Flavours catch fish period! But how many catch more fishermen than fish? The idea of a flavour dispersing through the water and attracting fish following its trail and increasing concentration to its source and finding your hook baits, is taken for granted now. How many anglers have not heard of the world famous Tutti Fruitti flavour? How many anglers realise that actually using a bait flavour is a method in itself?

When fishermen think of fishing bait flavours they often think of the ester, ethyl alcohol or solvent based types which were originally familiar and popularly used in baits the original dough, paste and boilie mixtures of the past. Such flavours as strawberry and vanilla are still used by anglers making their own baits, even today.

However, today many flavours are vastly more than combinations of esters for example, that have proven by trial and error to catch more fish than many others tested. Even the powdered flavoured ingredients like the milk shake powders are flavours containing many different components.

Some flavours are actually far more soluble, actively mobile and more volatile in water than you might imagine and extremely powerful carp feeding triggers in their own right. Some perform far better in summer than winter. Some stand out even really producing more fish with high pressure and low water temperatures.

Some of the very few most well known original top flavors are even enzyme active and can contain extremely low levels of very special chemicals which would actually be poisonous if used in higher levels. But then this is the case with most of the powerful mind-altering drugs known today.

There are many secrets of flavours well beyond the scope of any but the biochemist or marine biologist. The key point about flavours is that the very best can actually change the, condition of various nerve pathways sending signals to the brain, fish brain chemistry, mood and behaviour to one of; "lets move and look for food and eat right now!"

Here is one basic example before we go into an introduction into fishing flavours. The extremely sweet protein called Talin is very significant in connection with nerve pathways and special signalling gating mechanisms which in the end affect brain activity and fish behaviour for example. Talin is an integral part of many modern specialist carp bait flavours with good reason. But more of this later...

Certainly in the UK and Europe, flavourings seem to be inextricably linked especially to carp baits and I think this is largely due to the following reasons:

Many anglers assume that if he likes the flavour them the fish will too, but carp sensory systems are so different to ours in such significant ways that this assumption is obviously wrong in the most general of senses!

In the early 1980s era readymade boilie baits for carp fishing baits were really only just hitting the market with "Richworths" right at the start of the big commercialization of carp fishing. Just as carp fishing popularity was about to really explode, along came one particular method.

Basically it was fishing a bolt rig set-up with a highly flavoured low nutritional boilie bait which often was a popped-up bait which was totally revolutionary at the time for the vast majority of the anglers.

Only a few of us who had thought of using dog biscuits off the lake bottom, perhaps even directly off the lead, were using anything similarly effective.

A back-stop was used on the line to stop the fishing weight from running up the line as a fish picked up the bait and moved off with it in its mouth. This was very effective at hooking the fish as the line running freely through the lead weight on the line stopped suddenly at the back stop and jerked the hook firmly into the fishs mouth.

The availability of the new readymade highly flavoured boilies and the very effective combination of a heavy lead, hair rig, back stop and better rig materials and hooks like the chemically sharpened Kamasan hooks made this a very easy period to take up carp fishing with high expectation of easy quick fish rewards.

The readymade baits were of a kind of neutral nature as the base mix did not carry a flavour and appeared quite bland. In fact these baits were even available in unflavoured form so that you could add your own choice of flavour to them by soaking neat flavour directly into them and leveraging the freezing in and absorbing effect of defrosting baits.

Or you could simply put some flavour into a bag of neutral baits, shake it about to disperse the flavours and go fishing. Its just the same today when you want to flavour a bag of pellets.

The effect went further in that you could now buy many of the flavours used in the readymade boilies themselves. With these you could add even more flavour to really over flavour your baits or make interesting alternative or unique bait flavour combinations. You could buy readymade floating or pop-up baits in various flavours too.

Pop-up baits were used to fish the hook and bait off the lake bed to make them even more obvious and enticing to the fish. Also in all probability, these were very likely to be taken first if you had baited your swim with lots of free baits to attract the fish into the swim. This method really multiplied catches.

These baits were a revolution in themselves and literally ripped carp waters apart at the time and where they had not been used before.

At this time most fishermen were coming from an age where you had to make your own baits whether boilies or pastes, because there was simply no alternative, although there were already more and more boilie base mixes coming onto the market for making homemade baits.

The author has many more fishing and bait edges up his sleeve. Every single one can have a huge impact on catches. (Warning: This article is protected by copyright.)

By Tim Richardson.

For the unique and acclaimed new massive expert bait making bible ebooks / books: