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johnplumb

Carp dietary requirements and digestive system

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On 13 June 2020 at 07:42, Yobbit84 said:

Sorry to pipe up but if you are a half decent angler you would know that bread is not good for them.

There is a 'but' in that:

all animals require nutrition, be it vitamins and minerals, protein, fats and carbohydrates.

Bread is a ball of carbohydrate, pretty much instant energy; the first nutritional requirement to be fulfilled is energy. 

 

7 hours ago, NC Angler said:

How does a carp know its dietary requirements and how does it make that decision when looking at a bait? In review of this entire thread, I believe the discussion has evolved, or devolved into a Da Vinci like cesspool of over thought. It would make sense to me that when you fish a venue, observe what the fish are eating, and replicate its natural food. Case in point: I made up a bait using the natural food in the lake and caught carp.

Any who, I do enjoy the challenge of creating (abstract) eats that carp like. I've taken a page from fly fishing: if the fish are eating mayflies, throw a mayfly. 

Carp will eat most things, or try them. 

Forget the word bait for a minute, change it for food. There you have the nutritional requirement, protein, fats, carbohydrates. 

If you can provide a food that the carp can eat long term, you are supplying (as an example) every week, then they may actively search it out. In fact, you can prove this with farm fish, throwing pellets in, they are ready and waiting, and will eat them every time. No fishing pressure, but a food.

Now swap it back in as bait.

A fair few years ago at Taverham I baited up a fishmeal bait every day in a particular spot and time. (The joys of running the place).

There were fish that were there almost every day, and feeding as soon as the boilies went in. I could drop boilies in on top of them, and they ripped the bottom up. Another area I baited regularly, the carp would feed heavily in the area, not just my bait, but tearing up the bottom for bloodworm as well.

I could fish this bait in pretty much every swim, and know the carp would take it readily if they found it.

 

Now we come to why carp may stop taking a particular boilie. You simply aren't feeding enough to get them to eat comfortably. They have become wary. They know the food is good, but if every time they eat it a big predator hooks them, stresses them out and lifts them out of the water, may start to leave it.

Prebaiting again regularly may be enough to get them feeding and taking the bait as food again, or in many anglers cases it is the reason to change baits.

 

I have tried using baits made from liquidised maggots, casters and worms. The real thing produces more fish than boilies, but small fish can be a nuisance. 

 

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On 10/08/2020 at 16:53, salokcinnodrog said:

There is a 'but' in that:

all animals require nutrition, be it vitamins and minerals, protein, fats and carbohydrates.

Bread is a ball of carbohydrate, pretty much instant energy; the first nutritional requirement to be fulfilled is energy. 

 

Carp will eat most things, or try them. 

Forget the word bait for a minute, change it for food. There you have the nutritional requirement, protein, fats, carbohydrates. 

If you can provide a food that the carp can eat long term, you are supplying (as an example) every week, then they may actively search it out. In fact, you can prove this with farm fish, throwing pellets in, they are ready and waiting, and will eat them every time. No fishing pressure, but a food.

Now swap it back in as bait.

A fair few years ago at Taverham I baited up a fishmeal bait every day in a particular spot and time. (The joys of running the place).

There were fish that were there almost every day, and feeding as soon as the boilies went in. I could drop boilies in on top of them, and they ripped the bottom up. Another area I baited regularly, the carp would feed heavily in the area, not just my bait, but tearing up the bottom for bloodworm as well.

I could fish this bait in pretty much every swim, and know the carp would take it readily if they found it.

 

Now we come to why carp may stop taking a particular boilie. You simply aren't feeding enough to get them to eat comfortably. They have become wary. They know the food is good, but if every time they eat it a big predator hooks them, stresses them out and lifts them out of the water, may start to leave it.

Prebaiting again regularly may be enough to get them feeding and taking the bait as food again, or in many anglers cases it is the reason to change baits.

 

I have tried using baits made from liquidised maggots, casters and worms. The real thing produces more fish than boilies, but small fish can be a nuisance. 

