It’s rewarding to catch fish on bait you have made yourself…

Bait makingThese tips may be applied to most bait-making procedures and are designed to provide a simple guide for DIY bait preparation. Boilies, paste, chop-ups and other bait shapes can all be made from JB base mixes. Making bait in this way provides an opportunity to bring a unique profile to the recipe. It will become apparent, when incorporating unusual or multiple blends of flavour within the recipe, that it is possible to create bait that cannot be copied by anyone! This creates a huge advantage and brings a whole new concept to the world of specialist angling.

When preparing boilies or paste it is not necessary to weigh-out the dry powder-mix. The size and amount of eggs will determine the weight of powder absorbed by them. The number of eggs is the ultimate guide for the quantities of all additional additives. A typical batch of standard boilies incorporates 6 large eggs, and this should make-up about 1Kg of finished boilies.  Most recipes should ideally be made up by using either 6 or 12 egg mixes.  It’s a simple matter to multiply or divide the additive and flavour levels to match the number of eggs. This method is fail-safe and will ensure that boilies, pastes and special hook bait recipes made in this way will turn out the same every time.

For hook-baits or paste and when making small batches of bait, use 1-2 large eggs. This will make enough bait for a short session.  Fresh paste is best prepared with lower levels of flavour and this is mainly because the bait is not being sealed, skinned or denatured during the boiling process. For dedicated hook bait paste, make-up a moist, soft product not too sticky and not too firm. Then seal the paste in a plastic bag. After a couple of hours, and after the paste has rested, the excess moisture will be absorbed, and a more effective and pliable bait will result. Getting the texture and feel of a perfect paste may take practice. High quality base mix ingredients are at their most nutritious when they are not subjected to either boiling, long-term freezing or air-drying. Most of our base mixes will make-up paste that is soft enough to be used traditionally, with the hook completely covered, (not on a hair-rig!).  This is ideal for use in bait presentations such as: float fishing, stalking, rolling-tactics in rivers and for fishing in and amongst soft weed.

As a rough guide, most dry base mixes will make-up into about 1.4 times their weight in ready-to-use, boilies. For example: 10kilos of dry base mix will make-up approximately 14-15 kilos of finished boilies. This may vary slightly from mix to mix and is also dependent on additional liquid additives used within the recipe.

For making-up customised hook baits such as cork-ball-pop up’s, or wafters, then specialist equipment is not required. Small batches of bait can easily be rolled-out by hand or moulded into paste ‘ropes’ on a work surface and then chopped into different bait-sized pieces just prior to boiling, hence the term ‘chop-ups’. Perfectly round and firm boilies are only needed for fishing at distances in excess of 30 yards, or perhaps when nuisance fish are a problem. If larger quantities of hard/round boilies are required, then there are numerous table-top rolling tables and small DIY boilie-rolling machines than can easily be purchased for the task.

Adding Flavours

When adding high-quality, strong, flavours and additives to the eggs it is imperative to use the appropriate measuring kit. Syringes that accurately measure from 1ml-5ml, will be needed especially when using more than one flavour and as part of a recipe blend. Never guess the additive levels!  If in doubt, use less flavour but never more flavour!  Keep accurate notes of experiments and especially successful recipes – so they can be repeated. The dose-rates of JB liquid flavours should be kept low and a 1ml syringe must be used when measuring parts of one millilitre. 0.10ml/0.20ml, is one tenth to one fifth of 1ml of your chosen flavour/blend. This is often the maximum dose rate for just ONE large egg!

How long to boil?

The nutritional content of the bait, and all the ingredients within it, will be better protected when the boiling time is kept to a minimum. Very small boilies or ‘mini’ chop ups’ will only need to be boilies for 15-20 seconds. Typical 14-18mm sized boilies will need 30 to 90 seconds. Always immerse boilies in vigorously boiling water. Large sized boilies need more time, small diameter boilies, less time. Boilies made from Supermilk only require a minimal boiling time.

Much harder boilies can be made by increasing the boiling time and including an extra boilie hardening ingredient. This is vital when making hook-baits and pop-up’s. For best results, add ‘JB’ Hook Bait Hardener Powder at a ratio of up to 10% by weight of the dry base mix before mixing with the eggs and flavour. After boiling, the baits should be air-dried naturally in a well-ventilated area, preferably on a mesh drying rack or wire tray. Dry boilies for 8-12 hours, prior to use or freezing. This will reduce the moisture content, harden the bait and render it more practicable for use on the bankside. The fresher the bait, the more effective it will be!  Freshly made bait will keep in a refrigerator for 5-6 days. Pre-frozen boilies should be used within 3 – 4 months.

My Recommended Recipes

JB base mixes are designed to be effective without the need for heavy or regular pre-baiting. Carp and barbel will quickly accept bait made with these recipes and they will do this quite naturally by instinct and natural selection. In simple terms, fish know these baits are beneficial to them and will actively seek them out.

Care must be taken when adding any extra additives to the base mix recipe. It has been said that the stronger the smell of the bait, the faster the fish will react to it. It must be remembered that over-flavoured bait and the use of too many ingredients may act like a repellent to fish. It is recommended, for long-term results, that low levels of flavour and additive should always be used. This is especially important when preparing bait that is just for free offerings. It’s perfectly fine to use stronger flavoured, hook bait recipes and this is effective when fishing single hook bait tactics and there is little or no fee offerings nearby.

