There are a variety and additives, ingredients and mixes available to make or enhance your bait.
Making boilies at home is similar to making a cake. The most effective dry ingredients contain materials that carp need to survive. Fishmeal, poultry meal and wheat germ supply essential amino acids needed for growth and weight maintenance. There are many other basic food ingredients for making boilies, these are; milk & egg powders, soya, fishmeal and meat make up the bulk of base mix powders available. Good powders for making boilies are dense with nutrients and are good for carp.
Carbohydrates are found in sugar and can be used by carp as a source of energy, albeit in small quantities. They also include cellulose (fibre) for roughage in assisting the movement of food through the carp’s gut. A carp's main energy is provided through oils, thus the leakage of oil from bait can be very attractive to carp.
A typical two kilogram recipe for boilies includes:
As with many types of mix, you can make substitutions. You can add crushed bird seed to the base mix in a ratio of one part seed to 3 parts of mix. You can also substitute different types of flour, such as cabbage, rice, cinnamon and wheat. Other dry ingredients include kelp, belachan block, hot chilli powder, spices, and Tiger Nuts (must be soaked overnight and then boiled for 30 minutes). Dean Towey has developed his own recipe for attractive bait. It includes white fishmeal, full fat soya flour (the binder), lactalbumin, rennet casein, robin red and seaweed extract.
Once you have created your unique bait, try some tactics on how to introduce a new bait into a lake.
To your dry mix, you will need to add liquid ingredients. Again, you will want to use ingredients which are attractive to carp. Lipids (fish or vegetable oils, especially red salmon oil) are a source of energy. They are also utilized in the formation of cell membranes and are carriers of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Other liquids include corn steep liquor, many different fish oils, liquid liver, minamino, multimino and molasses.
Powdered additives & stimulatory additives
Carp tend to go after bait which they recognize as a beneficial food source. Essential Baits makes Shellfish B5 base mix. It contains betaine, five different marine extracts, low temperature fishmeals, soluble fish enzymes, and milk proteins. Baits containing liver, lobster, robin red, seaweed, and brewers yeast are also very attractive to the fish. While peanuts contain lipids, sugars and amino acids, they are not as appealing as the actual elements carp prefer, such as green lipped mussels, crayfish and weed.
Another source of amino acids is worms. As this is a vital part of carp diets, worms are very effective as bait. There are two schools of thought as to why worms are so attractive to carp. Some anglers think that worms attract carp because of their squirming motion. Others believe that worms naturally give off a powerful amino acid scent that carp can easily detect in the water. In 2006, SBS developed Liquid Lobworm. You can add the liquid to pastes, groundbaits, and particles. It can be added to any base mix. Julian Grattidge has even added it to dog biscuits and landed a number of carp!
Some ingredients are added to bait as coloured attractors. Spirulina, krill and paprika are used to create orange-coloured bait. Saffron produces yellow. There is also Shellfish Plum liquid attractor, which produces pinkish-red boilies.
One very powerful liquid attractor is SBS Corn Steep Liquor (CSL). It has additional betaine, essential amino acids, and vitamins and minerals, making it a highly appealing food source for carp. SBS also makes CSL pellets, which dissolve in the water and rapidly release appealing food signals.
Carp will also eat flavoured imitation baits. When boilies fail to attract them, artificial corn will usually work. Zoom Carp Snacks have been used successfully by many anglers. The snacks come in honey, vanilla, strawberry and chocolate flavours. Zoom also makes a range of Jointed Snacks. These are made of multiple pieces of artificial corn joined together with a latex hair. Push your hook through a notch on the hair and pull the hair around the back of the shank. Julian Grattidge recommends using two pieces of fake corn on a hair fished over a little hemp, particle mix, or real corn/maize as feed bait. Enterprise Tackle makes an excellent range of imitation baits.
Glugs & Flavourings
These flavoured, water soluble solutions make everything more attractive to carp. Resistance Tackle makes glugs in a variety of flavours, including strawberry, anise, tigernut, pineapple, pineapple and banana, clam and blueberry, scopex and banana.
You can blend other flavours and additives to your mix, including almond essence, anchovy concentrate, squid, octopus, peach and pepper flavours, and fruit. These are particularly effective additives. Mike Willmott of Essential Baits recommends that “(not) adding more additional additives, flavours, extracts etc, than those recommended, simply because they could end up acting as a repellent as opposed to an attractant. Stick to the levels and guidelines suggested and you shouldn’t go far wrong - all you have to do now is put it in the right place!” Mike also favours using quality food as bait. Once the flavours and other additives dissolve away, there will be something there for the carp to eat. If you don’t use quality food, once the coatings and additives are gone there is nothing left to attract the carp.
Sometimes it seems that carp are too smart to be caught. They have a habit of inspecting freebies very carefully by moving their fins and seeing how the pieces react. If the pieces move freely, the carp may sample them. If the freebies do not, such as when their attached to a hook, the carp will ignore them or sample them and spit them out. One way of deceiving the carp into believing it has a genuine freebie is to hollow out a boilie or a nut and insert a piece of foam. When your hook and bait is moved about by the carp’s fins, it will move exactly as an unattached freebie. This makes it more attractive to the carp, who will sample it.
Resistance Tackle has the recipe for making a highly effective baitpack:
18oz Instant Grits
9oz of Quick grits
A little Salt Dry mix
1 can of cream styled corn
2 cap fullls of flavouring of your choice.
Mix well and let sit for 20 minutes. A tight lid must be kept on the bait at all times to keep it from drying out. It will be good for around 12 hours after being made.
If you would like to start making your own quick-to-make, successful carp baits, then we recommend Fish Bait Formulas. It reveals 11 carp bait formulas guaranteed to catch more carp.
Carp Fishing Science References:
Anonymous. No date given. How to Make Boilies.
URL: http://www.geocities.com/diabolo38/bouille.html [Accessed April 21 2007].
--------------. No date given. Tiger Nuts.
URL: http://www.geocities.com/secarping/nuts.html [Accessed April 19 2007].
Carpman, James. No date given. Boilie Baits.
[Accessed April 19 2007].
Grattidge, Julian. 2006. ACE Liquid Lobworm – SBS Turns the worm! URL:
[Accessed April 26 2007].
-------------------- 2006. Ask Mike Willmott: Boilies-Ingredients for Success. URL: http://www.northwestcarp.co.uk/Carp-Articles/Ask-Mike-Willmott/Mike_Willmott_Boilies_Ingredients.html
-------------------- 2006. Essential Baits – Shellfish B5. URL:
-------------------- 2006. Critically Balanced Baits for Carp.
[Accessed April 26 2007].
-------------------- 2006. Enterprise Tackle Imitation Baits.
[Accessed April 26 2007].
-------------------- 2006. SBS Corn Steep Liquor Pellets & Corn Steep Liquor.
[Accessed April 24 2007].
-------------------- 2006. Zoom Carp Snacks and Jointed Snacks – Flavoured Imitation baits. URL:
[Accessed April 26 2007].
Newfields Bait Supplies. April 2007. Fire and Ice Basemix and Rolled Baits!
April 21 2007].
Roocroft, Tony. 2006. Koi Food and Feeding Koi for Results All Year Round.
URL: http://www.pond-doctor.co.uk/directoryfood.htm. [Accessed April 18 2007].
--------------. 2006. Koi Food Innovations. Pond Keeping Answers.
URL: http://www.pond-doctor.co.uk/longfoodinnovations.html. [Accessed April 24 2007].
Towey, Dean. February 22, 2007. Olfaction or Fiction? URL:
[Accessed April 20 2007].
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