 

 Thanks Gordon. I think you're right. The fun is in finding the right combination. I don't have the luxury of pre baiting, so when I go It's both a test for the water and hedging a bet what's worked before will work here. 

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On 12 August 2020 at 23:54, NC Angler said:

 Thanks Gordon. I think you're right. The fun is in finding the right combination. I don't have the luxury of pre baiting, so when I go It's both a test for the water and hedging a bet what's worked before will work here. 

The other thing in your favour is (I presume you are in the USA), most of the carp you are fishing for are pretty much unpressured, very little angler pressure. As a result they will eat most things as so few people are fishing for them. Even then, you have 'best' baits, maize is cheap and easy to use, and boilies in America harder to get hold of, mostly imported or homemade.

 

Maize and sweetcorn are actually high in the amino acid lysine, which I believe is a feed inducer in its own right. Certainly when things are tough, I know sweetcorn, even in a temperate UK winter, daytime temperature of around 4-5 degrees Celsius, (I wasn't night fishing), was at times the go to bait, producing fish when boilies didn't.

 

Nick

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4 hours ago, salokcinnodrog said:

The other thing in your favour is (I presume you are in the USA), most of the carp you are fishing for are pretty much unpressured, very little angler pressure. As a result they will eat most things as so few people are fishing for them. Even then, you have 'best' baits, maize is cheap and easy to use, and boilies in America harder to get hold of, mostly imported or homemade.

 

Maize and sweetcorn are actually high in the amino acid lysine, which I believe is a feed inducer in its own right. Certainly when things are tough, I know sweetcorn, even in a temperate UK winter, daytime temperature of around 4-5 degrees Celsius, (I wasn't night fishing), was at times the go to bait, producing fish when boilies didn't.

 

Nick

Question, do you think UK syndicate lakes and the like are comparable to pay lakes in the US? I don't do pay lakes because they get so much pressure, and quite frankly, we don't treat our carp with the respect that Euro anglers do. 

I've recently started to use chick feed mixed with sweet corn, but I'm having trouble keeping it on the hook. My packbait skills are lacking quite frankly. ie: on my first cast, the pack flew off and my hair ended up in a tree......

Yes, I am in NC USA and most lakes have a carp population, but most people avoid carp or kill them....for reasons I can't wrap my mind around. Most lakes are not bank accessible, so you either need a boat or fish from a designated pier. You can bushwack, but it's often too difficult: thick brush, trees, swampy. Our grocery stores are a great place to shop for carp bait. As for boilies, literally less than 1% of anglers know what this is, much less a hair rig. I enjoy trying new baits, but it often leads to little catching. 

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Most UK syndicate lakes have a population of carp that are under pretty intense angling pressure, and this changes their feeding behaviour, so definitely not comparable to the much less fished lakes in the US.

As for hook baits, get yourself some maize and leave it soaking in a pot in the liquid of your choice,  this is far tougher to put on the hair and then you can feed sweet corn.

I'd love to come fish in the US, those big, wild lakes are stunning.

Trouble is I'd probably end up Predator fishing instead...

 

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True. There's one thing about fishing here in the US, there's no shortage of predator fish; sometimes called pan fish...fish that fit in a pan. Bass, crappie, bluegill, etc. I was catfishing and caught a carp; it pulled my rod and reel into the lake. I snagged with another rod, then landed the carp, I was hooked on carp ever since. 

I bought a 50lb bag of maize. When you say soak it in flavor, I get that, but I'm wondering if that means jello or some kind of extract? What I normally do is, when ready, put the corn in water and mix with strawberry jello. I'd like to boil it in a flavor, I just don't know what flavor product to use. I boiled up a few lbs of corn for a couple of hours, and it was still too tough to put on a hair. I need to be more patient with this process. 

What I'm seeing now is flavoring glycerin to be used as a goo type attractant. I think the glycerin is PVA friendly.  

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26 minutes ago, NC Angler said:

True. There's one thing about fishing here in the US, there's no shortage of predator fish; sometimes called pan fish...fish that fit in a pan. Bass, crappie, bluegill, etc. I was catfishing and caught a carp; it pulled my rod and reel into the lake. I snagged with another rod, then landed the carp, I was hooked on carp ever since. 

