Friday, April 6, 2012

The Best Specimen Carp Bait Options - Issue 1


Bait application can seem confusing.  How many times have you heard someone say they are unsure about what bait to use at a specific venue. Hell, how many times were you wondering about this yourself? Which color, what size, flavors, presentation etc? The many possibilities available to us these days, makes it almost impossible to decide. We really are spoilt for choice.
It is because of this, I decided to do some research on some of the carp bait options available in the market, practicalities of making your own, the application / presentation of bait and most importantly why carp is attracted to specific bait options. It was the latter (my need for knowledge on carp behavior and bait application) that lead me to an eBook called "Big Carp Bait Secrets". 

For more information on this eBook, please visit
I now provide you with the details of my findings.

Tiger nuts

Tiger nuts are undoubtedly one of my most favorite bait options. If not prepared correctly though, this bait could cause lots of harm. Chufa another name for tiger nuts, is a grass-like plant widely used in Spain and Africa for medicinal reasons.
For additional reading on the medical benefits of tiger nuts please visit
Due to the fact that naturally presented baits could be viewed by carp with less caution than for example boilies, tiger nuts on occasions could be more effective. It can be fished in exactly the same manner as boilies or could be used as freebies in a mixture with hemp seed and ground bait.
The baiting of fishing zones with tiger nuts should not be too aggressive.

Tiger Nut Preparation

  • Take the tiger nuts, put them in a bucket, and cover with water.
  • Add the required preservatives, salt and sweeteners to the mixture so it may be soaked up properly.
  • Leave to soak for 24 to 48 hours. You will notice it swelling slightly.
  • After at least 24 hours, put the nuts and soaking water into a pot and boil for at least 60 minutes. Add extra water if needed.  When boiling you may add some sugar if you wish.
  • Once cooled down you can use them straight away or you can ferment it until coated in its own juices (sticky syrup). You may also put them in a blender and grind them for a lose feed.
  • The final product could be stored in a freezer until needed. 

Free Bait Preparation


  • 2kg tiger nuts
  • 2kg maize (mielies)
  • 1kg hemp seed
  • 25ml sea salt
  • Flavor / attractors of choice


Prepare the tiger nuts as indicated above. 
Prepare all the other ingredients together with the preservatives, salt and sweeteners.
As soon as the particles come off the boil, mix with the tiger nuts, add the attractors of choice and allow for the particles to cool down.


Various methods are used by anglers around South Africa. Like with any business or sport, competitive advantage is what it is all about. Presenting your bait differently may give you an edge over other anglers. 
Carps learn and are influenced by previous experience and angling pressure. They may refuse presentations that had them caught in past. So, how do you then go about ensuring your bait is detected? Firstly, make your lines invisible to the fish. This could increase your chance of success dramatically. Secondly, exploit the carp’s sensory needs to the max. Use substances in your baits that is irresistible to the species. Use sweeteners, taste enhancers, and proteins that work for you. Experiment with different options. Ask other anglers familiar with the waters you visiting for advise on the venue and what bait not to use.

Making a feeding area for the fish is one presentation method that could be used with great result. Be sure to mark the area with a marker. Scouting with a fish finder will allow for optimal placement of hook baits. 

The mousetrap is another method. You simply place your hook bait in a chosen spot and throw a few handfuls of feed around it. The deeper the water the more bait will be needed. 

A combination of the two methods above is also an option. Simply create a feeding area between two markers, with the free bait spread far apart. Place your hook baits strategically in this area with more free bait placed around it. The fish will be drawn into the area and attracted towards your hook baits due to the higher concentration of free bait.

Lastly, the alternative to the above is PVA bags or stringers Since the introduction of PVA bagsPVA string presentations seem to have fallen out of fashion. The stringer presentation allow for subtle scattering of bait. The PVA bags on the other end are a fantastic way of introducing your hook-bait amongst a small pile of free offerings.

In the next issue we will look at other bait options. 

If you have learned something new and would like to share, please provide your comments.

Remember the following classic quotes:

If a man empties his purse into his head no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.
Benjamin Franklin

The gods do not deduct from man's allotted span the hours spent in fishing.
Babylonian Proverb

Tight lines!