When it comes to carp fishing, the methods, gear, techniques and rigs vary greatly, depending on many factors. For me, making my own carp bait and tinkering with it provides an added level of satisfaction when it all comes together and my idea ends up landing some nice carp.
My first step into tinkering with bait was close to a decade ago, when I started making my own boilies. In my first side by side tests at the time, my trial boilies outfished the store bought brand I had been using by a ratio of 3 to 1. I was immediately hooked, and haven't bought a boilie in over 8 years now. Over that period of time, I've had the opportunity to run hundreds (if not thousands) of test hours, tinkering with formulation, flavour, scent and color. After about 5 years, I was comfortable knowing which few boilie flavors to stick with in most situations, and my boilies have accounted for over 1000 landed carp.
Over that same period, I tried some other baits as well. One of my favorite discoveries, was using a Joe's Tasty travels corn snack I was munching on one afternoon while carp fishing with a friend. After noticing that it floated, I drilled it and mounted it on my hair rig, and had instant success using it as a popup over a muddy and weedy bottom.
Not too long after that outing, I was fishing cooler water in the fall. Armed with a new chilli flavor of the same snack, I managed to land this fat carp in quite cold water.
This season, I was sent a sample of some tiger nuts, as well as tiger but oil. Though we've landed some giant carp on store brand tiger nuts in the past, I had never tried preparing my own. Nor had I tried using tiger nut oil as a bait booster, I actually didn't even know it existed.
First test boosting my boilies with tiger nut oil was quite successful, my son and I both managed to land some decent carp on and otherwise quiet outing.
Tiger nut oil wasn't the only effective booster. I tried adding peanut butter onto my bait, which accounted for another catch in that same session, in which all of the 3 fish were caught within 40 minutes of each other.
I then got to preparing my first batch of tiger nuts. For those of you that have never heard of tiger nuts, they aren't actually nuts. Rather, they are roots of a small plant. Also known as chufa, they are popular in Europe, where people eat them as snacks, turn them into flour, milk or oil as well.
Bulk tiger nuts as sold in dry form. First step to preparing tiger nuts is to rehydrate them by soaking them in water for 48 hours. Once they swelled up nice and plump, I ate a few, which taste close to raw coconut with a hint of almond in their natural form.
I then proceeded to boil them in a mixture of water mixed with some sugar and flavors 1/2 hour. Once cooled, I stored them in some home cooked syrup I made to preserve them from drying out or fermenting.
On my first attempt using them with a customer yesterday, I baited 2 tiger nuts on my hair rig. It took all of 14 minutes to get hit by a hungry carp.
Super thrilled at my new home cooked batch of "superbait". Hope it does as well when the fishing slows down. Once again, tinkering with carp baits has paid with some good fishing, and the satisfaction of having prepared my own formulation makes it sweeter then the syrop it's marinating in.