The Big Red Carp Fishing Blog Sat, 22 Sept 2018 00:00:00 GMT en hourly 1 More about natural extracts - part 1 Fri, 14 Sept 2018 00:00:00 GMT Ken Townley I would like to look again at the subject of attraction via the use of non-synthetic products that rely on natural extracts and foods. I would like to look again at the subject of attraction via the use of non-synthetic products that rely on natural extracts and foods.<br/>While synthetic flavours are by no means out of the picture, in many experts&#39; eyes, natural is best, as they are some of the most effective carp bait additives. Today there is any number of liquids and powders that will boost attraction and nutrition. Indeed, it is now possible to make a decent boiled bait using the simplest of base mixes enhanced with one or more of these additives. So in these two blogs I will look at some of the best natural products you can use in order to boost the pulling power of you bait.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Amino acids" src="" /></div> <br /> Amino acids lie at the heart of any attraction package. Nothing is as natural, as freely occurring nor as attractive to carp. They are the building blocks of all life on earth and carp and other cyprinids are attracted to them by an instinctive process that resides within their DNA. They don&#39;t have to think about it: if a signal attracts their attention they will investigate it to assess its food value&hellip;or lack of it.<br /> <br /> Just as we may automatically be drawn to the powerful aroma of frying fish and chips, so carp are similarly attracted by amino acids (poor analogy but it&#39;s the best I can come up with). We have looked at attraction before in this series of blogs but it is well worth re-visiting as the subject is of prime importance when formulating an effective bait.<br /> <br /> Adding amino acids to a bait is nothing new and as far back as the mid-70s a lively debate has been ongoing. However, you only need look at the growing number of amino-based products on the market to see that this is no fad, that AAs truly do attract and attract very well!<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Dog biscuit" src="" /></div> <br /> Early offerings were thinly disguised carp fishing versions of existing products from the health industry or animal nutrition industry, and indeed, such products still play a valid part in carp baits. However, many are not really all that great and some are little more than sugary drinks in a bottle with an enticing label on them. The fact is, these liquid and powdered products cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to develop and for the moment the fishing industry is not ready to fund such R &amp; D. So, in the meantime we fall back on the effective materials emanating from the human nutrition/health food industry as well as from the farming and pet food industries.<br /> <br /> You&#39;d be surprised at just how many liquids and powders we use have come directly from the above industries but this should come as no surprise, after all, Chum Mixers, Frolic dog food and dear old Kit E Kat are all well known pet foods that have crossed the divide. Some of my best carp have been caught on Mixers and I have lost count of the number I have caught on Frolic!<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="hookbaits" src="" /></div> <br /> Nowadays the term &#39;liquid food&#39; is commonly used to describe bait additives that can improve carp baits. This started way back when Minamino and PPC were first being whispered about by those &#39;in the know&#39;. While we were all taken in by the seemingly magic ingredients shown on the label, today there are better liquids around in my opinion. That said, there are enough free form amino acids in both to make them useful liquids in which to glug hookbaits.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Liquid Trigga" src="" /></div> <br /> As the number of bait companies increased so too did the number of so-called &#39;dedicated&#39; liquid foods. Trigga Liquid was just one such product and nowadays virtually every bait company has at least one such ingredient on its product list, witness The Key Liquid, Shellfish B5 Liquid and the like. All of these rely on a rich soup of attraction designed to compliment that of the relevant base mix.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Corn steep liquor" src="" /></div> <br /> In the mid-to late-90s alternative liquid foods came onto the market though they had been around for many years. Initially these were known only to the lucky few but gradually the secrets leaked out. One such product was the much vaunted Corn Steep Liquor and this liquid food was popular thanks to it&rsquo;s free amino acids, peptides and so on. Mind you, few anglers cared about the contents; all they needed to know was that it worked. In the case of CSL this was proved by the remarkably successful range from Mainline, The Grange CSL.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Liquid Robins" src="" /></div> <br /> Our own<strong> <a href="">Liquid Robin Red</a> </strong>and its associated stable-mates attract in a different way to the amino-rich liquids mentioned so far. Rather than relying on amino acids, which are highly soluble and attract by smell, the <strong><a href="">Liquid Robins</a></strong> on the other hand have a less soluble content and they appeal initially to the carp&#39;s taste senses. It is therefore a good idea to include both types of liquids in your bait preparation. The Liquid Reds use a heady cocktail of natural herbs, spices and peppers, thus building on the success of the world-famous base mix ingredient <strong><a href="">Robin Red</a></strong>.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img alt="Robin Red " src="" /></a><br /> <br /> </strong><br /> <br /> Herbs, spices, peppers and similar natural ingredients are used extensively in many brands of pet food and farm animal supplements and they have crossed over very successfully into the carp bait market. Whilst Robin Red has been around for over sixty years it was &#39;discovered&#39; by carp anglers comparatively recently, initially (as far as I am aware) by Ian Booker and subsequently by the late Rod Hutchinson. It is surely one of the most widely used carp bait ingredients so it makes sense now to offer it in liquid form.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="lightly glugged hook bait" src="" /><br /> &nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="added to base mix" src="" /><br /> &nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="permanent glug for hookbaits" src="" /></div> <br /> Here are just a few ways in which Liquid Robin Red can be used:<br /> 1. As a light glug for boilies<br /> 2. In with your base mix or groundbait<br /> 3. As a permanent glug for hookbaits<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Feed stimulants" src="" /></div> <br /> In fact there is now such a bewildering number of liquid foods available that it is difficult to know where to start. My advice would be to play the field until you come across a company whose products you can trust to do the business. I count my blessings that through Haith&#39;s Baits I stumbled upon a Dutch company called Feed Stimulants. Owner Luc and his firm tick all my boxes: top quality stuff that works!<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Yeast hookbait treatement" src="" /></div> <br /> Yeast in one form or another has been used in fishing baits for years. Kevin Maddocks wrote about it in Carp Fever, Hutchie did the same in his original Carp Book. George Sharman sang its praises in Carp &amp; the Carp Angler, while way back in the mists of time Fred Wilton used it in his ground breaking concept High Nutritional Value baits. Trade names such as Philips Yeast Mixture (PYM) were in common parlance. So too were ingredients sourced from the home brewing industry such as Brewer&#39;s Yeast. In fact I still use Brewer&#39;s Yeast in particles and even use Marmite (yeast-based) as an ingredient and hookbait treatment.<br /> <br /> It should come as no surprise, therefore, that yeast products are as popular today as they have ever been, though modern varieties are perhaps a bit more sophisticated. The Enzyme Treated version sold by Feed Stimulants is an example. This strong-smelling yeast is almost paste-like in its consistency and it acts as a very potent feeding trigger and appetite stimulant. It is high in all the usual vitamins and minerals and is rich in protein and free amino acids. It is also water soluble so the attraction disperses freely into the water. This liquid yeast has been treated with enzymes, resulting in better digestibility, protein solubility and availability of amino acids. It is therefore a fantastic glug for your free offerings an as it creates a &#39;cloud&#39; of attraction across the whole bait carpet.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Spice attractors" src="" /></div> <br /> I mentioned herbs and spices earlier and these can add still further to the attraction aspect of your baits. In fact it is worth raiding the missus&#39;s spice rack for a few of the great attractors to be found there. For instance, fenugreek (on the right in this photo) instance is used in the creation of maple flavours and we all know how good maple is. Rod&#39;s original Maple and Maple-Cream were two of the best flavours of the 80s and 90s, while today John Backer&#39;s Maple flavour is sublime.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Chillies" src="" /></div> <br /> Carp adore chilli in all its forms and chilli powder can be added to your base mix to increase taste and smell. Carp are not affected by Scoville Units so the heat of chillies is not a factor. Chilli flakes and dried chillies can be added to particles, seeds and cereals and Chilli Hempseed is one of the all-time greats.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Give your baits a kick" src="" /></div> <br /> And there is no need to restrict yourself to the kitchen. If, like me, you like a curry you will probably have at least a couple jars of pickles. A spoonful of any of these in a bucket of <strong><a href="">groats</a></strong>, <strong><a href="">Red Band</a></strong> or <strong><a href="">hemp seed</a> </strong>will give the bait a real kick that carp will love&hellip;And for the cynics, no, I am not sponsored by neither Tesco or Pataks!