The definition of particle is ‘a very small portion or part’, so particle baits basically means small or mass baits. Over the years, and more recently particle baits have just been associated with seeds, nuts, and beans. Ask almost any UK carp angler to name two particle baits and he/she will more than likely tell you hemp, and tiger nuts. These are what are generally known as particles. To me particle baits cover everything from small Boilies, to chopped up luncheon meat, to maggots, and in this article I will try to explain different particle baits, and approaches that should help you put a couple of carp on the bank. I will group the different particle baits together as best I can; this should make for easier reading.
Seeds, nuts, beans
Well what can I say about hemp, it’s probably the best fish attracter known to man, and when used properly can bring tremendous results. Hempseed is a small black seed about 2 – 3mm in diameter, they swell a bit when prepared. They are enjoyed by most species, so you can also have good catches of bream and Tench using hemp. Many people have many different ways to prepare this seed, the way I use that works well for me is as follows: Tip the required amount of dry hemp into a bucket with a lid, cover this with cold water to a depth of 3 or 4 inches. To this add a tin of condensed milk. Press the lid down firmly and leave over night. Now move the hemp and water into a large pan and bring to the boil, once boiling turn the heat down a bit and leave for about 15 minutes, make sure that the hemp is covered with water at all times, you may need to add some more water to the pan. Once boiled tip the hemp and water back into the bucket and let it stew for a few hours, preferably overnight.
The above method of preparation will work for most seed, nut, and been baits, these include:
Peanuts soak for 48 hours, simmer for 20 mins
Tiger Nuts, same as peanuts
Red dari seeds
Red Kidney Beans
There are also some seeds for which preparation is easy, just take the lid off a bucket, half fill with dry seed, and then cover to half the depth of the particles with boiling water. Leave this for 48 hours then use, Four baits that can be prepared in this way are groats, wheat, pearl barley, and malting barley.
Some particles respond well to being coloured and flavoured none more than ChickPeas and Black eyed Beans. To prepare these soak overnight as with Hempseed but in the water add flavour and colouring, amounts will depend on the amount of bait/water in the bucket, you’ll have to experiment here, don’t make the flavour too pungent though, as if the carp are eating a lot of this bait they may find it repulsive. After soaking them, bring them to the boil and simmer for 10 –15 minutes in the same water they where soaking in.
Next we have the ‘natural baits’.
brilliant carp bait, but other species like it too. Its best to loose feed with maggots and fish a larger bait on the hook. They can be fished dead or alive, personally I like to use them dead, this way they stay where you put them because they cant wriggle away. To kill them put some in a strong plastic bag with a bit of you’re chosen flavour, and pop them in the freezer until they are needed. I must emphasise the need for a strong bag, as you don’t want the bag splitting in the freezer do you!
These include bloodworm, lobworm (night crawlers), mealworm, lug worms, rag worms etc. They are all good carp catchers that are often overlooked by modern day carp anglers. The possibilities with worms are endless, try them in PVA bags, and spawn bags or just loose fed around your hookbait.
These include cockles, shrimps, prawns, squid, and sea fish. Cockles make a brilliant carp bait, although watch out for the eels, they hove them. The same applies to shrimps and prawns; their resemblance to crayfish makes them a popular bait with the carp. Squid is a bit different. Anyone who has used whole squid for Catfish is bound to of had it picked up by a carp. Just cut it up into small bits (for freebait) and put a bigger bit on the hook. Sea fish such as mackerel, sprats, herring, whitebait all catch carp. The best part is the flesh, chop it into small bits and try it, when was the last time someone tried this one your lake? Beware though for obvious reasons a lot predatory fish will also pick this up, so don’t be surprised when in the middle of the night you real in a pike!
Raw meat such as Liver chopped into small bits makes a cracking bait for carp, watch out though catfish love it.
Luncheon Meat, a bait not often used today for big carp, but nevertheless it still catches plenty of carp, it can be cut into any shape or size, try cutting a tin of it in half and hair rigging it.
chopped up into little cubes and fished as paste on the hook.
Sinking dog/cat treats
- 100’s to choose from in all shapes and sizes.
- available from trout farms these little pellets can outfish any thing else on some lakes. They slowly turn to powder on the lakebed releasing a strong food signal into the water.
, either small or chopped up can be excellent baits, inducing the same intense feeding as some of the other particles.
To get these particle baits out into the lake there are many options, if you only wish to fish close in they can be thrown or catapulted into the lake, but to get them out further you can use a boat, but on many waters where these are not allowed a spod or bait rocket is needed. This consists of a tube of plastic between 4 and 8” long and 2-3” wide. One end needs to be bunged up with something, I use specially made nose cones, but another bit of plastic will suffice, at the bunged up end a disc of cork needs to be inserted and glued tight to the bung, this disc needs to be about ½” thick and the same diameter as the tube. Once you’ve done that holes need to be drilled along the body of the spod, this will let water in and air out when the spod hits the water (the holes need to be about 5mm in diameter). Two small holes need to be drilled at the opposite end to the bung, to these attach a piece of strong nylon, and a swivel as a means of attaching the whole lot to your mainline. Next make 4 plastic fins and glue them onto the spod to makes them fly better and then your finished. To use the spod you will need a fairly stiff carp rod, or a beechcaster rod, and line of atleast 15lb breaking strain. Simply tie the spod to the end of your line, fill ¾ full with the particle of your choice and cast it out (casting this weight takes practise) once in the water the spod will tip up and all the bait will fall out, give it about 20 seconds then reel it back in ready to cast again. I have spent hours doing this before to get a big bed out there, and have usually been rewarded for my work with a few nice fish.
Regards rigs, they should be kept simple with particles. A standard hair rid with a small hook, and short hooklength are the best, because long hooklinks can lead to bite offs.
I hope this article has helped you, and given you some different baits to try next time you go in search of that big carp! And I hope you catch her.