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One of my favourite ways to fish is the “Method”, the first thing I will do is explain how to fish the method in case you’ve never fished it before and then I will give you a couple of recipes to get you started and give you some ideas.

Now to fish the method you need a method feeder which is a small piece of plastic with ridges and a weight underneath to help it land the right way. 

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You also need a short hair rig with a hook bait, for me one of the best hook baits I have ever used is the Evolution Carp Tackle Corn Balls topped with one of their double maggots as a hair rig.  Check their Evolution Facebook Page to see more about them.

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Right now that you have this connect it to your chosen rod and reel and you are ready to start fishing.

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Take some of your method mix and squeeze it on to the method feeder as shown in the picture.

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Place your hook and hook bait on the top of the method mix you’ve just squeezed on again as shown in the picture.

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Finally squeeze another small layer of method mix over the top of your hook and hook bait being careful not to get the hook in your hand.

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When you cast your loaded method feeder out you want the fish to have to work at getting the food so make sure you have squeezed it all together nice and tight.  Ideally you want the ball of method mix to last around 10 minutes.

As the fish nibble away at the method ball your bait starts to be revealed and if (as in the case of the one I use) your hook bait is buoyant, it will pop up away from the method mix (this sometimes results in a bite too!!) and stand nicely above a cloud of food and attractant waiting to be snatched by a hungry fish.

Okay so that is how you fish the method.  Now we move on to the home made method mixes, there are so many combinations that you can use that there is no way for me to cover them all.

Here is a very simple mix that is cheap and works well.

300g Vitalin
100g Halibut Pellet Powder
50ml Molasses

Then simply add lake water until you have a mix that holds together nice and firm when you squeeze it tightly.

This next mix is one of my favourites and has caught me quite a few mixed species fish.

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200g Vitalin
100g Ground Halibut Pellet Powder
100g Ready Oats
50g Ground Hemp Seed
50g Bait-Tech 2mm Carp & Coarse Pellets
30g Haith’s Robin Red
20g Ground Himalayan Rock Salt
1tsp Ground Almonds
1tsp Cajun Spice
50ml Bait-Tech Omega3 Fish Oil

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As before add lake water until it sticks together nicely when you squeeze it tightly.  (this is the mix featured in the photos above)

There are a huge selection of ready made shop bought method mixes which are really good quality such as Bait-Tech Krill & Tuna if you don’t fancy making your own however, I really enjoy making my own mixes. 

I hope you have enjoyed reading this and it has given you some ideas on making your own method mixes.

As you can imagine Pure Pellet is a brilliant place to purchase your pellets from in fact their Coppens Pellets will be featuring in one of my “how to” guides fairly soon.

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However, what you may not have realised is that they are also a great place to find some ingredients for boilie making, groundbait and paste making.

The first product that I would like to show you is their Fine Ground Hemp.  This is top quality Hemp that has been cooked and prepared correctly and then finely ground down into a fine textured powder.

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This Hemp is fantastic included in base mixes at up to 20% of your mix without affecting the binding quality of your bait.  It’s also great for adding to groundbait to create small particles that will float around in your swim.

The next product I would like to highlight is their Ground Halibut Pellet.
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This fine ground powder is made from their top quality halibut pellets and is full of protein, nutrition and oil which are a great additive to include in any mix.  You get a nice strong aroma from this powder which will attract fish into your swim and encourage feeding.

The third product I would like to show you is the Pure Pellet Ground Carp Pellet

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Specifically designed to feed carp and used by many fish farms to feed their fish this powder is full of goodies and can be added to boilie base mixes at upto 20% or can be used with breadcrumb to create a high attract groundbait or method mix.

Now you may notice that the ground Hemp and the ground halibut pellet aren’t listed on the Pure Pellet website, this is because they don’t always list everything they have available so it is always worth getting in touch with them via their Email: purepellet@btinternet.com and asking if they stock or have that particular product or pellet.

Now as I do a lot of baits the next thing important to catching fish (besides location) is the end tackle.  I haven’t reviewed any hooks before and I had the opportunity to get hold of some hooks from a new company called “Deception Angling” so here is my first Hook review.

