An important pre-season job is to make and freeze enough high attract paste to see me through the next few months. As you'll know if you have read my previous blogs, I am a huge fan of paste wraps, both around the hookbaits and also on the lead. I incorporate the optimum level of soluble attraction into the paste, the idea being that the attraction will leak out in the vicinity of the hookbait drawing carp in to feed.
While the nutritional aspect of my pastes is not the prime requirement it is none the less important. I am certain that carp can suss out the nutritional quality (or lack of it) of the food items within the paste so I make sure I use highly attractive ingredients to make up the basic paste mix, mainly using a blend of bird foods and powdered attraction. I use a lot of paste over the course of a season so I usually make up the base mix in advance. This is a 50/50 blend of Red Factor and Haith's CLO with high levels of Green Lipped Mussel Concentrate and Liver Extract Powder.
Liquid attraction comes in the form of Soy Sauce, Robin Red Oil, Liquid Robin Red, Tutti-Fruiti Flavour and Scotch Bonnet Extract. This is fiery-hot, but carp are unaffected by the heat of chillies and carp are known to be strongly attracted to capsaicin, the active component of chillies.
Here's how I create a kilo of high attract birdfood paste bait in a few quick and easy steps. First, I put four red mugs of the pre-mixed base mix into a polythene bag: (Red Mugs! You what? See part one:
Next, I add to the bag a couple of highly attractive powders the first of which is citric acid. This is a highly stimulatory additive for carp baits. It enhances any fruity flavours and makes the bait more acidic, which in turn makes it stand out in the water from the surroundings. It has a very low pH of 2.2pH so it should only be used in minute quantities. I use 2g per kilo.
The other powder is a concentrated sweetener. There are quite a few of these on the market but the one I prefer is Lactose Stim, a powdered very sweet flavour with a rich vanilla-like fragrance. This stuff really pulls the carp as it increases the taste of your bait and promotes digestibility and absorption of nutrients. Unlike with liquid flavours, the smell and taste of powdered flavours remain for longer because it dilutes more slowly in water. I use 10g per kilo.
Now it is time to mix and blend the liquids. I like to do this in a separate bottle (an empty water bottle will do fine). Use a funnel to add the liquids to the bottle. First, I measure out 50ml of Soy Sauce.
This is then added to the empty bottle using the funnel.
Measure out 10ml of the Tutti-Fruiti flavour. The original Richworth flavour is by far the best but is becoming hard to come by these days. It is very strong so do not to add too much or it will overpower the attraction. Incidentally, some of the John Baker flavours are worth looking at as very effective alternatives to the Richworth original
Add the flavour to the bottle.
Finally, measure out 50ml Liquid Robin Red…
Add this to the bottle…
Now shake the bottle so as to blend all the liquids.
Pour the liquids from the bottle to an empty cup.
Top up the cup with tap water to make 250ml total liquids.
Stir to blend in the water…
Add the content of the cup to the dry powders in the mixing bowl.
Don't waste any. Every last drop is precious!
Blend together the dry ingredients and the liquids to form a dough.
Now add a good glug of Robin Red Oil from Dynamite Baits.
This adds considerably to the overall attraction given off by the finished paste and it also makes mixing a lot easier.
Use your hands to bring together the dough and the Robin Red Oil and then cover the bowl with a clean towel. Leave it to rest for 30 minutes.
Divide the dough in half ready to be frozen. 1,000g of dry mix plus 250ml of liquid ingredients creates a lot of bait and this is can be used immediately.
However, I feel that the paste works even better if it has been frozen so I divide the finished paste into two roughly equal halves which are bagged up into freezer bags.
Finally, put the paste into the freezer.
Now I am all set for the spring and summer months, hoping to catch a few more beautiful carp like his one.