Recommendations for Carp and Cat bait

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2007/03/27 20:45:36 (permalink)

Recommendations for Carp and Cat bait

Been using corn for carp and earthworms for cats.  However, I want to step it up a bit:)
Someone told me the simplist thing to do was to take the kids out bluegill fishing for smaller ones, and the slicing them open for cats.  For carp, I keep hearing about cornmeal, however, I have also heard something about a floating ball?  Or something....
Any tips, suggestions, bait recipes?

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    RE: Recommendations for Carp and Cat bait 2007/03/27 23:47:44 (permalink)
    worms fried in cornmeal...
    be drippin"                              
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    RE: Recommendations for Carp and Cat bait 2007/03/28 00:24:36 (permalink)
    For cats:  On the day you plan to fish (assuming you are night fishing for cats) go to the grocery store early that morning, hopefully on a nice hot sunny day, and purchase chicken livers.  They come in a round plastic container and are relatively cheap.  Take them home and lay them out on a board where they will be subject to direct sunlight, needless to say somewhere outdoors, and don't throw away the container they came in, you'll want that for later.  At some point during the day, turn them over so the other side will be exposed to the sun for hours.  The goal is to give the outside of the livers a "crust" and, after being in the sun for hours, an odor.  Depending on hook size, you may want to cut your livers into the right size chunks before beginning the curing process.  To avoid having your livers stolen by cats, or other animals, try using a narrow board with eye hooks on each end, and then use wire to suspend the board from your clothes line (hopefully the wife isn't doing wash that day).  You may have to be a little creative to get your board to hang level, just keep it up high off the ground.

    Another bait we used to use for cats was live chubs.  We would go kick a small run or pasture stream to collect 4-6" chubs.  We fished them by threading a size 4 hook through their mouth and out a gill, and then hook them through the base of their tail.  This would give them a spinning action in the water so a barrell swivel is a must approximately 12-18 inches above the bait.  Also, a drop line off the barrell swivel with a river sinker was used to keep the bait just off the bottom.

    For carp:  Simple...whole kernel canned corn or nightcrawlers fished right on the bottom.  When using the corn, throw about three handfuls out in the water where you plan to place your bait.

    I hope this helps and good luck!

    Tight lines and screaming reels
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    RE: Recommendations for Carp and Cat bait 2007/03/28 00:28:18 (permalink)
    Doughball for the carp, fish chunks for the cats.
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    RE: Recommendations for Carp and Cat bait 2007/03/28 00:33:47 (permalink)
    Do you have a recipe for the doughballs?  I heard they work, but have no idea how to whip them up.

    Tight lines and screaming reels
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    RE: Recommendations for Carp and Cat bait 2007/03/28 15:37:37 (permalink)
    There are lots of carp bait you can use...
    just a few...
    tatters and oats... instent mash potatos and oat start at home making small batches..get your flavors at the pharmacy counter.
    basic cornmeal..1 1/2cups water to 1cup cornmeal bring the water to boil turn to simmer add corn meal slow while you mix...if you want flavor add a box of jello to the water
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    RE: Recommendations for Carp and Cat bait 2007/03/29 00:40:28 (permalink)
    carpin06 has it.  When done, knead the dough into a ball, and place in an old, damp sock, then into a plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.  Keep it in those, as the sock draws excess water from the mass, yet the sock keeps the ball from drying out if kept in the bag between bait-ups.  Man, I'm gonna have to break out the heavy pole and bobbers to hook some dino-feesh.  Let that bobber sink for a good 20 seconds or so, then set the hook like yer starting your lawn mower, and hold on for the ride.  Not many better ways to occupy yourself between beers than that.
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    RE: Recommendations for Carp and Cat bait 2007/03/29 04:28:23 (permalink)
    Very nice replies...thank you so much!
    Mountian Man
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    RE: Recommendations for Carp and Cat bait 2007/04/17 10:56:41 (permalink)
    You may heard about a boilie but those don't float unless it is riged on a pop up.

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    RE: Recommendations for Carp and Cat bait 2007/04/17 11:17:35 (permalink)
    Add bakeing powder to your boili recipe and it will float!!!!
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    RE: Recommendations for Carp and Cat bait 2007/04/18 06:49:47 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: snaggy777

    Been using corn for carp and earthworms for cats.  However, I want to step it up a bit:)

    Someone told me the simplist thing to do was to take the kids out bluegill fishing for smaller ones, and the slicing them open for cats.  For carp, I keep hearing about cornmeal, however, I have also heard something about a floating ball?  Or something....

