Fantastic Carp Boilie Recipes And Bait Flavours That Enhance Palatability And Catches!

Published: 01st October 2009
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If you are looking for many significantly competitive bait edges to catch you more fish then look no further! Here are many natural carp bait flavours and details of them that will really make your baits more palatable to carp - and seriously improve their feeding responses thus catching you many more carp! Certain potent flavours are even better being completely naturally produced actually within your - baits so read on to discover more!

Every carp angler seems to carp on about flavours and each angler has his own personal experiences and opinions on the different forms and their personal favourites! Recently an article in a magazine stated that flavours did not work, but it is very obvious this was simply to draw maximum attention to the article as this statement is completely misleading! After all did not work then no-one would have bothered using them all these decades and bait companies like Richworth would probably not have had the impact they did upon the mentality about carp baits that the majority of carp anglers at least in the UK have today!

So what is a short history of flavoured carp baits and why are flavours such a well-known part of carp fishing today? Basically, going back to the nineteen-seventies and early eighties when the bolt rig was teamed-up with concentrated flavour style boilies which were often of low nutritional value, this combination established a very highly successful method. This was even before the universal popularisation of the hair rig or pop-up baits etc.

At that time apart from the hushed secretive whispers about high nutritional bait recipes and also BNV bait formulation discussion among more knowledgeable anglers, there were many other anglers who were not in that clique at all who simply opted to use a basic 50:50 semolina and soya flour boilie mix with a concentrated flavour and maybe an intense sweetener and taste enhancer or appetite-stimulator. Remember that readymade boilies did not become available from fishing tackle shops in the UK until around 1983 or 1984, with the advent of Richworth frozen readymade baits.

These baits were referred to quite negatively by the more knowledgeable bait-making carp anglers who called them crap baits because these cheap baits were made from a very cheap base mix of relatively low nutritional value. The key thing was the advanced development and research that had gone into the various concentrated flavours used in these new baits and without doubt some of these flavours are still winners today over 25 years later.

From what I have gleaned from various sources including shop owners who spoke to the Richworth representatives at that time, the development of these flavours was a highly professional job! My inside information on certain seriously bioactive Richworth flavour components confirms just how potent some of these flavours are and why many of the components were included for their powerful impacts on carp instincts and senses. However, a big factor in what made these baits successful was their palatability that ensured that these baits would be repeatedly consumed even if they may have lacked particular areas of essential nutrition.

At the time carp fishing was only just becoming truly commercialised and many anglers were coming into the sport from match fish or course fishing and had no previous experience of making baits of their own, so these readymade baits seemed the perfect solution. However at the time, very few anglers would put our quantities of free feed. This was often because the expensive high protein milk protein baits used at the time worked well in small amounts and it has often bothered me why fish meal baits seemed to require lots of free baiting to really harness their power by comparison. Anyway these so-called instant crap baits did catch loads of fish but did get a hammering from quality homemade baits used against them.

I used all of the Richworth flavours at one time or another in the early eighties alongside my homemade baits and found that although they were very good short-term baits they seemed to work best in the first hour to the following 3 to 4 hours while the flavours were still in very concentrated levels in the baits. When they were washed out they definitely produced less bites at that time compared to fresh un-washed out readymade baits. But a drawback to the flavour levels was the fact that the fish more easily associated them with danger and so changing to new flavours was a real necessity - hence the large range of bait flavours.

Obviously Richworth have been developing new base mixes for their readymade baits and they have highly reputable highly nutritional readymade baits and base mixes today far beyond their early 50:50 and bird food mixes etc of yesteryear for instance. But one thing is clear and that is they certainly got their bait palatability right! Attention to detail is very important when you are aiming to remove anything that might make your baits less attractive and Richworth have there own bore hole on site which they use to supply uncontaminated water for boiling their baits. I have boiled my baits in filtered water for years for the same reason.

As I am sure you can appreciate, carp are not going to prefer baits contaminated with toxic chemical like chlorine (or the incredibly toxic fluorine that is forced upon us via our mains drinking water against all scientific sanity!) Funnily enough, it is far healthier to clean your teeth using eugenol-enhanced tooth paste instead of fluorinated tooth paste. (Look up fluorine and see just how healthy it is not!) By contrast eugenol is a very commonly-used, highly effective carp bait additive and is present in all kinds of popular bait flavours and various natural bait additives (it is extremely potently anti-bacterial!)