I bought a 50lb bag of maize. When you say soak it in flavor, I get that, but I'm wondering if that means jello or some kind of extract? What I normally do is, when ready, put the corn in water and mix with strawberry jello. I'd like to boil it in a flavor, I just don't know what flavor product to use. I boiled up a few lbs of corn for a couple of hours, and it was still too tough to put on a hair. I need to be more patient with this process. 

What I'm seeing now is flavoring glycerin to be used as a goo type attractant. I think the glycerin is PVA friendly.  

Maize is tough, soak it for 24 hours, in water and the flavours, boil for about 20 minutes, it will still be hard, so a bait drill is handy before putting it on a baiting needle. You don't need the flavour, but anything is worth trying...

 

I would be fishing for those Muskies and Northern pike in the northern states.

 

I would suggest giving @buzzbomb our American moderator a message, he can probably help you far better with American style carp fishing and ideas than I can.

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Always thought the US could be a world renowned wild carp venue for those that have the money or means to travel not much in the way of chunky mirror carp but their must be a few big commons knocking about, MacArthur park in LA did a 50 common and that place is very urban lol one for the Nash team to visit😆

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16 hours ago, NC Angler said:

True. There's one thing about fishing here in the US, there's no shortage of predator fish; sometimes called pan fish...fish that fit in a pan. Bass, crappie, bluegill, etc. I was catfishing and caught a carp; it pulled my rod and reel into the lake. I snagged with another rod, then landed the carp, I was hooked on carp ever since. 

I bought a 50lb bag of maize. When you say soak it in flavor, I get that, but I'm wondering if that means jello or some kind of extract? What I normally do is, when ready, put the corn in water and mix with strawberry jello. I'd like to boil it in a flavor, I just don't know what flavor product to use. I boiled up a few lbs of corn for a couple of hours, and it was still too tough to put on a hair. I need to be more patient with this process. 

What I'm seeing now is flavoring glycerin to be used as a goo type attractant. I think the glycerin is PVA friendly.  

After preparing the maize as people have mentioned, hand pick the best grains, drill them all out and put in a small pot.

There are endless liquids that you could use to soak the baits in, but to give you a few ideas;

Soy sauce, Oyster sauce, fish sauce, fish oil, syrup, molasses, Vegemite/Marmite. Try to use "Natural" liquids rather than flavours. Play with combinations until you find one you like.

Tinned chick peas are also a very good bait if you have those in your supermarkets.

 

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Lake Sutton, near Leland, NC has giant carp in it. Reports of 5" commons from bass anglers are common. I got snapped off by what looked like a giant. Sutton is a series of cooling ponds for a power plant, which means warm waters, healthy eco system, big fish. We get 90lb cats out of Gaston and the Cape Fear river. 

Yes, the US has massive carp throughout, and because they aren't pressured (at all) they just grow and grow. A carp team should spend 6-12 months targeting legends and big lakes. And with so many feed stores, there's an endless amount of custom baits to be made. Or, if a Euro bait company wanted to penetrate the US market, this would be an interesting venture. 

I will keep plugging away until I find the right combination. Soaking maize today with a lineup of flavors, grains, etc. 

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If your pack bait is flying off is it mixed too dry? I'm not sure what goes into packbait mixes but maybe it just needs a tweak 

If I was you I would keep the maize fairly simple, just soak it in water for 24 hours with some himalayan rock Salt thrown in and maybe a some chilli flakes ,and then boil it, and if you really want some oil use a garlic oil, who doesn't love chilli and garlic I would add this after boiling though 🌶️😭

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Just now, NC Angler said:

That's interesting you mention fish, liver, squid. Since carp are vegetarians, I'm always surprised to hear anglers using fish or squid based baits and attractants. It would be my assumption that this would attract predator fish, not carp. 

Carp are most certainly NOT vegetarian!

They will make the most of the easiest available food source at any point in time.