    Any tips, suggestions, bait recipes?

    Here's an article I wrote several years ago for a carp fishing newsletter.  It has some recipes I've collected over the years and should give ya a few carp baits to try out:

    Doughball 101
    Ever since I began carp fishing over thirty years ago, doughball has been my main bait.  The simplest of all doughbaits is some bread squeezed on a hook.  Adding some type of flavoring (vanilla or anise, etc.) or attractant directly to the bread or dipping it in canned corn juice after squeezing it on the hook gives you an instant sort of doughball. 
    Then there is the infamous recipe of crushed up Wheaties cereal mixed with strawberry pop.  Many types of animal and pet foods as well as breakfast cereals and crackers (Strawberry Mini-Wheats, Corn Flakes, Corn Pops, Oatmeal, Rye Krisp crackers, etc.) can be crushed up and by mixing in water, a fairly instant doughball can be created.  The cardboard tubes of biscuit dough from the freezer section of the grocery store also make a good doughbait either alone or mixed with other ingredients. 
    Occasionally, you can also find some ready-made carp dough baits and pastes available at tackle stores.  But so far, the carp have proven to be too smart for Berkley to come up with a carp formula power bait that carp will eat consistently.  So, us carp anglers are left to come up with our own power bait brews of sorts. 
    Most of the doughball I use is made from scratch with a variety of ingredients that can be gotten from a grocery store, health store, or feed store.  The majority of bait I make is cooked.  You should use an old medium to large sized pot for making the bait. 
    Through my early years of carp fishing as a youngster in western Pennsylvania, the doughball I used was usually some sort of cornmeal concoction.  What follows is a list of a number of cornmeal doughball recipes that I have collected over the years:
    Cornmeal Carp Bait
    Boil 1 pint of water in saucepan
    Mix 2 cups of cornmeal and 1 cup of flour together in a bowl
    Add 1/2 package of gelatin to boiling water (any flavor)
    Put burner on low and add 2 tablespoons (tbsp.) sugar and I tbsp. of vanilla flavor.  With a large spoon cover the surface of the water with the cornmeal and flour mixture.  A bubble of water will come through.  Cover the bubble with cornmeal.  Another bubble will come through (cover again).  over the bubbles until the cornmeal/flour mix is gone.  Stir dough mixture for about 30 seconds.  Remove pan from the stove and dump dough onto foil.  Knead the dough as soon as it is cool enough, then roll into a ball.  Wrap dough in foil, and refrigerate.  (Keeps about a week)
    Doughball Delight
    Blend together 1 cup of water, 1 1/2 tbsp. vanilla, 1 tbsp. honey, and 4 tbsp. sugar in a medium-sized pot, over medium heat.  When mixture starts to boil, slowly sprinkle in 1 cup of yellow cornmeal.  Stir mixture quickly and thoroughly for about 3 min. until it becomes a firm doughy consistency.  Remove from heat and put dough on a dinner plate.  Press the dough flat and let it cool for 1 or 2 min. then turn it over and let the other side cool.  Work the dough in your hand for a minute, then place it in a plastic bag and seal it.
    Carp’s Delite
    Boil 3 cups of water
    Mix 2 cups of cornmeal and 1 cup of flour
    Sprinkle in 1/2 package of strawberry Jell-O mix and add 1 tbsp. of sugar
    Mix thoroughly and cook until thick.  Allow mixture to cool and form into a ball.  Can be wrapped in wax paper.
    More Doughball
    1 part cornmeal
    1/2 part flour
    1/2 part brown sugar (Domino Brownulated)
    Mix well dry, add water gradually until the mixture is soft like mush.  Place in cheesecloth, piece of old undershirt, or old handkerchief.  Gather and tie with string or wire twist.  Place in a pot of boiling water (enough to cover ball of mixture) and slow boil for 20 min.  After cooking, take out of cloth, and when cool enough to handle, cut apart and knead until like soft putty (adding small amounts of water by wetting hands as needed).  In very hot weather, add a very small amount of baking powder to dry mix to preserve the bait longer.
    Bouncing Doughball
    2 cups flour
    2 cups cornmeal (Quaker)
    2 cups water
    Put into an old pot and stir into a paste.  Cook, flatten, and stir until mixture becomes thick.  Add I tbsp. vanilla, 4 tbsp. Karo dark syrup.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.  Cook, flatten, and stir until thick again.  For desired consistency, make a little ball out of the mixture, drop it and if it doesn’t bounce an inch or two, continue cooking until it does.
