9 Things You Need From a Winter Boilie

Another of our resurrected winter carping posts, today’s is 9 top tips on choosing your cold weather carp fishing bait. 

Winter Carp Fishing Bait Tips1. Easily digested – the quicker it’s digested the sooner the carp need to eat again.

2. Low flavour level (that will surprise some!) – if I am presenting baits where I know the carp to be then I don’t need high flavour content.  I have watched fish move from an area away from heavily flavoured baits when they don’t want to feed.  They will tolerate low level flavoured baits being in the swim though and eat them when ready.

3. Soluble ingredients – to assist the leach of the natural subtle attractors.

4. Minimal fat/oil content – they struggle to digest fat in the cold weather which can make them ill and certainly makes it a longer period of time before they need to eat again.

5. Subtle colour if the bird life is troublesome – speaks for itself but I prefer subtle baits when everyone else is using ‘in your face baits’.

6. Food content instead of simple flavour carrier ingredients – if the bait has been out for a couple of days before the carp are inclined to feed or indeed come across the bait I want a food parcel awaiting them – not a washed out bit of pasta!

7. Essential Oil(s) – retain taste in the bait if not picked up early in the session.

8. Easily obtained – no good getting a bait going that you can’t get hold of easily.

9. Matching add–ons – I like to be able to get matching pop-ups, pellets and the like.

Hope this helps!

Shaun Harrison, Quest Baits


3 thoughts on “9 Things You Need From a Winter Boilie

  1. Shaun Harrison says:

    Still very much as relevant to day as the day I wrote it.

    If I were to add a 10th to it I would suggest trying a very small trimmed down hook bait. I do well on heavily trimmed boilies which allow the natural food attractants to spread easily and indeed looks less dangerous than a perfectly round bait, particularly when fishing with few free baits.

  2. Paul Cooper says:

    Hi Shaun
    Don’t you find that Ethol Alcohol baits in conjunction with an essential oil, work better in the colder months, rather than Glycerol based flavours. I have always been led to believe that EA flavours disperse quicker in cold water conditions.
    Glycerol flavours are sugar based and congeal as the temperature drops, causing them to remain in the bait and failing as an attractor.
    I agree with the low flavour levels theory, not only in Winter, but all year round. If I do want to increase the flavour of one of my boilies I can glug the hook baits to get more flavour out into the lake.
    In Winter I have depended solely on my attractor as being just a low level of Essential oil, such as Black Pepper. As long you have a good base mix that allows quick leakage I find that these methods work and put the odd fish on the bank.

  3. Shaun Harrison says:

    E.A. based artificial flavour will leak out quicker but also alter during the boiling process. You are better off adding E.A. flavours after the bait is made or else you will waste a lot of what you put in and destroy parts of it as well. A lot of anglers use them because they have been told to use them over the years but I try and avoid most artificial flavours relying mostly on the attraction of natural flavours emitting from the ingredients and boosted tastes from the extracts and essential oils.

    This is one of the reasons you see human food grade spices, essential oils and concentrated extracts featuring regularly in the Quest Baits range. We use some synthetics but not many. Most flavours as anglers know them smell good for the angler but the taste is nothing like the smell. Basically a lot of liquid flavours are smells and not tastes.

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