Boilie Recipes

HOW TO MAKE BOILIES

 
GENERAL OVERVIEW
To make boilies what you do first is to make a flavoured paste.  This paste is then rolled into many small balls, boiled, (hence the term boilie), left to dry and then frozen .

To do this  you need eggs, a liquid flavour, a sweetener and a base mix.  The use of a sweetener in boilies is a mater of personal choice.  I always like to include one myself, as I believe it makes the boilies taste better. I have never been able to ask any carp if they too like sweeteners, but all I can say is, that I seem to catch an awful lot of fish on baits that include them.

First of all we need to make the base mix.  

In this example I am going to make a simple but very effective base mix that is made up of:

8oz Semolina (from most large supermarkets)
4oz Ground Rice (again available from supermarkets)
4oz Soya Flour (available from health food shops)

Weigh out the 8oz of Semolina, 4oz of Ground Rice and 4oz of Soya Flour

The Semolina, Rice and Soya Flour powders are then poured into a large freezer bag.

I've decided to make red boilies so I am adding half a tea-spoon of red powdered dye into the bag as well.
If you are using a liquid dye you add it to the eggs at a later stage

Blow the bag up (with the powder inside) like a balloon.  Twist it around at the top to trap the air in the bag.  Give the bag a very good shake, so that all the powders inside it are well mixed up.

That's your base mix finished!

You are now ready to go onto the next stage to make the boilies themselves.  If you are not going to use the base mix straight away, store it in a plastic bag or air tight bucket, in a cool dry place

Having made the base mix above it's now time to use it to make some bait.

The flavours I have decided to use are:

2ml Mulberry Florentine (Rod Hutchinson)
5ml Scopex (Rod Hutchinson or Kevin Nash)
2ml Intense Sweetener (Rod Hutchinson or Kevin Nash)

Crack 4 medium sized eggs into a mixing bowl or pan.  Measure out the flavours and sweetener, as detailed above, and add them to the eggs.


You can use a pipette or set of measuring spoons to measure out the right amount of flavour.  Most tackle shops sell small pipettes, which are made for the job.  They coast just over one pound for a set of three.
Some chemists sell double headed spoons for a few pence that measure 5ml at one end and 2.5ml of liquid at the other.

If you are using a liquid dye, add it to the eggs at this stage.

Once you have added the flavours and sweetener to the eggs beat the eggs well up with a fork.  You will need to beat the eggs for a couple of minutes, so that everything is mixed well in

It's now time to add the base mix powder to the eggs.  Do not add it all at once.
Add about a cup full of base mix to the eggs and mix it well in with a fork.  It will go like sloppy porridge.  Leave it to stand for about five minutes, before adding more powder.  This will give the base mix you have added time to absorb some of the egg/flavour mix and will help to stop the mix drying out to much later on.

After five or so minutes continue to add basemix slowly, mixing well in

You will come to the time when the mix is to stiff to mix with a fork anymore.  There's nothing for it now, but to get your hands messy.  Slowly add more powder, a bit at a time and kneed it well into the paste with your hands.

You will know when the paste is ready when it forms a firm ball that isn't sticky and can hold its shape, yet is easy to mould.  I think that putty is the nearest description I can give, that the finished paste should be like.

If you don't have a rolling table your going to have to roll the paste into what ever size boilies you want by hand.  Simply break off small pieces of paste and roll between your hands into round boilie shapes.

You can get various gadgets from tackle shops (such as rolling tables and extruder guns) that help turn your paste into sausages, while other gadgets are available that turn the sausages into small balls.
Boilies are only round so that they will catapult out accurately.  If your fishing close in or with hookbaits only, there's nothing to stop you rolling the paste by hand into sausages, then cutting the sausages up into cylinders with a knife.  At least your being different and that will often catch!

You now need to boil your baits.  Bring some water to the boil and add about 20 at a time to the boiling water.  Do not add to many so that the water goes off boil.  After about 2 minutes of boiling take the baits out of the boiling water and let them dry on a clean towel or cloth.  I use an old chip pan, as it is easy and safe to lower to lower the baits in and out in the chip basket.

After all the batch has been boilied leave them to dry on your cloth for about half an hour.  I use a Gardner Drying Rack which can be bought from tackle shops for about ten pounds.  It lets the air circulate freely around the baits during the drying process.