I'd suggest if you want to deepen your understanding of bait, do lots of reading about carp and their diet.

 

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I've read numerous publications on carp, carp habits, cypography, hatcheries, and the like. In general, carp are most certainly vegetarian. Here in the US, carp are used to clear out vegetation in lakes, keeping them clean. But thanks for the suggestion moose.

I would also go as far as saying, carp literally have zero ability to eat a squid, but maybe I'm not up to speed on their squid predatory behavior, but I will have to refresh my knowledge on this one. 

That said, I will go outside my comfort zone and make up a fish and or savory based bait. 

 

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I've read numerous publications on carp, carp habits, cypography, hatcheries, and the like. In general, carp are most certainly vegetarian, at least leaning. I've never caught a carp on cut bait; they do eat bugs however. Here in the US, carp are used to clear out vegetation in lakes, keeping them clean. But thanks for the suggestion moose.

I would also go as far as saying, carp literally have zero ability to eat a squid, but maybe I'm not up to speed on their squid predatory behavior, I will have to refresh my knowledge on this one. Sarcasm.

That said, I will go outside my comfort zone and make up a fish and or savory based bait and see what happens. 

 

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1 minute ago, NC Angler said:

I've read numerous publications on carp, carp habits, cypography, hatcheries, and the like. In general, carp are most certainly vegetarian, at least leaning. I've never caught a carp on cut bait; they do eat bugs however. Here in the US, carp are used to clear out vegetation in lakes, keeping them clean. But thanks for the suggestion moose.

I would also go as far as saying, carp literally have zero ability to eat a squid, but maybe I'm not up to speed on their squid predatory behavior, I will have to refresh my knowledge on this one. Sarcasm.

That said, I will go outside my comfort zone and make up a fish and or savory based bait and see what happens. 

 

I don't think carp are actually eating whole squid or livers etc just squid meal, squid flavoured baits and anything else anglers come up with that Contains squid or liver 

I believe The reason they like squid and liver etc, is the amino acid content I'm no expert on this but I believe it helps bodybuilders digest proteins better and faster, I am sure someone else will know and be able to explain it better than I though 😁

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45 minutes ago, elmoputney said:

I don't think carp are actually eating whole squid or livers etc just squid meal, squid flavoured baits and anything else anglers come up with that Contains squid or liver 

I believe The reason they like squid and liver etc, is the amino acid content I'm no expert on this but I believe it helps bodybuilders digest proteins better and faster, I am sure someone else will know and be able to explain it better than I though 😁

Interesting one this.

Carp will eat animal matter, bloodworm, maggots, worms and slugs etc, they can easily be digested, and are a viable food source.

In theory, meat and fish would also be good protein sources, however I think from memory carp and other cyprinids lack the enzymes to digest meat in its whole form. They can only utilise 'surface' nutrition. It gets excreted as most things do, a 'squidgy' mess.

Carp have been caught on dead fish, squid, steak, liver etc; almost every year a pike angler has a carp pick up and get hooked on deadbaits. 

 

One of the best baits going years ago at Savay was a mix of liquidised squid and liver, stiffened with semolina, then boiled. It produced numbers of fish, and still works.

I can't remember which bait company it was, but instead of using eggs was using liquidised wet fish with a bird food base.

The bait caught plenty of fish, but could not be kept on the bank for very long, there was no shelf life version.

A long while ago back in this thread I mentioned liquidising maggots and casters and putting them in baits. I was trying to give a natural amino acid profile while having the resistance to small fish. Again, it worked, but got time consuming.

I think as I understand it, Once a meat or fish is processed, either liquidising or dried and processed into a meal, then it can be utilised by the carp. This also makes making boilies easier, we can work out a decent bait containing everything the fish need, vitamins and minerals, proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

This brings us onto Fred  Wilton

The easiest way is to quote from Bait Evolution

Fred believed that carp, like any wild creature, given the choice over time, would show a distinct preference for a food source that offered it the perfect balanced diet fulfilling all or most of it’s nutritional needs. Given the choice of a food source that is nutritionally nearly perfect against various much less nutritional food sources, the carp would show more and more preference for the nutritionally perfect food source, if it was applied to a lake consistently over a period of time. Flavours were only added to the baits as a ‘label’ and not as the primary attraction source. The base mix is what the fish wanted and the flavour simply allowed the carp to identify the food source and differentiate it from other food.

