First weigh out a kilo of your favourite seed blend. This is a 50/50 mix of Red Band Pigeon Conditioner and Haith's Baits' Hemp Seed.
Second you'll need an equal quantity of the fantastic bird seed Red Factor to aid nutrition and attraction but also to help bind the seeds together.
Further attraction is provided by a couple of products from the Feed Stimulants range. The first is SuperStim, one of the next generation concentrated feeding triggers. It is a complete new feeding trigger, the latest innovation from the fish farming industry and an excellent substitute for the DMPT, which is now off the list of permitted food additives. SuperStim is not as strong as DMPT, meaning the more you use the better the attraction will become...within reason! so do not exceed the maximum advised inclusion level. It acts mainly as a superior taste enhancer and it has a slight musty fragrance.
Normal inclusion levels range from 3 to 7 ml per kg mix for open water and baiting campaigns. Up to around 10-15ml can work miracles on pressured, commercial waters. Also very suitable for use in soaks at around 5 to 10%. I will add this to the seed blend once it has cooled.
The second additive is FruitStim, a powdered flavour with a sweet fragrance of mixed fruit, which has proven to have a strong allure to fish. It increases the taste of bait and effectively increases food intake and promotes the digestibility and absorption of nutrients. Unlike liquid flavours, the smell of powdered flavours remains for a much longer time because it dilutes slower in water. I premix this with the Red Factor as you will see later in this sequence. FruitStim really catches the nose following quick lift of the lid and it smells gorgeous, not to put too fine a point on things. (OK, I know it is no guarantee that what smells good to a human will also smell good to a carp, but, in this case, I cannot help feeling that carp too think the smell is gorgeous!)
The final part of the attraction package is the amazing Blue Oyster ECTS from Nutrabaits. This truly is one of the great attractors and I include it in just about every bait I put together. For this recipe, I have used 10ml (two capfuls).
Now to prepare the groundbait...The first step is to soak the micro seed blend in cold water for 24-36 hours.
You will note that the seeds swell considerably during the soaking process. NOTE: Do not add the attractors yet as they may be affected by the heat, which comes next.
Boil the Red Band and Hemp seed blend for 20 minutes. I recommend a fast rolling boil which means that a lot of the water will be taken up by the blend and evaporation during boiling, so have a kettle of boiling water on standby to top up the pan if needed.
After the boiling process has been completed the seeds will look like this.
Empty the seeds into a large bowl or bucket and allow to cool. Once they have gone cold you can add the SuperStim and for this particular recipe, I use 10ml. I also add a nice juicy dollop of a 50/50 mixture of Liquid Krill Amino Compound and Liquid Goose Liver Hydrolysate. These are added after the seeds have cooled so as not to adversely affect the amino acids therein. They will then leak steadily out of the groundbait on the lakebed.
Next, we add some SuperSoft Robin Red Pellets to the seeds and mix them in thoroughly.
Finally, add the Red Factor bit by bit until a stiff consistency is attained.
The mix will stiffen still further if you leave it to stand overnight.
The groundbait is now ready to use, and just how you do so is up to you.
Personally, I like to roll it into golf ball or tennis ball-sized balls, which can be fired out by catapult or with a Groundbait Launcher Pouch.
I should now fess up and tell you that this is not my brainwave but one that comes from the very fertile mind of Dave Preston, an Ashmead syndicate member, who has been using a similar method himself for some time at this very special lake. Naturally I used my own version of Dave's method last summer at Ashmead and managed to put a couple of those - albeit small - precious carp on the bank. This photo shows Ashmead in all its mid-summer splendour. As you can see, it is a very special place.