Powerful Carp Fishing Bait Flavours And Fermentation Secrets!

Published: 07th January 2009
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Why not exploit these great bait, ground bait and other free baiting suggestions to multiply your catches of big fish and some of these will be new to almost everyone who reads this article, so read on...

Carp utilise fermentation a lot so what is it; why is this important, and how can we exploit it and its products in numerous ways to catch more fish? I know most of us carp anglers are familiar with fermentation from the point of our drinking beer, larger, spirits, wines and so on, but these things are all significant clues to improving your catches!

Most of us are very familiar with the age old scenario where we find an old bait from a trip a few months ago lost in the bottom of our fishing bag and for whatever reason decide to give it a try. Now this bait very probably looked and smelt rather different compared to when it was fresh even to point of being a bit unpleasant to the senses.

So you have cast out and proceed to set up your camp but suddenly, after only 5 minutes out, you get a take, and end up landing either the biggest fish of your trip, or maybe the only fish of your trip! So what is going on here and why might this have happened?

Bacteria abound in our environment and we ourselves are no exception, even though we have a digestive system much longer than that of a carp we utilise natural balances of beneficial bacteria (and fungi like yeasts) in our gut, which have a variety of impacts upon your body's abilities to most efficiently digest and assimilate food. This is especially in the case of food items that perhaps our natural digestive enzymes cannot fully handle entirely.

Anyone who has used enzymes in their baits will know they are effective feeding triggers, enhancers and attractors in their own right and most of us are using them without realising it. Bacteria and fungi build up in our baits and of course, given suitable conditions including moisture, air, an energy source such as the ingredients in your bait, they will activate their own enzymes to digest you bait and absorb its nutrients for themselves and also make various side products too.

We have even got the fashion of introducing so-called probiotic bacteria into our diets to improve our general health, improve digestion and even strengthen our immune systems. The most beneficial bacterial are a very specific range and not all bacteria are effective for this purpose and of course some are even harmful.

The live bacteria are what work as opposed to the pasteurised sort in the popular yogurts which are already dead! Use of live corn steep liquor is a great idea in baits and ground baits and microbial activity in baits is a good thing for so many reasons, but beware that rancid baits are not good!

Fermentation is basically the chemical reaction between the microbial enzymes breaking down substances into smaller units and of course alcohol and various naturally common acids are well known results. Every carp angler knows that alcohol and acids of various forms are very successful carp attractors, but some can be more than this and actually be serious feeding triggers themselves. Yeast and yeast products are very well proven carp feeding stimulants for very many great reasons...

Butyric acid is a very common flavour component and more recently known as a flavour used individually. It is an awful smelling substance though and I know it can put many anglers off using it because it is simply so potent and impacts on our own senses!

It is interesting in regards flavours than many successful carp bait flavours are highly volatile in air and many of the most familiar fruit, sweet and spice flavours for instance are highly noticeable to use. Some flavours are less volatile in air but are still extremely effective. When you go past a bakers, or a Chinese restaurant, or a carvery you will be noticing flavours and other substances in the air and this is actually exploited (frequently deliberately,) to get you into the shop!

Meats like hams are cured in order to produce further flavours and age them suitably and this goes for cheeses too. Both are highly successful carp baits, not simply for their protein and fat content either, but for the flavours they give off and the very significant salts that they contain.

Salting of meats is used for various reasons, but obviously it enhances taste. Apparently butyric acid can be produced in the right conditions from proteins not just carbohydrate sources and this is probably far more important than is realised in the attraction of many of our captures on mouldy old baits.

I'm certain the salts that are also formed are extremely important too, yet relatively few carp anglers apply specific salts and salt-like substances in order to enhance the taste of their baits and ground baits. Many of the more savvy carp bait companies offer bait enhancers, knowing it is bait taste that most promotes repeated feeding activity of the kind that multiplies your chances of takes the most.

Unfortunately most carp anglers have been focussed so much on flavours and smells rather than taste that taste has been relegated to a secondary position. Taste or bait palatability seems much more important than smell in achieving actually getting our hooks inside fishes mouths!

Think about it; you get a 5 brands of crisps, each with exactly the same flavour on the packet. Each probably smells pretty much the same, but what happens when you taste them? Some will certainly not match the flavours you smelt; in fact although you might have liked the smell of some of the brands, the taste of them did not match up to the promise of their smell! Perhaps only 1 brand was preferable to you and you could not get enough of them. Sometimes this is the brand from a lesser known company of crisp producer.

How often do you find salts and flavours together in snack foods, often with yeast extract? This is for no reason, after all each ingredients costs more money to put into the food. Well the foods you eat do condition your taste buds to a great degree and will get you into the habit of wanting to eat and buy more foods with these in. this also includes things like the taste enhancer monosodium glutamate.

Glutamic acid one of those things you will very likely find in your old baits alongside butyric acid and many other flavours and salts and sugars, predigested proteins, broken down oils and much more aside. Many baits contain soya flour and many of us are familiar with soya source as a flavour enhancer and product of fermentation of soya bean products etc.

Belachan or fermented shrimp paste as used oriental soup and other dish taste as a very distinctive flavour and taste improver used to be one very well kept secret bait additive in carp bait circles for years. How anglers do you know that deliberately exploit active fermentation within the materials they use within their PVA bags for instance that very powerfully pull fish to their hook baits? I'm not going to suggest how it can be done in various ways here but it is easily done.

Some of you might have noticed that many condiments which we use to enhance the flavour and palatability of our foods contain results of fermentations and crab, fish and shrimp sources are great examples. Even the most taken for granted tomato ketchups and vinegars are included here. You might not be so surprised now that a low pH flavour like pineapple that contains butyric acid, teamed with butyric acid itself in a winter bait is so universally successful...

All these things are highly attractive not just to us, but to carp which are highly sensitive to all of these substances; it any wonder that old baits work so well?! There are many substances from bait companies as well as things we can do ourselves to improve our boilies, pellets and particle baits and ground baits by exploiting fermentation and its products.

You can seriously multiply your catches when you know how to do this for yourself; even make your own unique flavours and active bait ingredients and ground baits. In fact many of the very best flavours and bait additives and ground bait liquids available today are products of fermentation. But it is not simply what you know about any individual bait additive for instance, but how you creatively use what you know to improve your catches. (There is great information available on this vital subject!)

So now you realise the enormous importance of fermentation and palatability in carp baits perhaps it's worth taking a lot more interest and give your catches a genuinely powerful boost...

By Tim Richardson.

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