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17 Jul 2017
by Mat Woods
Give 'em a battering
Avid Carp’s Mat Woods reveals how he uses thick, sticky liquids for visual appeal and as carriers for powdered attractors

Marmite sticks to everything like crap to a blanket. It’s one of the reasons why it’s so hard to spread on your toast and why if you have a tramp’s beard it’s a bit of a non-starter on your sarnies. In theory, it should be a great dip for your hookbaits. After experimentation, I can confirm it is. But not as good as some other very thick, very sticky liquids.

Some of the fish protein liquids of this world are something else, they really are. Their only downfall really is their price, and the fact they don’t offer any real visual attraction.

This Lava product is nothing like other ‘colour-carrier’ liquids. Its base liquid is all-natural and carp absolutely love it

As I mentioned in a previous Hookbait Clinic, I was involved in Vision Bait’s experimentations with a product they called Ecto-Plasm. It glowed, like Kiana Goo, and whilst they weren’t the same thing, they did the same thing. The only issue, really, was that the base material without added sweeteners and flavours was not that attractive to fish (and it turned your fingers yellow). I had some of the original stuff, totally unflavoured, and whilst the fish were visually attracted to it, they wouldn’t eat it. Or if they did, they soon spat it back out again!

I was on the very difficult Abyss syndicate in the snags at the top of the lake where the carp often played dickhead hiding from us, unwilling to feed and unwilling to co-operate in any way-shape-or-form. One of the lake’s biggest commons was resident, so I flicked a few halibut pellets in the area from aloft the best climbing tree nature ever made. The fish stirred a little, ate a couple, then took station again hiding her eyes from the morning sun.

The Lava is a translucent liquid loaded with attraction and colour. As you can see, it sticks like glue to baits
Next push the Lava covered hookbait powdered ingredients. This is Code Red Bag mix that’s been treated to oil and glug
That extra boost of attraction around the hookbait is perfect as a one-bite tactic when you’ve got fish in the area
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I decided to rinse some pellets in the Ecto-plasm base liquid and the fish reacted a lot quicker this time. When within a few feet of the pellets, she turned her nose up and went back to the pads. Another smaller common came along and did the same thing.

One week later, armed with Ecto-plasm with some sweetener and my favourite flavour combination mixed through it, the Abyss carp ripped the weed to shreds!

I’ve had similar experiences with other liquids, including Kiana Goo, although it does appear with lots of these colour-carriers that some varieties are much better than others. Again, I’m only talking from my own experiences, and it definitely seems like certain colours and flavours work better on certain types of venue. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t exist.

I’ve had a great year on these, especially when combined with the Pineapple Lava

I’ve an open mind with dips and glugs and usually go somewhere fairly easy to get a picture of their effectiveness. This year that’s been places like RH Fisheries’ Monument 2, where I’ve had some great fun trying a new Sonubaits product.

It’s called Lava and it has the consistency and glowing characteristics of Lava. Good name, even better product! The combination that’s been brilliant for me has been the Pineapple Lava in conjunction with the 24/7 boilie range. 24/7 has a wonderful creamy, fruity, spicy aroma – every time you smell it, you get a different flavour entertaining your nostrils. It’s ace. But with a smidge of Lava on a hookbait, it’s been ridiculous. So good that I took it to other venues – my main target waters – and continued to enjoy great success, with a load of bites.

Many glugs are sticky enough for the ‘flavour batter’ tactic. Something thick will work best

Something the Lava lends itself beautifully to is a ‘flavour batter’. Because it’s so thick, it’s like when you egg wash something to coat it in a batter or breadcrumbs. Rather than using egg, I use a thick liquid like Lava, and rather than breadcrumbs,

I use powdered naturals, palatants and fishmeals. Anything from the Sonu Flavour Shaker range usually does the trick but more recently I’ve been using maggot meal, on the advice of good friend and savage angler, Ellis Brazier.

The powders stick to the sticky liquid beautifully and it’s even better with the Lava. It’s like a cloud of gravy with proper tasty lumps in.

Recreating the ‘flavour carrier’ with oily liquids works well for me on Zigs at certain times of year

What you end up with is a hookbait that is smoking with colour and either a sweet or savoury attraction, but also a hookbait that has small particles sticking to it, dropping around it, floating to the surface and sometimes sinking back down again. It’s like your tiny column of attraction, one that leads the carp directly to your rig.

Often natural additives like this are the most powerful of all and you don’t need masses of them to make a statement underwater. Going by how much the carp seem to prefer a ‘flavour battered’ hookbait this year, I reckon I’m going to have multi-coloured fingers for a while yet.

Lethal combination, trust me! The Lava turns the pop-ups yellow and carp love it
You can buy hookbaits that have been prepared to ooze as soon as they hit the water. There’s no denying their effectiveness
The spoils of war. Multi-coloured fingers!
Trials have been exceptional, with loads of great sessions
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