I make tea with honey or molasses and I add cinnamon powder or nutmeg to improve its palatability as even after filtering there are still contaminants in tap water that I can taste; a pinch of salt in tea or coffee certainly enhances flavours too and you will notice this especially if you have hay fever or a cold for instance, although the honey and citric acid in Lemsip taken for flu also improves the palatability of the medicine. As the song goes, a spoonful of sugar (or honey) makes the medicine go down!

Have you noticed how aspirin can be purchased in flavoured form and that cod liver oil and various other mineral supplements etc can be bought in all kinds of fruit flavours to make them more palatable? More specifically in regards to baits, just how popular would crisps, cakes, biscuits, cigarettes (e.g. eugenol,), beers (e.g. cinnamon and maple,) and wines (e.g. menthol) be, without the amounts of additional flavours and enhancers etc they include? In fact the Richworth 50:50 gold base mix has improved palatability because of the additional nutritional factors it contains (have you ever noticed how strong-tasting vitamin and mineral pills are?!)

Bait palatability is usually most closely associated by anglers with our own sense of taste although this is not strictly accurate as aquatic carp senses differ in many ways from our own terrestrial-designed ones! Palatability is a subject that only a trained scientist could describe in complete fullness but it is one of the most powerful ways of getting more carp to repeatedly sample and consume your baits most frequently - so providing you with the highest number of chances of bites!

Your ability to induce the production of even more attractive flavours within your baits is an enormously important edge! The science of this is extremely complicated because the subject overlaps on so many different aspects of bait substances when combined and their impacts upon different carp senses etc. However most of you reading this will at some time have used an old bait left on the rig from your last session or found forgotten in the bottom of your bag. The fact that such baits often achieve success very quickly is a phenomenon that knowledgeable bait makers know all about and exploit to maximum effect.

Old baits get attacked by bacteria and these enzymes break them down into further components and various compounds that have specific characteristics that mean they travel trough water easily, are more easily digested by carp and much more easily detected by carp senses. It is much the same effect as leaving a sandwich in a bag a few days and then opening it up to find it has completely new aromas, smell and tastes.

Bear in mind that carp sensory preferences differ to our own and in fact each individual carp or unique species of other fish have specific flavour preferences. This factor is just one reason why some carp are caught more often on one flavour than on others. Much pf this is genetic but senses can be manipulated of course! After all how much of our own food is enhanced with sugar, salt and yeast extract, chilli pepper and paprika extra etc; so much so that we would actually dislike foods without such additves in them?!

Just to demonstrate that flavours really do work, millions of pounds go into improving the efficiency of aquaculture feeds so that the high costs of feed of to fish farmers converts to maximum effect into the fastest profitable fish growth for instance.

Here is an example of a patent claim in 2008 in regards to a method for enhancing the palatability of aquaculture feed. It takes a huge amount of money and commitment to develop new products and patent them so you can appreciate that it would not be done if the products have not been proven to be very effective! Betaine is one of the food palatability enhancing and feed inducing factors that has been used in aquaculture for decades. Most carp anglers are aware of its success today but there are very many more substances that improve feeding responses and bait palatability besides this!

The patent I mentioned is just one of many applicable to baits I have found. The one compound can be used for different fish species (and this is dependant upon use of the correct concentration of compound per weight of feed for each species.) This also applies in regards to the various concentrations of forms of concentrated flavours used in boilies, pellets and pastes etc in various levels that might attract more carp or tench or roach and bream or catfish instead.

Species are flavour-specific but also the levels of flavour in a bait is very important and in some cases use of the conventional 3 or 5 millilitres of concentrated flavour per one kilogram of powdered base mix with have little if any noticeable effect, whereas use of 7 millilitres or even 30 millilitres can cause a huge difference in fish reactions and responses. For instance, you might catch less big wary carp using Richworth Tutti Fruiti at the standard 5 millilitres per kilogram dosage rate, but use the maximum recommended dose of 30 millilitres of Ccmoore crayfish concentrate to get around their conditioned wariness of familiar substances.

