PARTICLE BAITS are often ignored in favour of boilies and pellets - but they can be devastating, if used correctly... which is explained carefully here.

Particle baits fan Keith Jones wrote this article for the Angler’s Mail website, looking at why and how they score so well for carp at the this time of year….


IF YOU take a look below the surface on just about any stillwater at the moment you’ll find it’s absolutely teeming with life.

On warm sunny days sometimes it’s as if the carp are swimming around in a soup and their senses must be overloaded with the ‘smell’ of food.

This could be one reason why some anglers have been experience patchy springtime results.

In some cases, baits that were working effectively just a few weeks ago, now seem to be a lot less effective and in some cases they are being completely ignored by the fish.

In the case of boilies, pellets and meat baits, boosting attraction with flavours and other additives can sometimes prove effective.

But as the water warms, high levels of artificial attractors can sometimes work against us and we again find ourselves struggling for a bite.

Just a handful is enough

Just a handful is enough

This is, in my opinion the time when particle baits really come into their own.

The natural juices, sugars and oils leach from the baits they will permeate the water from the lakebed to the surface creating a curtain of attraction from the lakebed to the surface.

It seems almost impossible to overdo this more ‘natural’ form of attraction; a well prepared particle mix will usually stop even the most lethargic disinterested carp in its tracks.

Smaller amounts in margin traps

Although particles are often thought of as a mass bait and best used in quantity I prefer to use much smaller amounts to set my springtime margin traps.

Just a handful of hemp or mixed seeds dropped onto a known patrol route is all that’s required.

I often use hemp as individual food items and carefully scatter single seeds a meter or so apart, this gets the carp grubbing and searching.

Each time they find a tasty food item they immediately up end and move off in search of the next one. The carp don’t seem to have any trouble finding them.

Observations have proven to me that this search and feed behaviour also dramatically increases the effectiveness of our rigs, as the fish moves, its instantly nailed!

It’s the same with tiger nuts, just a single hook bait and half a dozen scattered freebies is all that’s needed to induce a bite.

Keith Jones with one of many he's caught in the margins over a scattering of bait.

Keith Jones with one of many carp he’s caught in the margins over a scattering of bait.

Preparation – the right way

To ensure maximum attraction, particles have to be properly prepared. This usually involves a lengthy soak in water followed by a short boil.

The correct preparation and cooking process is also vitally important to ensure the baits are safe for carp to eat.

Uncooked baits can swell after they have been eaten and can cause problems for the fish.

Adding sweeteners during the soaking process will massively boost attraction and give the baits ‘more-ish’ appeal.

During the spring and early summer, adding salt at just the right level will also add appeal. So there are plenty of ideas to experiment with.

If you are unsure about the preparation of particles, your local tackle shop should be able to provide you with advice, the internet is another good source of information.

As with all aspects of carp safety, if in doubt the golden rule is don’t do it!

These days there are plenty of ‘ready to go’ particle baits available in the shops.

I use Nashbaits that are all tried and tested fish catchers and provide confidence for anyone new to particles. Fish well and you are virtually guaranteed a result!

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