Carp bait debate – uncooked particles kill carp! Or do they?

The death of Benson, the immaculate common carp from Bluebell Lakes back in August this year ignited the uncooked particle debate once again.  You can read the Daily Express article here.

The article contains a couple of quotes.  The first come from an anonimous Web Poster;

“Tiger nuts and peanuts are not swallowed whole, they are crushed up by the throat teeth, so how can these small pieces swell anyway? We have all seen carp excrete these and other baits out on the mat. The whole nut thing is rubbish in my opinion. You would need to use sackfuls to have an adverse affect.”

The second comes from the well respected fish expert, Dr Bruno Broughton;

“I strongly suspect that in this case, given that the last couple of times it had been caught it was less than maximum weight, it was probably nearing the end of its life anyway,” says Dr Broughton.

“The claims about unsoaked dried nuts swelling up in the intestines of a fish are largely exaggerated and it is pure speculation that Benson was killed because of nuts. I don’t know all the facts but my own speculation is that it probably wasn’t the cause.”

Here’s a couple of view points from regular contributors to this Blog;

Big Ron writes;

This is a subject I have had several discussions about with a good friend of mine, Dr Bruno Broughton.  His thoughts are that it is most unlikely that nuts ( soaked or raw) would actully kill a carp, because as they swell they would have to be passed normally.  Just like us…if your full up of food you naturally go to the loo.

And here’s a point of view from the owner of Beaute, Alex Mills, who has 40 years carp fishing experience;

On several occasions over the years, I have seen fish belly up, still alive and manage to expel some of the feed that they have been munching. One particular species, sturgeon, sweep up all that they can. The nuts swell up in their bodies, this is a well known proven fact.  To prove this theory for yourself, get some fresh uncooked tiger nuts and leave them in a bucket of warm water overnight and see how much they swell. The sturgeon I found was lucky enough to express the nuts from, and after I kept keep an eye on him for a couple of hours, was ok again.

I have had great concerns about particles that are cheap and easily available to everyone. I would like to see one day that they could only be bought from a company like Hinders that do a good job in preparing particles, and not by individuals. Not all, but some people who attempt to try preparing particles themselves, sometimes rush and do not properly cook or soak them. Even Hinders say they do the best job they can do but are not experts. I have just received an email from Big Ron regarding this topic, he has spoken to his good friend Dr. Bruno Broughton.  I am no doctor and I do not proclaim to be an expert, we are all on a learning curve and learn new things every day, but I have had first hand experience of the problems caused by uncooked or not properly soaked particles. Big Ron’s friend, Dr. Bruno Broughton, says that fish will pass these through normally, as we do. I disagree.  I have had fish belly up because they cannot pass these tiger nuts and other similar particles easily. Carp do not have a stomach as we do, they only have intestines.

Hope this helps, and I would like to know for sure myself that my fish are not just for people to catch, they are my pets and I am always willing to learn more to ensure that they get the best life I can give them.

So… what’s your view?  Would you allow uncooked particles if you were a fishery owner – tell us by voting in our poll… and feel free to leave a comment below if you have a view.


3 thoughts on “Carp bait debate – uncooked particles kill carp! Or do they?

  1. Big Ron says:

    Have a look here at issue 12 … Page 8

  2. Shaun Harrison says:

    Why take a risk on something no-one seems to agree about. Surely if there is one side arguing a potential problem then we should all er a little on the side of caution.

    Whether or not Benson died due to not being able to rid itself of swollen particle is something we will never know for sure but much more likely in my opinion if particle baits have been the cause of the sad loss is through a very common contamination called Mycotoxin in nuts and Aflatoxin in other particles particularly Maize.

    Unfortunately many particle baits anglers choose to use are at the very bottom of the food chain and with the vast price difference between human grade and not fit for human consumption it is little wonder many anglers go to the pet trade to purchase what could very misleading look like the same product.

    It’s at the harvest stage where these contamimations start. If the crop isn’t moved on quickly enough and gets damp then the above mentioned toxins go to work and immediately the crop is deemed unfit for human consumption. Such is the sad state of affairs the same crop finds its way into the animal food chain rather than be destroyed.

    It has been proven that all animals and birds die in a very short space of time when fed contaminated nuts and cerial.

    Next time you hang a bag of nuts out for the birds in the garden just ask yourself are you really doing them a favour? If they are un-fit for human consumption then I will not use them for anything else.

    This is a more reasonable theory as to what led to the demise of Benson although a high particle diet isn’t good for the fish anyway. I have seen it countless times where particle fishing becomes the most effective method (usually simply because everyone follows suit) and the weight drops rapidly off the fish. Just like us a total salad diet leaves us without a lot of energy and our metabolism slows. From a fishery point of view this means a slower repair to tissue damage etc.

    As for carp being able to pass swollen particles – why make them have to in the first place?

    Carp do manage to pass all sorts through them but not always that easily. When Tiger Nuts were first used heavily on my local water the carps vents were seen to be bleeding which we had never witnessed before.

    Put something dry in a lake and it is going to soak up liquid. If that dry food is eaten straight away int is going to be soaking up internal liquid. Surely you can’t argue this is good for the fish?

    Particle baits carp love. Particle baits can create lots of problems. Particle baits can help with a balanced diet. If I were to run a fishery open to anyone then I would seriously restrict how much particle is used. I would insist on seeing the particle and would insist on overseeing the preparation where possible.

    Difficult to manage but easier than having to set a fishery up again if things go too far and the fish start to die. I will end with two words MYCOTOXIN and AFLATOXIN – BE AWARE!

  3. Shaun Harrison says:

    Hi David,

    I must be honest and say I have never researched whether or not the cooking would kill off the contamination. I’m sure the powers of Google etc would throw the answers up.

    I would be inclined to think not or else a lot of grain etc I am sure would end up cooked so as to be able to re-enter the human food chain for maximum profit.

    Personally I would rather live without doubt when it comes to food and bait. When you are sat there for days on end waiting for something to happen I would rather know my bait is as fresh and as attractive as I can make it, leaving me with out any worries that I could potentially be harming the fish.

    I touched on my previous post about the dangers of birds eating ‘not for the human food chain’ nuts etc. Still waiting for the TV programme to highlight this. It will certainly be a talking piece the following day….

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