A lot of anglers simply purchase their boilies straight off the shelf of a tackle shop and introduce them to the lake here, there and everywhere with no care and attention. Of course, this is fine, and the carp will eat them, but you can enhance them to make them even more appealing.
In more recent times, I’ve been concentrating on using less bait, but placed emphasis on creating a lot more scent and attraction into the water column to intrigue the carp and trigger their feeding responses and receptors.
This has been particularly effective on a water that I have been targeting this year. The lake sees a lot of bait, which is introduced on a regular basis. I feel that as a result of this, the fish end up picking at the large beds of bait because they know that it’s always there for them – in turn, they soon learn that the longer they leave it the less likely they are of being caught.
Consequently, I’ve started enhancing mine. Using CC Moore’s ‘Pacific Tuna’ in recent months, I’ve witnessed a great feeding response whilst fishing in the edge, watching them come in and smash the bait to pieces in seconds. However, I do something a little bit different to stand out from the crowds.
I make my first batch of bait up at home so the bait has time to soak up the liquids I add to the baits. You can do it on the bank and there isn’t a specific order, although I will explain the way I do it.
To start off, I remove about a kilo of 15mm and 18mm Pacific Tuna from the freezer. Then, whilst organising my tackle, I flick on the kettle. It is then time to reach for the liquids and many do the job. I prefer something rich in fish, and something that is particularly water soluble so that it leaks ultimate attraction.
My personal favourites are Tuna L030 and Pure Salmon Oil because they complement the Tuna baits really well. Once the kettle has boiled, I then pour around ½ a litre into a bucket, then quickly add a good dollop of the Tuna L030 into the bucket and give it a good mix together, so it is evenly distributed into the water.
I then add the boilies into the fishy water and stick the lid on the bucket and leave the baits for around 30-40 minutes. Whilst the lid is on the bucket the baits will take on the boiling water and swell up like they do when you first boil your baits.
They will swell up taking on the water and Tuna L030 mix, meaning that as soon as they’re on the lake bed they will be kicking out a lot more smell than a standard boilie would and will be littering the lake bed with a lovely tuna aroma which the carp love.
After the 30-40 minutes is up I take the lid off the bucket to reveal no liquid left in the bucket because the baits have soaked it all in and are now ready for the final stage. While the baits are still swelled up from taking on the boiling water I douse them in Pure Salmon Oil, which will do a few things for me. As the baits shrink back down to their normal size they will draw the oil deep into the bait, which will prolong the leak rate of the baits and also leak attraction up and down the water column to draw the carp down.
Also, as they shrink down the oil helps harden them up so I can put them out with the throwing stick without them splitting. A throwing stick is my preferred method of baiting up when fishing over hinge stiff links. All I do is stick the lid on the bucket and drive down the lake. By the time I’ve got to the lake the baits have shrunk back down and soaked all of the oil in. Just before I put them out, I give them a light coating of pure salmon oil just for that initial attraction in the area.
I use this method because it keeps a lot of smell in the area where my rods are which entices the carp into feeding, but when they get down to the lake bed there’s not a lot of feed so they’ve got no choice but to take my Pacific Tuna corkball pop-up. It works really well on lakes that see a lot of bait. I also use this method in the winter, but just drop the oil out of the mix and it’s still super effective helping me land a new personal best common of 34lb 4oz a couple of weeks before Christmas last year and in more recent times a target fish from my local club water ‘the pretty lin’ and just over 28lb.