In this article Cornish carper, Tony Welch talks about how and why he likes to make his own special Blackcurrant flavoured hook-baits!
Several years ago I was sat up a tree watching carp feeding on the Cell boilies that I was flicking into the lake one at a time. It was very relaxing just sat there swaying backwards and forwards in the branches in the light breeze on a warm sunny spring day. I watched as these lovely dark leney mirrors came in over the boilies and picked them off one by one. The carp would actually place its mouth around the bait hard on the bottom, lift up to right itself and swallow the boilie. Not one was ejected, sucked in or blown out, they just scoffed them all until I ran out of the pocket full of boilies I had climbed the tree with! I remember thinking to myself at the time these fish would be suckers for a chod rig presented bait, fished only an inch or so off the bottom.
I decided to fish the closest swim I could to these fish but that was still some 150-200 metres away. I was hoping as darkness fell they would move toward me and I'd have a chance. I cast out 3 chod rigs with a line of Cell boilies scattered between the hook baits. I wanted to attract the carp to my hook bait as quickly as possible so decided to use a white coloured hook bait for high visability and a flavour combination which I had dabbled with previously, with success.
That night didn't produce a take but I knew first light to 11am was the key time and sure enough I had a take on each rod producing some lovely dark mirrors to over 25lb. I continued to use this tactic and had plenty of success on this lake but the highlight for me was catching the iconic 'Birthmark' from Manor on the linear complex. This recepie is a winner and I've caught using these baits everywhere I've gone. They even saved my blushes at a Total Carp feature where I was blanking up until 20 mins before the photographer turned up!
What you need is: An egg, Polaris Pop up mix, Tru colors white - 1 teaspoon, Sweet Ade - 2ml, Response Scopex - 2ml and the awesome Response Blackcurrant - 4ml
Crack the egg into a mixing bowl, add the liquid flavours, Tru colour bait dye and gently stir together with a fork. Now begin to add Polaris pop-up mix, only a little at a time and mix until you end up with a ball of dough that’s not too wet or sticky, but also not too dry. Practice makes perfect and you will soon learn what the correct consistency of the dough should be with experience. Next roll the dough into hook-baits, either by hand or with a rolling table, the Rolaball Longbase Baitmaker tables from Gardner tackle are perfect for this. Finally boil the baits for 45 seconds and air dry for a week. Then keep in a tub and add a few drops of flavour every 3 or 4 weeks.
When using a chod or hinge stiff rig I’ll roll normal round baits, but I'll wrap a thin 2-4mm layer of my Polaris paste around a cork ball. That way I know the hook-bait will keep my chod and hinge rigs popped up for as long as I need it to. The other option is to add a teaspoon of cork dust to your whisked egg or to the Polaris base mix prior to adding the powder mix to the egg.
So far, I’ve only talked about making pop-up hook-baits with these flavours, however, you can also use the basis of this recipe to make normal ‘feed’ boilies by incorporating Mainline’s 50/50 High Leakage base mix, in place of the Polaris. You can use the same flavour levels as I’ve stated, but increase the number of eggs to 4 large eggs, with approximately 500g of the 50/50 mix. This will give you a nice batch of bottom baits to catapult or spread with a throwing stick or perhaps crush and crumb into PVA bags to increase attraction around the hook-bait. A simple 2-bait stringer with a snowman hook bait is also a cracking tactic. You will need a different rig to use PVA products as the chod and hinge rigs don't lend themselves to PVA.