Best Home Made Carp Baits and Boilie Recipes
Over the years we have enjoyed making our own boilies for carp fishing as its all part of the fun. Nowadays I tend to use baits that have been made by someone else so I can spend more time on the bank rather than rolling bait. However every carp angler dreams of experimenting with making their own home made carp boilies and why not, it's great fun! Thers something special about catching a carp on homemade baits.
I have been looking through our records and found some amazing bait recipes going right back to 1985. Yes you read that right 1985!
My first boilie recipe was very basic and as my previous fishing experience was based around match and coarse fishing it included very basic ingredients and was put to good use on The Woolpack back in the days when Bill Chillingworth looked after the lakes.
It was simply trout pellets ground up mixed with eggs and the addition of Richworth Smokey Bacon flavour. My theory was a trout pellet should contain all the ingredients to attract carp and it most certainly did as the catches proved. Back in those days I baited a swim during the closed season and on opening night I took 12 carp! It felt like a bite every 20 minutes, the bait was working!
My next attempt at a carp boilie bait was this, and I baited St Ives Lagoon with it but I have no record of whether it was successful or not. I don't think I ever caught a carp on this one but I didn't let that stop me.
- 4 cups of fishmeal
- 1 cup of plain flour
- 6 eggs no 2
- 6ml of soya oil
- 9ml of red colouring
- 12ml ultraspice flavour
- 12ml sweetener
If memory serves me right it was basically powdered trout pellet rather than fishmeal as such blended together with ordinary cooking flour to help bind it, rolled by hand and boiled on the stove in a chip pan of water for a minute or two. I can't remember who made the ultraspice flavour but it was definitely from a fishing shop.
The next attempt at bait making was 1987 and to meet a particular requirement at a weedy lake Baston Fen in Lincolnshire. My idea was to make a very slow sinking bait. The forerunner of today's wafters if only I had marketed them back then.
The first recipe was as follows and it caught plenty of fish!
Soya Hull Specials
- 1 egg cup of gluten
- 2 cups of soya hulls
- 1 cup of calfs milk powder
- 1 teaspoon of codlivine
- 6ml colour (Catchum)
- 6ml oil
- 3ml Duncan Kay Red Karpi
- 3ml Richworth sweetener
- 6ml fruit flavour
- 5 eggs
The idea of the soya hulls was that they were very light and I could make a slow sinking bait. The other thing about them was that they were supplied as a pig feed and I could purchase a whole sack. I got them in Melton Mowbray somewhere and am not even sure if they are available anywhere these days. They were small pieces of shells and gave a lovely texture that was very open. Just checked these out and they are still available from many sources.
Now that particular recipe produced a sinking bait and I ended up making six or seven variations of this to get it right.
The final Soya Hull recipe was as follows.
- 2 cups of soya hulls
- 1 cup of milk powder
- ½ cup of corn starch
- ½ cup of semolina
- 2ml of sweetener
- 3ml flavour
- 4 no 3 eggs
- Boil for 1 minute
There followed about a five year period of no carp fishing as we were living in Scotland and so we fished for pike exclusively for that period of our lives. But on our return to England in 1996 we were itching to go carp fishing again with a return to the Woolpack for hours more fun. I think we fished with the convenience of readymade boilies there for a while but ended up with all three of us getting a ticket for Willow Lake on Fenland Fisheries back in the days when it was a small syndicate lake. Again with a family to look after money was tight and we couldn't afford to go piling bait in so we fished with our own parti blend mix consisting of something like the following mix which worked out incredibly cheap and accounted for plenty of winter carp catches.
- 6 scoops hemp
- 1 scoop of groats
- 1 scoop of wild bird seed
- 3 scoops of finch mix
This we prepared by simmering for 30 minutes and leaving to stew in a bucket overnight where it would go all gloopy and after a few days would start to ming which made it even more attractive to the carps. As money was tight back then this was a cheap way to fish and we would spod this lot round a marker float and fish a single rosehip pop up over the top of it and caught loads of carp for our trouble in both summer and winter.
About this time the Active 8 was released and it wasn't long before we were rolling bags of this and bagging up big time. Here's the recipe we were using at the time, a proven winner. We had a theory that Active 8 on its own was too fishy so mixed it with another basemix to make it more suitable for winter carp fishing.