 

After the boilies have dried for at least half an hour, bag them up and store in the freezer ready for use

INGREDIENTS

 
I have added this page to provide information about the ingredients I have used in the various recopies on this site and where to buy them from.  The most used, basic building block ingredients are listed first, such as semolina and soya flour, which I use in most or all of my baits. The other ingredients are listed under the headings of "birdfood", “fishmeal” etc.
 
BASIC BUILDING BLOCKS
Semolina This is the basic building block of a lot of mixes.  The plain dry white semolina powder is the stuff to go for, not the whole meal version.  It makes you baits roll well and boil hard.
Soya Flour Flour produced from soya beans.  Again a basic building block.  Provides protein and fat to your bait, also helps mixes roll a lot easier.  Has a nice malty type smell.
Maize or Corn Meal Meal made from corn, a coarse yellowish powder.  Excellent bulk ingredient that carp like.  Helps provide hardness and nutrition to a bait.  Used in many commercial fish feeds.
Ground Rice Ground white rice.  Good bulk ingredient, rather heavy, helps give density to a bait.  I only use 2oz maximum in a mix, if you want to use more  give it a go.  Use ground white rice, not wholemeal.
Milk Powder (5 Pints) Spray dried skimmed milk with added vegetable fat.  Adds some taste, protein and helps a bait roll.
 
BIRDFOODS
Nectarblend Egg buscuit based birdfood.  Contains seeds such as niger and hemp.  Forms the basis of many birdfood mixes you buy in tackle shops..
Red Factor Red Factor Canary Food.  Again egg buscuit based but contains Carophyll * red, which is used in canary feed to give them colour.  Supposed to be highly attractive to carp.to be highly attractive to carp.  I rate Red Factor as one of the very best.
Red Band Red Band conditioner seed for pigeons.  Various small seeds flavoured with aniseed. Again one of the best.  Grind up and use as part of the base mix, or groundbait.  Or give the seeds a quick boil, leave 24 hours and use as a mini particle.
PTX Budgie Softfood Sweeter birdfood that Nectarblend etc.  Contains Mollases, seeds etc.  Try using 3oz PTX 3oz Nectarblend, instead of just 6oz Nectarblend with a recipe.  Great with Chocolate Malt, Scopex or any of the creams.
Rearing and Condition Food Again egg buscuit based.  Why not try as a change from Nectarblend or Redfactor
Robin Red Highly concentrated colour food that carp find very attractive.  Contains peppers and a very strong red dye - so be warned.  Available as ready mixed or highly concentrated - you want the highly concentrated for boilies, ready mixed for pastes.
Spanish Pepper RRR Contains sweet peppers, one of my favorites.  Everybody is busy adding Robin Red, be different, try this, or a mixture of the two.
A
CeDe Egg-biscuit food containing seeds, similar to Nectarblend.  A very good birdfood
EMP Egg-biscuit food containing seeds, does not seem to have as many ingredients as CeDe, but worth a try.
 
FISHMEALS
White Fishmeal Basically ground up fish.  Smells like it too!  A major ingredient of trout pellets.  I tend to use white fishmeal, which is often just sold as plain fishmeal.
Krill Meal An excellent fish meal that carp seem to love.  Don't use to much as it is very buoyant.  So far I have gone up to 2oz per 16oz mix with no problems.
.
 

FISHMEAL MIXES

 
Fishmeal boilies are one of my favourite baits,  they have a natural strong smell which carp like.  Fishmeals are one of the main ingredients of trout pellets and just look at how carp go for them.  The only time I will consider not to use fishmeal boilies, is when fishing over silt.  They take on lake bed smells very easily (see the advice on what boilies to use page).
 
I remember once reading in a Catchum catalogue that many peoples favorite fish meal mix consisted of:

 

10oz 50/50 Mix
6oz White Fishmeal
Well I didn't feel like investing in somebody else's 50/50 mix when I could make it myself, so I came up with:
It was a very simple recipe and it caught loads of fish.  I gave it to a mate of mine, who was also impressed.  Bear in mind that at this time apart from Rod Hutchinson's Seafood blend, fish meal mixes were new to a lot of waters.  However this simple recipe held it's own against the fishmeal mixes from the bait companies that were just starting to appear.

 

7oz Semolina
3oz Soya Flour
6oz White Fishmeal
I read all sorts of things in magazines and books about a mixture of fish meals being superior to one type used on it's own.  I'm sorry I must disagree (until krill came along - but more of that later), I found plain white fish meal used on it's own with soya and semolina to be the best.  I later made a simple substitution of bird food for the soya flour:
You don't have to use CLO, Nectarblend, Red Factor, etc. will all do instead. or used crushed seeds (see Seedbaits Page).

