Right guys, I’ve been asked to share my favourite hookbait recipe with you lot, but before I do, I’d like to point out that I didn’t come-up with it. Jamie Greening first showed me the combination of Milky Toffee and Pear & Banana Response Flavours during one of the Carp-Fest events and from there Danny Fairbrass had a major result at Gigantica on it.
After Dan’s success, Mainline produced these hookbaits exclusively for Gigantica and over the last few years I’d guess that all of the carp in the lake have been caught on them at least once, some maybe even as many as 10 times. The true test of anything good is not instant success but consistency, and to this day it would be my first choice when fishing there. The next point I want to get across is that they don’t just work at Gigantica… On a recent session in Belgium I took an obscene amount of whackers using them, which included busting my PB twice!
Something worth mentioning here would be which situations I feel they suit best. Personally I feel they are perfect for longer sessions, fished over lots of bait i.e. a trip to France? Now I’ve caught a few using them as singles in clear water where they are easily spotted, but I think they really come into their own over big beds of boilies.
We all know that most baits wash-out pale white once they’ve been in the water a while and although these custom hookbaits mimic this appearance to a degree, I think the really important thing is that the carp can easily spot them. I honestly believe half the battle is just making them aware that your hookbait exists. If they are actively searching for/eating boilies in your swim and they see your hookbait, they have the choice to take it – and if it’s not three-inches off the deck and it smells attractive to them why wouldn’t they?
A couple of key points to make here are that the levels of powders need to be measured accurately and must be thoroughly mixed together. Too much pop-up mix will obviously make pop-ups vice versa – you’ll end-up with straight bottom baits the other way round. If the levels are correct the resulting hookbaits should just sink with the weight of your hook, hovering-up off the Hair.
How to do it then...
So in a nutshell, measure and mix powders together. Crack two eggs into a bowl and add the liquids plus white dye and then beat together until well mixed. Slowly add the powder mix to the eggs until a paste is formed – just past being sticky to the touch and from here it’s a simple case of hand or table rolling the hookbaits.
Personally I use a sausage gun and 18-20mm table. The baits should then be simmered for two minutes and dried then for five to six days. I leave mine on paper towels on trays in a dark cupboard in the kitchen so they can’t be contaminated
with air fresheners and God knows what else the missus is spraying round the house.
From there they are ready to use, although I like to give mine a bit of a boost. It might sound crazy after already using
that much flavour, but I think a lot of it is lost in the boiling stage, so I keep a little 50ml bottle of the same hookbait liquids, minus the Cell Activator premixed and add 3ml to a pot full of baits and reapply as and when I think they need it.
If I haven’t gone into enough detail in this short piece, you will find a clip of Danny showing the process on YouTube; just search ‘Banoffee Wafter’.
So here’s the recipe. It’s exactly the same as Dan’s, although I do use a touch more sweetener.
5ml Cell Activator, 10ml Milky Toffee, 5ml Pear and Banana, 3ml Sweet Ade and two eggs.
2 parts Polaris Pop-Up Mix, 1.25 parts Cell Dedicated Base Mix, two tsp. of White Tru Colour bait dye (moderately heaped).
How to make Pecky's white hookbaits
STEP 1 Crack two eggs into the mixing bowl and start to add the liquids – 5ml of the Cell Activator.
STEP 2 The Response flavours go in next: 10ml Milky Toffee and 5ml of Pear and Banana flavour.
STEP 3 To round off the flavour combination and aid attraction it’s important to use a sweetener.
STEP 4 Now for the dry ingredients starting with two moderately heaped teaspoons of white dye.
STEP 4 Measure out Cell Base Mix and Polaris Pop-Up Mix by volume according to the instructions. Mix together well in a plastic bag then add the powders a little at a time, mixing with a fork to your egg mix until you need to get your hands in.
STEP 5 Slowly build-up the mix to form a nice pliable paste that’s not too tacky and ready to roll.
STEP 6 You can roll the baits by hand if you wish or use a rolling table like this to speed things up.
STEP 7 Once you’ve rolled all the paste, boil the hookbaits in batches of say a dozen for two minutes.
STEP 8 Once boiled, lay them out on paper towels to air-dry for about five or six days.
STEP 9 For more kick, mix the flavours minus the activator and add a few ml to the baits/tub.