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Bait
18 May 2017
by Allan Parbery
Pre-baiting with pellets: Can it be done?
They’re far cheaper than boilies and we all know how much carp love them. Bait pro, Allan Parbery gives his opinion…<

Hi Allan, Is there a reason why most people pre-bait with boilies rather than, say, 14mm halibut pellets? I am thinking about pre-baiting a local water this year, but would be limited to about 1-2kgs boilies per week due to cost. If I used halibut pellets I could up this to 5-6kgs a week and surely get a better response? Ruan Hall

Good question that one and it is a question that has many answers. Personally I like the idea of pre-baiting with what you are going to use on the hook as I have mentioned in other pieces I have written.

Let us look at the halibut pellet. It is a pellet with a very high oil content – up to 40% in many cases. It is made for the farming of halibut, not carp. Carp cannot digest this amount of fat and, whilst summer conditions help them, in winter this type of pellet could be detrimental to health. Maybe fatal in some cases. They are best avoided in my opinion or certainly used in moderation. Trout pellets contain around 24% oil, again too much. Coarse pellets and specialised carp pellets contain between 6% and 12% oil – much better than the others and a pellet they will still readily consume.

Now, with all of those pellets gently dissolving away, along comes Mr. and Mrs. Bream with their slimy offspring and their friends. Bream love pellets – do you love bream? Boilies tend to help us avoid most other species at most times. Scaremongering there – I use pellets quite often in certain waters – I always used to mix up different sizes and types so we introduced 10 Pellet into our range of baits.

My way of eeking out good value and give you the best chances could be to use particles instead of pellets. You can buy some larger particles that would keep many coarse fish away, chick peas take a flavour and a colour very well. Peanuts and tiger nuts are excellent catchers of carp but you don’t need to overfeed these at all – and don’t go flavouring them. No need to at all. Whatever you do always remember to add plenty of boilies to your pre-bait, just to make sure the carp know what they are supposed to be eating! Maybe get yourself a boilie chopper to ensure there are more pieces of boilie available for feeding fish?

One thing to avoid where pre-baiting is concerned is some of those incredibly cheap boilies that have become available. I have watched carp in my pond take them and spit them out instantly. Another carp takes them and spits them out. Eventually you think all of them have been eaten because they ‘disappear’. They certainly haven’t – they just get caught up in the weeds etc. No idea what is in them but the price says floor sweepings if you are lucky.

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