Summer Carp and Catfish Baits Made Cheaply From High Protein Sausage Meats!

Fresh fish
Seen in a fishmonger’s window, St James Street, Brighton. The dark meat looks like tuna steaks.
By shirokazan on 2013-07-27 09:43:16

If you want to make your own unique carp bait that is different and will hook big fish this summer, why not now use these decades-proven cheap homemade protein based bait recipes and ideas (but with a modern twist?)

Making homemade sausage meat boilies (and now pellets) are nothing new but few carp anglers think of exploiting them these days in their rush to buy expensive fashionable readymade baits. But just this week I reminded myself of the success I have had over the years on many versions of a simple bait recipe I have used in so many situations for big fish with great success. Having spotted some cheap sausage meat in the local supermarket at well under 2 pounds a kilogram last week stimulated memories of many past successes using this bait and led to this article; so read on!

I have carp fished for over 30 years and the early baits for carp when I began were named specials. This was probably because it was unusual to make a bait just for one species and such bait contained an unusual range of ingredients centred on a protein bulk ingredient. Sausage meat baits are probably taken for granted today by most carp anglers of my generation and older but new generations of anglers will them find extremely useful, productive unique and cheap!

This bait came to my attention while fishing a small club lake called Kennel Lane in Billericay Essex around 1976. I was only 10 years old but I was a very keen carp angler even then. To put things into perspective, the average fish in this lake was a mere 4 pounds and the biggest was around 14 pounds. Such weights were very typical of the vast majority of carp waters in the UK at the time even though such waters are stuffed with thirties and even forties and bigger today!

The era of night fishing for carp for most young carp anglers like me was yet to come and much of the thrill of fishing was making new creative baits the night before fishing and the anticipation of the catches to come! These days with readymade baits, this thrill and anticipation and the incredible satisfaction of catching new personal best fish on your own homemade bait is a huge chunk of the experience that is lost!

If all you use is readymade boilies and pellets etc, it is impossible to imagine my feelings on the first occasion I banked a common carp over forty four pounds; the same weight as that legendary Richard Walker Redmire carp that was the UK record for so many years. Unhooking it and seeing my homemade baits there in its mouth was such a high that no readymade bait has ever or will ever match!

It might seem odd but quite a number of mine and my friends hook baits in the Seventies and early Eighties were often made from ground bait mixes. Many carp bait buffs today seem to belittle baits with lower protein contents and based on bread crumb but this does not stop them catching fish; how many method mixes have caught fifty pound fish and above! My catfish fishing started much later only after Kevin Maddocks turned his attentions to catfish at waters around the Bedfordshire area for example, but all this carp fishing bait experience was to prove extremely useful for catching loads of very big catfish and I have now lost count of the number of thirty-pluses I have caught.

Method mixes were basically what we were using in the Seventies and I for one would add more or less wheat flour and bread crumbs or more or less particles to make them stick together or fall apart as we wanted. The practice of free-lining a particle bait inside a big ball of ground bait was a standard tactic of mine as a kid and it seems some people think this kind of method is new today? (The forty pound koi in Furnace Roman Lake fell to such a simple tactic quite recently.)

When I started carp fishing me and my friends were all kids we would make our baits as cheaply as possible, and even take the powders to the lake side and mix baits there as we needed them. To make the ground baits we would put some lake water into a bucket and add ground bait powders gradually until a nice dough formed. This would be fed into the swim on a little and often basis and this would produce very good catch results all day long.

Sometimes when I had the money I would buy bread crumb ground bait from Woolworths and this had a distinctive yeasty aroma that the carp really loved! The carp paste mixes from the fishing shops were mostly out of my price range although I experimented with some I did not catch any more carp (nor bigger carp) than I was already catching; so I decided not to waste my money!

I would find that the most often the ground bait I introduced the more fish I caught and strangely more often that not, the size of fish would get bigger and bigger. This culminated in the knowledge (based on many experiences) that I needed to be prepared for the very biggest fish during the last hour or so of the trip as dusk approached and as the sun dipped towards the horizon and darkness approached. Summer was obviously my favourite time as the carp would be so easy to locate and the sheer enjoyment of fishing in summer for carp is unmatched especially as the tranquil lakes I fished were not the crowded circuses you find all over the UK today with bivvies crammed into every swim.

Our ground baits were traditionally based on bread crumbs and local supplies of stale bread were highly valued and you could make 3 buckets of ground bait for literally pennies when you timed it right for stock turnovers in the shops. But of course bread was not the only thing we used as ground bait and many other things were added mostly by simply dropping straight into the bread crumbs and kneading.

All kinds of things you find in the kitchen cupboard were added, from cheap caster sugar, sunflower oil, dog foods and cat foods, tomato source, curry powder, herbs and spices, condiments like black pepper and salt, Oxo cubes and gravy granules and of course cake baking flavours. I used to make loads of baits based on the very cheapest white wheat flour and Marmite. Luncheon meat, spam and sweetcorn were very cheap and popular too of course. Pearl barley and other lesser used particles were used and I caught loads of tench on this so it was a favourite of mine. Aniseed oil was easy to obtain and we all seemed to know about this back in the mid-Seventies and we soaked trout pellets and cooked wild bird food mixtures in it.

The meat protein baits made from sausage meat were a simple extension of all this. A pound of sausage meat was placed in a big bowl along with 2 eggs and then the rest of the bait was basically a chuck it in and see procedure which meant putting a bit of anything I could borrow from the kitchen cupboard as well as with my very limited pocket money which was probably 50 pence or a pound a week! (You could buy a loaf for 10 or 20 pence back then and a kilogram of wheat flour was one of my most used staple bait binders alongside stale bread crumb.)

So with the sausage meat and eggs you might add wheat flour and black pepper, maybe some aniseed oil, milk powders, sweetcorn juice, sugar, salt, Marmite and Oxo cubes and away you went. This mix would be for a days fishing trip and would be fished direct on the hook as paste although some might go out as extra ground bait. We float-fished on one rod and ledgered on another and this was often not the rod that hooked the better fish. The practice of fishing for carp up in the water with buoyant baits and using Zig Rigs is only duplicating the skills of float fishing really as carp are not only bottom suction-feeders but filter-feed on plankton and on fry and so on in the upper layers of the water to.

Going into the early Eighties my generation were still float fishing but hooking fish over 25 pounds instead of the single figure fish of previous years! One of my friends used to take just 5 milk protein boilies for a days float fishing for carp and invariable landed big carp to mid-twenty pounds by float fishing while those ledgering around him often blanked or caught smaller fish fishing on the bottom. I went through various phases in later years of fishing for carp using a very long hook link coiled using water-soluble PVA string to fish buoyant baits at long range and these produced many bigger fish that fishing on the bottom did not seem to be able to hook.

My very early ground baits would be based mainly on bread and wheat flour, a little meat and fish of various kinds and bulked up with particles like sweetcorn, oats, cornflakes, hemp and pearl barley and maybe finely chopped luncheon meat and sausage meat. I and my friends fished for the small carp and rarely used lots of bait and what we did use was as cheap as we could get it – yet we all caught fish consistently well!

Over the decades you can imagine I used this ground bait and hook bait experience and developed and refined it much more in catching many carp and catfish from well over 100 UK carp waters to date with UK carp to 47 pounds and UK catfish to 110 pounds and hooking carp to over 80 pounds in France. This fishing has so often involved adapting much of this basic bait and ground bait experience from the past, frequently super-boosting these baits with even more nutritionally-stimulating substances! I hope this article has given you a few ideas for cheap baits for modern catfish and carp fishing. For far more information see my site link or biography right now!

By Tim Richardson.

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