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Home > The Big Red Carp Fishing Blog > Ken Townley's winter bait thoughts

Ken Townley's winter bait thoughts

Tuesday, 6th December 2016

As far as I am concerned - and as Brian wrote the other day - winter fishing should be fun. It's not an endurance test, and that fun comes from catching carp!
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So now I'll take you through a step-by-step guide to making a great winter bait that has the emphasis on attraction with a capital A!
Red factor

Red Factor

Take 150g of Red Factor and reduce it to a fine powder using a coffee grinder. (on the right in this photo)
Haith's CLO

Now grind down 150g of Haith's CLO. (In the centre.)

Haith's CLO


Weight out 150g of Polenta, a fine maize meal. (If you cannot find Polenta, fine semolina will do.) That completes the bulk of the base mix.
Brocacel yeast culture

Weigh out 25g of Brocacel yeast culture…
Robin Red

…and the same of Robin Red.

Robin Red UK/EU

Robin Red HB

That completes the base mix recipe so to summarise:

150g Fine ground Red Factor
150g Fine Ground CLO
150g Polenta
25g Brocacel
25g Robin Red

Now for the attractors all of which are proven in cold water temperatures. They are as follows:
Full Fat Greenshell Lipped Mussel Compound

25g Full Fat Greenshell Lipped Mussel Compound (the best available in my opinion).
Winter Amino Compound

10g Winter Amino Compound.
Liver Extract Powder

25g Liver Extract Powder.
base mix in a polythene or strong paper bag

Place 450g of base mix in a polyethene or strong paper bag
Dry powder ingredients

Now add the other dry powder ingredients to the bag. Form a neck in the mouth and blow air into the bag, then seal the mouth of the bag by folding it over on itself several times. Now shake the bag vigorously to blend the dry ingredients together.
Now for the liquids

Now for the liquids. To a mixing bowl add 2ml of Richworth Tutti Frutti.
Liquid Wheat Hydro

25ml of Liquid Wheat Hydro and 25ml of Liquid Goose Liver hydrolysate.
Liquid Oyster Extract

25ml of Liquid Oyster Extract (Not oyster sauce which is nothing like as effective).
Tescos' Good Oil

20ml Tescos' Good Oil (hemp oil).
Half a pint of tap water

Now add to the bowl half a pint of tap water (you can use bottled if you like but I don't think it makes any difference).
Mix the fluid content together

Mix the fluid content together with a whisk and add the dry powders. If you have measured everything out correctly you should find that the liquids accommodate all the dry powder with none left over.
 paste is now ready for the next step

The paste is now ready for the next step. At this point you can either label it and pop it in the freezer, or why not create your very own ultra-high attract water-based paste balls along the lines detailed here:

No look at winter baits would be complete without looking at the whys and wherefores. Why this ingredient and not that one: why this attractor and not that one…You get the picture. So I'll go through the recipe in detail now.

At this time of the year more than any other you need a reliable bait, one in which you have confidence and one that oozes attraction. The emphasis should be more on attraction than nutrition though you should not ignore that aspect. In really cold weather all fish, not just carp, need fats and carbohydrates to use as an source of energy. Protein metabolism slows down in winter, whereas fats (and carbs to a lesser extent) are metabolised much easier and quicker and have a more pronounced effect on the well being of the fish.

1. CLO, Red Factor and Polenta are high fat, high carbohydrate ingredients that carp find easy to utilise in the colder months. They are a great source of energy which contributes to the overall well being of the fish through the depths of winter.
2. Robin Red…Say no more!
3. Brocacel is a cultured yeast compound that aids the digestion specifically of carbs and also of fats. It enables the carp to obtain maximum benefit from the bait, at the same time being a very good source of high quality protein and amino acids.
4. Full Fat Greenshell Lipped Mussel Compound from Feed Stimulants is quite simply the best of its kind currently available.
5. Winter Amino Compound is used to boost the free amino content of the bait and this blend has been put together specifically for use in very cold water temperatures.
6. Liquid Wheat Hydro is on a par with Corn Steep Liquor…only it is better.
7. Goose Liver Hydrolysate is rich in amino acids and is highly water-soluble thus creating a cloud of attraction over your bait, releasing attractors that give off nutritional signals and which will disperse freely to attract fish.
8. Liquid Oyster Extract (not oyster sauce which is nothing like as effective). This stuff is simply the best, a thick gooey liquid that simply screams 'carp' at you.
9. Tescos Good Oil (hemp oil) is rich in omega -3 and -6 fatty acids, in themselves a powerful energy source with a strong protein-sparing effect.
101 ways of using paste

So that's the whys and wherefores. There are 101 ways of using paste in the winter and the paste balls detailed in the link above is one idea you might like to try. Alternatively take the paste to the lake in its polythene bag and simply roll it into your preferred size of paste balls. These can be fired a long way out of a catapult and will start to break down slowly on the lake bed.

You can create a hookbait using paste by wrapping it in a section of ladies' stockings or tights, or a purpose-designed meshing products such as Fox Arma Mesh.
Arma Mesh in use

This photo shows Arma Mesh in use. The paste is wrapped in a section of the mesh and then tied just as you would tie PVA mesh parcels. Pull the hair through the meshed paste and secure it with a boilie stop.
go out there and catch some carp

Now go out there and catch some carp!
Very Happy Christmas

I am really looking forward to next year and am already preparing my bait for my first trip to France of the winter.

In the meantime can I and my fellow Bloggers wish you all a Very Happy Christmas!


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  • Comments

"Ur Reply" by
18 Oct 2018

Thanks for you're reply. I will be meshing the the hook baits thanks. I was mainly wondering if the liquids and powders you use would they be ok to add to birdfood mix just to make past to throw out il be using boilies as well but only boiled for under a minuite so they are soft. The hook baits will be hard. Thanks again graham

Haith's customer services:

Hi Graham
Yes, by all means add the liquids and powders to the mix. They will add a lot of soluble attraction to the bait carpet. However, my only qualm is that your free baits will be too soft and may be eaten before the carp can get to them. In fact, I’d use the boiled (hard) bait as the free offerings and the paste (soft) bait on the hair.
Ken T

"Mr" by
16 Oct 2018

Hi ken im fishing a 42 acre lake this year. Ive had 4 fish ther are only 38 in the lake whats known. I was wonder if by using a ready made birdfood mix with ur powdered and liquids added would that still work as well as a paste bait. Thanks graham

Haith's customer services:

Hello Graham
I guess that all depends on the density of the silver fish in there. Unprotected paste will be decimated in an hour or less, dependant on the density of the paste. I would be inclined to use the birdfood boilies as your feed bait, and use the paste – the same mix as your hookbaits but with perhaps slightly elevated levels of attraction (liquids, powders etc.) - as your hookbait. I would imagine you will need to protect the paste hookbait with a plastic mesh of some kind. Fox Arma Mesh will do the trick, but you can get the same protection by using a section of mesh a section cut from a ‘scrunchy’.
Good luck! I think at one fish per acre you will have your work cut out, but I note you have already caught four of them...Well done.
Ken T

"Winter Paste" by
23 Sep 2018

Hi Ken, just read your excellent article regarding winter paste bait written Dec 2016.
I can source all the ingredients apart from the goose liver hydrolysate which is no longer available, can you suggest a good alternative to this ingredient ?
Thanks Rob

Haith's customer services:

Hi Rob,
I have been using Liquid Squid Hydrolysate in place of the Goose Liver, and it has been a very successful substitute.
Hope this helps.
Kind regards,

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