<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Fenugreek" src="" /></div> <br /> An oleoresin is the naturally occurring extract of a plant or spice. It is highly concentrated and when blended it exists in a liquid form. Some oleoresins have been in common use by the bait industry for some time, though not a lot of people know that. The oleoresin of paprika forms part of Trigga Ice Liquid for instance, and the oleoresin of fenugreek is often used by flavour houses looking to make natural of NI flavours.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="SuperSoft Robin Red Pellets, Trigga Pellets and Frolic heavily glugged in the oleoresin of paprika" src="" /></div> <br /> I have used oleoresins a fair bit over the years both in my base mixes and as part of a glug or bait soak. It is also fantastic as a dressing for pellets, particles and, of course, Frolic dog biscuits. The witch&#39;s brew in my photo is SuperSoft Robin Red Pellets, Trigga Pellets and Frolic heavily glugged in the oleoresin of paprika. Looks proper evil don&#39;t it!<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="butyric acid" src="" /></div> <br /> Some of the best additives as far as attraction is concerned are the carboxylic acids. These are metabolic products that exist widely in nature and as they have low pH values they form important investigation triggers that will cause carp to see if the message sent actually means food. The commonly used carboxylic acids as far as carp bait is concerned are butyric acid and caproic acid.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="citric acid" src="" /></div> <br /> Another is citric acid, which is found in citrus fruits. It is a very powerful with a pH of 2.2. It makes any bait more acidic, which makes it stand out in water from the surroundings. It is widely used in the trade as an attractant and a natural short term preservative. It is highly concentrated so only a tiny amount - about half a gram per kilo - is needed to create the trigger. In fact the required dose is so small that most anglers will be unable to measure out such a tiny quantity so it may be as well to add it to a larger quantity of base mix. In other words add no more than three grams to five kilos of base mix.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Ken's Trophy Shot" src="" /></div> <br /> Join me next time for part two of this glimpse into the wide and wonderful world of natural attraction.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><br /> <img alt="BUY NOW" src="" /></a> 0 The new Robins on test Weds, 08 Aug 2018 00:00:00 GMT Adam Roots It was great to hear from Simon the main man at Haiths, and almost at the same time from the amazing bait brain that is Ken Townley, both asking similar things, and those being, would I be interested in testing some special upgrades to their already existent range of ready to roll base mixes. Although on this occasion the bait was to be made for me in the form of 15 mm boilies and rolled by the highly respected Rollin baits. It was great to hear from Simon the main man at Haiths, and almost at the same time from the amazing bait brain that is Ken Townley, both asking similar things, and those being, would I be interested in testing some special upgrades to their already existent range of ready to roll base mixes. Although on this occasion the bait was to be made for me in the form of 15 mm boilies and rolled by the highly respected Rollin baits.<br/>Of course, I was more than delighted and almost immediately set about formulating a plan, it seems I always have something bubbling away in the back of my angling brain, and it takes something like this to kick start it.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Years and years ago I was very privileged to find, fish and come to love a lovely little wildie water on a family dairy farm, I think I am honest in saying I fished it for over thirty years, anyway, time and tide and all that, the owners at the time turned a three-acre sheep field, from a barren boggy wilderness into a now stunning looking mature lake now a death in the family and other things meant the lakes were forever shut to the public, but remember I had angled there for many years and still remained friends with the elderly owner. This was the place to give some of the new baits a whizz.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> It was with great anticipation I set my alarm clock for four AM, planning to be at the lake at the crack of dawn. I didn&#39;t stop for breakfast or a cuppa, just carefully lifted my poterlite carp barrow into the back of my Honda and away I went. I marvelled at the beauty of the Cornish countryside at that early hour, thankfully there was little traffic on the road...and so around twenty minutes later I arrived at my one-time favourite lake. Although the original wildie water is now owned by a wealthy person from away and wanted to keep the locals out. I was so lucky that the original owners still owned the three-acre former syndicate lake and I was now very fortunate to still be able to fish there.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> With the former thoughts in mind, I carefully sorted out my kit and carted my increasingly modified minimalistic set up to the water&#39;s edge. As I began to set up I noticed not one but three kingfishers speeding along on the far side of the pool. It was at that moment I knew I was in for a good day and I was correct.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Part of the package I was sent was Prochili and as mentioned these were already made for me, all I had to do was put the baits in the correct spots and see what would transpire. I&#39;m not being cocky or anything but I REALLY know this lake probably as well as anyone, so location was not really an issue. On the surface were the golden shapes of two of the remaining ghosties, one was dark and the other slightly lighter. I noted this and thought I shall have my pic with one of you two, lol.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Prochili catch 1" src="" /><br /> <br /> <img alt="Prochili catch 2" src="" /></div> <br /> It wasn&#39;t long before a tremendous amount of bubbling could be seen where I had baited the margins with the Prochili. I also knew I wouldn`t have to wait too long for a run....and so it was, not long after my Delkim shouted at me and I was in. After a very spirited fight a low double mirror was netted, during the fight, I also noted the tremendous amount of dispersed, or displaced bubbling caused by the hooked there was plenty of fish on those Prochili baits.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Bubbled water" src="" /></div> &nbsp;<br /> During the day the weather got hotter and hotter, but I was ok under the canopy of the trees as the sun had moved across the lake and eventually I was completely shaded. However, it was so hot it caused some heat damage to two of my rods blanks by softening the varnish and later on a blister formed, it was very hot indeed.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Prochili catch 3" src="" /></div> &nbsp;<br /> During that long day session, I had twelve carp from my former favourite lake, including one of the ghosties I talked of and albeit the smaller of the two. In fact, it used to be way over twenty pounds a long time ago, but now relied on available food in the lake and was lucky to be alive after being bitten by an otter on few occasions. I could tell the regeneration was in evidence.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> I returned home, pleased as I was confident in the effectiveness of the new bait.<br /> <br /> <a href=""> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Robin Green" src="" /></a></div> &nbsp;<br /> In the package was some <strong><a href="">Robin Green</a></strong> boilies, now I&#39;ve done really well in the past on various versions of &#39;The Green&#39;s&#39; as I call it, so I was expecting some good things from these baits. But the question was where to go? For me, the answer was easy a large windswept and sometimes a downright unpleasant venue as there is no cover for the angler. But it held some nice fish, it`s all marginal in angling terms, or I should say I fish the margins and prosper from that...I was angling for just the one night only and really if I am honest I would be happy with the chance of just a single fish. That&#39;s exactly what I managed on this short trip, a nice deep bodied mirror from a marginal spot on `The Green&#39;s`. I just under-armed the rig out and peppered the area with around sixty freebies, nothing complicated just simple and hopefully, as I proved it effective...on purpose, I left my Supernut ground baiting edge, at home in the bait bucket. As really, I just wanted to check the actual effectiveness of the boiled baits.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Robin Green catch" src="" /></div> &nbsp;<br /> My confidence further enhanced by the effectiveness of the previously mentioned baits. Where else could I try that I hadn&#39;t been before...?&nbsp; I still had two more of the new versions of the &#39;Robins&#39; to test out, so I put my thinking cap on, literally. Then it came to me, last year when I was ill, I couldn`t fish properly but I still got out and `lake hunted` and found this lovely intimate small water over the border. Okay, it wasn&#39;t in Kernow but I could deal with that lol...Anyway, I eventually found the owners number of this very quiet fishery and arranged a Twenty-four-hour session. I was excited because what I had previously noted on the surface from my recent trip would make any carp angler worth his salt, quicken the pulse.