 

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42 minutes ago, salokcinnodrog said:

 

Carp have been caught on dead fish, squid, steak, liver etc; almost every year a pike angler has a carp pick up and get hooked on deadbaits. 

I think as I understand it, Once a meat or fish is processed, either liquidising or dried and processed into a meal, then it can be utilised by the carp. This also makes making boilies easier, we can work out a decent bait containing everything the fish need, vitamins and minerals, proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

 

And pike on a double wafter 😬

I was talking to someone at the lake a little while ago and he was saying about proteins in winter and bodybuilders etc and how he would use carbs for energy, proteins for muscle growth but he made a good point, we all think they want protein in winter but if they eat this they get full, and slow down, so surely it would be best to give them energy in winter ie carbs like particles and they would stay more active burn more calories and then eat more making them more catchable in winter 🤔

 

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Okay, this is why I enjoy carping so much. It's not just throw a lure, soft plastic, switch, switch, throw, throw, throw. There's strategy involved, understanding the fish, its environment, habits, food sources, etc. 

Here in the US, we default to sweet flavors, corn, grains. Boilies are not a thing (mostly). I do believe they have to sense a flavor as I've seen many carp pick up my offering and spit it out, or just move on while eating. Each body of water is different and the fish won't eat the same bait; it's really strange. I can throw a Mepps spinner in any lake or river and pull a trout, but it's not the same with carp. 

I'm headed over to Tractor Supply for anything fishy, squid, something savory to see if that will improve my non-catch rate. And, I think that carp, like humans, want something that tastes good. I've seen too many carp take in a bait only to spit it out and move on. It's the darndest thing because I think they are a lot smarter than we give them credit for. 

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56 minutes ago, NC Angler said:

Okay, this is why I enjoy carping so much. It's not just throw a lure, soft plastic, switch, switch, throw, throw, throw. There's strategy involved, understanding the fish, its environment, habits, food sources, etc. 

Here in the US, we default to sweet flavors, corn, grains. Boilies are not a thing (mostly). I do believe they have to sense a flavor as I've seen many carp pick up my offering and spit it out, or just move on while eating. Each body of water is different and the fish won't eat the same bait; it's really strange. I can throw a Mepps spinner in any lake or river and pull a trout, but it's not the same with carp. 

I'm headed over to Tractor Supply for anything fishy, squid, something savory to see if that will improve my non-catch rate. And, I think that carp, like humans, want something that tastes good. I've seen too many carp take in a bait only to spit it out and move on. It's the darndest thing because I think they are a lot smarter than we give them credit for. 

I think it depends what you are using tbh, I've been using pigeon Conditioner and for a while I added a fish oil and a fish hydro liquid but it made it smell bad, and actually I think it doesn't add a lot to it and they are just as effective without tbh, and also maybe they won't like the added flavoring it might act as a repellant if you do too much,

I think the trick is to give them something they will eat and get them competing for food that way they will slip up, start with natural and then work from there or just add salt and chilli flakes from a supermarket, 

If you are fishing a place for lots of fish, use a lot of bait and get them feeding hard, 

If you are fishing for one bite at a time I would learn to make a decent packbait mix and find a way to really boost the attraction in that 

Edited by elmoputney
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1 hour ago, NC Angler said:

Okay, this is why I enjoy carping so much. It's not just throw a lure, soft plastic, switch, switch, throw, throw, throw. There's strategy involved, understanding the fish, its environment, habits, food sources, etc. 

Here in the US, we default to sweet flavors, corn, grains. Boilies are not a thing (mostly). I do believe they have to sense a flavor as I've seen many carp pick up my offering and spit it out, or just move on while eating. Each body of water is different and the fish won't eat the same bait; it's really strange. I can throw a Mepps spinner in any lake or river and pull a trout, but it's not the same with carp. 

