For fishing purposes the dark brown Malaysian form of krill paste called Belachan (or Belacan) is the best known!
Belachan is one unique regional form of fermented shrimp or fermented krill pastes used in cooking in Southeast Asia and Chinese cuisine. Such pastes are used as an enhancer and flavouring in dips, sources, curries and is used in salty, savoury or spicy condiments and as savoury or even sweet toppings for fresh fruit such as mangoes; there are countless uses all of which improve palatability, intensity, duration of impacts and richness of taste.
Shrimp paste varies in forms, some are almost liquid or liquid, some are smooth or other consistencies of paste and some are used as air-dried block forms, or ground down powder, depending on region of production, or the end product and its uses when applied to foods or to fishing bait applications!
Some forms are made from fermented shrimp and others from fermented krill. Shrimp pastes vary in colour, protein content and salt content too. Some forms are much saltier in taste, and others may be savoury, or very sweet, having molasses added; and the paste produced in this case is black so not all forms are typically dark or light brown and some are purple-red or bright pink! Some forms are better known than others.
If you have tasted prawns or shrimps or scampi, crayfish or lobster, then you will know that they taste much better with a coating of brine, or salt if they are of the freshwater species for example. This is highly significant in enhancing the impacts of them. This is part of the exceptional impacts of Belachan and related shrimp and prawn type products that have been salted…
Belachan is of course a taste enhancer extraordinaire, its ability to attract are massive, but its greats power is its range of fish feeding triggers, and natural attractors and enhancers and many other factors which are highly water soluble and fish-digestible and are ideally concentrated so that in water Belachan becomes concentrated solution and is very easily detected by carp and other species of fish and induces feeding!
In Belachan production basically krill steamed and mashed with salt. It is then allowed to decay naturally so that the proteins and other elements within the mash are broken down by micro-organism enzymes naturally. After a period of time the rich pre-digested pulpy material is milled and compressed as paste and is air-dried naturally, but then in the case of Belachan it is then re-fermented multiple times.
The larger the krill the longer the time it takes for it to breakdown. The pulp is ground down to form a much smoother consistency. Eventually the paste is formed into firm dough blocks and cut into smaller blocks, then labeled and packaged for sale.
One of the big secrets of the incredible attraction of Belachan is the way the protein in the shrimps is broken down into soluble polypeptides which fish find irresistible enhanced by the salts, added to the fact that both the feed-triggering peptide mixture and salts are highly water soluble and are therefore very easily detected by various fish sensory systems. (Belachan is a great enhancer of other bait ingredients and additives too and like another salty product CC Moore Feedstim (powder and liquid,) it will enhance and naturally magnify impacts of flavours upon fish senses very beneficially!)
As Belachan contains so much salt, when dried it is self-preserving, this is provided it is stored in a dry atmosphere! This is an interesting point about Belachan in regards to water. One of the key characteristics of Belachan is the high salt content which makes it ideal for making any bait far more efficient at attracting carp and other fish because of the improved leakage of all other baits substances from bait as a result of the action of the salts interaction with water.
Belachan not only contains a very rich concentrated profile of free form water soluble amino acids that are highly digestible and easily assimilated by carp, but feed-triggering amino acids such as glutamic acid that especially enhance impacts of other bait ingredients too. The amino acids within fermented shrimp block and related products are very concentrated and highly water soluble, so are easy for carp to detect in water.
Belachan, krill, and shrimp amino acids are highly representative of many forms of related crustaceans that carp senses have been evolved to be most sensitive to within their aquatic environment over the eons of developmental evolution of carp. It makes absolute good sense to exploit this fact in any direct and related way you can!
By initially thinking about the exploiting of natural carp senses and particular sensitivities you will always have guaranteed great fishing baits! Natural-derived bait tends to work very instantly particularly in paste form therefore Belachan is ideal and requiring no advance baiting to work though of course pre-baiting is always a huge edge in carp fishing in the short or long term.
Belachan is very high quality protein food with an excellent amino acid profile for both attracting fish and also for triggering feeding. The amino acids, trace elements, minerals etc within Belachan are feeding triggers and attractors and enhancers that impact on other elements within boilies to enhance their impacts too.
Belachan block is not especially high in protein, but it is high in various salts forms. The way Belachan acts in water is of paramount importance to its success in carp and other types of fishing.
Belachan has an amino acid profile that is highly attractive to fish which naturally pulls fish to it, and to any formats or recipes of bait containing it, and vitally, these amino acids and salts etc, also incite intensive feeding behaviours. This additive can be exploited in instant attractor baits and in long term baits being naturally nutritionally stimulating and highly digestible (it being a pre-digested protein product!)