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> I reckon it took over an hour to get used to this new lake. I should also mention I also stopped off at another promising venue en route, as I had been given a heads up a while ago and this looked good for a future visit, I digress. On arrival, I acquainted myself with the owner and enjoyed a nice chat about country life and paid up. I carefully drove down to the lake, it was times like this I`m really glad of my bugged out four by four, it&#39;s a massive angling edge in the countryside. After loading up the gear and getting to the intimate lake I did my ritual of circuiting the lake for any signs of fish, on this occasion, there was nothing to go on at all, so I&#39;d remembered what the great Rod Hutchinson said about a new water. It went along the lines of fish halfway and something else I couldn`t remember, but that&#39;s what I did. I set up exactly in the middle of the lake offering me good potential ambush points. On this trip I brought along the new version of the `<strong><a href="">Robin Red</a></strong>&rsquo; base mix..., now I just know that this was the bait to use on this new water.<br /> <br /> <a href=""> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Robin Red " src="" /></a></div> &nbsp;<br /> This lake is long and quite narrow and the far margins for at least two of my rods or traps as I call it is the best possible choice of a fish or two. My third rod was all the way down into the shallows and not far from a dangerous looking fallen tree snag...all the traps were baited with the new <strong><a href="">Robin Red</a></strong> mix and all on similar simple bottom bait rigs. I was confident, on the bank I&#39;m always in this state of mind, or there is no point in being there. However, time slipped by, I sorted out my minimal tackle pouch and made a nice curry on the awesome Trangia. Drank some tea, did some more eating, even tightened up the slack on my bed chair mattress, it was slow in angling terms, I reproached myself and that reminded me, that it was a new water and keep confident as always.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Robin red Equipment" src="" /><br /> <br /> <img alt="Robin red set up" src="" /></div> <br /> At dusk it happened, the `snag rod` was off and in a trice, I was playing a powerful adversary, I was praying it wouldn&#39;t fall off. After a long battle in the close margins, I netted a lovely powerful common with just a bit of ghostie heritage in its makeup, I was happy. I`d kept the faith and the baits had worked for me yet again...a quick selfie of the fish and back she went. After this It really kicked off, in total I had four nice fish as you can see in the it does pay to keep your state of mind, strong in angling terms, especially when the bait is concerned... you have to have confidence in your bait...<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Robin Red Dusk Catch" src="" /><br /> &nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Robin Red Catch 2" src="" /><br /> &nbsp;</div> I really enjoyed that trip on the new water, especially when you have had some degree of success. I think I might go there again, if I do, `<strong><a href="">Robin Red</a></strong>&rsquo; shall be going too!<br /> <br /> <a href=""> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Robin Orange " src="" /></a></div> &nbsp;<br /> As the weather has been so hot and sometimes very unpleasant as for sure we are British and we only do wind and rain in general. I didn&#39;t angle as much in this time, however a reminder that I still had a load of `<strong><a href="">Robin Orange</a></strong>` base mix boilies to try out and I thought I should take them to my beautiful intimate water. A water I know better than any other, now I also knew that she wasn&rsquo;t fishing that great lately but there are loads of places to hide out. Plus, the available natural food this year amongst the pads made getting a take tricky, not impossible, but tricky as I got myself ready for an overnight adventure on this loveliest of places and took the `<strong><a href="">Robin Orange</a></strong>&rsquo; along for the ride. Now, this pool looks easy, a doddle... no&hellip; you see the whole lake is as natural as it can be lots of marginal snags, lily pads, you name it. Now the fish are mine and I don&#39;t want to damage them so for this trip I fished open water, see if you angle against a feature you`ll not get them out they are that powerful. Probably due to the Trewen wildie heritage running through their powerful scaly open water fishing, near, close in marginal stuff was the order of the night!<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Robin Orange " src="" /><br /> <br /> <img alt="Robin Orange Set up" src="" /></div> &nbsp;<br /> Really, I needed to find out if the <strong><a href="">`Robin Orange`</a></strong> appealed to the inhabitants away from the sanctuary of the snags in unfamiliar territory shall we say and that&#39;s what I did. I baited similar to the new lake trip but really close in, I undertook no prebaiting at all and I could have easily have done so, but my thinking was, let&#39;s see how the carp respond...<br /> As it was by now very hot again, I planned to undertake some otter fencing repairs, damage caused by a rogue bovine and when it cooled down I drove the Honda up to the lake, passed my gear through the gate and angle. After sweating for a while, I had repaired a whole section of fence, all I wanted was a nice `Rattlers` and some food and get I quickly set up my kit and fished close in. All three rods near to each other, slack lines, fifty baits each.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> It was so hot during the night I just slept in my T-shirt and shorts, far too hot for even a quality Haiths T-shirt to be donned.... anyway, during the night which remained uneventful until around four AM, when all hell let loose. I had seven chances in quick succession, with five feral torpedo carp banked, I was pretty impressed with how the bait had performed close in. A real feeding window had occurred, then it all went quietly with plenty of fizzing over the baited areas, the carp had cleared off in numbers as the sun had risen over the valley and this was my cue to leave and I did so as I wanted to keep the varnish intact on my rods lol.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> I have caught very well on all four of the new `Robin`s` and would be confident to use them in most of my general angling...however, for some reason the `Prochili` version worked best for ME. Why not try some of the base mixes out and see what one suits you, or style of carping...they are all very good baits.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Remember to enjoy your fishing, the countryside and leave no trace...<br /> <br /> <a href=""> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="CALL TO ACTION" src="" /></a></div> 0 Dynamite Baits' Robin Red Hardened hookbaits doing the business in Slovenia Thurs, 02 Aug 2018 00:00:00 GMT Srecko Karadžic Because of my busy schedule I haven't planned any longer fishing sessions this summer. I decided to go for some weekend fishing when I have time. Because of my busy schedule I haven't planned any longer fishing sessions this summer. I decided to go for some weekend fishing when I have time.<br/><div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Fishing" src="" /></div> <br /> This is how I ended up fishing 3 days at a slovenian lake which is located about an hour drive away from my home. I haven&#39;t had much experiences with the lake before this so I was really excited to get to know it better.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="30.4kg carp" src="" /></div> <br /> Considering the number of big fish in the lake I would have never though I could catch so many carp in just three fishing days, 5 of them being over 20 kg. I managed to catch the heaviest carp of the lake which now weighed astonishing 30,4 kg.<br /> <br /> I used Robin Red boilies and fed a mix of 15 and 20 mm boilies. For my rig bait, I used Hardened Hookbait Robin Red in combination with different pop-ups. &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="25.3kg Carp" src="" /></div> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="21kg Carp" src="" /></div> <br /> Along with that I feed a mix of Swim Stim pellets which I covered in Premium Robin Red liquid, Frenzied Mixed particles and Frenzied Hempseed.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="20.5kg Carp" src="" /></div> <div><br /> Visit <strong><a href="">Dynamite Bait&#39;s Facebook page</a></strong> for more information or alternatively visit their website at <strong><a href=""></a></strong></div> <div style="text-align: center;"><br /> <a href=""><img alt="Dynamite baits" src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <img alt="Fish like you mean it" src="" /></div> 0 A trip to die for! Thurs, 02 Aug 2018 00:00:00 GMT Ken Townley Our annual trip to Le Queroy had come around at last. This would be our twentieth visit to this wonderful fishing venue and our second in 2016. Our annual trip to Le Queroy had come around at last. This would be our twentieth visit to this wonderful fishing venue and our second in 2016.<br/><div style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="total weight" src="" /><br /> &nbsp;</div> Our annual trip to Le Queroy had come around at last. This would be our twentieth visit to this wonderful fishing venue and our second in 2016. In May we had enjoyed a fabulous trip to Lake Elba, the newer lake on the complex, and had experienced some wonderful fishing and ultra comfortable accommodation in the newly built Lodge. Now, after what seemed like aeons it was time to re-visit the other lake at Le Queroy, the quaintly named Napoleonic Lake. This is the original lake dating back hundreds of years to the pre-Napoleon era - hence its name - and it is &quot;Nappy&#39;s&quot; that holds the bigger fish on the complex.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Lake" src="" /></div> <br /> Nappy&#39;s has the look of an old English estate lake with towering trees, overhanging willows, thickets of berries of all kinds, and rich, very productive lake water. It lies in a beautiful valley deep in the French countryside not far from the town of Confolens.