 

7oz Semolina
3oz Sluis CLO
6oz White Fishmeal
If your having trouble getting hold of fishmeal, try one of the Sensas Crazy Bait Carp Groundbaits instead: 7oz Semolina
3oz Sluis CLO or Soya Flour
6oz Sensas Crazy Grounbait

 

Not quite as easy to roll, but if you want just use the Sensas Cazy Bait Groundbait on it's own, as a base mix.  For a red mix add an ounce of Robin Red or RRR.  Sensas Crazy Grounbaits are available in shops in different "flavours" eg. Fishmeal and Shrimp, Strawberry Birdfood and the new "Black".
You are not just limited to Sensas, any other fishmeal type groundbait would work.

 

16oz Sensas Crazy Groundbait
1oz Robin Red or RRR (optional)
For those who want something with maize meal in etc., try: 4oz Semolina
2oz Maize or Corn Meal
4oz Soya Flour
6oz White Fishmeal

 

I tend to use a mixture of birdfoods and fishmeals these days which is very simple and is as follows: 4oz Semolina
2oz Maize or Corn Meal or Sluis CLO
4oz Soya Flour
3oz White Fishmeal
3oz Nectarblend or Redfactor

 

If you want a spicy mix you can add the normal 1 oz of Robin Red or RRR or a mixture of each to any of the above.

 

 
One final point regarding fishmeals, I have recently being trying Krill meal and I am very impressed with the results.  You don't want to much in, as it is very buoyant.  So far, I have gone as high as 2oz of Krill in 16oz of bait with no problems.  The mix I am using at the moment is on the right.
All I can say is that I have had some very good catches on all the above mixes.  If you fancy something different to trout pellet paste, just mix any of the above into a paste, using eggs as normal, and use the resulting paste on you hook.  The mixture on the right, also makes resonable microwaved pop-ups.

 

4oz Semolina
2oz Maize or Corn Meal or Sluis CLO
4oz Soya Flour
2oz Krill Meal
1oz White Fishmeal
3oz Nectarblend or Redfactor
1oz Mixture of Robin Red and RRR

SEED MIXES

 
Seed mixes contain ground seeds, such as canary or pigeon seed, they can catch a lot of fish.  There are some canary conditioning mixes that I have found to be very good such as "Condition Seed, Can, Brit., Hyb”., from Haith's.  It seems to have a fair amount of rape seed in it and is flavored with aniseed.  Another seed mix from Haith's that is flavored with aniseed is Red Band, which is made for Pigeons.  It  is an excellent fish catcher.

You must be careful what percentage of crushed seeds you add to the mix, or else it will will not hold together well during boiling.  I have found that about 4oz of crushed seeds in a 16oz mix is about right. 
You will find that due to starches etc. being released from the crushed seeds during boiling, the finished baits are quite hard. 

 
The basic formula is shown on the right:
The seeds must be ground before use, for which I use a coffee grinder.  For those who don't wish to go to the trouble Hinders at Swindon sell their Parti-blend (which is made of numerous different small seeds) ready ground.  I cannot recommend enough, that anglers who haven't done so, should seriously think of buying a coffee grinder.  They are about £25.00, and can be bought from stores like Argos.  They always seem to be sold as a blender / coffee grinder combination.  When you think of how much you pay for some base mixes, compared to how much I pay for 3kgs of Red Band (£2.50), which is enough for over 25 one pound mixes....
4oz Semolia
4oz Maize Meal
4oz Ground Seeds
4oz Soya Flour

The best I have found so far to use is Red Band from Haith’s.  Also sold by some pet shops and seed merchants.

 

Again if you want a spicy version, Robin Red or RRR can be added in the amounts recomended on the Birdfood page.  Half an ounce of curry powder can also be added in addition to, or instead of the Robin Red.

As with 50/50 type mixes I always like to add some sweetener to seed mixes to improve the taste.  If you think about it people always seem to add sweetener to particles, and crushed particles are what seed mixes are bases on.
Don't be afraid to experiment, one of the joys of making your own bait is being able to try different things.  So once you've got your coffee grinder, the next time you walk in a pet shop and see a seed mixture you wouldn't mind trying, give it ago.

To be different you can add crushed hemp to the mix, in addition to the Robin Red etc.

