Spirulina: Now there's a bait ingredient to get the bait buffs drooling but what is it…? Well in pure technical terms it is a biomass of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) that can be consumed by humans and animals. It less pure terms it is a high biological value nutrient that contains polyunsaturated fatty acids, amino acids, proteins, pigments, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
So why am I telling you this? Well the good news is that high quality Spirulina is now a significant component of our new Robin Green EU/UK, thus making an already good product a great one! You see, we think that the world is crying out for a more natural world with less artificial ingredients so we have started to offer bait colourings and additives that are purely natural in their make up. This means that in effect we are using natural colour foods, natural extracts and, naturally, no e-numbers. In the case of Robin Green this entails employing a 35% inclusion of Spirolina so the end result is that your bait colouring now also contains hugely important, highly attractive natural ingredients.
Here you can see some of my home made fishmeal and Robin Green Boilie Morsels, which we used to great effect on a couple of trips in 2019.
A fifty pound plus carp that fell to Robin Green Boilie Morsels.
Throughout the range of new natural Robins artificial colouring agents have been replaced by purely natural ones, many of which are excellent food ingredients and attractors. However, the original Robins are still available. They are labelled (HB) to indicate that they are intended to be used to create high attract hookbaits only. However, you can still use them in the accepted manner, i.e. adding 10% to a base mix. The barrels in this photo were all made using the various Robins (HB). This link explains it all in more detail:
In keeping with the all-natural aspect of our colour foods we have also created three other natural Robins; Robin Gold EU/UK, Robin Orange EU/UK and of course Robin Red EU/UK. These sit alongside the originals that contain artificial colour agents and are labelled with the HB suffix. This unusual two-tone common carp was caught from Bounty Lakes during the field trials we carried out prior to releasing the new range of Robins (HB).
If you are looking for a bait additive that is a bit different to the norm you might like to try GTPS aka Grandfather Ted's Poultry Spice. This is a totally original birdfood colour food and as you can see it is crammed full of many attractive ingredients that really spice up (sic!) a mix. It's red colour comes, naturally enough, from our world famous ingredient Robin Red (HB), but also included are Mollasine Meal, Bird food Supplement, Micronised Soyabean Meal, Oyster Grit and Hemp Seed. If you look at the photos you will see immediately that GTPS and RR share only one thing in common, the colour. Clearly GTPS is a much coarser blend, but it looses nothing by this; indeed in some it can be used straight from the bag. If you are a fan of Robin Red then you'll love GTPS
GTPS can be used in a boilie recipe or as a Method Mix additive; it can be used in conjunction with Red Factor for instance, to create compact groundbait balls or you can use it neat in PVA stocking mesh.
We all know that peanuts can be used to catch carp, tench or even barbel and very good they are too…But did you know you can boost them up to create a wonderful gloopy bait that makes them even harder to resist? Just look at that lovely sticky goo coating the nuts.
This is all you will need to create an almost irresistible bait that will attract most of the larger species of coarse fish in our rivers and lakes. You can find more info here:
Give Stoned Nuts a try. I promise you won't regret it!
Here's a little tip that can boost just about any pulse, nuts or particle. First you need to get on friendly terms with your favourite pub landlord or manager; better still if he or she is also the cellar man or woman. You know those multi nozzle dispensing guns they use in the bar to add flavours such as lemonade or soda water? Well one of the options on these dispensers is a concentrated coke syrup. When the syrup runs out there will always be a bit in the bottom of the bottle and this stuff is dynamite! It not only tastes like coke but it is also very sweet. Ask the person you have tapped up to save this thick sticky liquid. It may cost you a pint or two but they'll only throw it away otherwise! Then you will have an intensely sweet liquid you can use to flavour particles, nuts, cereals…just about any particle bait to be honest. I use it on my tiger nuts, hence the name on the bottle!
Using the coke syrup invariably helps tigers to slime up, as you can see!
