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Something for the week end Sir? (more rehydrating)

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I have written at length in the past regarding re-hydrating boilies, giving them a drink, softening boilies and so on. In fact it is very rare for me to feed dry boilies on any water that has seen any amount of pressure as I know I can improve their effectiveness with just a little bit of extra effort.

I get a tad bored with reading comments along the lines of, 'if you have to soak the baits then there is too much flavour in them in the first place'. This is something that usually comes from the angler not thinking things through properly. What I actually do is add extra attraction to the bait losing nothing of what is in there in the first place.

Here is a simple step by step guide to my usual bait preparation. I am writing this on a Thursday and this morning before work I started the preparation of my bait ready for Saturday.

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Prepared hemp in excess water and boilies

It’s February as I write so I don’t intend to be feeding too much on Saturday. My usual approach is a couple of casts with a Mini Spomb clipped to the safety clip  in place of my lead and then I replace the Spomb with my lead and sail a rig out to the same area as the Spombed bait had gone. Simple but very effective and I would definitely prefer to have a little bit of bait in the swim than relying just on the hook bait or the oh so boring and obvious bag, stringer or stick presentation the fish see time and time again..

So I won’t be needing a lot of bait, but I want something to introduce to kick out much more attraction than a bag/stringer/stick approach ever can.

500 ml of Hemp (hemp seed without the shell) is poured into a container and 750 ml of boiling water (you can use less water but I am wanting to create a cloud with this bait as well – more of which later) is poured over the top and the lid to the container put into place whilst the Naked Hemp is scalded and basically pressure cooked.

Once the water is cool you will see the amount of  natural hemp oil in the excess water. It smells gorgeous and so much fresh/cleaner than hemp in its shell that has gone through all sorts of processes to prevent people growing it although I have caught so many using the juice from whole cooked hemp over the years (and still do) so don't rule it out.


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I break up 500 ml of boilies and add these to the hemp juice


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Mostly 10 mm with a hand full of 15 mm's

Another 500 ml of boilies which at this time of the year I prefer to be 10 mm with just a hand full of 15 mm’s as well. These are then added on top of the broken boilies.

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Broken boilies being poured in

Everything is stirred together and the broken boilies and the full boilies are left to soak up that beautifully attractive hemp juice. My fingers still smell really pleasant from this morning. That fresh hemp oil really does stick around.

By Saturday the 10 mm’s will be like little paste balls and the 15 mm’s will have nice soft outers with the pores stretched open to allow the boilie additives to seep through as well. Drop one in the edge and you will be amazed how long these little hemp impregnated balls keep on pumping and oozing attraction. Any fish in the upper layers will be breathing this column of attraction in. They can’t miss that there is bait below them.

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Added to soak the remaining juice up so nothing is washed away

Now for the double whammy and why I used more water than really needed. As well as this column of  attraction forming from bottom to top I also want a big visual stimulation as well as decent leakage of stimulants around the actual baits. This is created by adding Maximum Action Pellets and/or Micro Feed in equal amounts to soak up any remaining liquid. It is whilst these are being added that I finally mix and stir everything in together.

Well, there you have it. It might sound like a lot of messing around but it really takes very little preparation time so long as you remember to put 10 minutes aside a couple of days before you go so start the soaking process off. Besides, it is worth a little bit of messing around to keep those indicators flying.

On a final note to those who keep ranting about washing flavours out – you will perhaps now see that my nice soft baits are far from washed out. Everything that was in them in the first place is still there with added extras.

I think I could be giving a few too many little edges away here. It is rare for me to feed dry boilies these days. The above process is what I am currently using. I have done similar over the years utilising lake water or bottled water (flavoured and normal). I am in no doubt whatsoever that carp definitely prefer to eat soft wet baits than dry hard ones. Particularly the older ones with teeth problems and never more so than during the long cold months of winter.

Best fishes
Shaun Harrison


About the Author: Shaun Harrison

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Quest Baits boss Shaun Harrison has put over 40 years of experience into developing his range of carp baits ” This bait range is the culmination of the bait knowledge I’ve gained throughout my carp fishing career, a journey which started in the 1970’s. It has truly been a long and winding road – frustrating at times, fascinating and rewarding at others….. Our range you’ll only find proven baits, the ones I use myself 

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