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Lake is very rich in natural foods" src="" /></div> <br /> As the lake is very rich in natural food but being surrounded by farmland, it is inevitable that nitrogen-rich run-off water from the fields finds its way into Nappy&#39;s. In one respect this is good news, as it allows natural food to thrive and the carp to grow and grow. On the other hand, it can promote the growth of Blue-Green Algae in the summer months. Thankfully this is of no consequence, as Dan and Jodie - the owners since August 2014 - have purchased various devices that knock the algal bloom on its head before it has a chance to get a hold. These devices include a powerful water pump/aerator and a unit that delivers a series of sonic pulses into the lake that destroys the bacteria that cause the blooms. Very farsighted people are Dan and Jodie!<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Western end of the hotel" src="" /></div> <br /> The western end of the lake is dominated by the dam wall across which runs a small unmade road. This carries very little traffic, mainly farm equipment and so on, and I am certain that even the heaviest tractor lumbering across is regarded as part and parcel of every day life by the carp. I have actually had takes when a huge caterpillar-tracked earth mover was crossing the dam.<br /> <br /> The dam wall has acted as a magnet to anglers ever since the fishery first opened in 1998. While it is true that the fish do certainly patrol the whole length of the dam, it is a mistake to try to get too close to it with the cast as the slope of the wall simply means that your bait will end up a couple of yards off anyway!<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Bait 3 meters from the wall" src="" /></div> <br /> I have always found that a bait some three meters off the wall is far more productive and over the years I have located several hard patches of gravel. These are definitely the areas where the fish seem more willing to pick up a hookbait. They are all located about three meters off the dam. I generally find the spots using the boat and a prodding stick to locate them and then I put a pole marker on the spot.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Drought" src="" /></div> <br /> This year the area has suffered blistering heat waves and a bad drought and there was hardly any greenery to be seen. The fields and pastures were burnt a light brown, as was the lawn in front of the Cottage.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Temperatures hit record" src="" /></div> <br /> The rest of the year the lawn looks like this! Incidentally, the newly installed swimming pool, which can just be seen on the left in the previous photo, was a Godsend to us during our first week as temperatures hit record September levels of around 38 degrees. We cooled off in it every evening as the sun went down. Simple bliss!<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="The Cottage is luxury itself" src="" /></div> <br /> The Cottage is luxury itself with all the mod cons you could wish for including a TV with a full Sky package. It is warm in winter and cool in summer, but this year summer was exceptionally hot. Even on late September afternoons it was 35 degrees and more so it was great to have the pool (not shown here) which abuts the terrace right next to the steps.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Hot tub" src="" /></div> <br /> In addition a hot tub provides luxury solace for aching limbs, shattered after playing too many carp!<br /> <br /> <u><strong>BAIT.</strong></u><br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Baits" src="" /></div> <br /> Let&#39;s now look at the baits I used and the way I used them. First and foremost I have to say a huge thank you to Matt Powles who used to run UB Baits. I had used Matt&#39;s baits before at Le Q in 2014 to great effect and by grovelling and pleading I managed to get Matt to roll me some of his specials as a personal favour to me. I am certain that the hookbaits played a very major part in my success on the trip so thanks again, Matt! These are some of the little beauties that did the trick.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Haiths baits products" src="'s-Baits-products(1).jpg" /></div> <br /> Of course, Haith&#39;s Baits products played a massive part in my campaign not only for the groundbaits I used but also the<strong> <a href="">pellets</a></strong>, pastes, <strong><a href="">boilies</a> </strong>and additives. My main bait attack was based around the new boiled bait mixes. Primarily I used <strong><a href="">Robin Red and Fishmeal</a></strong>, boosted with Cranberry Nutrafruit and a hefty dollop of Feed Stimulant&#39;s Green Lipped Mussel Concentrate (full fat).<br /> <br /> <a href=""><br /> <img alt="Robin Red &amp; Fishmeal Base Mix" src="" /></a><br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Robin green and garlic" src="" /></div> <br /> I also used five kilos of <strong><a href="">Robin Green and Garlic</a></strong>, the first time I have ever used a green boilie! Remembering what Hutchy said about green baits I was a little hesitant, but I need not have worried; the fish took to it with gusto!<br /> <br /> <a href=""> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Robin Green &amp; Garlic Base Mix" src="" /></a></div> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="SuperSoft pellets" src="" /></div> <br /> High on my list of attractors have always been the Robin Red-based <strong><a href="">SuperSoft Pellets</a></strong>. I like to give them a bit of a glug in a really good fish oil with added GLM Concentrate (Feed Stimulants) which slows down the breakdown rate a tad. I will also add some of Feed Stimulant&#39;s excellent Oyster Extract; not to be confused with the cheap Oyster Sauce that is found in supermarkets and delis, which is nothing more than salt with added flavour.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Small parcels" src="" /></div> <br /> The Supersofts are then bagged in PVA mesh to create small parcels that can either be attached to the hookbait or used out of the caty as freebies.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Supplements" src="" /></div> <br /> I supplement the SuperSoft Pellets with similar sized parcels of Nutrabaits Trigga Ice pellets, one of the best commercial pellets on the market thanks to the inclusion of Paprika oleoresin in the recipe.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Trigga ice liquid" src="" /></div> <br /> The Trigga Ice Pellets can be boosted still further by glugging them in a decent food liquid such as Trigga Ice Liquid.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Nutrabaits" src="" /></div> <br /> Naturally, as in previous years Nutrabaits products also featured heavily. This is one of their more recent releases, a shelf life high attract paste. They offer several flavours but in my mind the Blue Oyster is the best.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Barbless hook" src="" /></div> <br /> I use both bottom baits and pop-ups on Nappy&#39;s. For bottom baits I create a very simple rig comprising 25lb Supa Nova, a size 6 Gripz barbless hook and Blue Oyster double hookbaits.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Blue oyster paste" src="" /></div> <br /> The Blue Oyster paste is then moulded around the hookbaits.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Fox Paste Bomb" src="" /></div> <br /> I also like to mould paste around my lead and one of the best designs for this is a Fox Paste Bomb. Its triple flanges allow the paste to adhere firmly to the lead so that it will not come off on the cast. Note the Enterprise Snag Safe Run Ring system, very useful if the lead becomes snagged, as it will pull free with only mild pressure.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Paste Bomb fully loaded" src="" /></div> <br /> This is the Paste Bomb fully loaded with Blue Oyster Paste.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Robin red" src="'s-Bait's-Robin-Red-and-Fishmeal-base-mix.jpg" /></div> <br /> While on the subject of pastes I also made up a mega-powerful high attract paste using Haith&#39;s Bait&#39;s<strong> <a href="">Robin Red and Fishmeal</a></strong> base mix to which were added:<br /> <br /> &bull; 25g GLM Concentrate (Feed Stimulants)<br /> &bull; 10g Betaine (Feed Stimulants)<br /> &bull; 20g Liver Extract Powder (Feed Stimulants)<br /> &bull; 10g Milk B (Feed Stimulants)<br /> &bull; 50g Brocacell (Feed Stimulants)<br /> &bull; 60ml CSL (Feed Stimulants<br /> &bull; 10ml Blue Oyster (Nutrabaits)<br /> &bull; 2ml Caproic (Nutrabaits)<br /> &bull; Salmon Oil as required (Feed Stimulants)<br /> <br /> <a href=""> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Robin Red and Fishmeal" src="" /></a></div> <br /> &bull; This proved to be an astonishingly effective attractor paste, often picking up fish on the drop. It was almost as if they were waiting for it to touch down!<br /> <br /> First offer up some paste to the Bomb like so&hellip;<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Bomb squeezing" src="" /></div> <br /> Next begin to mould the paste to the Bomb squeezing so as to compress the paste into the holes in the lead.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Paste bomb ready to do the business" src="" /></div> <br /> This is the loaded Paste Bomb ready to do the business.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Blue Trigga Bait" src="" /></div> <br /> I had some unused Blue Trigga bait in Dan&#39;s freezer that had been rolled for me for my the previous visit by Rollin Baits, as well as some fresh 15mm Trigga with Blue Oyster rolled in France by Andy Bernard of Priory Fishery. Andy rolls all the Le Queroy house baits and Dan sells it on site. Pre-ordering is greatly recommended. Note the Blue Oyster Liquid Booster, which is added to the baits as they are defrosting. This draws the attraction into the bait, which is then released when it is introduced to the lake.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="The 'hard' bait" src="'hard'-bait-(boilies).jpg" /></div> <br /> The &#39;hard&#39; bait (<strong><a href="">boilies</a></strong>) was supplemented with chopped and whole Blue Oyster shelf life boilies and these were treated to a generous helping of the Blue Oyster Booster Liquid.