Get ahead this winter with these unusual and insightful tips based on 30 years of winter fishing experiences and big carp captures and make your ready-made baits and homemade baits catch many more big fish!
Very viscous and extremely soluble substances are very effective at catching more carp in cold conditions! Obviously highly soluble substances such as alcohol flavours are highly effective in winter, yet other substances that are less soluble are also very useful in achieving bites, most especially if they are emulsified or partly emulsified using liquid lecithins. Terpenes, oleoresins and essential oils etc are all proven winter winners.
Glycerol or glycerine is a very useful substance because it mixes with water in effect 100 percent, and many successful flavours are based on it. Alcohol flavours too are highly water-soluble so will travel easily from your bait, so forming a concentration gradient that carp can home in on. Personally, I find mixing glycerol and alcohol-based flavours with ones primarily natural ester-based or others, natural or nature-identical, or diacetin types, are very successful.
You can even boost a propylene glycol based flavour by cutting it with vodka (at home not on the bank preferably.) many things can be used to alter conventional concentrated flavours including natural raspberry puree, and a probiotic agent such as marmite.
Marmite is very rich in taste-enhancing factors for instance slats and glutamine. Adding Talin as an electrostatic carrier and also further soluble sweeteners, taste enhancers and palatants etc help produce very unique homemade flavours but this aspect is so huge I have written a book on it! I have been doing this kind of experimentation for my baits, both homemade and ready-made, since the seventies because it works so incredibly well particularly in cold water conditions.
But of course concentrated flavours are not the only useful substances; and some substances can be too soluble and actually leach out of baits too fast as they have infinite solubility, as in the case of glycerol dominated flavours, for example. It is wise to try mixing flavours and other substances so your flavours all leach out at different rates, leaving some concentrated attraction in the proximity of the bait. Using pure glycerine, vodka, and a mixture of concentrated sweetener and molasses and marmite, soluble fish protein and lactose, for instance, is a little bit alternative and produces different effects and impacts at different ranges.
For an easy homemade method or stick-type mixes, just make a breadcrumb based fluffy mixture dampened with your unique liquids to produce a ground bait mixture that will disperse easily, releasing soluble attraction and food particles into the water column and attract carp like mad! Using anything, from hemp oil, essential oils and fruit oils etc in your mix will get particles to pull fish down from upper layers better as the oil will tend to rise in water. Maybe add crushed tiger nuts (chufas) too as this will leave an oily layer on the bottom that will easily rise up when disturbed by fish and will excite them further still!
An easy way to make an alternative, highly over-flavoured area for winter fishing is to mix breadcrumbs with the old favourite Nesquick powdered milk shake. I really like using extra sweetened oils of many forms, provided they are mixed with liquid lecithins, but I advise you to avoid bulk fish and marine oils that simply solidify in low temperatures – test in the fridge or outside overnight using a thermometer if you are unsure.
While actually fishing and testing oils, I have found a thermometer placed in oils in a pot in the water is quite enlightening! This is especially since doing my bait kitchen video for CC Moore TV and researching more in my practical fishing for my unique Crafty Carper magazine Carp Food Column.
Fruit oils are easily available online, and you do not always have to go to fishing bait companies for something slightly different or alternative; after all, that is one of the greatest proven edges in carp fishing! Besides using any oils, I seriously recommend using the high PC liquid lecithin from Phil at CW Baits (online) as this will improve bait performance dramatically and increase digestion of baits as well as add further feeding triggers and nutrition to your baits!
Test any oil you use in your winter baits to check that it does not solidify in the lake water temperatures you will be fishing in. this might sound very obvious after all just how much harder is it for a fish to detect a bait that is simply a ball of fat, compared to a finding a bait that is very actively releasing oils that can easily disperse in the water? For example, in cold water, avoid using salmon oil, and use very viscous hemp oil, maybe with added liquid lecithins and maybe essential oils based on clove, cinnamon or chilli for example.
In really low winter temperatures, solubility really is a great factor that can be leveraged, and in such conditions it is often pointless using a conventional boiled bait coated in paste, when you can use paste on the rig and know every part of your bait really is working for you (and is not rendered ineffective due to being sealed inside coagulated protein formed by heating of the bait!)
I will not go into which bait products to use here because there are so many excellent ones for winter and spring fishing to choose from but one key aspect in choosing substance is how well they will disperse in water – and most especially in cold water! To find this out just get samples and mix them with cold water. In a way it is like testing salt against betaine crystals or whole milk powders against various caseins, semolina or maize flour – or against malt extract, for instance.
Just one example of a really good winter trick is to make a paste using CC Moore Feedstim XP Liquid, their Feedstim XP powder, their Belachan powder, pure betaine and liquid Red Venom, stiffened with good old whole meal wheat flour. Notice that no egg is used in this paste as you might in making boilies, as this bait can be as water-soluble as you like and will last longer in very low winter temperatures! Add milk powders in this bait for improved nutritional stimulation.
Milky baits break down and cloud water thus stimulating fish sight feeding behaviours! It is cheaper to use Vitamealo and Five Pints milk powders than caseins, whey proteins and caseinates however remember that using higher quality protein can really pay off especially for bigger fish! Revealed in my unique ready-made bait and homemade bait carp and catfish bait secrets ebooks is far more powerful information look up my unique website (Baitbigfish) and see my biography below for details of my ebooks deals right now!
By Tim Richardson.