TOP all-round angler and star of many TV angling shows, Matt Hayes (pictured above landing a carp), is a big fan of particle baits. Matt shared these tips for Angler's Mail fans.
1 ‘Prepare them properly’ – says Matt Hayes
Particles cover baits from seeds like hemp right through to maize, wheat and oats. They are a cheap, effective bait solution but all of them must be prepared properly by ‘soaking and boiling’ so the fish can digest them properly.
2 Keep adding water
The list of particles is huge – chick peas, birdfood blends, black eye beans, barley, the list goes on and on – but be prepared for the amount the boiling process changes them. The heating is crucial to unlock their natural goodness but they’ll expand, get heavier and heavier and suck up loads of liquid. You have to ensure the water is topped up or they’ll quickly burn and ruin.
3 Carp favourite
A simple trio of baits that have always worked for me when carp fishing are boilies presented over a bed of hemp and sweetcorn. Lay a bed of this in the swim with a spod/Spomb and when the carp move in they’ll rip the bottom up. It is possible to flavour the hemp and corn but I like to use mine in its natural state. This approach often outscores pellets.
4 Pea pulling power
One of the finest baits on the market is maple peas. Once soaked in water for 24 hours and boilied until soft, maples are like using mini boilies. They are cheap, you can prebait with them, and the noise of them landing ‘plop, plop, plop’ acts as a dinner bell. Fish over a bed of maples with a single or double pea on the hair. Maples take flavours very well – add liquid, bag them, and freeze them ready for use.
5 Mighty maize
Try an experiment this summer when carping and on one rod fish maize on the hair over a bed of mixed particles. I’m confident that it will at least match a boilie and pellet attack… but cost you an awful lot less!
6 Tares on hairs
Traditionally used for a hook bait for roach when fishing in conjunction with hemp, tares make a mean carp and barbel bait. Take a fine baiting needle and thread two or three on a hair rig – they’re a great alternative bait.
7 Groats goodness
Particles such as wheat and groats are very cheap but are very effective for species such as bream, tench and carp. These small morsels of food get hoovered up without fear and if you watch underwater video you can see how confident specimen fish are when over beds of particles. Groats are also excellent as they give off a milky liquid that attracts fish.
8 Quick cooking
If you’re in a rush, particles can be softened quickly in a pressure cooker. Add a good sprinkle of salt during the cooking process – you can also try liquid additives.
9 Sweet success
A trick some people try when the particles have finished cooking is to leave them sat in honey and sugar to intensify the sweetness and make them more attractive to the fish.
10 Drive them nuts
Peanuts and tiger nuts are superb baits for carp – not just on the hook but as feed. And they can be instant! Carp love them so much they can appear like a new wonderbait. If you’re allowed to use them at a fishery, give nuts a try. This comes with a huge proviso – they must be properly prepared and soft to the core. If in doubt, don’t go there!