 

4oz Semolia
4oz Maize Meal
4oz Soya Flour
3oz Ground Seeds
1oz RRR or Robin Red (or a mixture of both)

BIRDFOOD MIXES

 
Birdfood baits are very popular, their coarse texture allows for a good flavour leak off.  Not only that, carp love them as well.  Some people recommend grinding coarse birdfoods such as Nectarblend or Red Factor down to a fine powder for use in a base mix.  Try the recipes below and you will find this unnecessary.  If I could only use one birdfood in my baits, it would be Red Factor, from J.E. Haith (see the links page) .
 
The first birdfood bait that I read about or used was a simple mixture of semolina and a birdfood called Nectarblend which is available form J. E. Haith’s of Cleethorpes.  It consisted of 8oz of the two ingredients. 
The mix didn’t roll to well, there seemed to be no room for error when making up the paste.  Make it slightly to dry and it would crumble when you tried to roll it, or else it was to sticky.

 

8oz Semolina
8oz Nectarblend
The solution turned out to be simple, adding soya flour.  I now use the recipe on the right all the time when using egg-biscuit type birdfoods such as Nectarblend.  The mix rolls very well indeed, in fact it almost rolls itself.

 

6oz Semolina
4oz Soya Flour
6oz Nectarblend
Another brilliant birdfood is again made by J. E. Haith, this is a canary colouring food called Red Factor.  It contains a dye called “Carophyll Red” which is supposed to he highly attractive to carp.  All I can say is this, Red Factor is an excellent ingredient, I think it is more attractive to carp than Nectarblend!

 

6oz Semolina
4oz Soya Flour
6oz Red Factor
I have recently tried to cut down the amount of semolina in my baits, substituting maize, corn meal, or Sluis CLO for some of the semolina.  This mix again rolls very easily.  Sluis CLO is available from some pet shops , or Quality Baits sell their own version. Hinder's of Swinden also produce and sell a CLO type birdfood, but it is called “BLO”, see the links page for details.

 

4oz Semolina
2oz Maize Meal or CLO
4oz Soya Flour
6oz Red Factor
For those who prefer a more spicy version of the above, Robin Red or Spanish Pepper RRR (both available from J. E. Haith), can be added to any of the recipes listed above.  As most people seem to use Robin Red, I like to be a little bit different and use RRR, or a mixture of the two.  If you can’t get hold of any Robin Red or RRR, try adding half an ounce of curry powder instead.
In general if I am using spicy flavours I like to add 2oz to my base mix, if I am using fruit flavours 1oz only, as I don’t want the Robin Red / RRR to dominate the bait to much.  This is only a personal fad, experiment yourself and see which levels you prefer.

 

4oz Semolina
2oz Maize Meal or CLO
4oz Soya Flour
6oz Red Factor
1oz Robin Red
1oz RRR
Should you be unable (or not feel like sending off for Nectarblend or Red Factor), the bird foods listed opposite are all available from pet shops, are egg-biscuit based and can all be used in place of the birdfoods mentioned above. 

 

CeDe (comes in yellow 1kg boxes)

EMP

PET FOOD MIXES

 
Cat biscuits, dog biscuits, trout pellets, even pellets intended for other animals, can all make excellent bait ingredients.  Check out the pet food shelf of your local supermarket, there are cat biscuits such as Brekkies, which are available in different flavours.  the choice is endless.  All you need is a coffee grinder to grind them down into a fine powder.
 
The basic mix is a mixture of semolina, soya flour and ground pet food:
If you have seen some of the other recipe pages, then the basic formula must look familiar by now.  I think you can make carp baits as simple, or as complex a subject as you wish.  You do not need to spend a fortune on shop bought base mixes to catch carp.  Simple homemade mixes, used with the top carp attracting flavours,  will catch you just as many carp as anyone else using commercial base mixes.

 

6oz Semolina
4oz Soya flour
6oz Ground Pet Food or Pellets etc.
Petfood type mixes do not need that many eggs for a mix. In general 4 size 3 (or medium) eggs should be about right for any of the recipes listed above.

FRUIT FLAVOURS

 
There can be little doubt as to the popularity of fruit flavoured boilies with carp anglers. Judging by the number of carp that get caught on them, the fish like them also. Everyone has heard of Strawberry Cream or Tutti-frutti, these baits have been and will continue to be excellent carp catchers.
One of my favorites is Rod Hutchinson's Banana flavor.  People tend not to use it because it hasn't got a fancy name.  This flavour is brilliant.  I tend to use it with yellow seed mixes, I bet it would be very good in fishmeals or any basemix, but I haven't got around to trying it yet. I have 100% confidence in this simple recipe.