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="'soft' bait" src="'soft'-bait.jpg" /></div> <br /> I used a two-part approach to my &#39;soft&#39; bait. The first part was my own recently designed nut-based <strong><a href="">groundbait</a> </strong>called<strong> <a href="">SuperNut</a></strong>. This is (naturally) based on <strong><a href="">Robin Red</a></strong> but with added crushed nut and seed components. My field tests has been amazingly successful. Beyond my wildest dreams in fact.<br /> <br /> The second part was good old Haith&#39;s <strong><a href="">hemp seed</a></strong>. There are some simply dreadful batches of hemp seed on the market these days, due in no small part to the fact that the really good stuff has increased in price, so to keep the price low sellers buy the cheap and nasty stuff. Haith&#39;s only supply the best so while it may cost you a bit more, you can be sure their hemp seed is of the highest quality. As always the hemp was prepared overnight in Thermos Flasks and to round it all off Blue Oyster Bait soak Spray was used to add still further to the overall attraction.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="SuperNut" src="" /></div> <br /> Small PVA mesh parcels of <strong><a href="">SuperNut</a></strong> were also used to draw fish into the baited area, the &#39;up and down&#39; nature of the groundbait being very useful in attracting cruising fish both on the surface and in midwater.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Groundbait of SuperNut" src="" /></div> <br /> I made up a wet, sloppy groundbait of <strong><a href="">SuperNut</a></strong>, <strong><a href="">hemp seed</a></strong> and Blue Oyster shelf life boilies with a generous glug of blended Squid Liver Oil and Liquid Goose Liver (Feed Stimulants) to add extra attraction.<br /> <br /> <a href=""> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Super Nut" src="" /></a></div> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Dog Biscuits" src="" /></div> <br /> Finally no bait strategy of mine would be complete without some Frolic dog biscuits. Don&#39;t ask me why but for some reason carp adore them! They also have the big advantage of breaking down to a soft mush after about two hours, adding to the overall &#39;soft&#39; bait carpet.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Liquid Goose Liver and Squid Liver Oil" src="" /></div> <br /> To give the Folic an extra kick, these too were doused with the blend of Liquid Goose Liver and Squid Liver Oil. This blend is very powerful giving off a highly stimulatory attraction.<br /> <br /> <u><strong>TACKLE and TACTICS.</strong></u><br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Two rods" src="" /></div> <br /> Unlike many le Queroy clients I am not one to make a beeline for the Point Swim. It&#39;s a good swim, don&#39;t get me wrong, but I have always had greater success by fishing either of the two swims that cover the dam wall area and the gravel patches and the deeper water to be found there. As I did in 2014, I chose the first swim on the north bank, intending to fish two rods on the harder spots off the wall as well as using one rod as a rover to cover the water between my own swim and the one immediately opposite, as well as the area shown in photo two which proved to be something of a hot spot.<br /> <br /> After setting up the tent I then used the rowing boat to have a prod around to find out if the hard spots were still as I remembered them. They were, so I put the pole marker in place and then scattered a pint of hempseed over an area the size of a tennis court. This may sound a bit sparse to you but I have never forgotten the wise words of Rod Hutchinson who advised just such a tactic when using hemp.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Fluorocarbon Line" src="" /></div> <br /> As always I used my favoured braid main line with a 1.5m leader of 30lb fluorocarbon line to act as a safe leader to protect the flanks of a hooked carp during the fight. I fished the lines as slack as I could get them, hanging limp from the rod tip. I have been fishing ultra slack like this since 2006 and am 100% certain that it is far more effective than heavy leads and bar tight lines.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Bait Boat" src="" /></div> <br /> To bait up I used my tired but ever-functional Viper Legacy bait boat. With a lipo battery and the baffles removed from the impellers, this old girl really flies, and she can carry a fair load as well. Initially its cargo was minimal, a pinch or two of hemp seed, and a pellet parcel on the hook, that&#39;s all, and to start with it was enough to get me bites. However, as the trip progressed and the fish became more and more confident, I increased the amount of bait in the hopper, adding a baiting spoon full of hempseed, some boilies, a few pinches of paste, a scattering of Frolic and two or three parcels of pellet, both SuperSoft and Trigga Ice.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="High Attract Robin Red" src="" /></div> <br /> I use an awful lot of paste when I am session fishing and the mega-powerful High-Attract Robin Red &amp; Fishmeal paste I had made up was used not only on the Paste Bomb but also added to the free offerings (boilies and pellet parcels).<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Matt's Baits" src="'s-baits-are-so-hugely-attractive.jpg" /></div> <br /> It was clear by the end of the week that they were really up for a feed and after a hell of a storm that dropped many gallons of rain on the lake, they went mad. At one stage I was getting takes as soon as the hopper had emptied! Matt&#39;s baits are so hugely attractive that the carp just seemed to home in on them instantly.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Tearing the carps mouth" src="'s-mouth.jpg" /></div> <br /> I am not going to bang on and on about rigs as I have used only a handful of different ones over the years. I started using the much-vaunted Ronnie Rig, but I wasn&#39;t happy with the way it sat in the testing bucket. I was happy with my standard bottom bait rigs (see photo 17) so for pop-ups I switched to my favourite Le Queroy rig, the amended KT version of the 360 degree rig. This involves using a hook with a totally fused eye, a Korum S2 pattern, so there is no chance of the landing net mesh getting caught in the eye and possibly tearing the carp&#39;s mouth.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="No catching in the mesh" src="!.jpg" /></div> <br /> Incidentally, I have also used the standard long shank hook patterns with the 360 (Fox LSC and Gardner Long Shank Nailer) and while both patterns don&#39;t have a totally closed eye you can get around the problem of the eye getting caught in the mesh by adding a blob of solder at the eye. No gap: no catching in the mesh&hellip;Simples!<br /> <br /> THE FISHING.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Scales" src="" /></div> <br /> And so to the nitty-gritty, the fishing itself. Well to say I had the session of a lifetime is putting it mildly. In total I had eight fifties, twenty-six forties and three thirties. Fishing beyond my wildest dreams. My very first fish, which picked up a bait placed a couple of meters off the pumps was a personal best! Ever since I caught my previous PB at Angel Lakes in 2005, a fish of 51lb, I have always hoped that if I were to catch a fish to beat that one it simply had to come from le Queroy&hellip;which it duly did! The scales gave me 62 lb so after deducting four pounds for the sling my new PB now went 58lb on the nose.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="58lb" src="" /></div> <br /> Here she is! I had caught that fish (strangely enough also in 2005) at 36lb 5oz, and another client had caught it at 48lb in 2015. Now I held her in my arms at 58lb, a ten pound weight gain in a year!<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Total of eight fifties" src="" /></div> <br /> This is one of the nicest looking fish I have ever caught and it too weighs 50lb+. The following two photos show two more fifties. I won&#39;t bore you with photo after photo. That just gets boring. Suffice it to say I had a total of eight fifties, twenty-six forties and three thirties during the trip that&#39;ll do for me. Tommy!<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Another Fifty" src="" /></div> <br /> Another fifty.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="And another" src="" /></div> <br /> <br /> And another.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Photo 43" src="" /></div> <br /> Before I close can I quickly tell you about a strange occurrence?. I had a take, played and landed a fish, unhooked it in the net and under-armed the lead and rig - still pasted and baited - back into the margins just a couple of yards out in a couple of feet of water. I weighed the fish, a low forty, did the pix, put it back and was clearing up when the rod I&#39;d played it on, which was resting against the front boards of the swim bent over. A guy who was fishing Elba and had come down to chat, pointed at the rod, which was about to launch itself into the lake and said, &#39;looks like you&#39;ve got another&#39;. At the time he had no idea that the hookbait had been lying so close in. I picked up the rod and after a brief struggle put the net under what turned out to be the same fish I had just landed and returned, hooked fair and square in the lip!<br /> <br /> Whether it deliberately took the bait ... again! or simply blundered into it, I have no idea. I like to think it was the former.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Best holiday" src="" /></div> <br /> The weather for the most part was blissful, hot and dry, almost too hot, but the pool was a huge comfort at the end of a hot afternoon and after a quick dip we both liked to quaff a few &#39;sundowners&#39; on the terrace. All in all, it was the best holiday we have ever spent at Le Queroy in 19 years of visiting the venue.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="The story of my 2016 trip" src="" /></div> <br /> Only once did we experience the full might of a French summer storm in all its fury. We had hail, torrential rain and tornado-like winds. So fierce as the brief down burst that it blew two bed chairs that were lying against the barn a full fifty yards, over a five foot fence and into the field below. It also was the kiss of death on this old tree that is rumoured to have been over 200 years old before the storm took it.