I'm headed over to Tractor Supply for anything fishy, squid, something savory to see if that will improve my non-catch rate. And, I think that carp, like humans, want something that tastes good. I've seen too many carp take in a bait only to spit it out and move on. It's the darndest thing because I think they are a lot smarter than we give them credit for. 

Carp will pick up and spit out even definite foods, I have watched it happen with maggots, bloodworm, sweetcorn, boilies. Sometimes they come back and take them again, sometimes they leave them. 

 

We choose foods by taste, carp don't have that recognition. What tastes good to us is not always what carp want, and what they like, I'm positive I don't think tastes nice; worms, maggots, slugs... 

Add to that your hook, if it behaves differently from the free baits, carp (and other fish) will reject the bait. Carp and chub are specialists in the identification of hookbait. To some extent the more free bait, the less chance of them identifying the hookbait, or more correctly the pre-occupation they feed with less wariness. 

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5 hours ago, salokcinnodrog said:

Interesting one this.

Carp will eat animal matter, bloodworm, maggots, worms and slugs etc, they can easily be digested, and are a viable food source.

In theory, meat and fish would also be good protein sources, however I think from memory carp and other cyprinids lack the enzymes to digest meat in its whole form. They can only utilise 'surface' nutrition. It gets excreted as most things do, a 'squidgy' mess.

Carp have been caught on dead fish, squid, steak, liver etc; almost every year a pike angler has a carp pick up and get hooked on deadbaits. 

 

One of the best baits going years ago at Savay was a mix of liquidised squid and liver, stiffened with semolina, then boiled. It produced numbers of fish, and still works.

I can't remember which bait company it was, but instead of using eggs was using liquidised wet fish with a bird food base.

The bait caught plenty of fish, but could not be kept on the bank for very long, there was no shelf life version.

A long while ago back in this thread I mentioned liquidising maggots and casters and putting them in baits. I was trying to give a natural amino acid profile while having the resistance to small fish. Again, it worked, but got time consuming.

I think as I understand it, Once a meat or fish is processed, either liquidising or dried and processed into a meal, then it can be utilised by the carp. This also makes making boilies easier, we can work out a decent bait containing everything the fish need, vitamins and minerals, proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

This brings us onto Fred  Wilton

The easiest way is to quote from Bait Evolution

Fred believed that carp, like any wild creature, given the choice over time, would show a distinct preference for a food source that offered it the perfect balanced diet fulfilling all or most of it’s nutritional needs. Given the choice of a food source that is nutritionally nearly perfect against various much less nutritional food sources, the carp would show more and more preference for the nutritionally perfect food source, if it was applied to a lake consistently over a period of time. Flavours were only added to the baits as a ‘label’ and not as the primary attraction source. The base mix is what the fish wanted and the flavour simply allowed the carp to identify the food source and differentiate it from other food.

 

I can vaguely remember an article in one of the monthly carp mags going back a bit and it showed a pic of a good size carp on a mat that brought up a couple of silver fish... I kid you not. 

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In the fall when we're drifting for walleye we even get the odd carp on big diving rapalas.  They're opportunistic like every other fish; if they can catch it and expend less energy than they gain, they'll go for it.  Re: sweet vs savoury, in my groundbait I like to put something sweet (or sweet-ish) like a fruit drink or soft drink, ice tea powder, kool aid or syrups (I get expired stuff from the bar where I work), something hot like chili flake or sriracha or other hot sauce for the capcasin element, and something fishy.  I have old cans of Red Bull I've been waiting to use for years.  I use nuoc mam Vietnamese fish sauce for the fishy element, and it's also really salty, so checks that box as well.  I add it all when I soak overnight so I know what level the canner is at, then bring to a boil and simmer for an hour and it's ready.  Experimentation is the name of the game, and the mad scientist thing is absolutely one of the more attractive aspects for me.  There are a thousand hacks for hookbait, but in my experience, where I am, any sizeable piece from a decent groundbait will work on the hair.

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