 

6ml Banana
2.5ml Protaste or Intense Sweetener.
 
Everyone and his dog must have used strawberry cream, it's a very good combination, as is strawberry on it's own.  I like a mixture of Solar's Ester Strawberry and Ester Cream (a very good flavor in it's own right).  Using the ester versions of the flavors gives you something a little bit different to all the others out there, using standard strawberry creams.  The recipe is:

 

5ml Ester Cream
5ml Ester Strawberry
2.5ml Protaste or Intense Sweetener.
Lets not forget Richworth’s excellent Tutti-frutti, just as good for carp in Winter as it is in the Summer.

 

5ml Tutti-frutti
3ml Intense Sweetener.
I also sometimes use the following flavour combinations:
The Raspberry flavour is by Rod Hutchinson, the geranium by Nutrabaits.
6ml Raspberry Florentine
1ml Geranium Oil
2.5ml Protaste

 

These flavours are both by Kevin Nash. 6ml Strawberry Oil
3ml Big Strawberry
2.5ml Intense Sweetener.

 

Plum flavours have always been high on my favorite list.  The old SBS Sweet Plum I rated as high as their Strawberry Jam.  However Richworth's Plum Royal and John Bakers Plum, come a close second.  Use at 4 or 5ml per 16oz of bait, with 2.5ml of intense sweetener.

 

5ml Plum Royal
2.5ml Intense Sweetener.
Fruit flavours also go very well with fish meal bases, one of the best has to be Neutrabaits Cranberry.  I’ve found about 6ml to be about right in most base mixes.  If you want, add 6 drops of Neutrabaits Bergamont Essential Oil, but it’s not essential (if you will pardon the pun).

 

6ml Cranberry
2ml Intense Sweetener or Protaste
6 drops Bergamont Oil.
One new one for this year has been Rod Hutchinson's GF compound, it's a citrus (orange) type smell.  I've found it brilliant in fish mixes containing krill meal and Robin Red.  I have also recently used it in birdfood and 50/50 mixes and the fish like it just as much.

 

5ml GF Compound
5ml Mega Mega - Rod Hutchinson.
5ml Secret Agent
1ml Intense Sweetener
 

FISH FLAVOURS

 
Most of the time, I only tend to use 2 fish flavours. These are Solar's Squid and Octopus and Nash's Salmon Oil Palatant. Solar’s Squid and Octopus is superb, but rather expensive at over £17.00 a bottle. Try it on it's own or with Black Pepper Oil from Nutrabaits, again expensive at over £17.00 a bottle.

If your not feeling very wealthy, try Richworth’s Crab and Mussel flavour,  not quite as good a fish catcher as the two flavours named above, but still is a brilliant fish catcher.

If your using a fishmeal base you don't have to use a fish flavour.  Most fruit flavours and cream flavours like Scopex and Chocolate Malt, work very well with fish meal bases.

12 drops of Black Pepper oil (Nutrabaits), can be added to the recipe on the right.  If you can’t afford the Black Pepper, don't worry, Squid and Octopus on it’s own will work just as well.  Belive me it's a brilliant fish catcher. 
Maybe it's just a personal fad, but I always like to use this flavour with fishmeal mixes that contain Robin Red or RRR.

 

6ml Squid and Octopus
1ml Protaste
Another favorite is Kevin Nash's Salmon Oil Palatant, it always reminds me of Worcester Sauce.  The longer you leave it in the bottle to stand over a period of months, the darker, stronger and better it seems to get.  If you want a good attractor bait for hook baits only use 1ml per egg in fish mixes, otherwise use 2ml per mix.

 

Salmon Oil Palatant
1ml per egg for high attract hookbaits.
0.5ml per egg for free offerings or normal hookbaits.
Richworths Crab and Mussel is always worth a try, as is Monster Crab by Rod Hutchinson.  Monster Crab on some waters can be very good indeed, but on other waters you may not find it so good.  Try it at the same level as suggested with Crab and Mussel.

 

5ml Crab and Mussel
1ml Protaste or Intense Sweetener.