    Carp Dough
    1 cup cornmeal
    1/3 cup flour
    1/2 cup molasses
    Optional - add whisps of absorbent cotton - if too moist add more cornmeal.  Mold until consistency of putty.  Put in refrigerator before using at least 1 hour.  Remold before using and place in aluminum wrap until ready to use.
    1 cup of white cornmeal
    1/2 cup flour
    1 small box of any flavor Jell-O
    1 cup of water
    2 tbsp. of sugar
    Mix flour, cornmeal, and sugar together. Boil a pot of water.  Add Jell-O and cornmeal to boiling water and stir until all the water is gone.  Remove from pot and mix well.
    Cornmeal Carp Bait
    2 cups cornmeal
    1 cup flour
    2 cups water
    1 tsp. vanilla
    Mix together and put in cloth bag and cook till it is stiff enough.  When cold, mix in some oatmeal.
    Jell-O Doughball
    Bring 3 cups of water to a boil.  Add three tbsp. of strawberry flavored Jell-O, then slowly add, while stirring a mixture of two cups of  yellow cornmeal and one cup of flour. 
    Now, turn down the heat and stir while cooking for about five minutes.
    Let the dough cool thoroughly before refrigerating in a plastic bag.
    Old Timers Doughball
    Mix 1 cup white flour, 1 cup yellow cornmeal, 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese, and 1 tsp. of sugar together while dry.  Then, add enough cold water to form a stiff dough.
    Knead until well mixed, then pinch off pieces and form into balls about the size of a grape.
    While you are doing this, be boiling a quartered onion in a saucepan of water.  Remove the onion pieces when done and discard them.  Pour the doughballs into the boiling water and cook until they rise to the surface --- this takes a minute or two.
    Remove the balls with a spoon or strainer and lay them out to cool and harden.
    These pellets will keep for days and can be placed in a damp cloth before using to soften them up somewhat.
    Cornmeal Bait
    1 cup cornmeal
    1/2 cup water
    2 tbsp. powdered sugar
    1/2 tsp. oil
    1/2 tsp. extract or flavored oils
    Bring water and powdered sugar together and add flavoring and oil.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce to low heat, pour in cornmeal. Cook 10 min., stirring occasionally. Put on plate and refrigerate to cool.
    And one final cornmeal doughball recipe:
    2 cups of cornmeal
    2 cups of water
    1/2 cup of syrup (corn or Karo)
    1 tbsp. anise oil
    4 tbsp. vanilla extract
    To summarize: 
    Basically you use 1 cup of cornmeal to 1 to 2 cups of  boiled water as a  base recipe depending on how soft or firm you want the bait and what brand of cornmeal you use.  I mostly use Quaker cornmeal.  Then you go from there and add other ingredients, adjusting the dry and wet quantities accordingly as indicated by the preceding recipes.
    Note:  Cornmeal doughball can be stored in the refrigerator before use and in between use             and will usually last up to 1 to 3 weeks.  Do not freeze cornmeal doughball.  If  
    you do, it will become wet and crumbly and be useless as hookbait.
    When I started fishing carp contests at the southwestern Pennsylvania paylakes (more on these in a future article) more than ten years ago, I discovered a slew of other ingredients for making doughball that I had never considered up to that point.  These baits are effective for carp in all waters, not just paylakes.  What follows is a listing of various ingredients and a description of how they can be used in various doughball recipes:
    Polenta is maize meal (sometimes also called grits) that is coarser than corn meal, but not as coarse as cracked corn.  It is usually cooked up the same way cornmeal is.  A basic recipe consists of 1 part boiled water with 1/2 part polenta mixed in.
    Mashed Potato Flakes
    Usually I’ll start out with one cup of hot tap water (use more if you want a bigger batch) and add enough flakes so the potato mixture is just stiff enough to form a pliable ball and slowly add enough quick oats to stiffen up the mixture enough so it will adequately mold around the hook.
    You can also add potato flakes to cornmeal to make doughball.  Just add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of potato flakes per one cup of cornmeal.  Boil 2 cups of water (use more or less to make the mixture softer or stiffer) and mix in the cornmeal and flakes.  Optionally, you can add the sweetener and/or flavoring of your choice to the water before mixing in the dry ingredients.
    Another effective recipe is 1/2 part of each potato flakes, cornmeal, and quick oats added to about 2 parts boiled water with the flavoring of your choice, if desired.