Many of the most well-known Richworth flavours from the eighties are sweet but not all are. Some seemed to be more successful in warmer temperatures and some came into their own more in lower water temperatures but either way, they did better when note totally freshly defrosted but heated up a couple of days in advance of fishing or while actually fishing, and this applies to so many other baits too of course!

You might wonder what attractive substance is common with mature cheeses and pineapple flavours for instance and the common factor is butyric acid naturally formed by enzymic activity or synthetically produced. Even the old favourite vanillin is still used in many carp flavours in various forms, some natural and some synthetic or nature-identical; the real stuff is bioactive (so why not try it with maple to make a new natural flavour perhaps?!)

The Richworth flavours that are still popular even today that were effective 25 years ago include Tutti Fruitti, Honey Yucatan, Pineapple Hawaiian and Salmon supreme. The old favourite 50:50 and 50:50 Gold boilie base mixes and the bird food base mix are still available.

Flavours are far from simply those concentrated chemicals you smell in little bottles sold in tackle shops. It takes flavorists many years of study to qualify and their secretive world is utilised by bait companies more and more. Flavours are certainly not all we might assume they all are! Below is a formula for the palatability improver from the patent application I previously mentioned:

2-hydroxy-4-(methylthio) butanoic acid (or a salt, ester or amide of this.)

Related formulas in the patent describe other compounds including other organic acid derivatives and salts of these at a recommended 0.005 percent of feed weight to about 0.07 percent per weight of feed inclusion.

There are many connotations and similar examples to the compounds mentioned above and you can be sure that some of them are in certain carp bait flavours in some form or another and naturally various organic acids for instance are present all the time in carp baits even if we are not aware of it! Although you might not appreciate the significance of the above formula in carp bait flavour terms, flavour development is a hugely important factor in enhancing our bait palatability to increase numbers of bites and fish caught!

The formula above is effective for a range of species of fish including carp, catfish, salmon, trout, tilapia, smelt and prawns. These variations on the flavour development and compound are mentioned because they are commercially-viable species grown as food for the table and are profitable. (The concentrations of the compound to be used with each species ranges from about 0.07 percent of feed weight to 0.001 percent of feed weight.)

You might have spotted that the compound is also used for prawns. Betaine is used to improve feeding response in aquaculture feeds for them too and not just for fish. Can you imagine what might be the side-benefits of using compounds in your baits that attract natural carp food items such as shrimps or snails to your baits?!

If you bait your swim naturally there is much less for wary carp to be cautious of! There are many ways flavours can be formed in baits or pre-formed and included in baits and here are just 3 examples:

Formation of flavours in baits by use of fermentation sugars.

Flavour formation by enzymatic conversion of amino acids.

Formation of flavours in salt-fermented fish mash such as the formation of aroma-active components in salt-fermented anchovies.

There is also the hidden possible positive benefits of flavour and enhancing type compounds acting on gut flora and gut performance in terms of improved digestion; plus the question of prebiotics and probiotics and improving carp immune systems that constitute long-term benefits and further big competitive edges in carp baits!

Many industrial enzymes used to develop flavours are extremely expensive and require specific temperatures and conditions to do their work but remember that your baits always contain bacteria that in time proliferates, digesting your baits with their enzymes as they grow. Sure you can have off-flavours develop but most often both humans and fish will detect potential food that is not healthy. This is not really a big problem considering the millions of boilies that must have gone off totally and gone rotten on the lake beds of carp waters around the world over the years - to be broken down by bacteria! Anyway, it has been found in scientific studies that where fish do not feed due to a souring of an area due to too many angler introducing free feed, they simply move away temporarily and feed elsewhere!

Incidentally enzymes themselves are attractive to carp and maybe you can understand why these might act as feeding triggers now because they could indicate the potential presence of predigested food substances?! Natural flavours and their generation in baits are very attractive to carp and natural enzymic activity helps break your baits down so they become even more digestible and more soluble and perform better and this can be enhanced too by the use of other natural enzyme-rich substances such as enzyme-treated liver powder and enzyme-treated yeast extract. (For much more more information on making homemade baits and boosting and adapting readymade baits of all kinds see my unique bait secrets ebooks and articles at Baitbigfish right now!)

By Tim Richardson.

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