BOILIE TYPES (WHICH BASE MIX TO USE)

 
What type of boilie you choose to use on your water is largely a matter of choice. It's easy to say be different, when most waters tend to have seen it all anyway.  Most carp anglers tend to follow trends, you will very often find that if some famous carp angler writes in a magazine that he is using “Bloggs Baits” boilies at 18mm in diameter on an anti-eject, off the shank, upside-down rig, then a lot of other people will do exactly the same the weekend after.
 
BEING DIFFERENT
Always remember that carp are primitive creatures that learn by association. In other words if every time you picked up a plate of chips, somebody stuck a great big hook in your mouth, after a couple of times you’d soon think twice about about picking that plate up again. You’d move on to something else like steak, but once you’d been tricked again a couple of times, you’d move onto something different. What I’m getting at is that if you can change you approach to fool the carp it can pay great dividends in the number of fish you catch. Look at the size, colour and type of boilies that people are using, try and find out what flavours they are on.

Back in the late 70’s, early 80’s, I used to fish a very well stocked water at Winsford in Cheshire called The Ocean. Most people were using fruit or scopex (cream) type flavours at the time. Results had begun to slow down, however Catchum Products (Rod Hutchinson) produced a base mix with a meaty type smell called “Extract Blend”. I thought I’d give it a go with the same companies “Savoury Meat” flavour. Because the fish had never seen a similar boilie before, I began to get far more takes than the others, I was doing something different to the rest.

 
BEING THE SAME
However doing the same as everyone else, at times this can work for you. There is one water I know where everyone uses Active-8 boilies by Mainline, indeed so many of these boilies go into the water that the fish think they are now natural food.

Look at it like this, just think back to that plate of chips. Imagine now that there were plates of chips spread all other the place and instead of a hook in you mouth everytime you ate a chip, you only got a hook in the mouth every say 100th plate you came accross. You would be much less able to associate that hook in the mouth with platefulls of chips. After all you’d just eaten goodness knows how many chips and they didn’t cause you any problems.

Whats best for your water is learnt by experience and trial and error.

 
SMELLY BOTTOMS
I always pay great attention to the state of the bottom of the pool that I am fishing. The first time you visit a water or fish a new area of a pool, smell your boilie after it has been in the water for about an hour. If it smells OK then you do not have a problem, if it smells like you've tucked it under someone's sweaty armpit for a day, then your fishing over silt. Maybe it's just me but I never feel confident if my bait comes back stinking. After all carp hover up silt all the time into their mouths when they are looking for food, but it just doesn't do my confidence any good.

Some baits are able to resist taking on the smells of lake beds better that others. Fishmeals are the worst of the lot for taking on lake bed smells, birdfood baits seem the best of all for resisting them, 50/50 type mixes are also quite good in these circumstances. Then of course there is always pop-ups which will keep your bait away from those nasty odors.

You will find that on most lakes this isn't a problem, but just have a smell anyway, the first time you wind in.

 

POP-UPS

 
MICROWAVED BAITS
For those new to carp fishing, or for people who are outside the UK pop-up boilie is basically a floating boilie.  It is normally anchored just of the bottom of the lake bed a couple of centimeters.  This is very useful if their is a lot of foul smelling silt or debris on the lake bed.  It also makes the bait easily visible to the fish, which can be an advantage or disadvantage, depending on circumstances.

Until I went to the NEC in Birmingham in the Spring of 1999 and watched the demonstration on bait making by the Rod Hutchinson team I just did not know how to make pop-ups correctly.  There are a number of ways to make pop-ups such as rolling the base mix around a cork ball or microwaving instead of boiling the base mix.  The thing I had against microwaved pop-ups ,was that it seemed to alter the finished boilie to much.  That is to say that the microwaving altered the texture of the boilie and caused it to loose almost all it's flavour.  However after seeing the demonstration I have changed my mind on this and now used microwaved baits when I need to use pop-ups.