Talking of tigers, as a great fan of these amazingly effective nuts can I point you in the direction of the preserved versions from Dynamite Baits? They are so handy when you have not got the time to prepare your tigers in advance. Just open the bottle, tear off the seal and away you go! (PS: Their preserved hempseed 'dynamite' too!)
While we are on the subject of preserved bait here's a handy way to preserve tiger nuts. It's a method I picked up off a guy on the forum. Sadly I've forgotten his username, so if you are reading this, mate, take a bow. Yours is a terrific idea! All you need is an empty soft drink bottle (or three). Now cook your tigers in the normal way, i.e. soaked in heavily sugared water for 24 hours and then boiled in the same water for 30 minutes or so. Now allow the nuts and the liquid to cool and then empty the cooked tigers into the empty bottles along with as much of the preparation water you can get into the bottle. Cram as many tigers as possible into each bottle and then give the bottle a thump on the table top. This will dislodge any air bubbles. Now add water to the very top of the bottle and then put on the cap. The idea is to drive out all the air from the bottle. Prepared thus your tigers will last at least a couple of months without spoiling. They will also turn gloopy…Ideal! This is perfect for long sessions or maybe a trip abroad.
Of course, you can always use my fail-safe method of preparation using the bain marie method. Details here:
While a bit more long winded this method will preserve tiger nuts almost indefinitely.
If you are a regular visitor to this Blog you will know that I often sing the praises of paste, both as a hookbait and as free offerings. There are two ways to prepare a decent paste, with eggs and egg-free. You'll find tips on making both types of paste elsewhere on these pages.
I see a lot of anglers on social media espousing the benefits (or otherwise) of using salt either in or on their bait. While I freely except that on some occasions salt can help with the attraction of your bait, I want to draw you attention one important aspect of salt. You should always use the best quality salt you can afford. I use a top quality sea salt from France, where the best sea salt is harvested. Sea salt is obtained directly through the evaporation of seawater. It undergoes minimal processing, and therefore retains trace levels of important minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium and other nutrients. Table salt, on the other hand, is mined from salt deposits and then processed to give it a fine texture so it’s easier to mix and use in recipes. This processing strips table salt of many important vitamins and minerals. Additives may also be used to prevent clumping.
Here's a handy little tip for you. We all know that carp adore any bait that is hot, fatty and spicy, yes? Well home made chilli oil will suit you down to the ground. All you have to do is take some chilli flakes and allow them to soak in a bottle of decent cooking oil. Sunflower oil will do but I much prefer olive oil.
After a week or so you will have a bottle of chilli-infused oil that can be put to a multitude of bait making purposes.
I think I have mentioned mini-maize before. Frank Warwick gave me the heads up about it many years ago and I have been a big fan of it ever since…thanks, Frank! This stuff ticks all the boxes: it is bright, smells divine and is widely available under its more popular guise of popcorn maize. Prepare with an overnight soak and then a 15-20 minute boil - a much shorter time than for standard maize. You will note that the grains start to split, thus exposing their juicy soft centre, which carp find hugely attractive.
It will also work exceedingly well when used in a blend, say with hemp seed or Red Band Pigeon Conditioner.
I have seen some woefully idiotic suggestions on bait preparation on social media over the years. One that caught my attention a few years back was the use of what I can only call rotten maize. I once watched an angler pile a couple of buckets of this ghastly stuff into his swim on a French river. He caught nothing and the bait was still there - I could see it on the river bed - two weeks later when I pulled off to return to the UK. Nuff said.
Finally it is with heavy heart that I have to tell you that the best nut-based 3-in-1 base mix I have ever put together is no more. The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on us and sadly we have had to trim the product list to allow us to draw in our horns a bit until we are up and running at pre-Covid-19 levels again.
My fellow Blogger Adam Roots will be gutted. He adores the stuff, as do I. Still, don't worry, Adam…There's always SuperRed!
With any luck me and the missus will be off to France soon to a lovely little gite on the banks of a river that has become a favourite of ours since we discovered it way back in 2001. It will be our first fishing trip since lockdown so we may be a bit rusty.
Here's one I caught on our very first visit.