Tip of the Month - Flavour
I love making my own hookbaits but there are a few guidelines to bear in mind when adding flavours. Let me explain. Firstly, remember that when we’re making baits in our kitchens, we’re in an enclosed space. Our senses (smell, in particular) are very sensitive and after a few minutes of exposure to the opened bottles of flavours, we become used to them. This is when many people make the mistake of putting more flavour in and it’s an easy thing to do because you can’t really smell it – so the tendency naturally is to add more. The most important thing to remember is that carp do not smell like we do, they detect food and subsequently receive feed signals through their olfactory system. This is placed on the top of their mouths near their eyes in a nostril-type opening. This opening allows water to pass through at which point they can detect anything that may be soluble. Most of the year, carp are very active and encounter lots of different chemical feed signals (via our baits) plus natural feed signals – for example bloodworm, insects, etc. Because of that, I find that low flavour levels work best in summer merely due to the mass abundance of food available. I have found over the years that higher flavour levels work well in winter when there is less food available via natural sources or anglers’ baits. Also, in winter when the carp’s metabolism is much slower, they are much less inclined to feed. However, this is where high additions of flavour inclusions can often score well. It’s a bit like us catching the whiff of a bacon sandwich when we’re not hungry – against when there’s an abundance of food and we’re either stuffed full or may have eaten already.