BAIT FLAVOURS For CARP and CATFISH - Devastating Developments.

Published: 08th June 2007
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Great fishing bait flavours and rigs do not come along too often. Take a look at some of the most revolutionary here!

'Pop-up' baits were used to fish the hook and bait off the lake bed to make them even more obvious and enticing to the fish. Also in all probability, these were very likely to be taken first if you had baited your swim with lots of 'free baits' to attract the fish into the swim. This method really multiplied catches.

These baits were a revolution in themselves and literally ripped carp waters apart at the time and where they had not been used before.

At this time most fishermen were coming from an age where you had to make your own baits whether boilies or pastes, because there was simply no alternative, although there were already more and more boilie base mixes coming onto the market for making homemade baits.

The milk protein revolution was in full flow and these were regarded with great respect by many experienced fishermen as their results on these had been extraordinary. These baits were very effective for selectively catching carp, especially bigger specimens, when compared to many of the simpler 'special' pastes, pellets and pet food based carp baits around at the time and used for generations.

Baits like the 'naturals' like worms and maggots, and the popular tinned meats like luncheon meat, beans and peas and other similar baits like hemp seed and sweetcorn.

The fact was it took a fair amount of far less accessible and even secret technical knowledge, to make very effective milk protein baits. It was the famous Fred Wilton and his writings that kick started that revolution with the theories about these nutritional baits.

It may seem strange now, but these baits were not really recommended to be used with flavours as they were judged to be more effective perhaps without them when made and used correctly. Betaine was a key part of these and other baits even then, decades ago.

These baits were used by the top carp angers of the time and obviously produced great catches. But these baits were not the only type around, and there were many others based on other ingredients and exploiting other bait aspects that stimulated fish feeding. Often these would not need to utilise flavours either.

There were many other advanced baits around, not much different to those used even today, incorporating predigested fish meals for example. Often baits were made using various qualities and grades of fish and shellfish meals and these were very effective and again, quite complex baits which have stood the test of time. The top quality baits of this kind did not necessarily need any flavour.

In fact a flavour was used to simply differentiate your bait from someone else's, who could possibly using the same or a similar base mix of attractive ingredients as your bait.

The advantage of using flavours as labels was that there were plenty to choose from so there was much less chance of someone else using the bait combination you were using and get results as a result of your baiting up efforts to get your bait established.

Flavours were not even used as major attractors in these baits because the cheap substances used to make many of these flavours could be detected by carp in many instances, extremely quickly after a few fish had been hooked. Then they would become gradually or even immediately harder to catch.

At this point, the bait was altered and made with a new or different flavour, to keep ahead of the fish and possible competing anglers. Fishing was definitely so open about successful bait secrets back then, especially on the bigger fish waters!

The "Richworth's" flavours appeared to be specifically designed and tested using scientific knowledge of carp and their feeding responses to various substances.

They really were successful and instilled a great deal of confidence in their users. Despite these flavours being so successful, they often did not continue to be successful against good quality nutritional based baits like fishmeals.

(I found this from hard experience!)

These highly flavoured readymade baits have changed in some ways over the years in regards to their base mix. I believe it was originally a 'farmed form' of ingredient called 'pruteen' which was originally used. I think this product was discontinued as it was claimed to be carcinogenic. It caused the original baits to have a kind of 'rubbery' feel and acted differently when defrosted compared to today's baits.

Now the use of 'shelf-life' baits is taken for granted and they are used successfully. However I still believe that the 'live' nature of frozen baits to be an advantage over their preserved counterparts. As in the case of "Richworth" readymade baits and many others, over the years, their range of leading baits has had to evolve as the nutritional value and quality of base mixes became better and better and other readymade baits could out compete the original baits on many waters.

"Richworth" baits are now in the vanguard of high nutritional value baits and are regarded with respect by bait buffs for their scientific complexity and massive success. These baits have come a long way from simply being a carrier for flavours.

The most interesting part about these baits were obviously their flavours and these were what carp anglers got most excited about because they 'hit you in the nose' so hard when you defrosted these frozen readymades and opened the bag. The most well known and still most popular today were the 'Tutti Frutti' flavoured ones. It was when using these that you suddenly realised nearly every other species in the lake would eat them too!
These flavours are still available today and the ones I remember doing well on were the above especially in winter, the 'Salmon supreme' again especially in winter, and 'Honey Yucatan' especially in summer time. These days the "Richworth" massively expanded range of selected and purposely designed fishing bait flavours utilizing many different 'bases' rival any in the world.

Flavours are very interesting as when used they can alter the acidic or more towards alkaline nature of your bait. This is significant because the vast majority of bait ingredients or foods that fish eat are of an acidic nature. In the case of carp, the 'digestive tract' is an elongated alkaline tube. The carp benefits from consuming substances which actively assist in food digestion including enzymes and acidic substances including acids themselves.

Betaine hydrochloride is a primary example. Gastric and spleen mucosa are used in proprietary amino acid supplements and used as fish feed stimulators in baits with very good results. Catfish respond equally well to these and especially when used with betaine hydrochloride too.

In fact many of the most successful baits have elements of the bait which are active in helping the fish digest it, whether enzymes like pepsin or perhaps even industrial bacteria whose own digestive enzymes are acting to digest the bait. Like fish, our digestive systems require bacteria to assist in our food digestion and these are essential to absorb all the nutrients we need from our food.

Flavours can have a significant role in changing the ph of your bait and make it more likely to be treated as food or even detected by fish. Some flavours stimulate and 'pull' fish from greater range away from the bait. Some leach out of various bait mixes at different rates and while some flavours might disperse from the bait very fast to attract fish, while others will barely become soluble and hardly mix with water at all and form a halo around the bait so being more effective at very close range.

So you can see how mixing flavours with different practical characteristics can be very useful. All these factors effect catch results when using flavours of different bases and blends in differing temperature conditions.

The commonly held theory is that the more 'acidic' flavours like the fruity and spicy flavours catch better in colder water temperatures while those like the 'savoury' or fishy or meaty ones do better in warmer water. But there is such a diversity of flavours and their different concentrations, ingredients, bases and methods of production that different company's products can perform with totally different results on the one water.

Even flavours that all smell the same to us can be totally different in producing results when used in baits. Flavours constituents might be completely different. Our sense of smell or taste is vastly different to that of fish which are also detecting these substances in water and not air.

Flavours called by the same name, like 'Scopex' or 'pineapple' or 'strawberry' from different companies, can differ greatly in their effectiveness on the same water in the same bait. A successful bait and flavour combination on one individual may have completely different results on another water.

It is interesting to note that individual fish do appear to express preferences for different flavours just like we do! So perhaps you might use a flavour that has caught a big fish in the past again, but 'masked' slightly by another flavouring or additive.

The subject of flavors is enormous. They are used on their own for bait dips, soaks and boilie, dough or paste bait flavors. They are often combined with many different other flavours, oils, additives and liquids like amino acids, sweeteners and so on, to make fishing baits even more effective diverse and different.

It needs to be said that it stretches from using natural extracts like vanilla and yeasts, to 'nature identical' artificial copies of natural flavours. From thousands of esters, oils, distilled fruit extracts, to different 'bases' like diacetin, propanol, glycerol, ethyl alcohol, propylene glycol and very many acids and many more obscure components and combinations that have proven effective for stimulating fish.

Many of these substances could well surprise you! In South Africa the mouth wash 'TCP' is very popular for carp!

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.

For the unique and acclaimed new massive expert bait making 'bible' ebooks / books:

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