The one thing most anglers new to the sport do is rush out to their nearest tackle store, and buy the next best singing and dancing bait that just hit the shelves, falsely believing that the bait will have phenomenal results. The anglers in question usually purchase a kilo or two of bait, fish single hook baits with a small pva bag of crushed boilies, and sit behind their alarms hoping to empty the lake.
The purpose of this series of articles is to not merely write down what I believe is the best way to fish boilies, but to provide you with a step by step guide on how to prebait and gain maximum results for your efforts!
Why Is Prebaiting important, and why is it effective?
The theory behind prebaiting is quite simple, it boils down to survival. The bigger fish in a lake have grown to the size they are today, merely by their will to survive, but how does this apply to prebaiting?The general idea of prebaiting is to start off by feeding your chosen boilie in a number of spots around the lake, where you believe fish will move through during the course of the day, and gradually over time reduces the number of spots you feed to only 2 or 3.
The reason behind this method is that fish constantly find your bait across the lake, and over time start to recognise it as an easy meal that is in abundance. The gradual “depletion” of this nutritious meal starts to create scarcity, and fish will start to seek out these food morsels, until they have learnt that these meals are only found in 2 to 3 areas around the lake.
The fish then start to include your baited spots in their daily patrol routes, and will confidently feed on these areas if you have not fished for them beforehand!
The pyramid effect is seen in many animal species and can be explained by a pack of lions, the females hunt and start to eat, but as soon as the male arrives they all move to make space for him. The sheer size of the male lion demands respect, and this happens underwater as well.
If you constantly prebait for an extended period of time, the smaller fish will be chased away from the food by the larger carp in the lake, but this will only happen if you feed for at least 3-4weeks before fishing, the longer you can prebait the better.
What Boilie should I use to start my prebaiting campaign?
The best choice would be any boilie that has a High Nutritional value, now this is impossible to know if you don’t ask the manufacturer to provide you with some details, you can generally ask them to provide you with the baits protein %, carbohydrate % and fat %, if they can only provide you the protein I would be worried, as a boilie has far more to it than just protein.
You can then further ask them to give you some more insight on what type of ingredients they use, but don’t expect them to tell you everything. Ingredients that do stand out nutritionally are your highly refined milk powders like rennet casein ,acid casein, whey protein concentrate, Low temperature fishmeal, pre-digested fishmeal and many more, but if a bait consists mainly of carbohydrate ingredients I would steer clear.
My passion for bait making is endless, and I have spent many hours reading scientific reports on how certain ingredients work, studies on carp themselves and experimenting by rolling a small factory full of bait. In this guide I will be using the same mix I will be giving to you and also be fishing it alongside some of the boilies that I produce.
I have formulated a very basic boilie mix for those of you who wish to make your own baits, these ingredients and a vast range of other ingredients and boilies I roll, will soon be available on www.goliathtackle.co.za
Fishmeal Boilie Mix:
100g Milk powder (Nido 1+ from SPAR)
150g Soya Flour
20g Chilli Flakes
20ml of Hemp oil/Salmon oil
300ml of eggs (6-9 depending on size)
The mix above can be greatly improved, but to see the effects of what a decent bait can do, you will see the benefits of a high quality boilie.
How Do I Make My Own Boilies?
Large Mixing Bowl
Sausage gun/Sausage rolling table
The first step is to weigh out all your ingredients in the amounts required, and to place these in a plastic bag.
Once you have weighed all your ingredients and placed them in the plastic bag, blow air into the plastic bag and quickly twist the top to trap an air bubble inside the bag. Shake the bag and bump the ingredients for roughly a minute to ensure everything is mixed evenly.
You wil now need a large mixing bowl, 300ml of eggs (6-9 depending on size), a strong fork and a teaspoon.Pour in 300ml of egg into the mixing bowl, add to that 4 teaspoons of either hemp oil, or salmon oil, and mix everything slowly as you don’t want the eggs to start forming bubbles(this will make some boilies float). You can also in this step add any flavours and additives if you wish to do so.
I recommend using a coffee mug in this step, to scoop out basemix from the plastic bag and add it to the eggs. The key here is to add it a cup at a time, mix it in and then add the next cup. The consistency of the boilie paste you are looking for is wet but should not stick to your hands when you knead the paste. A tip to keep in mind is that you will need roughly 700g of basemix, so if you do have a kitchen scale measure it out and use this to add to the eggs.
If you do not have a kitchen scale, just keep track of how many cups you add to the eggs, so your next batch can go faster and smoother, do not get demotivated if you do not get the consistency right the fisrt time, it does take some practice.
Once the boilie paste has reached the right consistency, we need to make boilie sausages to be used on our boilie table. You can either make use of a boilie gun or boilie sausage table. Select the right size diameter for your boilietable and start making the sausages.
Load the paste into the gun and use it like a normal silicone gun, I recommend producing the first sausage on the boilie table so you get the right length, then make the other sausages the same length as the first one, this will increase your productivity.
Sausage Rolling Table
Pinch of a piece of paste, roll it by hand into the general shape of a sausage, place the sausage rolling table on top of your hand rolled sausage and move it forward and backwards for 4 to 6 strokes, repeat the process until all the paste is finished.
Place a sausage on to your boilie table and roll the top part of your boilie table back and forth, lift the top off and roll your boilies into a container. Halfway through your paste, put a big pot filled halfway with hot kettle water onto the stove on the highest setting. Once all your paste has been turned into boilies, drop them into the boiling water, I would recommend dropping ¼ of the baits into the pot depending on the pot size.
A general rule you can use is that there should be no more than 2 layers of boilies on top of each other, else you have to much in the pot and they wont cook properly.
General cooking times for boilies
14mm boilies cook for 90 seconds
16mm boilies cook for 120 seconds
18mm boilies cook for 150 seconds
Once you have cooked all your baits, place them in an area out of direct sunlight on an old towel or newspaper, this will help them loose the excess moisture they have. Leave them to dry for at least 2 days, after this time you should freeze all the bait you do not intend to use within that week, if you do not have freezer space you can use potassium sorbate at 30g per kilogram to make them shelf life(preserved) enabling you to store them outside a freezer in a dryplace.After the drying process your boilies are now ready to be used!
In the next instalment I will explain all the ground work that needs to be done in the beginning, deciding on areas to feed, how much to feed and how often, so start preparing some bait as we will be using a fair amount!