THE NUTTY PRO­FES­SOR

We join par­ti­cle pro­fes­sor Bryan Jar­rett for an ed­u­ca­tion in nuts

Angling Times (UK) - - CONTENTS -

NUTS have di­vided opin­ion for years. Vil­i­fied by many, loved by oth­ers, plenty of an­glers are un­cer­tain about us­ing them.

Bryan Jar­rett has no such qualms, de­spite the bad press nuts some­times get.

True, in times gone by the use of badly pre­pared par­ti­cles (of all types, not just nuts) or an­glers pil­ing in ki­los and ki­los of them did have a detri­men­tal ef­fect.

Now, with ev­ery bait man­u­fac­turer of­fer­ing fully pre­pared of­fer­ings, these dangers have been put to the sword. “I love nuts as a carp bait,” Bryan told us. “They seem to catch the more wary fish, those that have been ham­mered on boilies – I be­lieve that carp just love to eat them.”

To find out more about these con­tentious baits and how the cur­rent part­ner of Hin­ders Fish­ing Su­per­store uses them, we joined Bryan at Chad Lakes (www. chad­lakes.co.uk) in the Cotswolds.

WHY DO CARP LOVE NUTS?

Rock-hard, and with no dis­cernible smell com­pared to a boilie, nuts don’t seem to bring much to the carp-fish­ing party.

But once the fish get on to them and take that first bite, they crave more and more. Whether it is the crunch or the fact they are packed with oils that makes them so mor­eish, no-one re­ally knows.

“A wholly nat­u­ral of­fer­ing packed with milky, creamy oils and a crunch fac­tor seems to cre­ate the ul­ti­mate taste com­bi­na­tion,” Bryan ex­plained.

“Even though they don’t have an ob­vi­ous smell like pel­lets or boilies, I have in the past thrown half-a-dozen tigers, with one on the hook, into the mar­gins be­fore climb­ing a tree. Very of­ten I will see carp ap­proach and their body lan­guage sud­denly changes, as if they are im­me­di­ately turned on. A run tends to fol­low very shortly af­ter­wards!”

WHAT ARE THE BEST NUTS?

The choice of nuts is le­gion, but in fish­ing terms not all nuts are cre­ated equal. Bryan’s favourites are listed here.

1 Tiger nuts (Cype­rus es­cu­len­tus) – These are the num­ber one nut of choice for many carp an­glers. Avail­able in a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent guises – chilli, black, mini, monster, crushed and flavoured – they have been in­stru­men­tal in the down­fall of more than their fair share of spec­i­men carp.

Read­ily avail­able pre-pre­pared from all tackle shops, they have never been eas­ier to use. If you pre­fer to pre­pare your own, though, the best way is to soak them for 24 hours be­fore bring­ing them to the boil and sim­mer­ing for 45 to 60 min­utes. The whole mix­ture is then trans­ferred into a bucket and left to cool.

“They will be fine for a few weeks, but if you want to keep them for more than a month, I’d freeze them,” Bryan added.

2 Peanuts (Arachis hy­pogaea) – Not tech­ni­cally a nut (they’re a legume), but peanuts are a bril­liant carp bait that’s hugely un­der-used and un­der-rated.

The one prob­lem with peanuts is that when the carp get on them they can be­come pre­oc­cu­pied. The trou­ble now is that their

weights can drop, as they don’t get enough nu­tri­ents from a pure nut diet.

“I now use them ei­ther crushed, so I can add them to a stick or PVA bag mix, or even bet­ter, put them in a mesh bag and place this bag in with my soak­ing hemp,” Bryan ex­plained.

“I then cook the hemp and peanuts to­gether, so all the taste, flavours oils and at­trac­tors from the nuts trans­fer into the hemp. So, even if peanuts or nuts as a whole are banned, you can still use their at­trac­tors.

“It’s been one of my lit­tle se­cret bait edges for many years!”

3 Brazil nuts (Berthol­letia ex­celsa) – Yet an­other ‘un­der the radar’ hook­bait, Brazil nuts are also se­ri­ously un­der used.

The great thing about Brazils is that they of­ten float, which means you have a nat­u­ral pop-up.

They can then be used plain or dipped in flavour­ing but it’s best to take them bit­ter skin off them first.

“I don’t tend to use brazils much these days as the har­vest­ing process is much bet­ter, so the pick­ers tend to get less bro­ken nuts, which were so much cheaper to buy in bulk,” Bryan said.

FISH­ING WITH NUTS

There is a mas­sive mis­con­cep­tion that be­cause tigers, for ex­am­ple, come in a large jar, you have to feed hand­fuls of them. Noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth.

For his spod mix – used on large or deep venues – Bryan will only add around six to eight to a cou­ple of hand­fuls each of peanut­cooked hemp, frozen corn and a nut-based mix, like Hin­ders’ Nutz.

“I like to mix my spod mix to a slurry. This means that when it is spod­ded, I can fish a zig rig in the re­sul­tant cloud for an hour or so,” he ex­plained.

“If no bites are forth­com­ing, I will re­place the zig with a sim­ple six-inch blow­back rig fished hard on the deck.”

To add extra at­trac­tion and pulling power to his nut hook­bait, Bryan will place the rig into a solid PVA bag con­tain­ing some of his crushed nut mix and a lit­tle tiger nut slime.

“The carp know they can’t charge about over a light mix of crushed nuts, so they tend to sit over the top of it, slurp­ing down the free feed,” Bryan told us.

“My tiger nut hook­bait al­ways has a cork plug in­serted so it is neu­trally buoy­ant. This means it is eas­ily sucked up and the carp are nailed.”

THE MAGIC OF BE­TALIN!

Now in its 16th year, Be­talin is one of those ad­di­tives that has taken par­ti­cle fish­ing by storm.

An in­tense nat­u­ral sweet­ener, dip­ping your hook­bait prior to cast­ing or soak­ing your par­ti­cle in 2ml to 3ml of the stuff can make a world of dif­fer­ence to a stan­dard par­ti­cle mix.

“It took us a long time to get the for­mula right, but now it has ce­mented its place as a great carp-fish­ing ad­di­tive,” Bryan said.

“It is some­thing I’d never be on the bank without.

“If you have never tried fish­ing with nuts be­fore, I thor­oughly rec­om­mend you give them a go. Their pulling power can be quite ex­cep­tional.”

Shriv­elled dry tiger nuts (left) turn into an ab­so­lutely bril­liant carp bait once prop­erly pre­pared (right).

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