You probably use pellet baits. But there is far more to using, adapting, boosting and even making pellets than most anglers ever realised! You can have far more success exploiting pellets when you know far more about them and what to do to vastly improve any pellet bait! Better still you can make your own homemade pellets and give your fish maximum reasons to feed using incredibly potent ingredients and especially powerful components; so read on pellets erding!
There was a time when the majority of carp anglers used trout pellets in one way or another and the choice of pellets was quite limited compared to today. Pellets were usually ground up and made into boilies and paste baits. Pellets were also used as free baits but most often simply introduced with no additional treatments or adaptations to make them far more effective at making fish feed.
The thing to think about is that pellets such as trout pellets, salmon pellets and halibut pellets are designed to put weight on farmed fish for maximum profit. They are not optimised to make fish feed most of all. They are optimised to ensure the most feed gets efficiently biologically converted so the farmer has healthy fast growing fish to profit most from. Feed triggering efficiency is not the main aim at all! This point is a massive one to remember every time you use any pellets not designed specifically for carp fishing! This point means that you must treat pellets to maximise their feed triggering impacts!
You might well assume that for instance that halibut pellets are ideal for carp however they are certainly not ideal for health and certainly not optimised for maximum numbers of bites. These pellets are designed for fish with a higher protein requirement and a higher energy requirement which additionally means that such sea fish and salmonids such as salmon and trout have a higher oil content than carp require as carp metabolism is lower over all that these other fish.
Halibut pellets are high oil and used in volumes by numbers of anglers all the time on lakes is bad new for carp as this imbalances their ability to generate energy and burn off stored fats and glycogen in and around the major organs, and affects blood triglycerides and cholesterol in the body detrimentally. High oil impacts produce vitamin E deficiency and as this is a very potent antioxidant this reduces the immune system and other roles and functions in carp.
Fatty liver is just one symptom of excessive salmonids and halibut pellet use by the herds of anglers using these in spod and PVA product mixes and as other forms of free baits. It is insane how many carp have enlarged livers that form a bulge in their side which so many anglers simply ignore not realising they are harming fish health by using such pellets! The impacts all add up and in fact slow down the fishing especially in the later autumn, the winter and spring because the excessive and ignorant use of pellets by the masses simply means so much oil is converted and stored for vital energy, that very little feeding is required outside of optimum water temperatures for carp feeding!
I used to be a fan of oily fish meal baits and oily pellets, but not any longer now I know what harm they do. In the early day of using halibut pellets before the herd jumped on the bandwagon I used three grades of them each having a different rate of breakdown do to different levels of components. This made for great fishing for a short time as I could exploit this staggered breakdown to make it very difficult for fish to detect which bait was the hook bait. In fact after much initial success it only took the fish in my local lake 5 weeks to begin to go off halibut pellets and start to pick them up with great caution, to the point where numbers of bites were aborted, and a noticeable drop in bigger fish was noticed compared to initial use.
I altered my approach by cutting the large pellets I was using into fragments, and shortening my hook links. Again this approach worked for a while, but the main problem was that the bait was not new any longer and the fish knew they were dangerous even though they at them.
There are so many options you can use to overcome fish caution using your own creativity. Of course you can use buoyant fake pellets on the rigs. You can disguise your hook and rig with pellet paste. You can make pellet boilies in alternative shapes, textures, with different flavours and colours and so on. There are many ready made pellet paste and pellet boilies on the market including pop up baits and neutral buoyancy type wafter baits that negate the weight of the hook. This is a very vital point to fool the warier fish.
Preferably you will take full advantage of the new generation of specifically designed carp pellets available today. But some are far better than others. Again you need to bear in mind that fish become wary of familiar products pretty quickly, and anyway there is no need to cut your chances of success when you can be the very first to introduce a new bait to a water. To guarantee this massive advantage making your own homemade pellets can be the most powerful edge as I know from experience.
You need to think about why pellets are very successful. Originally baits used in carp fishing were predominantly water soluble and this was why such baits worked so very well as their components could react with water and as solution impact upon fish receptors very effectively. Paste baits and small particle baits with a high water content and trout pellets were among the main baits used for carp fishing before the advent of readymade baits.
You can do almost all the things in pellet form as you can with boiled baits using the same massive range of ingredients and liquids but personally I prefer paste and pellet bait formats and avoid heated baits for a huge list of reasons! Boiled baits are a bait format that can be less effective than many other bait formats. This is because carp have associated danger with hard round or barrel shaped baits containing egg for decades and the conventional sizes shapes, surface textures, ingredients and liquids and general characteristics mean boilies are very easy to associate with danger from previously being hooked on them.
You can of course apply all bait theory and ingredients and additives and so on to pellets to make highly water soluble baits. But of course you can also make homemade baits that are not round, that have rough textures and completely alternative nutritional profiles and totally alternative ingredients and additives etc compared to well over 90 percent of ready made baits. Such unique homemade baits can be made in any alternative shape as they do not have to be made by machine rolling pressing or extruding or heating!
Making homemade pellets means you can tailor your recipes extremely precisely for cold winter temperatures and also for the hottest summer temperatures so you exploit the practical function and chemical and physiological aspects etc of carp in the bigger scheme of things all year round.
I have been an obsessive fan of homemade bait making for decades since I noticed that the new readymade baits from the bait companies could easily be out-fished. In fact the more ready made baits that are round or barrel shaped and smooth surfaced are used by the masses on a particular water, the easier such baits are to out-fish using ready made baits. The reason for this is very simply that you can systematically remove out of your own bait formats and bait recipes any commonly used substance, and you can create baits so different in function and characteristics that you have removed virtually all reasons for carp to be cautious of them. Of course carp are wary of baits they have been hooked on before and this means for me that ready made baits are only a compromise for anglers either without the time or the vision to utilise superior solutions.