<br /> <br /> So there we have the story of my 2016 trip to Le Queroy. So successful have Dan and Jodie been at promoting the lakes and their associated accommodation that we will have to wait until November 2018 before we can return. If you want to savour some of the best fishing and accommodation France has to offer I&#39;d get in quick!<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Unisex loo door" src="" /></div> <br /> Finally can anyone offer a non-sexist, sensible explanation for this sign on a unisex loo door that we saw at one of the hotels we stayed at en route to Le Q? Odd in the extreme, if you ask me.<br /> <br /> <a href=""> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Click here to start shopping" src="" /></a><br /> &nbsp;</div> 0 On "The Source" - Ken Townley finally takes a look at one of Dynamite Baits' best-selling boilies Tues, 31 Jul 2018 00:00:00 GMT Ken Townley You may have noticed over the years that the name of a certain Cornish reservoir has played a huge part in both my angling and working life. Since 1982, when I made my hesitant way through the woods and down the path to the ressy from the car park much water has flowed under the bridge and many glorious memories generated. You may have noticed over the years that the name of a certain Cornish reservoir has played a huge part in both my angling and working life. Since 1982, when I made my hesitant way through the woods and down the path to the ressy from the car park much water has flowed under the bridge and many glorious memories generated.<br/><div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Sunset" src="" /></div> <br /> That reservoir is, of course, College, a 40-acre venue near Penryn in the far west of Cornwall. Some of my early memories including those from College can be found here:<br /> <br /> <strong><a href=""></a></strong>7<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Ken's catch from a while ago" src="'s-Catch-(previously).jpg" /></div> <br /> This is my very first carp from the ressy, caught in October 1982. It was the first of over 1,500 carp I caught from College over the following years and my success on there and my subsequent success on other carp lakes eventually lead to a thirty-five year long career in fishing, part of which included a period when I worked for South West Water as a fishery warden and later as a fishery manager.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Marcus Watts" src="" /></div> <br /> In the early 80s, when the Carp Society was in its infancy, a Dorset angler called Marcus Watts was an occasional contributor to the Society&#39;s in-house magazine, Carp Fisher. It was clear from his pieces that Marcus was a bait man first and foremost and he obviously knew what he was talking about.<br /> <br /> A few years later I began to hear tales of a new kid on the block in Cornwall, a guy who had opened a tackle shop called The Bait Bunker in Wadebridge, which became a gold mine for Cornish carpers who were not being catered for at all until Marcus arrived. This fella was rapidly making a name for himself as he began to empty (metaphorically speaking) carp lakes all over the south-west and one of his main targets was College. This guy was, of course, Marcus himself and here he is with a College beauty of 31lb plus.<br /> <br /> Among his many claims to fame, Marcus was selling a very good range of baits out of the Bait Bunker (his shop), including a well-structured fishmeal base mix that contained Robin Red, which he called the Reservoir Special. This red fishmeal rapidly gained a loyal and ever-growing following in the south-west as it was hugely effective.<br /> <br /> Jump ahead a few years and Marcus began a full-time job as Bait Development Manager at Dynamite Baits, responsible for developing and refining new base mixes for the company. It was, therefore, no surprise that soon after he joined the company they released their own red fishmeal base mix which they called The Source. This Robin-Red based bait was, and maybe still is Terry Hearn&#39;s favourite bait recipe. I don&#39;t know how much of Marcus&#39;s original Reservoir Special morphed into The Source, but suspect that both baits had a great deal in common.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Ken's catch from previous fishing trip" src="'s-catch-the-source.jpg" /></div> <br /> It took me some time to catch on to the fact that fishmeal base mixes, especially red ones, were brilliant, but once I twigged I had a field day on College and elsewhere, coat-tailing the success of the Reservoir Special with my own home-rolled Robin Red-based fishmeal base mix.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><a href=""><img alt="The source bait" src="" /></a></div> <br /> Back in 2000, I was approached by Haith&#39;s to advise them on a marketing strategy for their coarse fishing business. They were not a new name to carp and specialist anglers as Ian Booker and Rod Hutchinson among others had made prominent use of some of their products, but the company felt that the non-cage and aviary bird sector of their business could be improved. One of the first challenges facing us was how to boost the profile of the fishing side of the business and slowly but surely more and more outlets began to sit up and take notice, especially in Europe and even further afield. One of their most significant customers was Dynamite Baits, at the time a rapidly growing new entrant in the specialist bait world and now a household name throughout Europe where The Source had proved to be a hugely successful carp bait.<br /> <br /> Even though I have been with Haith&#39;s Baits for over eighteen years I have, until very recently, never tried any of their customers&#39; red fishmeal mixes other than Nutrabaits&#39; Big Fish Mix but thanks to Mark Peck at Dynamite I was now in possession of a few kilos of The Source and I was keen to give this new (to me) bait a try on my next fishing trip.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Le Queroy" src="" /></div> <br /> One of our favourite French holiday venues is le Queroy and we have visited every year since 1998. The vast majority of our visits have been in either early- or late-season but Tat had been pestering me to book a &#39;proper&#39;, nice-and-hot summer holiday for ages; this year she would get one&hellip;and how!<br /> <br /> I had booked two consecutive weeks in July 2018 and the heat wave that had been plaguing the UK followed us across the Channel to France. The temperatures were sky-high and it was blisteringly hot when we arrived. That might be OK for the missus but I did not fancy it one bit, though the lake looked in fine fettle on the day we arrived.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Fishing trip" src="" /></div> <br /> Just before leaving the UK we received an e-mail from Dan and Jodie warning us that there was a bit of blue-green algae on the lake, but there was no sign of it when we got to the lake. However, by the end of the first week, the heat had started to cause a few problems and the blue-green started to build up.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Ken fishing at his favourite swim" src="" /></div> <br /> I went to my favourite swim, the one on the north bank overlooking the dam wall. From what Dan had told me, the lake had not fished well the previous week and he thought that the previous party had introduced too much bait when starting their week. I have written an article for the venue, which can be found on their Facebook page (probably well down the page by now) in which I warn visitors to keep their initial bait introductions on the sparse side. Clearly, the previous party had not read this article! With age and experience comes wisdom so I used the bare minimum of bait and was soon into a carp.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><a href=""><img alt="Boilie bait and boilie chopper" src="" /></a></div> <br /> Boilie crumb has often worked well for me at Le Queroy so I decided to give it a try using a boilie processor that follows the principles of an ice crusher. There are several such machines on the market ranging from huge to tiny. I have been using one that sits between the two, the Boilie Chopper from another of Haith&#39;s important clients Mistral Baits.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Boilie into boilie chopper" src="" /></div> <br /> The hopper is large enough to take about 350g of boilies so I can put a kilo of bait through this useful little gizmo in less than a couple of minutes. The unit&#39;s size and effectiveness means it can be taken on sessions of both long and short duration so it is a very handy bit of kit to take along.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Boilie chopped up" src="" /></div> <br /> As you can see the Boilie Chopper works by forcing the baits through opposing cutting blades and these are operated simply by turning the handle on the side.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Chopped up bait" src="" /></div> <br /> This photo shows the size of the crumbed whole baits.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="extra chopped bait" src="" /></div> <br /> If you wish you can pass the crumb through the machine several times so as to reduce the size of the crumb. This photo shows The Source after it has been passed through the Chopper twice. Neat, eh?<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Ken's catch 1" src="'s-lake.jpg" /></div> <br /> The session on Nappy&#39;s lake at Le Queroy kicked off quite encouragingly with four thirties falling to the crumbed Source on the Monday. (No fishing that first weekend, as Saturday was a World Cup day, England beating Sweden 2-0, while on the Sunday, as always when visiting Le Q. we went out for lunch at a very good restaurant in Availles-Limouzine. The long lunch and the very hot weather ruled out any fishing!)<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Ken's catch 2" src="'s-Catch(2).jpg" /></div> <br /> Two more thirties and a low forty came my way the next day and though the Wednesday was a blank, on the Thursday my dear old friend Triad tripped up on a double bait rig (decency forbids me naming it but I am sure you can guess!). At 54lb she was well down in weight but considering the silly-hot weather I am not surprised she didn&#39;t feel like filling her face. The fact that she got her head down on the crumb-ed Source speaks volumes about the effectiveness of the bait.