Carp fishing can sometimes feel like an expensive hobby especially when you want to introduce quite a lot of bait. Some waters require pre-baiting or large quantities of bait and bait can be expensive. In this article, we’re going to look at the best particles, how to prepare, boil and soak them, and what baits work well in certain situations for carp fishing.
There is a wide range of different particle baits that will work for carp. However, my favorite three are hemp seed, maize, and tiger nuts. All three of these baits are readily available from most farm shops but you can also get them online, shopping around will be able to get you dry particles very very cheaply indeed.
What particle baits work well on carp
Hemp is a relatively small dark-colored seed that is a great addition to any spod mix or prebake mix. The reason being is because the particles are quite small, they will sink into the silt and in amongst the substrate on the bottom, and the fish will grab around and try to basically dig around until they’ve found every last seed.
The only problem with hemp is it can be also consumed by roach, tench, bream that sort of thing.
The other bait which we really like is the maize. We found maize to be quite instantly recognized by fish. So what I mean by that is even on waters that have never seen bait. You know places that just haven’t been fished very much at all.
The carp very quickly recognized that that is edible, don’t know whether it’s just the color or the fact it gives off some kind of attractant but whereas boilies will sometimes sit on the bottom of a lake for a long period of time before the carp even realize what they are and that they can eat them.
Maize is an instantly recognizable bait that we’ve used to great success particularly over in America where you know those fish aren’t being fished for very much but they instantly recognize maize and get on it.
The other thing with maize is that again it can also be eaten by bream. Bream actually really like it so if there’s a lot of bream in the water that you’re fishing then you might want to consider using tiger nuts.
Tigernuts are larger, really quite firm crunchy nuts which you can prepare just like the others, but the tiger nuts tend to be quite good at avoiding the attention of bream.
You could use a couple of them on a hair rig though they just won’t be pecked off by small fish and you probably won’t catch very many bream on tiger nuts.
The reason you need to prepare the particles as opposed to just using them dry from the bag is that when the carp consume the bait it can cause them quite severe problems in their digestive system if those baits haven’t been properly soaked and boiled.
The dry raw bait can expand within the carp’s digestive tract and that can cause them problems and even kill them. The other thing is that once you’ve prepared the particles they release a lot of their attractants, their smells, and their natural oils. So you really want to prepare the particles properly before you go carp fishing.
How to prepare particles for carp fishing
To prepare your particles properly for carp fishing just put it in a bucket, cover it with water, and leave it to soak for around 24 hours. This is to ensure that the water permeates right into the particles.
At this stage, you can actually add some sugar or some salt to your bait. This will dissolve into the water and it’ll be absorbed by the bait, just add a little bit more attraction to your bait once it’s in the water.
One thing I’ll say is that if you’re boiling up hemp seed don’t add any salt to that before you boil it or before you soak it because it can actually cause some problems with the seeds not splitting.
Once your baits have been soaking for 24 hours then you can put them in a saucepan and in your kitchen, on a gas stove, you can just start boiling them. I would definitely advise switching on your extractor fan because after a while it can get a little bit smelly.
Boiling should take approximately 40 minutes just to be on the safe side. However, if you are boiling hemp seed and you start seeing the actual seeds splitting and revealing the whites that shoot inside, then you know that your hemp is pretty much ready to go.
With the other baits like maize and tiger nuts what you’re looking for is just being able to sort of bite that nut or grain open and see that it has properly absorbed that water and it’s not dry on the inside that’s what you’re trying to avoid is a dry hard bait.
Once you’ve boiled your baits for around 40 minutes then you can just drain off the water, take your bait and you’re ready to go.
However, the water that you’ve actually boiled your particles, particularly hemp seed can be full of natural oils and can be a very good attractant for fish in itself.
Sometimes we will actually take the water that we’ve used whilst boiling our hemp and actually use that to mix in with ground bait or in a spot mix or something, just because you’re better off using it than wasting it and it can really be a great attractant to fish.
Finally, before you actually go fishing with your bait you can add if you’d like some syrup or glug.
These sort of specifically designed for adding to particles or spod mixes and yeah it’s not something you have to do but I’d say if you’re fishing somewhere with lots of other people fishing and you need your bait to really stand out or you’re fishing in quite murky water where the fish aren’t going to be able to find it so easily by sight, adding glugs and attractants can definitely help the fish find your bait quicker.
How to use the bait
With our particles, we like to use them to sort of bulk out our boilie or pellet mixes. So on a recent campaign on our local river, we wanted to introduce quite a lot of boilie but we also wanted to bulk that out, boilie can be expensive.
The other thing with the particles (particularly smaller particles) is that like the hemp can keep fish grubbing around looking for food long after the boilies have actually been eaten.
What we found is that if you make a mix of different sizes of particles, a bit of boilie, a bit of pellet as well. Fish will actually dig for that food long after the majority of that bait is gone.
And what you end up with is the bottom of the swim that you’re fishing cleaned out. If there’s low-lying weeds or soft silk then after a few weeks of pre-baiting you know chucking in a few handfuls of bait every couple of days on the lead up to your session they can actually clear the bottom out and you cast in with your rig and it will crack down firmly and you’ll know that the fish have cleared out that area and disturbed you know all the debris on the bottom that’s when you know you’re ready to go down there put the rigs out and you’ll probably catch.
One thing I will say before the end of this article is that particle fishing somewhere with lots of bream can be a bit of a problem. Breams are a lovely fish to catch if you’re targeting them.
However, if you’re after carp and you’re pre-baiting the mix I would advise avoiding bream is actually just 50-50 boilies, nice large boilies if you can find some like 20 mils for example mixed in with a load of tiger nuts.
I’m not sure what it is about tiger nuts, bream just don’t seem to like them as much as they do other particle baits. So if you want to avoid the bream and catch carp try a mix of 20 ml boilies and tiger nuts. A tiger nut or a snowman rig or something quite big on your hair rig will do just fine.
Anyway thanks for reading this article. Hopefully, it helped you with preparing your particles.