The number of flavours and bait enhancers available to the angler is huge. From liquids to sprays and powders, there is an additive for all occasions.
There is no argument that these additives give you an edge but how do they work and how do you use them effectively?
Flavours work on two levels - instant attraction and long-term appeal.
Flavour on the outer edges of the bait disperses as the dosed bait hits the water, it is the initial ‘hit’ that draws fish towards your hookbait. Water-based flavours hang low to the bottom, tempting fish like carp, barbel and bream. Oil-based flavours will rise through the water and attract mid-water fish such as roach.
A large portion of the flavour must remain inside the bait, leaking slowly so that it attracts over a longer period of time. It is also important to use flavours or enhancers that boost the taste of a bait. Fish that like eating a particular offering will keep coming back for more, this means your catch rate rises.
Here's a few ways to use flavours to help enhance your feed and hook baits...
Powdered additives are best mixed with the dry
feed prior to wetting.
Low concentrate flavours can be added to the
wet or dry mix...
...or better still, they can be blended with the
mixing water for an even spread.
The flavoured water can then be used to
dampen the groundbait.
Drizzle a bait soak liquid or a natural extract
on the boilies...
... above left is the unsoaked bait and on the
right is the soaked one.
Several firms produce pump flavour sprays for
extra instant attraction
Hookbaits can also be 'glugged' in syrupy flavour
dips before casting.
Flavouring luncheon meat...
Cut a tin of meat into cubes, put it in a plastic bag and pour low-concentrate flavour on top.
Trap some air in the bag and shake it to ensure all the meat gets a coating of liquid flavour.
Fridge the flavoured meat overnight to allow the attractor to penetrate the bait.
Flavouring hard pellets...
Get a low-concentrate flavour or bait soak and squirt a teaspoon or two of liquid onto the pellets. Shake the baits to give each one a coating of liquid then leave them to stand for 15 minutes. Soem of the flavour penetrates to boost long term attraction.
Unsoaked pellets (far left) with flavour-doused pellets next to them. In the water some flavour is instantly released, more leaks as the pellet collapses. Don't pour neat concentrated boilie flavours on pellets - they could be over-powering to the fish.
Sweetcorn is a great bait when it remains unflavoured. But if corn has been used a lot on your fishery give your bait an 'edge' by adding a natural extract. Van den Eynde's Liquid Molasses is a good quality and a cheap additive
Several pumps with a flavour spray, like this Richworth one, boosts the instant appeal of your corn when it hits the water. Don't add too much flavour to the kernels as it may put the fish off!
Sieve away the maize on the maggots and squirt them with low concentrate flavour.
Rub maize meal inside the container (it stops the maggots escaping) and leave for 15 minutes.
Dust the maggots with fine maize meal - it sticks to the excess flavour and soaks it up.
Rub the maize through the baits to coat them. In water the maize leaks flavour to attract the fish.
These maggots were boosted with Van den Eynde Sweet Scopex liquid and are now perfect for bream, carp, roach and tench.