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Fish" src="" /></div> <br /> &hellip;And that&#39;s the trouble with Triads&hellip;You wait eleven years for one (<a href=""></a>) and then two come along at once!<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Ken fishing 2" src="" /></div> <br /> Little did I know it at the time, but Triad was to be my last fish of the trip. Here she lolls towards the net after one hell of a scrap.<br /> <br /> Though I fished through the Friday and the weekend, by the second Monday of the trip I&#39;d not had another take. True, I was now down to using hookbaits only as I was nearly out of The Source, but there were signs that the carp were feeling a bit uncomfortable in the very hot weather. A few carp could be seen cruising on the surface gasping for breath and it was clear that they were pretty stressed out. In addition, the blue-green was getting thicker by the day (though Le Q&#39;s ultrasound algae blaster was keeping it down somewhat), and I know from previous experience that the carp hate the b-g with a passion. In addition, the water temperature was over 24 degrees and even with the aerator going full bore the oxygen levels were clearly falling. Not wishing to risk stressing the carp any further I decided to stop fishing. I would be back in November; they could wait for me &#39;til then, couldn&rsquo;t they?<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Sky " src="" /></div> <br /> The weather was if anything getting even hotter and all it needed was a thunderstorm and a full-on oxygen crash was on the cards. In fact many evenings just such a storm threatened but thankfully did not materialise.<br /> <br /> Dan very wisely brought in two additional high capacity water pumps and these soon had the desired effect of boosting the oxygen levels considerably. In fact, I know that all is well now thanks to the quick action of Dan and his mate Charlie. Visitors to Le Queroy&#39;s Napoleonic lake can rest easy!<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Ken's catch 3" src="" /></div> <br /> Here&#39;s to November :-)<br /> &nbsp; <center><iframe allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></center> <br /> <br /> Visit <strong><a href="">Dynamite Bait&#39;s Facebook page</a></strong> for more information or alternatively visit their website at <strong><a href=""></a></strong><br /> <br /> <a href=""><img alt="Dynamite baits" src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <img alt="Fish like you mean it" src="" /> 0 Top 10 particle baits - part two Tues, 31 Jul 2018 00:00:00 GMT Ken Townley Last month I looked at my choice of the top five particle baits, so let's round off this article by looking at numbers 6-10. Last month I looked at my choice of the top five particle baits, so let's round off this article by looking at numbers 6-10.<br/><div style="text-align: center;"><a href=""><br /> <img alt="Call to action" src="" /></a></div> <br /> <strong>6) MAPLES</strong><br /> <br /> Maples were among the first switch baits to be used after sweetcorn started losing its effectiveness. By then everybody recognised the effectiveness of the particle approach but finding a replacement for the little yellow grains proved difficult.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Maples" src="" /></div> <br /> It was Rod Hutchinson who first started using mini-maples at Redmire, the peas being obtained from Haith&#39;s (who else). Rod was probably the first to discover the treasure trove behind the massive warehouse doors of the Haith&#39;s factory and maples and mini-maples were his first purchase from us.&nbsp;(Update: our thoughts go out to Rod Hutchinson&#39;s family &amp; friends as he sadly passed away last month) (June 2018)<br /> <br /> <a href=""> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Red Band" src="" /></a></div> <br /> Rod chose the little pea because he thought he was going down the right road by using small dark baits rather than big bright ones (sweetcorn). Vast amounts of mini-maples were introduced into Redmire, first by Rod and then by Chris Yates who later joined in the experiment. Suddenly those elusive Redmire carp began to seem easy, all thanks to the brilliant application of maples by Rod and Chris. Since then maples have become the first choice of many particle bait users who prefer beans and pulses rather than nuts. They have been particularly successful in summer as there is no better bait for warmer water,<br /> <br /> As with all particle baits correct preparation is vital. Maples are not hard to prepare but unless you do so correctly you run the risk of damaging the carp by introducing under- or un-prepared peas. Incidentally, many anglers believe that maples are best used without any additional flavouring as they have a unique and powerful aroma. I would go along with this but on the other hand I don&rsquo;t think adding a flavour takes anything away from their effectiveness&hellip;but nor does it ad anything either!<br /> <br /> <a href=""> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Whole Hemp Seed" src="" /></a></div> <br /> This is how I prepare two kilos (dry weight - approx 4kg wet weight) of both maples and mini-maples. First crumble four beef stock cubes in boiling water until they are totally dissolved. These are included to encourage the peas to darken slightly and to add a salty flavour. Pour the flavour-rich water over the maples having first placed them is a medium sized bait bucket. Top up the bucket with cold water. <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Beef cubes" src="" /></div> <br /> Stir the flavour, sweetener and dissolved stock cubes together and allow the peas to absorb the liquid. This takes at least 12 hours and to be honest I prefer to soak them for 24-36 hours to allow maximum absorbsion and also to cut down on boiling time.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Stock cubes" src="" /></div> <br /> Now transfer the maples to a large saucepan (or two), along with the water in which they have been soaking. Bring them to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Test the baits from time to time to ensure they do not go too soft. After the fifteen minutes are up the peas should be nice and pliable, not too soft but of a fairly rubbery consistency.<br /> <br /> Drain off the liquid to prevent them overcooking and transfer the cooked maples to a bucket with a sealable lid. At a push the baits are ready to use straight away and in fact you are preparing them at the lakeside it is far better to introduce them while they are still warm.<br /> <br /> Otherwise kick start their pulling power by encouraging them to ferment slightly. This is how you do it. After straining the maples and sealing them in their bucket, place the bucket in a warm place such as the kitchen or the airing cupboard, or in summer you can stand the bucket outside in the sunshine. Allow the maples to stand for 2-3 days after which time they will begin to exude a milky, glutinous substance as they slowly begin to ferment. They will also begin to smell very powerfully and if you get the milky substance on your clothes and hands, I don&rsquo;t recommend that you go to the pub until you&rsquo;ve had a chance to have a good wash and maybe a change of clothes! The maples are now ready to use and in this form are, to my mind, at their very best.<br /> <br /> <strong>7) CHICKPEAS.</strong><br /> <br /> This small round yellow pea has been around in the carp world for nearly three decades and is a firm favourite with particle lovers. It is usually one of the first change baits after sweetcorn starts to slow down and along with black eyed beans is probably the most well know and widely used of all the pea/pulse baits. It is one of the easiest to prepare so it is ideal for short session fishing and it takes colours and flavours very well. In its natural state the chickpea is a bright yellow colour so it is obviously a very visual bait that can pull fish down instantly. Many anglers have told me that they believe chickpeas really only work well over gravel but I have to say that I have found them to be one of the most versatile of all the particle baits.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Chick peas" src="" /></div> <br /> Widely used on the Continent, chickpeas have been known to score well on some of the most difficult waters and multiple catches have been reported from Orient, Der-Chatequoc and St Cassien, as well as from other less well known waters. I have done particularly well using chickpeas on rivers. I think river fish are largely very nomadic and a big carpet of brightly coloured, highly flavoured particles can pull them down almost immediately. As chickpeas are probably the most visual of all the particles, these are often our first choice for a pre-bating campaign.<br /> <br /> Preparation could not be easier. Simply soak them for 12-24 hours then bring them to the boil. As soon as they come to a fierce boil, remove from the heat and allow the peas to cool in the water in which they have been boiled. This will produce a bait with a very reliable consistency with a slightly sweet taste.<br /> <br /> <a href=""> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Groats" src="" /></a></div> <br /> Colours and flavours (if required) should be added at the soaking stage to allow them to penetrate right into the bait. Though chickpeas have a slightly sweet natural taste I like to boost the sweetness with a few mills of my favourite sweetener, Sweet Cajouser from Nutrabaits. Chickpeas soak up flavour like a sponge and I have found that just about any flavour works well. You will also find that chickpeas absorb liquid food additives better than most particle baits so a good dose of Nutramino, Multimino-PPC or Corn Steep Liquor will certainly boost attraction<br /> <br /> I have done very well using chickpeas soaked in stock cubes of various kinds as well as in Marmite or Bovril dissolved in hot water. These enhance most of the more savoury flavours and may also have the effect of reducing the visibility of the peas somewhat. This may be an advantage on waters where chickpeas have been used extensively and the carp are becoming wary of the naturally bright, uncoloured baits. You can add artificial colouring at the soaking stage too. Simply add a teaspoonful of your preferred colour dye for every kilo (dry weight) of particles. It is also a good idea to add a few mills of neat flavour and sweetener to the baits after they have been drained. This gives them that extra little kick-start once they are introduced to the swim.