Given the recent surge of interest for carp fishing articles in this column recently, I've decided to write an article on making one of the hallmark baits for carp fishing: the iconic carp boilies.
Even though carp are usually very wary creatures, they are just suckers (no pun intended) for brightly colored and well favored carp boilies, even though the boilies look like nothing they would eat in nature. They are hardish round baits which will last in the water due to being boilied, hence the name "boilies". The added hardness brought about by boiling prevents little panfish from stealing them. Additional flavors, and colors are also usually included in commercial sprays and mixes. The roundish shape and the hardness of the baits allows the baits to be catapulted with fairly decent accuracy from a slingshot. Boiled baits can also be left longer in the water without being dissolved or weakened as to fall off the hook, as bread or dough balls are apt to do.
Above: Using a few ingredients, it is quite simple to make decent carp boilies at home.
With boilies, you have the choice of buying them (almost every tackle shop or sporting goods store has them in stock) or making your own. If you are just starting out carp fishing, I recommend that you buy a few jars from a trusted supplier. After getting the hang of catching carp and baiting your own hooks, move on to commercial mixes that are supplied by tackle shops, and try making your own boilies. If you get a lot of success with those, then feel free to make your own concoctions, based on your experiences.
Here's a very simple recipe that I often use. It's cheap, simple, and uses stuff that you probably have lying around in your cupboard.
1. 1/2 cup of grits
2. 1 cup of peanut butter
3. 1/4 cup of flour
4. 2 slices of white bread
Simply mash it together in a nice cohesive mix. Blast it in the microwave for 30 secs so it is hard and then and form a ball around your hook.
Even in the tiniest pieces of flowing water, there seem to always be fish. The bass in these small creeks may be small in size compared to those found in lakes and reservoirs; however, they still are extremely fun to catch. In addition to catching bass, the process of hiking through the creek and exploring the wild is also enjoyable. The main species of bass caught in these creeks are smallmouth, although largemouth bass and the rare spotted bass are caught occasionally.
Above: A smallmouth bass that was caught in a creek that you could jump across. With ultralight gear, it even put up quite a fight.
The best lures and minnows for catching these creek smallmouth bass are micro jigs (1/8th oz or less), small soft plastic tubes, live earthworms, incline spinners (1/8th oz or less), live minnows, and live crawfish. If the creek is large and holds large bass, it may be possible to use small live sunfish as well. Depending on the weather conditions, time of day, and the specific environment of the creek, the bass will prefer different lures, so it is possible that you will have to experiment a little bit before you start catching fish. The best locations to catch bass in creeks are cover (fallen logs, rock piles, etc.) and deep pools.
I'm pleased to announce that we have gained a new columnist, Ved. Ved is an avid outdoorsman and specializes in creek and river fishing, usually with an ultralight spinning setup. He'll just about outfish anyone for creek smallmouth, and is also good with catching dinner-plate sized panfish and pond bass.
He'll put his years of experiences on the water to good use on this blog, churning out a lot of interesting and useful content. I've gotten many emails from you guys wanting some more creek fishing content, so here it is!
The addition of a new columnist will increase the amount of content on this blog, making it a better experience for all. We've grown from just 10 people viewing this blog weekly to hundreds. If any of you want to submit an article, please Contact me and we'll go from there.
Tight lines from Ian
Hi. I am Ian, an extremely avid bass fisherman living in Howard County, MD. I like to bank fish and fish at local ponds and small creeks. I will explore budget friendly options for people to use in this blog. I hope I can teach you something.