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On first impressions the packaging is professionally done and the hooks look good quality and very sharp in the packet.

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There are a selection of items available from Deception Angling which are listed on the back of the packet.

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One of my favourite hooks is the Wide Gape as not only can I use it for my Carp fishing but I can also use it for my dropshotting.

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So what is my final impression of the hooks from Deception Angling?  Professionally packaged, strong, well priced and sharp I will be more than happy using these hooks and definitely recommend them to others.

Check out Deception Angling Facebook page for the most up to date information.

I have always tried to stay away from going into the science side of bait making as I like to write articles that are easy to understand and follow by someone just beginning their journey into bait making. I have had a lot of people asking me about “Enzymes” and how to include them in their bait making so how do I put a quite science based subject into my style of writing?

Okay, the first thing to do is explain what enzymes are and what their purpose is. There are lots of different types of enzymes out there and they all perform different tasks but basically an enzyme’s job is to break something down by creating a catalyst between itself and the food it is to react with making it easier to digest that particular food item.

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This is why a lot of people are interested in enzymes in baits as fish, specifically carp do not have stomachs as such they have a small digestive tube and they have from the minute the food enters this tube till it reaches the other end to digest as much protein, energy, nutrients, vitamins and minerals as possible.

Now, this is where you may think you are reading a fitness article as in actual fact you are just as likely to benefit from eating the foods that contain the required enzymes as the fish you are trying to entice. There are three main food groups whether for human, animal or fish and each of these food groups has its own set of enzymes that are specifically aimed at breaking down and digesting that type of food these are as follows;

Protein – Protease Enzymes
The Protease enzyme is responsible for breaking down the protein into essential amino acids and softening food for digestion. It can be found in numerous foods but is more common in pineapple, unripe papaya and rye flour.

Carbohydrate – Amylase Enzymes
The Amylase enzyme is responsible for converting carbohydrates into soluble sugars (energy) and can be commonly found in pineapple, raw honey and young alfalfa sprouts.

Fat -Lipase Enzymes
The Lipase enzyme is responsible for breaking down fats and oils into fatty acids and glycerol and is commonly found in raw nuts and raw seeds.

Now onto a big problem with enzymes and that is that they are heat sensitive and the majority of them denature between 40-60 degrees celcius (basically this means if you cook your bait the enzymes will stop working) which is a huge problem when you want to boil or even steam your bait. There are a few bait companies claim to have shelf life boilies full of enyzmes, now I’m not claiming to know everything so they may have found a way to include enzymes in cooked and preserved baits but to my knowledge it isn’t possible as cooking basically destroys the enzymes.

So How do you create a bait that contains enzymes with out destroying them?

One answer is to create… Enzyme Paste Balls these are made in a similar way to boilies but don’t include digestive inhibitors (stops proteins, nutrients, aminos, etc being digested as easily) and they do not get steamed or boiled.

Now there are lots of different ingredients you can use to create these paste balls but one of my favourite to use is;
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4oz Haith’s CLO
4oz Lamlac
1.6oz Whole Egg Powder
1.6oz Haith’s Robin Red
1.6oz Wheatgerm
0.8oz Ground Hemp Seed
0.8oz Blood Powder
0.8oz Krill Powder
0.4oz Brewers Yeast
0.4oz Seaweed Meal
50ml Corn Steep Liquor (if shop bought, the more bits in the bottom of the bottle the better)
50ml Freshly Made Pineapple Juice
50ml Mineral Water
10ml Raw Honey
2tsp Saccharose (table sugar)
2tsp Himalayan Rock Salt
2tsp Fresh Ground Raw Nuts
2tsp Paprika
1tsp Hemp Protein Powder

Make as you would your normal boilie mix by putting all the wet ingredients together and then adding the mixed dry ingredients slowly until you get a dough(paste) that doesn’t stick to your hands.
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There are now a couple of options you can either use your paste as it is or you can put the paste into a sausage gun and roll out into paste balls like you would do if you were creating boilies.
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Allow 24 hours for the sugars and enzyme’s to activate within the paste whether you have left it as a big ball of paste or made smaller paste balls. You can freeze these after 24 hours if you are not going to use them as freezing your bait does not kill enzymes it simply freezes the actions of the enzymes within the bait allowing your bait to be stored longer.

