Catching carp on bait that you’ve rolled yourself is a very exciting part of carp fishing and very rewarding. Rolling your own carp bait can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. In this article I’m going to take you through the equipment and process I have used to make Blue Oyster boilies using Nutrabaits’ base mix and liquid.
The equipment listed here will enable you to prepare a 10kg batch of finished bait in approximately 3 hours and is what I use to make my own carp bait.
- Large mixing bowl
- Weigh scales
- 1 x set of measuring spoons with 2.5 to 5ml capacity
- Large ziploc bag
- A cloth
- Large wooden chopping/preparation board
- Gardner Tackle Rolaball Baitmaster, Giant Size, mounted to a flip table
- A tray or bucket to catch baits when they are done
- 13kg gas cylinder and large triple ring burner
- Large 50 litre capacity cooking pot with lid
- Large strainer basket large enough to fill the cooking pot
- 4 x air dry trays (300 x 600mmx 40mm deep)
- 1kg capacity pneumatic boilie gun with nozzle cut to the correct size
- 1 x 50 litre air compressor
- A sack or tub of Blue Oyster Base mix (you’ll need about 6.5 kg to make 10 kg of bait)
- A bottle of blue oyster liquid (you’ll need about 80ml to make 10kg of bait)
- 60 medium sized fresh eggs (to make 10kg of bait)
- A bottle of regular cooking oil (I use rapeseed but you can use hempseed or salmon oil for extra flavour)
3-stage process to make your own boilies
Stage 1: Prepare the bait mix
1. Fill the cooking pot half full with tap water, place on the burner and light all three rings. Place the strainer basket inside and cover with the lid. Using a lid on the pot will reduce the time and gas consumed as well as eliminate draughts from the burner.
2. Connect the boilie gun to the compressor and pressurize the compressor reservoir to 100psi.
3. Place the mixing bowl on the scales, press tare and weigh 500gr of mix. Set the mix to one side
4. Empty the bowl of base mix and crack 6 eggs into the mixing bowl. Beat for 30 seconds with the fork till smooth.
5. Add 7.5ml of Blue Oyster liquid to the eggs and whisk together to fully incorporate the liquid into the eggs.
6. Set aside and check the temperature of the water. You can continue when you estimate that the water is hot enough to come to the boil within the next 5 minutes.
7. Now add the 500 grams of base mix; don’t add it all in one go, aim for 450 grams, verify the mix consistency and add the balance as required. Use the fork to incorporate the mix into the eggs.
8. The mix is ready when it is stiff enough to form a large ball, no longer sticks to your hands and is relatively easy to work. If the mix is too sloppy then the bait will lose form during the rolling process and stick to the table. If it is too firm you will find it hard to extrude the mix through the gun. My 500 grams example creates a slightly too soft mix each time. I then simply add approximately ½ a cup to the mix to stiffen it to the right level. It may take a few goes to get the consistency right each time but it is important to keep it consistent when you come to extruding the bait sausage.
9. Place the bait mix into the Ziploc bag and rest it for 2-3 minutes. This gives the mix a chance to properly absorb the liquid ingredients. It will stiffen slightly during this time. This is a great time to oil your rolling table.
Stage 2: Roll the baits
10. To oil the table, pour some oil onto a cloth and rub it into the grooves. Don’t put too much or the baits will slide and not roll properly, too little and they’ll stick.
11. Now that the mix is rested, remove it from the bag and place onto the preparation board.
12. Divide the mix in two and roll out two large diameter sausages that are only just small enough to fit into the boilie gun. Keep the ends as square as you can or they won’t both fit! If you find the mix falls apart then it’s probably too dry. If it’s really sticky then it’s too sloppy.
13. Load the sausages into the gun and screw on the nozzle. The nozzle should be cut smaller than the diameter of the rolling table grooves. Too large and the baits will be egg shaped. Too small and you’ll be making dumbbells! This may take some trial and error to get right and may be different for each mix that you roll!
14. Press the nozzle against the prep board and squeeze the trigger until the mix is squeezed out between board and nozzle. This eliminates air pockets and ensures the mix extrudes in a contiguous manner.
15. Remove the top from the rolling table and begin to extrude the sausage onto the table. Start at one end right in the middle of the width of the table. Move the gun smoothly across the table. Don’t go too close the edge or you’ll get mix in the table guide slots. Too far away is a waste of the width of the table. You have to adjust your speed according to the pressure setting of the gun which is relative to the stiffness of the mix. The stiffer the mix the slower it will extrude and more pressure will be required. The looser the mix the faster it will extrude and the lower the pressure will be required. A loose mix will have poor consistency and crack if extruded too fast. A stiff mix will extrude better and the baits will maintain their shape better when they come off the table. It’s very important to keep perfect pace when moving the gun across the table. Too slow, relative to the extrusion speed, and the sausage will tend to kink and increase in diameter (which tends to produce egg shaped baits). Too quick and the sausage will stretch and become too thin producing dumbbells! My aim is to take 5-10 seconds to extrude the sausage across the table with a reasonably stiff mix.
16. At the end of the table release the trigger, pinch the sausage off the nozzle and set down the gun.
17. Take the rolling table top. Tilt up backwards slightly to make it easier to engage the guide slots before you touch the sausage. Doing this avoids putting lines in the bait if you are not aligned first time.
18. Now gently push the top forward a few inches while pressing down and then backwards a few inches and begin to roll the baits. Progressively increase your range of movement until you are using the full width of the table. This takes 5-6 strokes.
19. Now lift the front edge of the table top, pivoting on the back edge, inspect the baits and knock any off that have stuck to the top.
20. If it looks like a disaster don’t panic! If the baits have a flat square cut end then you’ve pressed down too hard too quickly and the baits have simply slided on the table (you may also have over oiled the table). If the baits are dumbbell shaped then either the nozzle is too small or you’ve ran the gun across the table too fast. If the baits are egg shaped then the nozzle is too large or you’ve run the gun too slowly across the table. If they are egg shaped messes then the nozzle is way too large for the table grooves!
21. Make any necessary adjustments until your baits appear perfectly round.
22. Now flip the table up to drop the baits into a chute or tray and go again until the gun is empty. Try not to let the baits pile up onto one another too much or the weight of them will crush the lower ones into odd shapes! I do this by spinning the bait collection bucket each time so that when they roll down the chute they fall in a different place.
Phase 3: Boil the baits
23. Check the water is at a full boil before tipping the baits into the strainer basket. Get the baits into the water as quickly as possible otherwise there will be a difference in the cooking time. Don’t worry if the baits look stuck together in the water, give it 30 seconds and then give the basket a shake to knock the baits apart.
24. The baits are ready when all of them have floated to the surface. I use a 20mm diameter table and the baits are ready in approximately 90 seconds.
25. Lift the basket out and shake off the excess water. Gently tip the carp bait into an air dry tray and spread them out into a single layer