough idea, about 1Kg of mix should be used for every 10 eggs. The number of eggs required would depend on the type of powder ingredients that get added to the eggs. Don’t add everything at one go, but rather mix it in gradually using an electrical mixer to knead the liquid and dry contents together.
-Adding the boilie powder-
After a while a mixer will no longer be able to do the job, and you will have to knead the mixture by hand to make a nice paste.
-First knead with spoon or electric kneader, later you’ve to use the hands. If you don’t pour oil onto the hands the job might get sticky. Your paste is ready as soon as it is nice smooth and no longer sticky.-
Using vegetable oil on your hands will help prevent the mix sticking to them. After a good smooth paste is achieved, you can start rolling the boilies in your hand into neat round balls. European anglers own special equipment to hasten the process of the bait production. Some of this equipment can be seen on my photos. These equipments are great help, but I fear it will be difficult to purchase these items in India.
-Special equipment for making boilies is a great help and is available in Europe in much bigger sizes as shown here. I fear in India you’ll face difficulties to find that stuff-
The size of the balls depends much on the size of fish being targeted. Carp have big mouths and the very big ones (bigger as 10kg) can easily take baits of more as 30 mm diameter into their mouth.
The rolled Boilies need to be popped into very hot boiling water for about 60–90 seconds. The larger ones could even take a bit longer to cook. The ready cooked boilies will pop up to the surface of the boiling water, and there they should be picked up with a sieve and put on a towel to dry. Let them dry in a cool dry place for at least 3-4 hours. They can be dried for even longer periods of time (even days), to achieve rock hard baits. Fish eat these too; remember they also crack crayfish-, mussel- and crab shells.
-Popping the boilies into hot water & retrieving the finished ones with the help of a sieve-
If the boilies are dried only for only a few hours and don’t get used immediately after preparation, they need to be refrigerated until they are used. If not they will “go off” soon.
A possible mix that could be made in India is as follows:
30% wheat meal or rice meal
30% Roasted fine Soya meal
30% rough maize meal
10% of a good binding powder as used to get a soup or sauce more thick
These are suitable ingredients for a simple base mix. To get it more attractive you can add things like flour made from grounded pet food, chocolate powder or milled nuts.
You should have noticed that the production of boilies needs some time, at least if you plan to make a decent amount of bait without the help of any proper boilie making equipment. They are a very good bait –the best when big carps are the target- and worth all the effort but if you’re looking for other good baits that can be produced more easily I’d advise you to think about particle baits.
-One of my favorite particle bait! We call these kernels CHICKPEAS. If you can get them you should try them.-
Good particle baits can be made from beans, nuts, peas, maize and other grains. They need to be prepared in a special way to get the best benefit, a hard bait that can’t be nibbled away from small fish and that is loved by all carp. Therefore please do the following: Put your selected sort of grains into a plastic bucket. For the start use peanuts or soybeans as they are easily available in the whole of India. Please take care that you get fresh whole peanuts kernels (already peeled out of the shell) or soybeans that were harvested and dried afterwards only. They shouldn’t have faced other treatments such as roasting. Fill the bucket with water. The water level should be decently higher than the kernel level. The kernels will soak the water and increase in size. Normally you should allow them to soak for a period of at least 12 to 24 hours. If all the water is soaked into the baits after a short time you will have to add more water. After 24 hours, put the bait into a pot to cook them for about 1 hour. After cooking they should still be quite hard. Overcooked baits are too soft and attract plenty of small nuisance fish that can nibble away the bait from the rig. After cooking I put back the bait into the already mentioned plastic bucket and add some liquid flavour and sugar for a better taste. Like boilies particle baits also will go off after a period of time. However you can store them for a period of a few days without refrigeration and they still work even when they tend to give a little bit of sour smell. Carp of all size love particle baits, but many other medium size fish like them too. A boilie bait allows concentrating your fishing for big carp only. Particle baits will be responsible for the catch of various species from medium to very large size.
When the modern carp fishing tactics and baits were first introduced to Germany it took time until they really worked properly. On one hand the fishermen were unsure about the new ideas and didn’t try them out seriously, on the other hand the fish didn’t yet know how to value the new food. They only knew and ate their natural food and the common baits that were in use all the years before, without prebaiting, boilies and particles were refused. For sure it will be the same in India at the beginning. The carp are used to the nature food and to the special mixes that can be bought in all your fishing tackle shops. So if you want to be successful with boilies or particles you will have to be patient for a while till the Indian Fish accept the new food. You’ll have the best results if you manage to prebait before the actual fishing day/days. Therefore you should first check for promising spots (please check the first part of EUROPEAN CARP FISHING again). The fishing spots then should be baited with a decent amount of bait every day. If possible you should try to bait every day at more or less the same time. Which time you chose is up to you, personally I prefer the evening hours.
-That’s why I prefer baiting/fishing in the evenings and in the night: You get nice results!-
Here in Europe carp results tend to be best from evening through the whole night up to early morning. Normally it is enough to prebait 3 to 5 times before the fishing session. The amount of bait needed depends upon the size of the water and the size of the fish inside. A big carp of 10Kg and more can eat a lot of bait and 1 kg of food is gone within a very short time. So if there are many big or medium size fish in your water you should well be able to throw in a lot. For the start I would advise you to use 0.5-1 kg boilies per day or at least 1-2kg of bait when using particles. If you start to get hooked on carp fishing you’ll soon learn at which waters you get results with less baits and will also understand when a bigger amount of bait is needed to catch fish regularly.
It’s now the time to end this chapter of Modern Carp Fishing. In the next issue you’ll read about the entire special tackle and equipment needed by successful carp fisherman. Even more interesting for you should be the part about the special hook set ups needed when fishing with boilies and particle baits.