    If you want to go through the trouble, you can also mash up real potatoes to make doughball.
    Wheat Germ
    Wheat germ can be found in some supermarkets, as well as health food stores and co-ops.  Here is a basic wheat germ doughball recipe:
    Use one 12 oz. jar (approximately 3 cups) of toasted wheat germ (make sure to use the toasted type as raw wheat germ cooks up too sticky) to 1 1/4 cups water or milk.  Boil water or milk, add flavor of your choice, mix in wheat germ.  Cook over low to medium heat for 5 min. or less, stirring often.
    Another recipe:  Boil 1 cup of Molasses or Karo corn syrup along with about 1/2 cup of water.  Stir in 12 oz. jar of wheat germ.  This bait will pack hard like concrete when balled up, but should slowly begin to break down when placed in water.  After cooked, place a piece of doughball in a cool or cold glass of water and watch how long it takes to breaks down.  If it takes too long, add some water to the mixture.  If it breaks down too quickly, add more wheat germ (or also flour).
    One final popular wheat germ recipe:  Heat up one 12 oz. jar creamy peanut butter, mix in wheat germ.  Add water if necessary. 
    Wheat germ doughball is a hardy bait and can be frozen and refrozen many times before going sour.  Even when sour, wheat germ doughball can still be used as bait.  This stuff ain’t cheap, so you don’t want to waste it.
    Bulgur Wheat / Cracked Wheat
    This grain can be bought in grocery and health food stores and bulk quantities may also be obtained from food warehouses that supply restaurants and cafeterias. 
    Bulgur / cracked wheat doughball has been a popular bait at the PA carp paylakes in recent years.  Cracked wheat is just whole wheat cracked into fine pieces obviously, and  bulgur wheat is steamed cracked wheat.  Either one works for doughball, but cracked wheat is cheaper.  Here is a recipe I have caught many carp on:
    Three cups hot coffee, one 12 oz. jar bulgur wheat, 6 oz. steel cut oats (optional), couple tablespoons of sugar (optional).  I usually boil 3 cups of water and add 3 teaspoons of instant coffee (regular or decaffeinated, depending on what your carp prefer) and then cook the steel cut oats in the coffee in a covered pot until softened.  Next, mix in the wheat and cook over low to medium heat for 5 to 10 min. stirring constantly.  Let cool down in covered pot.
    Alternately,  you can mix all the above ingredients together in a large plastic bowl and microwave for approximately 10 minutes, stirring the mixture at 5 minutes.
    Of course, you can add your choice of flavoring to the above recipe if you do not want to use coffee.
    This wheat doughball can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.  If it becomes too wet and will not stick together add some flour or microwave it for a few minutes.
    Another ingredient that cooks up similar to bulgur wheat is couscous.
    Soybean Meal
    Soybean meal can purchased from farm and feed stores.  It is a versatile ingredient that can be used for making both doughball and ground bait. 
    Here's a recipe I don't cook:
    I don't have a set recipe I follow but roughly I use about 2 to 3 parts soybean meal to 1 part quick oats (acts as a binder, flour or bread crumbs can also be used).  The more oats used, the more the mixture will stick together and take longer to break down in the water.  I just add the dry ingredients to up to 4 cups hot tap water (with flavoring if desired) and mix well (usually in a 2 gallon or larger bucket).  Optionally, sometimes I’ll use a 32 oz. carton of buttermilk and add water if necessary.  Alternately a can or two of creamed corn can be used.  I’ve also heard of cottage cheese being used with soybean meal.
    When I use soy meal as doughball, which is actually a flake bait or pack bait, I'll use a little more oats and make the mixture a little wetter and just mold it around the hook.  Once in the water the ball should breakdown in about 5-10 min. (in warm water, longer in cold water) into a pile around the hook and the carp will suck up the pile with the hook.  Since this is a pack bait, it can help to put a piece of cereal such as strawberry mini wheat, a few kernels of corn, or even another kind of (firmer) doughball on the hook and then pack the soybean bait around it.
    This mixture can also be used as an effective ground bait.  When using soy meal as ground bait in a line feeder for instance, I make the mixture a little drier and do not use as much oats in the mixture, so that it flakes a little quicker in the water.  You have to experiment a bit with the mixture to get it the right consistency for  your application.