The base mix is prepared in the normal way and rolled into balls as normal, however instead of boiling the baits they are microwaved instead.  I normally microwave 30 14mm boilies at the time.  They are placed on a microwave type dish or plate and microwaved on full power for 2 minutes.  At the end of the 2 minutes examine the baits for any sign of burning, if there is none continue to microwave the baits on full power for a further 15 seconds.  Again examine the baits for any signs of burning, continue to microwave the baits in 15 second bursts examining the baits each time for any slight burn marks.  As soon as you detect any signs of burning, stop the process and you know have your pop-ups.
The trick is to microwave exactly the same number and size of boilies each time and make a careful note of the time you spent microwaving the baits.  For example lets say that you microwaved 30 14mm diameter baits for the initial 2 minutes (that is 120 seconds) and then you needed 3 further 15 second spells in the microwave before you noticed any burning (that is an additional 45 seconds in total), so altogether the baits spent 165 seconds (120 + 45) in the microwave.  As we don't want burnt baits we must subtract the last 15 seconds from the total microwaving time, 165 - 15 = 150 seconds.  So we know know that we can make perfect pop-ups by microwaving 30, 14mm boilies for 150 seconds on full power.  For this to work you must use the same base mix and boilie size each time.  If you want to alter the diameter or recipe you will have to start at the beginning and work out a new time for each size and/or recipe change.

I'm not an expert cook, but during the microwaving cooking process, the longer you can microwave the more buoyant the baits become.  Hence it is very important to microwave your'e baits for as long as possible with out burning.

Base mixes that contain the milk protein Casein seem to make the best pop-ups, but the above method will work with most base mixes.  You will find that baits which contain casein make much harder baits than baits that are mainly based on semolina, Soya Flour etc, but give any base mix a try and see how you get on.
For those how wish to produce rock hard pop-ups the following a good commercial base mixes to make pop-ups from:
Solar's Perfect Pop-Up Mix, Rod Hutchinson's Pro Mix 50/50 and his "Hit an Run mix, Mainline's Protein Plus Base mix and Nutrabait's Ni-Nu-Val.  Sorry if I've left some out, but if anyone knows on any more base mixes that make good pop-ups, e-mail me and I will add them to the list.

When microwaving baits, the microwaving process drives out some of the flavour, so I like to add slightly more flavour to the eggs than normal, half again as much is a good starting point, but you will have to experiment with your chosen flavour to find the best level.

 
CORK BALL POP-UPS
The idea behind this is simple, the base mix is prepared in the normal way, but before boiling a small amount of base-mix paste is rolled around a cork or Polystyrene ball.  The baits are then boiled in the normal way and left to dry.  That is all there is to it, you know have your'e pop-ups.  Because the baits are not microwaved there is no need to add extra flavour, but there again there is nothing to stop you increasing the flavour levels in you pop-ups produced in this way, for "high attract" hookbaits.
SUMMARY
So to sum up if your bait doesn't smell, OK use what you want. If your bait does smell when you wind in use a pop-up, birdfood or 50/50 type mix, which seem better able to resist smells.

I see that Kevin Nash now sells a silt-buster type liquid which you add to your eggs when making your boilies, which helps your baits to resist taking on silt type smells. I haven't tried it yet, but I intend to soon.

Regarding favours over silt I like to use strong ones like Rod's Mega Spice or Solar's Ester Strawberry + Ester Cream.

Just a point regarding particle baits and silt. If the bed of your lake does smell beware of using chick peas. Not only are they easy to colour and flavour yourself, they also take on lake bed smells very easily.

 

WINTER FISHING

Traditionally the start of winter carp fishing has been regarded as the 1st of November. However the recent warmer (if wetter) Autumns has meant that water temperatures are slightly up on what they use to be in early November, than they used to be a few years ago.
SLOWING DOWN
For those who don't know, carp and what's known as "cold blooded", in other words their body temperature drops with the water temperature that they live in. This is unlike "warm blooded" animals such as humans, dogs, cats etc., who's inside body temperature stays the same no matter how cold it is outside.
The effect of been "cold blooded" on the carp, is that they become less active as their body and water temperature start to drop. That means that they need less energy to move around and consequently they eat much less, which is why carp fishing in Winter is generally much harder in the Winter that Summer.
LESS BAIT
What this normally means in terms of fishing is that as the carp eat a lot less, you have to use less bait. If fishing boilies, I very often tend to use just single hook baits. If it's a clean bottom I will often use a bottom bait, if there is a lot of leaves, debris etc. on the bottom I tend to use a pop-up, to get the hook etc. clear of any rubbish.

As with any thing in fishing there will always be a time when you find that you can introduce loose feed in the cold months, it's a case of getting to know your water. If I am going to loose feed I like to use a pva stringer, or a small method feeder with a ground bait that has ground trout pellets in.