<br /> <br /> (Don&rsquo;t forget that tinned chickpeas can be just as effective!).<br /> <br /> <strong>8) BLACK-EYED BEANS.</strong><br /> <br /> This is a fabulous bait, which was tremendously popular in the 70s at the start of the particle revolution. They too have fallen from favour somewhat since then but anyone with a spirit of adventure and the yen to try something &lsquo;new&rsquo; should give them a go. Like maples they are easy to ferment and they soak up flavours and colours just as well as chickpeas. In addition they are not as heavy (dense) as maples or chickpeas so they are better for fishing over weed or soft, silty lakebeds.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Black beans" src="" style="font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; font-family: sans-serif, Arial, Verdana, &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;; font-size: 13px; text-align: center;" /></div> <br /> Once again we have Rod to thank for bringing them to our attention and it was Rod who also popularised the preparation of pulses in soup. Tomato soup and black-eyed beans will always be synonymous for me in the early 70s when Rod&rsquo;s first articles appeared in angling magazine. He gave me the inspiration to try the new method and black eyed beans at were my our first change after maples seemed to loose their effectiveness<br /> <br /> There is something about black-eyed beans that carp adore and I rate them equally with maples or chickpeas. One thing to remember, however, is that they are extremely filling and unless you are fishing for large shoals of carp, it is wise to err on the side of caution when baiting up.<br /> <br /> Black-eyed beans have been absolutely instant wherever I have fished them so there is no need to prebait. In fact, I sometime think it might do more harm than good to prebait with any of the pulses, so again tread cautiously.<br /> <br /> The beans are very easy to prepare. Simply use the same method as you would with maples. However, you can pep them up with flavour (I am particularly keen on the spice flavours like cinnamon), sweetener, liquid food and so on&hellip;whatever takes your fancy really.<br /> <br /> This is my way of preparing black-eyed beans:<br /> <br /> 1. As before place the dry beans in a suitable pan.<br /> <br /> 2. Add a tablespoon of salt per kilo of dry beans.<br /> <br /> 3. Add your preferred flavour. I adore the spicy flavour like cinnamon.<br /> <br /> 4. Add any colouring (bright to stand out against the bottom, dull colour to blend in).<br /> <br /> 5. Top up with water so that the beans are covered by about an inch or so.<br /> <br /> 6. Stir the pan so as to blend in the additives.<br /> <br /> 7. Now leave the bait to soak for 24 hours, checking to ensure that the bait is always covered by water. Note that black-eyed beans absorb a great deal of liquid so you will invariably have to top up.<br /> <br /> 8. After the soak is completed bring the pan to the boil and cook for 15 minutes.<br /> <br /> 9. Now drain off the boiling water and run the particles under a cold tap for a few minutes to take the heat out of them and stop them overcooking.<br /> <br /> 10. Once cool place the beans in a bucket and pour on 50ml of your preferred liquid food such as Sense Appeal or Multimino-PPC.<br /> <br /> 11. Shake the bucket to coat each the bait with the liquid additive.<br /> <br /> 12. Seal the bucket and leave it in a warm room or the airing cupboard for a few days.<br /> <br /> 13. After three or four days you will find that they have taken on the smell, attraction and colour of the amino acid liquid food.<br /> <br /> <strong>9) MALTING BARLEY</strong><br /> <br /> Malting barley is an unusual bait that is seldom mentioned in print. Brewer&rsquo;s use it to add flavour, taste and body to their beers. Just chew on a handful and you&rsquo;ll be hooked. It has a rich, deep malty taste with a hint of sweetness that is almost irresistible. I find myself eating handfuls at a time when I am trying to prepare a bucket full for a fishing trip. Malting barley is grown throughout the UK but different varieties are grown in winter, spring and summer. In addition there are regional variations. However, some of the best malting barleys come from special maltsters who cater for the real ale trade. These folks are often pretty tight lipped about how and from where they obtain their malting barley but don&rsquo;t despair. Haith&rsquo;s can supply in 25kg bags.<br /> <br /> As a viable alternative to the traditional mass baits like <strong><a href="">hempseed</a></strong>, <strong><a href="">groats</a></strong> and the dari seeds, malting barley is well worth your consideration. It is simple to prepare and easy to use, but bear in mind what I said at the beginning about it being pretty filling. Unless you are fishing for a big head of carp that you know are all likely to shoal up and feed together, you should err on the side of caution when baiting up.<br /> <br /> When malting barley is prepared correctly all the starch turns to sugar producing an intense natural sweetness that carp find very attractive. I prepare it in much the same way as I do <strong><a href="">hempseed:</a></strong><br /> <br /> &bull; Soak the barley for at least 24 hours in water to which 250g of sugar has been added. (Dissolve the sugar first in boiling water then top up with cold.)<br /> <br /> &bull; Transfer the grains and the water in which it has been soaking to a large saucepan.<br /> <br /> &bull; Bring the water to the boil.<br /> <br /> &bull; Once the water is boiling turn down the heat and simmer for about five minutes.<br /> <br /> &bull; Now turn off the heat and transfer the boiling water and the barley to a large sealable bucket.<br /> <br /> &bull; Place the lid on the bucket to create an airtight seal and allow the water to cool.<br /> <br /> &bull; As soon as the water has cooled completely the bait is ready for use.<br /> <br /> <strong>10) PEANUTS.</strong><br /> <br /> I looked at peanuts a couple of months ago and since that article appeared I have been asked a number of time if the use of peanuts as a carp bait is ethical. In fact I was loath to even mention peanuts back then as they do have a certain reputation. However, they are a highly effective carp bait when used responsibly. In other words, SPARINGLY.<br /> <br /> Used sensibly there is no reason why peanuts should not have a long and successful catching life but as I say, err on the side of caution. Before I go any further, I just bang the drum a bit more for my dear old chum <strong><a href="">SuperRed</a></strong>, which by my own design contains a small proportion of peanut kernels to add that extra kick!<br /> <br /> <a href=""> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Super Red" src="" /></a></div> <br /> As is the case with tiger nuts, a kilo of dry peanuts is ample for a 48-hour session. No need to go mad with them! Please refer to the previous article for preparation advice.<br /> <br /> So there you have it&hellip;My Top Ten particles baits. Any one of them will produce results but always remember whenever you use particles to prepare them correctly.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Maples" src="" /></div> <br /> Maples are probably the most under-rated of particles. They are especially effective when exuding this gooey, glutinous liquid.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="adding a flavour" src="" /></div> <br /> I don&rsquo;t think adding a flavour takes anything away from maples&rsquo; their effectiveness&hellip;but nor does it add anything either!<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Beef stock cubes add a salty flavour to the maples" src="" /></div> <br /> Beef stock cubes add a salty flavour to the maples.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="A beautiful UK common" src="" /></div> <br /> A beautiful UK common caught on a single maple pea over a sparse scattering of free offerings (maples).<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Raw Chickpeas" src="" /></div> <br /> Chickpeas are one of the most popular particle baits and carp simply adore eating them. <div>&nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt=" A simple rig" src="" /></div> <div><br /> &nbsp;A simple rig baited with a couple of chickpeas and fished over a carpet of <strong><a href="">Red Band</a></strong> will score every time.<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="stock cubes" src="" /></div> <br /> I have done very well using chickpeas soaked in stock cubes of various kinds.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Chickpeas" src="" /></div> <br /> Don&rsquo;t forget, tinned peas can be just as effective!<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Black-eyed bean" src="" /></div> <br /> Black-eyed beans have been absolutely instant wherever I have fished them so there is no need to prebait.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="spice flavours" src="" /></div> <br /> I am particularly keen on spice flavours when flavouring black-eyed beans.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="malting barley is well worth your consideration" src="" /></div> <br /> As a viable alternative to the traditional mass baits like <strong><a href="">hempseed</a></strong>, <strong><a href="">groats</a></strong> and the dari seeds, malting barley is well worth your consideration.<br /> &nbsp; <div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="dry peanuts" src="" /></div> <br /> One kilo of dry peanuts is ample for a 48-hour session. No need to go mad with them! <div style="text-align: center;"><a href=""><br /> <img alt="Call to action" src="" /></a></div> 0