The Liquid Attractor - Mark Pitchers
When it comes to choosing a Liquid Food for your fishing, it can be tricky to know exactly what you need and how to apply it in order to get the most from it. Selecting the right Liquid Food will depend on a number of variables; from the type of bait you are using to what you are trying to achieve and the time of year.
Hopefully, this short, insightful piece will help you when it comes to selecting the correct liquid for your angling!
Thick or Thin?
There is a whole host of liquids available nowadays with various different viscosity levels. When it comes to choosing my liquid, I take into consideration what I’m going to be putting it on.
If for example I want to add it straight to boilies and I want a slow release of attraction I will opt for a thinner liquid, this is so it can penetrate into the bait and soak deeper into the core of the boilie itself.
One thing worth mentioning is that when I do soak my baits, I will leave them for a minimum of 24hrs to really draw that liquid into each individual boilie, giving them a shake about a couple of times during the process. This will provide a slow release of attraction over a long period of time. If I want an instant intense release of flavour, I will give the hook baits or PVA bags a dip in a thicker liquid like Roasted Nut Compound, although this will breakdown quicker, it will give a much more potent release of food signals!
A good thing about using more dense liquids is you can actually water them down, If I want to coat my free offerings in it, I will often add a small amount of warm water to the liquid which will reduce its density, enabling it to soak into the baits outer skin.
Oils can be subjective in cold water conditions, a lot of people won’t use them, because they ‘congeal’, but if you use the correct oil for the time of year than can be a fantastic edge. When the water temperature dips below 10 degrees Celsius, I will avoid using fish oils because these will start to congeal when entering cold water, but also with the carp’s metabolism starting to slow down it also takes them longer to digest these oils, which in return makes them feed for a shorter period of time.
A perfect oil to use in cold water conditions is Hemp Oil, this is a great additive to use at any time of year and can serve a number of purposes. When including it into your bait mixes or by injecting into solid PVA bags, you will get a slick on the spot, this will then fade when all of the bait has settled. But, once a fish comes and feeds on that baited area, it will often move that bait around and kick up some of the oils sat in amongst the bait, giving you a slick on your spot, this is a fantastic indicator that you have fish feeding on you and hopefully a bite will be imminent.
The inclusion of Hemp Oil can often help draw fish down to your spot too, as the oils start working up in the water column, a passing fish will come across that scent trail and drop down to investigate what’s going on. So, even if the fish aren’t necessarily looking to feed, the slick of oil coming off the bait may stimulate them into doing so.
Matching the offerings
When I soak my bait, I will always try to choose a liquid that compliments that specific bait, whether it be boilies, pellets or bag mixes; I will use something that really compliments that bait. For example Pacific Tuna boilies, I would use a meaty/fishy liquid like the matching bait booster or a personal favourite of mine is the Hot Chorizo Compound. Whereas with the Live System, I will use something a lot sweeter like the Amino Blend 365. I find using a liquid that matches my bait of choice can really enhance those flavour levels which gives me a lot of confidence for getting extra bites.
I have always been a big believer of making my hook baits stand out from the crowd, but I see a lot of people go about it the wrong way, especially when boosting pop ups. I make sure that when boosting my pop ups, I use a dedicated hook bait booster. These are a lot thinner in consistency but are extremely pungent to the smell, a lot more so than a liquid food would be.
The reasoning behind using a hook bait booster serves a couple of purposes, it will help penetrate the hook bait easier because its thinner, which will give you a strong release of flavour over a long period of time. I like to glug these gradually, adding a little bit at a time and then allowing them to dry out with the lid off to avoid affecting the buoyancy levels of the bait
Whereas with a thicker liquid food, it will barely penetrate the outer skin of the pop up/wafter, and if it does manage to, it will affect the buoyancy of the bait because the liquid is so dense. The hook bait booster liquids I choose to use are also PH balanced, which can often stimulate the carp into feeding, really focussing in on my baited rig which I’m sure gets me extra pickups over an out the pot hook bait would. This is even more important when fishing these hook baits as singles.
One of the things I like most about the inclusion of liquids at this time of year, is that you really don’t need a lot of bait, sometimes just a single mesh/solid bag is all it takes, as long as its oozing with that liquid attraction it can often be more enticing to the carp than a big bed of bait, and because its only your small food parcel present you will definitely get much quicker bites.