CARPology Bait
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Ali Hamidi's super-strength custom hookbaits!

Monster Carp star Ali Hamidi reveals how you can give your approach a unique edge by using the same custom hookbaits he rolled to catch at the mighty Lac de Saint-Cassien…

One of the things I’m probably best known for is rolling my own hookbaits and coming up with special little gems, customised to my own liking or requirements. Having worked with Mainline Baits for a silly length of time now, I’d have been a fool not to, after all, they are, without a doubt, the best in the business when it comes to sourcing the highest quality ingredients, especially liquid flavours and additives. This is coupled with the experience required to recognise and harness the potential of these carp attractants.

Absolutely priceless

It seems a little strange to use the phrase, but I guess I’ve been around long enough now though(!), but back in the day, making hookbaits for me was a priceless edge when it came to fooling some of the most pressured carp around the UK, from busy day ticket venues like Linear, to the huge carp of the Essex Manor. More often than not, there was the added pressure of trying to achieve results on camera… a situation when time is never on your side and you need to deliver the goods, so you really do need every edge you can think of.

We did it! What dreams are made of: a Cassien carp in the sling!

This type of fishing has led me to travel the world in search of carp, and in some amazing locations. Generally though, the fishing has been in the same pressured scenarios of having to make it happen for a camera crew or trying to trick wary or cautious carp… or both! This really does teach you a lot of things, and makes you realise how so often, it can be one little change or tweak to your approach that makes all the difference. There are a lot of things that need to come together and your hookbait is obviously one vital element.
In most cases, hookbaits straight off the shelf are more than adequate, but there are times when it’s nice to have something else in your armoury. There’s also a huge amount of added satisfaction to be gained from looking down at your prize, knowing it fell to a hookbait you made yourself.

A 42lb common from the historic Lac de Saint-Cassien that just blew me away!
The mighty Cassien!

If one fish could perhaps epitomise everything I’ve talked about here, it would have to be the 42lb common I caught during our Monster Carp trip to the historic and mighty Lac de Saint-Cassien. I still can’t properly put into words the emotions and feelings I felt gazing down into the net at that fish; the experience was simply amazing! I can tell you a part of that euphoria though, was down to the fact that the fish fell to a hookbait I’d rolled myself. A special recipe for success, so to speak, was used to land that very special carp, and one that I’ll share with you now…

I’m using a 4-egg mix here as the baits I rolled for Cassien were fairly big, at 24mm-plus - if you’re rolling smaller hookbaits - say 15mm - you could make a 1- or 2-egg mix and reduce the other ingredients accordingly, to still produce a tub’s worth

Recipe

30ml Essential Cell Activator
45ml Multi-Stim
10ml Juicy Fruit
10ml Fruit Tella
10ml Raspberry Ripple
15ml Sweet Ade
Essential Cell Base Mix (1/3)
Polaris Pop-Up Mix (2/3)
4 eggs

How to roll Ali’s Cassien Custom Hookbaits

1. These are all the dry ingredients and liquids you’ll need.
2. Okay, add one-part Base Mix to two-parts Polaris Mix.
3. Blow air into the bag and shake for an even, dry mixture.
4. Next crack the four eggs into the mixing bowl like so.
5. Gently mix the egg whites with the yokes – don’t whisk.
6. Now I’ll add some Tru Colour bait dyes – firstly white…
7. …then yellow for a resulting pale, washed-out yellow look.
8. Now for the liquids – 30ml of Essential Cell Activator.
9. Then 45ml of the brilliant liquid additive, Multi-Stim!
10. Up next, the three Profile Plus flavours listed in the recipe.
11.…followed by the Sweet Ade to blend everything nicely.
12. Give the mix a gentle stir to distribute the flavours evenly.
13. A little at a time, add the dry ingredients mixed earlier.
14. At first, you’ll be able to simply mix with a fork like this.
15.…although as the paste builds, you’ll need to knead by hand.
16. You’re looking for a texture not too sticky, but not too dry.
17.…a good indicator is the paste no longer sticking to your hands.
18. A little plain olive oil on the table will help the baits roll.
19. Add the paste to a bait gun and ‘sausage’ onto a rolling table.
20. You can roll bait by hand, but a table really speeds things up.
21.Roll all the paste into baits like this – these are 24mm.
22.Boil for two minutes, making sure the water boils vigorously.
23. Air-dry the baits for at least 24 hours – one week is better.
24.Once air-dried, the preserved baits can be stored, ready to go!