BAIT
One of my favourite winter boilie mixes , indeed one if not the best base mix that I have ever used in cold water is Rod Hutchinsons "Hit and Run Mix". It was designed to pull fish with instant attraction and has a very strong fruity / citrus type smell built in, making it ideal as a winter bait. I have also found that it makes excellent strong smelling, hard microwaved pop-ups that are ideal for any time of year, not just the winter. My favourite winter recipe is:

5ml Banana Flavour (Rod Hutchinson)
3ml Secret Agent
1 heaped teaspoon Fizz Appetite Stimulator (Rod Hutchinson)
1ml Intense Sweetener (Nash or Hutchinson)
approx 12oz Hit and Run Mix (Rod Hutchinson)
4 size 3 (medium) eggs.

If you want to make microwaved pop-ups use the same amout of liquid flavours above, use a level teaspoon of Fizz Appetite Stimulator and 2 medium eggs only. Some of the flavour is lost during the microwaving process, so using a higher level will compensate for this. 

Birdfoods are another favourite ingredient at this time of year, their coarse texture leads to a better flavour leakage from the boilie, my two favourites being J.E.Haith's Red Factor and Nectarblend, with or without Robin Red and RRR.
The recipe being a simple one which is already described in the "Basemix" section:

6oz Red Factor or Nectarblend
6oz Semolina
4oz Soya Flour
5 size 3 (medium) eggs.

The flavours I would use with the above are as follows

5ml Banana Flavour (Rod Hutchinson)
3ml Secret Agent
1 heaped teaspoon Fizz Appetite Stimulator (Rod Hutchinson)
1ml Intense Sweetener (Nash or Hutchinson)

5oz Mega Spice (Rod Hutchinson)
3oz Intense Sweetener (Nash or Hutchinson)
3ml Secret Agent (optional)
For this spice recipe I like to add 1oz of Robin Red or RRR or a mixture of both to the base mix.

5oz Ester Strawberry (Solar)
5oz Ester Cream (Solar)
2oz Intense Sweetener (Nash or Hutchinson)

I'm not a fan of adding oils to a bait in Winter, if you feel you must, keep the amount right down to 5 to 10ml. Be aware that some oils thicken up due to cold temperatures, which might not do much to help your flavour escape out of your boilie. If you intend to add an oil and your not sure how it behaves in the cold, place a small sample of it in the fridge overnight. If it doesn't thicken up your OK, if it does and you still want to use it, mix a small sample with an equal amount with something like "Flora Cooking Oil". Again leave this mixture in the fridge overnight and in the morning you will probably find that it no longer thickens up. So that is how you "Winterize" an oil, mix it 50/50 with a thin cooking oil.

PARTICLES
TROUT PELLETS

One of my favorite particles in the Winter has now got to be trout pellets. Introduce a few catapults of loose fed pellets as tight as you can to the hook bait. If I'm fishing close in, I like to use a mixture of micro and small pellets as loose feed, otherwise you the smallest pellet you can get away with and still be able to catapult them in a tight group around your hookbait. If you are fishing to far out to catapult pellets, then you can always use a PVA bag, or drill a small hole through medium pellets and use quick dissolving PVA string. Yet another method of coarse is "the method", mixing as many trout pellets as you can with your groundbait. You may also find it worth while to grind some trout pellets down to a powder and mix it in with the groundbait itself.

Regarding hookbaits when using pellets as a particle, I either like to use a large pellet which has been drilled out and mounted on a hair just like a boilie, or a boilie itself.


Winter Mix  

3oz Moores CLO

3oz Soya Flour
2oz Semolina 2oz Vitamealo
2oz 90 mesh Acid Casein 2oz 90 mesh Rennet Casein
1oz Whey Protein Conc. 1oz Egg Albumen

 


Seed Mix

3oz Moores CLO

3oz Soya Flour
2oz CC Meggablend 2oz Semolina
2oz Vitamealo 1oz Wheat Gluten
1oz Egg Albumen   1oz Ground Tigernuts
1oz Crushed Hempseed  


Fish Meal Mix

4oz Fish meal

3oz Moores CLO
4oz Semolina 2oz Vitamealo

2oz Soya Flour

½oz 90 Mesh Acid Casein

½oz Whey Protein Conc.

 

 


Hi Protein Mix  

3oz Moores CLO 1oz 90 Mesh Acid Casein

1oz 90 Mesh Rennet Casein  

1oz Whey Protein Conc.

2oz Supergold 60

1oz Pre-Digested Fish Meal

2oz LT94 Fish Meal  

2oz Maize Flour

2oz Egg Albumen 1oz Calcium Caseinate