The actions of the enzymes will continue after you defrost the bait, you may see a white crust appear on your bait after a day or two this is not the bait going off this is the sugars being excreted from the bait due to the reactions of the enzymes within the bait.

Well I hope you have enjoyed the blog/article, don’t forget to get involved on my Facebook page HomeMadeBoilies for more recipes and ideas.

As you can see from the photo below my koi absolutely love the above recipe, this is the first time they have seen this bait and after 24 hours of letting the ingredients activate and interact they were on the bait within 15 seconds of it being added to their tank.
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By Anthony Wood

One of the things a lot of bait makers use is extracts and herb extracts are a fantastic additive to have in your armoury.  So how do you go about making a good extract?

In this article I will show you how to make a good quality extract on an alcohol base.  The first thing you will need is 80 proof vodka this ensures a good mix of water and alcohol in the finished extract.

There are all sorts calculations to try and work out the best quantities to use to create the best extract but basically you want 1oz of flowers, leaves, etc and 2oz of vodka.

When you are picking your flowers pick the whole flower including petals, bud and a small 2cm section of the stem.  Once you have weighed out your flowers tip all of them into a jar with an airtight lid.

Pour your vodka over the flowers making sure that every piece of the flowers gets covered in vodka.  Put the lid onto the jar securely and put the jar aside in a dark place making a note of the date you made it.

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Leave the flowers and vodka to mix for 6 weeks making sure to give the jar a good shake twice a day to help the process.

After 6 weeks strain your mixture through a cheesecloth making sure to give it a good squeeze to get as much extract liquid through as possible. 

If you want to make your extract even stronger simply repeat the above process and top up with a small amount of vodka if needed.

Now you can either pour your extract back into the same jar or if you can get them you can pour it into those little essential oil jars.  Store in a dark cupboard or in the fridge.

The strength does vary but an average batch will produce an extract that you can use at 5-7ml per 16oz of base mix.

Don’t forget that you can use fruit, fresh herbs, spices or other flowers such as dandelions, roses, lavender, chrysanthemum, etc.  Have fun experimenting and feel free to send me pictures of your creations on my Facebook page /HomeMadeBoilies.

Tight Lines
Ant

As a lot of you have noticed I am really getting into my predator fishing and although I haven’t caught any particularly huge fish yet I am thoroughly enjoying it.

It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t include something home made and I make my own spinners and soft plastic/gel lure bodies as well as using a wide range of lures from AGM, Fladen, Savage Gear, Schadeycreek and more.

Obviously with a wide range of lures I need a lure bag with enough space to hold my lures so I started looking around and got a few different ones which are good for short sessions the best of which is the Savage Gear Roadrunner Gear Bag.  Whilst in Tackle Shack Nuneaton I came across the Wychwood Extremis Lure Bag at £39.99

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Now this bag has the main compartment with 5 removable lure boxes, two zipped side pockets, a front zipped pocket large enough for all your forceps, scissors, wire cutters, etc and a rear zipped pocket with individual pockets perfect for packs of hooks, wire traces, etc.  The bag itself is made from water repellent nylon and has a comfortable.adjustable shoulder strap.

This bag is absolutely fantastic and very good value for money and is really well made.  There is a smaller Rover Bag which only has two removable lure boxes which is suitable for the roving angler who doesn’t want to carry too much.

As you can see from the photo below I am starting to fill up my lure boxes nicely although I still have plenty of room and I even still have one lure box completely empty so lots of room for more lures.

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I highly recommend this bag to anyone, it is extremely versatile, easy to carry and extremely well built.  There are cheaper imitations but having looked at them you are going to end up buying two or three instead if just one if you get this.

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 78,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 3 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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