Active 8 Winter Mix
- 8oz of Active 8 Basemix
- 8oz of Hi Leakage Basemix
- 1oz of GLM
- 1g of Betaine
- 10ml of Minamino
- 10ml of vegetable oil
- 5 medium eggs
- Mix and boil for 1min 30 seconds.
Another interesting mix was one I called The Weaner now this was made using a bag of parrot weaning mix which when you read the ingredients had a very nutritional profile literally intended for rearing baby parrots.
Now this mix was a stunner with the capture of a 28lb carp falling for this homemade special carp bait although it was a little on the expensive side.
- 1kg parrot weaning mix
- 4 large eggs
- 5ml marmite
- 5ml rosehip flavour
- 2 ml Green Lipped Mussel
- 2ml Betaine
Another great piece of experimenting with carp baits was when we wanted to reap the benefits of paste fishing due its superior attractiveness and came up with our own trout pellet specials. This was made with trout pellet and bread crumbs added to a warm gelatine mix as follows.
- Dissolve 2 sachets of gelatine in 1/2 pint of hot water. When dissolved top up to one pint with cold water.
- Add ½ mug of bread crumbs the same type you buy for groundbait.
- Add powdered trout pellets until desired consistency is achieved.
- Roll and leave to set in fridge and then freeze until required for use.
That was a stunning bait and was often taken instantly, the only downside it couldn't be relied on for long night sessions as you would be winding in with no hook bait on. Worth experimenting with for today's day session angler though. It made a fantastic winter carp bait as it just oozed attractiveness into the water. A very attractive bait indeed with a lot of scope for adding some interesting supplements or additives that would leak out as the bait dissolved.
The next period of our carp fishing we felt the need to make our own bait was fishing the St Ives Lakes complex about 2000. We were getting bait supplied in bulk by Nash at this time but were getting our own version of Monster Pursuit rolled. This was a brilliant bait which we were applying to Long Reach Lake and we knew the fish were scoffing it big time. We wanted a Winter version that could be used all year round hence the Amber Attract Birdfood content. In the winter we took it to well stocked waters and it caught plenty of carp.
- 50% Monster Pursuit basemix
- 50% Amber Attract basemix
- Shellfish Sense Appeal
- Crustacean Extract
- Protaste sweetener
- Sting oil
Although this was a great bait we felt that if we had complete control over the rolling process and sourcing of additives we could make it even better. We were given some sound advice from Rob Farrant who was fishing at the time with a basic recipe and a recommendation to source ingredients from Quality Baits. We also read up on Martin Clarkes recipes contained in his book and adapted some of his recipes to suit what we thought would work for us. We sourced the required bait ingredients and bought trays of eggs from the local butchers and invested in an air powered boile making sausage gun together with a small compressor. There was no stopping us now!
Here's the first recipe which was absolutely superb and at the time worked out at £3.50 a kilo.
- 1kg Caplin meal
- 1kg LT Fishmeal
- 1kg CP70 Soluble fish protein
- 1kg Sluis CLO birdfood
- 1kg semolina
- ½ kg defatted soya
- ½ kg of Robin Red
This was tweaked with the addition of winterised salmon oil, oyster extract and egg albumin to enable it to be sticked out at range. This recipe rolled well and the carp just couldn't resist it. We tried it on easy waters with great results as well as on the harder lakes. It was great experimenting with bait making for carp and it certainly taught us a lot and more importantly it saved us a lot of money. The caplin meal was very strong and became hard to get hold of so this was replaced with another fishmeal or simply double the LT fishmeal to replace the caplin meal.
So if you fancy rolling your own baits in bulk then I highly recommend you take a look at Martin Clarke's book containing several recipes. What I like about his carp bait recipes is that they are not over complicated and full of scientific stuff about amino acids and profiles. Imagine if you were cooking at home and had to tweak your dinner's amino acid profile every meal time. That sort of level of bait knowledge makes a great read but for rolling your own you just need confidence that the finished boilies are attractive to carp and will catch fish. Its great fun and there's nothing more exciting than catching a good carp on your own home made boilies.