Carp fishing, if you listen to all the pro’s and magazines can become a tad expensive. Especially buying bait. However if you want to cut down the costs there are a number of cheap baits that work as well, if not better then the traditional pricey baits. Part of the reason these baits work well is due to the fact that the carp is not used to them, they are visually different to what they normally eat, and that the carp probably hasn’t been caught on them before. Therefore they are normally more inquisitive and will try something new.
My selection of cheap baits are:
Cat or Dog meat is far cheaper than luncheon meat, and is actually much more potent and more attractive to fish.
(some venues have banned meat do to overuse and over poolution – please stick to the rules of the fishery)
For cupping in the meat, pass the meat though a sieve and add a little water.
Use a bread punch, or for larger baits Fox armour mesh for the hooked bait.
Dog and Cat Biscuits
These are very cheap and a bag will last for a long time. Apart from the using these as floating baits they can also be liquidised and added as a groundbait, or mixed in to make a paste.
Bird Food, in particlar ‘pigeon feed’.
There are a number of particle based products within pigeon food, including maze, maples, rapeseed, hemp and dari. But my favourite is called ‘pigeon conditioner’ which contains an assortment of small particles, but the key ingredient is aniseed, which carp love. With all particles you must ensure they are prepared corectly, so boil the seeds for the recommended times and leave overnight in the water to soften further. A sack of pigeon food can last for months and is one of the best carp feed baits availalbe.
Boilies can be made on the cheap, the great thing with homemade boilies is that you can experiment with flavours, colurs and sizes and shapes. The shelf life wont be long, but making your own is fun and much cheaper than purchasing from tackle shops.
The base of the ingredients are:
eggs, semolina and soya flour.
Attractants, depending on what flavours you want can include anchovies, ground up pellets, fishmeal, orange squash, pineapple squash, food dye and flavourings.
The variations are unlimited and trial and error is required.