Dear Team,

Carpworld - - TACKLEWORLD - Andy Mur­ray

I strug­gle to keep my bait fresh on the bank when do­ing a 10 day ses­sion in the sum­mer­time. I find that af­ter five to six days the bait starts to go sticky and I lose con­fi­dence in it. I need some ideas to help me with this – it’d be much ap­pre­ci­ated. Thanks,


Win­stan­ley Es­tate Hi Chris,

Thanks for the ques­tion. There are a num­ber of an­swers to this one. Firstly, I’d just like to state that per­son­ally I pre­fer my baits to be a bit sticky while us­ing them. I feel they have much more at­trac­tion in the wa­ter, es­pe­cially with the fresh bait from Main­line. Drop a cou­ple of baits in the edge and just watch the leak-off from them. I tend to get my bait out a cou­ple of days be­fore I go fish­ing when on a two-to-three day ses­sion, de­pend­ing on the time of year. In win­ter they may take a few more days to get like that, whereas in sum­mer it would ob­vi­ously hap­pen a lot quicker due to the re­ac­tion in the warmer air.

As it hap­pens, I write this as we are plan­ning an 11 day trip to Hun­gary and we will be driv­ing the 900 miles from Calais. So I’ll ex­plain our plans to get the best out of the bait on our trip. As I have said, I pre­fer to use bait that is start­ing to get a bit sticky. There does, how­ever, come a point when it has gone too far on the turn. You can usu­ally tell this by smelling it. If it starts to smell sour or vine­gary, it has gone too far and I would not feel so happy us­ing it then. Over a longer ses­sion, I will treat the bait in batches, so I am us­ing the bait I want to fish all the time. The bait I need to use upon ar­rival, I will get out and let thaw while trav­el­ling, so it will be smelling nicely by the time I am ready to fish. The re­main­der will be packed frozen in news­pa­per in card­board boxes, this should stay frozen for a good pe­riod, in the re­gion of 72 hours, and cold for an­other cou­ple of days at least. Once at the lake I would want to store this in the shade all the time and also away from any warm winds, which can be just as dam­ag­ing as the sun’s rays. Then

I’m look­ing to get the bait up to air tem­per­a­ture a

day or two be­fore I need it, so it’s just right to use for fish­ing. We will also take along a few air dry bags and may look to dry the bait for the last few days, if it’s get­ting too warm.

When air dry­ing you need to start dry­ing the bait be­fore it re­ally turns, oth­er­wise it may still go off. So start to dry some be­fore it’s too late. If you dry it too fast it will crack, too slow then it will con­tinue to turn. There are some great air dry bags on the mar­ket. The ones pic­tured are a 5 kilo air dry bag and 20kg bag. You need to al­low plenty of room in the bags and give the baits a good shake reg­u­larly. Dry­ing like this will pro­long the bait for quite a while. Prior to us­ing for fish­ing, add some mois­ture back with an ac­com­pa­ny­ing liq­uid ad­di­tive – liq­uid from par­ti­cles, or lake wa­ter if you want to fish washed-out baits, which if you are there for a while, may be a good op­tion.

On the sub­ject of dry­ing, you could pre-dry all your baits be­fore you leave the coun­try and add a liq­uid back once you are at your des­ti­na­tion. If you can spread your baits out on a spe­cially made tray, or card­board boxes, they should take a cou­ple of weeks to dry out thor­oughly, de­pend­ing on where you are dry­ing them. I wouldn’t rec­om­mend in­doors though! The garage is fine, as long as you are ro­dent free... I know some an­glers swear by this method of dry­ing and re­hy­drat­ing.

You can also use a cool box, and they will keep bait frozen for days and then cold for 3-4 days there­after – that will de­pend on how much space you have, of course. If you do a su­per­mar­ket run, get a bag of ice and add it to the box, which will keep it cold for an­other cou­ple of days.

So, keep­ing boilies fresh for ten days or so shouldn’t be a prob­lem. It does also de­pend on the bait as well. If you are us­ing baits with more fish­meal in, they will turn faster. I have run out of space for now, but I hope this helps.

Kind re­gards,

A week-long ses­sion in France – it was 35-40ºc. The Es­sen­tial Cell kept per­fectly all week

A good qual­ity bait is es­sen­tial

Air-dry bait bags. Don’t over­fill the bags, take a few bags and spread the bait out a bit. Hang from poles or branches

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