FL13 - Page 179



In Search Of Monster Carp
Above) Early letter from Duncan Kay.
He and I would correspond about bait
and where I could catch a 30!
(Bottom) Stanborough around 1980.
was this slight tinge of nicotine, and
for consistency, when putting out
bait, baiting up or putting bait on the
hook, he would make sure that his
hands smelt identical each time. He
was convinced in those early days
that the carp would know the difference. If he’d been peeling an orange
or something before putting his bait
on, then the fish wouldn’t eat it, so
everything had to be the same. We
know these days though that it’s not
so important… Well, none of us would
argue that filling the car up with
petrol and getting it all over your
hands on the way to the lake would
not be an ideal way to start the session. To put boilies on with petrol on
your fingers, or after you’ve just
opened a rusty old padlock on a gate
without washing your hands in the
lake, certainly could be detrimental to
your captures. Even to this day, I still
wash as soon as I get to the lake; I
wash my hands in the mud and the
gravel at the bottom of the lake so
that most of the smells of modern day
living and chemicals etc are taken out
of my hands, and they just smell of
the lakebed.
So I would purchase my bait ingredients from Geoff Kemp, as no tackle
shops in my area sold bait ingredients. In fact the only one I knew of in
the south of England was the Carp
Cellar in Watford. Now the Carp Cellar
was an underground cellar in a shop
176 FREE LINE
called the Tackle
Carrier actually in
Wa t f o r d w h e r e
Lloyd Bent and
several other carp
anglers worked.
These guys were
fishing the Cons,
the Fisheries and
Savay in the late
70’s and early 80’s
and were well
clued up baitwise. I used to call
Geoff before our
annual BCSG or
Carp Anglers
Association meetings early in the
year, in the closed
season, and we would have a meeting, usually at Dunstable in the later
years. It had been at the London
School of Economics at Hatfield University, but was held quite a few
times up at Dunstable in the
Queensway Hall.
So I’d give him a call with my order
and then I would purchase flavours
from him and ingredients which
included casein, lactalbumin in various forms, caseinates, calcium
caseinate and soya isolate, which are
high protein powders used in the food
industry. They are food fit for human
consumption, and you had to be very
careful when buying casein that it
wasn’t the industrial casein that was
used for glue making, which was
called inedible casein – you had to
purchase the edible casein. Casein
was the ingredient that made your
bait go very hard, as did egg albumin,
but casein came in various degrees of
coarsenesses – the granules would
vary. You could have a very fine, high
number; a 100-mesh casein would be
a very fine casein, whereas a 30-mesh
casein would be very coarse. It paid to
have a variety of ingredients, a spectrum that covered the whole aspect of
palatability. What you were trying to
create with a high nutritional value
bait was to make the carp feel good
when they ate it – to make them want
to come back for more. You wanted to
give them more than natural food in
the way of nutrition, so that in the end
you educated the fish to eat that bait
to the exclusion of anything else.
A very important part of the bait,
other than the powdered ingredients
that went into it, was the liquid ingredients and attractors. Sweeteners
were something that came out in the
early 80’s, and it soon became obvious that a sweet bait was very palatable at the time; it was something
that fish hadn’t really come across. In
the early days, carp anglers would put
honey in their baits, but we soon
found that adding a variety of sweeteners – a little lactose, the milk sugar,
and a little fructose, the fruit sugar,
would excite the taste buds of the
fish. Vitamins were something important to add to the bait too. People
these days realise the importance of
taking vitamins to sustain health, to
give you that feel good factor, and this

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