As an added bonus Belachan is a relatively economical product while having extraordinary potency so you can use high levels in boilie recipes, stick mixes etc, (or use it directly neat,) and use lots of it to great effect!
Belachan has a low oil content of only 3 percent and is about 70 percent fermented krill; the proteins of which have a naturally high percentage of digestibility and this is an extremely important factor in its success quite apart from its solubility in all water temperatures! Winning bait substances tend to work in all water temperatures and the characteristics and properties of Belachan make it suitable used neat or within boilies, stick mixes, method mixes, ground baits, carpet mixes, slop mixes, paste baits etc, ideal for the lowest water temperatures.
Examples of very high quality protein fermented shrimp products for any fishing bait applications are the CC Moore Belachan liquid and block, Belachan powder, hydrolysed krill amino compound liquid and related krill meal, shrimp powder and the various shrimp liquid foods, shrimp extract pellets, anchovy protein extract liquid etc.
You can apply Belachan and related shrimp products to endless fishing bait applications and solutions; making dips and glugs, preparing particles, pastes, boilies and pellets, defrosting seafood baits, soaking fish and meat and other such baits, even to maggots and sweetcorn for example to boost them!
You can sprinkle fermented shrimp powder over heated wet baits about to dry, and include Belachan powder, gratings and pieces and liquid in ground baits, spod, stick slop, method and for many PVA type presentation approaches etc. Belachan pieces and gratings are really excellent PVA bag additions.
Liquid Belachan extract, krill amino compound, liquid shrimp extract, liquid shellfish concentrate etc, can be applied in baits on their own or with other liquids foods, and also with other enhancers and palatants, flavours etc to seriously enhance baits in an endless array of ways.
You can use Belachan block as cubes, gratings, and powder to make pastes of endless potencies and potentials of effects and internal impacts on fish. You might simply add mashed prawns, crushed tiger nuts, soluble fish protein, lactalbumin, calcium caseinate, Belachan and fermented shrimp and blood powder plus maybe some CC Moore crunchy kelp, to produce a uniquely potent bait; add liquid Belachan mixed with kelp complex liquid and betaine for example.
You could chop up Belachan block and use it as particle bait on its own or with any particles, seeds, pulses, nuts, natural baits, chopped boilies, pellets etc. You can use Belachan to improve pellets simply by a quick soak with Belachan liquid extract.
As an unusual idea: why not add dried insect meal, dried shrimps, krill meal and shrimp powder, Belachan pieces and gratings to liquid foods (in particular PVA-friendly ones,) and use this within PVA bags to deliver awesome levels of concentrated feeding triggers. Also this idea is ideal for use with other additives, meals, ingredients and extracts etc! Perhaps ground up tiger nuts and luncheon meat mixed in a PVA bag full of Belachan gratings and pieces with krill amino compound for example.
CC Moore Belachan Ultra Essence flavour is highly successful and uniquely tastes the same as it smells. When you want a unique flavour that works all year round this is a winner in winter and summer time. Belachan stick mix is another option and the CC Moore Belachan stick mix is made to match the colour of silt where as other mixes spook fish away.
As Belachan is natural you can use unlimited amounts without it being possible to over-load boilie mixes and related pastes for example! Why not make baits with a very high percentage and not bother heating such baits in any way? Using a mixture of Belachan grating and Belachan powder opens your bait up to far more efficiently deliver these and all of the other constituents and liquid components of a bait for even greater success. This applies especially to winter boilies where opening up of any heated bait is vital to maximise your success!
So many anglers think that bait ingredients are all about making boilies and maybe related to pastes but take things further! Why not make your own ground baits, or super-boost your stick and spod and method mixes and so on in alternative ways perhaps combining with hemp protein powder, pure liver powder, concentrated yeast powder, CC Moore squid concentrate powder etc?
Think laterally and you will discover new ways to apply Belachan. For example preparing maize and hemp in Belachan boiled down in liquid betaine (Boiling does not damage betaine.) Or perhaps think about soaking sweetcorn in liquid Belachan mixed with CC Moore Super Fruit Blend liquid. Such ideas and new combinations really are worth exploring big-time!
Betaine works best in conjunction with water-soluble amino acids-packed additives and ingredients; Belachan and betaine is a great combination but this is the tip of a massive iceberg of extremely potent combinations!
As a much whispered-about carp bait additive Belachan has been catching countless big carp and other specimen fish of other species, decades before it became widely known. But today with so many more forms of Belachan and krill and shrimp-related products to exploit, the possibilities for Belachan uses and applications are only limited by your own creative process – the possibilities are literally endless…
By: Tim Richardson. www.baitbigfish.com
Don’t miss Tim’s 2 part guide to making your own unique baits, where he goes deeper into using belachan to your advantage, check it out!
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