The recipes listed below can be relied upon in all conditions and they will catch fish on even the most challenging venues. In order to add an advanced level of complexity to the bait, it is worthwhile using multiple blends of flavour incorporating more than one flavour type per recipe. Examples of this tactic can be seen in the recipes listed below. It must be remembered that subtly flavoured bait will have a much longer effective life than an over-flavoured one!

The recipe examples listed here may be used with confidence to make free offerings and hook baits. Stronger flavoured ‘hook-bait-only’ recipes utilising 1-2 eggs are a matter of choice and experience. It is vital that all JB flavours are measured and used with great care. Keep notes of your successful recipes – then they can be repeated!

Bio Shellfish Base Mix – World class ocean protein profile

Incorporating 6 x large eggs

  • 1.5ml Ala Salar, 1.5ml Roast Chicken Flavour, 10ml Liquid Shrimp Extract
  • 1ml Plum, 2-3ml Ala Salar Flavour, 10ml Shrimp Extract (An exceptional recipe!)
  • 2ml Ala Salar & 1ml Crab Flavour & 10ml Liquid Shrimp
  • 1ml Ala Salar Flavour, 2ml Chicken Tikka, 1ml The Sizz Flavour, 5ml Liquid Shrimp Extract
  • Add 25gms of ‘Bombay Spice Additive Powder’ to 1kg of Bio Shellfish and shake it together.This makes up the original Bombay Spice Mix recipe. Use with either: 2ml Crab/Ala Salar/ Sizz or Chicken Tikka. Makes an exceptional barbel or carp bait for fast results in short sessions.

Taste F2 Base Mix – Savoury HNV profile with unique smell and taste

Incorporating 6 x large eggs  

  • 1.5ml Roast Chicken, 1.5ml ml Ala Salar Flavour, 10ml Liquid Yeast Complex
  • 1.5ml Chicken Tikka, 1.5ml TM1
  • 2ml Maple Flavour & 2ml Ala Salar (or Roast Chicken) + 5-10ml Liquid Yeast Complex
  • 2ml Toppex & 1ml Cheese Flavour (or The Sizz) Liquid Yeast Complex is optional.

Milk & Honey Base Mix – Milled nut meal with seeds and milk protein (no sweetener required) 

Incorporating 6 x large eggs                                  

  • 2ml TM1 & 1ml Cream Caramel flavours blended
  • Blend 1ml Plum or Peach Flavour with 2ml MILKY1 (great for cutting through silt etc)
  • Use 2ml Caramel Banana & 1ml Plum or Peach, or a blend of both – a great winter recipe!
  • 0.5ml Bunspice or Mandarin Oil & 1-2ml Dairy Cream (unique complexity)

Supermilk Base Mix    *Our flagship milk protein bait

Incorporating 6 x large eggs and no more than 1-2ml of a flavour/combination as listed below. This base mix has a wide range of uses for carp, barbel and chub.  The high milk protein content helps provide a huge instant food signal making this base mix the perfect carrier for low flavour levels as single hook baits and when using minimal freebies. By far the most effective flavour combinations are those listed. Let the base mix do the work! Recommended flavours to be used individually or in careful combination: Plum, Milky1, TM1, Toppex, Caramel Banana, Cream Caramel, Butt Ringer, Maple Cream, Ala Salar, Roast Chicken. Highly effective with low levels of Bunspice, Mandarin Oil.

JOHN BAKER BAITS: Flavour dose rate guide for making boilies, chop-ups & paste

Making bait recipes with multiple blends of flavour
For extra complexity and to help create a unique flavour and taste profile we highly recommend that two or three flavours are mixed together in combination within the bait recipe. This tactic is very effective, and will require careful experimentation dependent on the target species. Many variations are possible. These flavours are strong, so it is advisable to use low dose rates, and measure accurately!

The maximum dose rate for 1 x egg hook bait recipes is 1.5ml *This can be adjusted in summer/winter!

Boiling Times & Freezing
It is vital to ensure the water is boiling vigorously before immersing boilies.
Cook boilies of 16-18ml in size for 60-90 seconds, and 20-22ml size boilies for a little longer.
12-14mm size boilies require less boiling time, say, 40 – 60 seconds. When using Supermilk or
It is best to air-dry boilies or chop-up’s, naturally on a wire tray for 6 -10 hours depending on the hardness required.
Use the bait as fresh as possible or ‘bag-up’ and freeze in small batches for use later.

Paste bait is one of the best ways to present our HNV base mixes and JB flavour combinations.
It is recommended that a maximum of half the usual flavour level is used in paste bait recipes.
The high quaity ingredients used in our base mixes are a vital part of the bait’s attraction.
Half a teaspoon of soya oil, sunflower oil or salmon oil (per egg), helps makes paste soft and pliable.

Our base mixes contain most of the dietery nutrients carp and barbel need. We also supply some special additives and natural extracts. *See our webshop. Certain mixes contain ‘Lactose’, milk sugar, so sweetener is not needed.