    The soybean meal swells quickly once you add water or milk and also sours rather quickly, especially in hotter weather or if left in the sun.  Whether sour or not the soy seems to work well either way.  This bait can be stored in the freezer before use.
    Another ingredient that can be prepared similar to soybean meal is hogmash (or hog feed), but I have not used it for awhile since it is no longer allowed as bait at paylakes.
    Other Ingredients and Recipes
    The above recipes do not even begin to scratch the surface (as the saying goes) of carp bait possibilities.  There are many other kinds of baking ingredients, grains, sweeteners, and flavorings that can be used for making doughball.  Anything from rice to various other kinds of wheat and corn grains, some of which have been mentioned in previous NACA articles.  Some not.  The list is endless.  There are probably many more yet undiscovered ingredients that have yet to be considered, whether unusual, common, or unsafe.  I have heard that at one of the PA paylakes, carp were routinely caught on wall paper paste.  Maybe this is the carp power bait that Berkley has been trying to come up with?  Maybe not.
    The above doughball recipes should give the newcomer to carping or using doughball a place to start experimenting with bait, and for those more experienced that have used other baits, something new to try and expand on.
    By replacing the water with eggs in many of the above recipes, boilies, which are only “hard doughballs” (and overrated) after all, can be made.
    Fishing with Doughball
    OK, so you have made a few batches of doughball to try out and you might be wondering what’s the best way to fish doughball.  Well pay attention, this is where it gets complicated.  Tie on the hook (size 10 to size 1 can be used) of your choice to your main line, mold the doughball around and adequately cover the entire hook, and then cast out.  That’s it.
    I prefer to freeline with just doughball on the hook with no other weight whenever the situation permits, such as at paylakes.  If there is a strong current where you are fishing or you want to cast out further, then the minimum weight required can be used in the form of a slip sinker (egg or bell style) held in place a foot or so above the hook with a small split shot or an in-line swivel.  With a normal fishing rod (6 to 7 ft. in length), when you get a strike or a run you have to quickly swing the rod backwards to set the hook.  If you are casted out a good distance (40 or more yards), it may also help to step or run backwards a few steps when you swing to help take the slack out of the line quicker.  If you are using one of them long British rods, you can still swing to set the hook, just not as hard  as with a normal rod.  Of course, there will be times when the carp will run and hook itself, but a swift twitch of the fishing rod is still recommended to securely set the hook.
    If you prefer, float fishing is also another method where doughball can be effective.
    There are those who may want to use doughball as hookbait with a hair rig.  This can be done by molding the dough ball around the maize or boilie, etc. that is on the hair.  Alternatively, the doughball can be molded around an object such as a plastic bead, button, or whatever, secured to the hair.
    You can’t go wrong with keeping it simple though, just mold the bait on the hook and cast out.
    The main thing is to experiment with the quantities in the above recipes and come up with a doughball that is the right consistency and texture for the conditions, methods, and carp you are fishing for.  It is a good idea to keep a small amount of flour or oats with your other tackle in case your doughball is not quite right (too wet, won’t stick together) and needs some doctoring up while fishing.
    Those that are newcomers to carp fishing may have been introduced to it or became interested because of all the elaborate, hi-tech European equipment and may have never used doughball or was aware it existed.  If so, you do not know what you are missing.  I’ve given you plenty of recipes to try out.  Give doughball a go.  It’s simple and it works.
    For the experienced doughball carp anglers and all others, hopefully I’ve provided you with something different to try.
    post edited by pacarper - 2010/03/23 15:44:53
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    RE: Recommendations for Carp and Cat bait 2007/04/18 11:08:35 (permalink)
    Do you have to do anything special when you cut up bluegills? Like leave the head, gills, or carcass so it can be ID'ed?

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