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Which bait for June?

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I always like to feed more than one bait

Well I have been asked the same thing three times already this week, so thought I really should write a proper answer. Before I go any further though I can almost hear the scepticism spilling from mouths that I'm going to just turn this into an advert pushing the latest etc. Okay, but remember that if I give advice that doesn't catch fish, no-one is going to buy from me again. People forget that it is in my interest for you to catch as much as possible. So here goes...

I suppose really the answer is 'look in my bucket' as I'm going to be using what I think is the best bait for the time. Other than possible new bait or new ingredient experimental times, I'm going to be trying to catch as many fish as I can and not just using up any old bait. Now anyone who has read any of my bait articles in the past will know that it is extremely rare for me to bait up with just one type of bait, be that particles, pellet, boilies or whatever. I like a variation in the swim, lots of differing food signals leaching out.

Not all carp are turned on by the same things. One carp may go crazy for particular bait, yet a shoal mate really won't see what the big deal is but will be turned on by something totally different. This is a common thing among many animals Indeed it is common within our own race. I love spice and I love pickle yet others I know can't stand anything spicy or vinegary. I love whisky but dislike gin. Others will be the other way around and we tend to be pretty set in our ways despite taste buds changing. I hated Marmite as a kid, I love it now.

One thing that makes fish different to us is that they will often behave like a dog. Brook (R.I.P.) my ever faithful carp dog was a real fussy eater, but once eating, once her appetite had been whetted, she would eat almost anything put in front of her, including foods she had turned her nose up at only minutes earlier. 

So, it is on the back of this thought and the fact that I catch more fish by doing so that I always like to give a few different things knowing that once I manage to get just one fish to have a bit of a munch, then others will join in. again this is like a dog instinct, they might not be really thinking about feeding but once one starts the competitiveness will often kick in without them realising, for there is no better attractant than another fish feeding.

So, we are in June, what is in my bucket?

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I am back on the same blend of boilies that produced so many carp for me last summer.

2 parts Rahja Spice
1 part Questrami
1 part Spicy Spirulina

This blend worked everywhere I took it and although I never thought about it when I released each one, they all complement each other superbly. They smell right together and in my mind look right together, a nice subtle colour blend that the carp have proven they like the looks of.

I am currently fishing four very different waters. A relatively deep pit a very shallow pit, a very shallow and silty lake and a medium sized weedy and silty pool and the same bait is being used on each, the same as it was last year. I really didn’t need to swap and change things around to get those indicators working, thus back on the same bait again now.

DSC 0081Sometimes I will add pellet or particle to my blend as well, I very much do the fine tuning after constant weather watching through the week. Mostly though I adopt a boilie only approach but do like different sizes in my swim. Not just the usual 10, 15 and 20 mm but also broken baits too as well as plenty of half baits to stay in place on shelves and bars rather than roll into a pile at the bottom of the shelf like standard round bait.

The Rahja Spice is older than Quest Baits. I made it originally for fishing with Chilli Hemp on the incredibly silty Mangrove in deepest darkest Shropshire. As the name suggests, it is an Indian curry bait and sits there year after year at the side of our other biggest selling bait. Some years Rahja remains the biggest seller other years it is run a close second. The only way you get a big selling bait is for people to catch a lot of fish on it. I released it in 2005 and still people catch everywhere on it. It’s a great bait for waters that have seen everything as it’s very different to what most offer. It is also my first choice for venues that have probably never seen any of my baits before. The bait I take to countries I know little about as the fish simply accept it as a food source from day one.

So Rahja forms my main base and then the Questrami. I love this bait, it crumbles up great and that meaty, yeasty, savoury blend just sits so well at the side of the Rahja but I know there are a lot of very different things kicking out from it that the Rahja Spice doesn’t have. I had the name Questrami before I had the bait and many seem to think it is a Salami/Pepperami type thing which it isn’t. Here are some of the ingredients which go into Questrami, as you can see, there is a lot happening there…

Micronised meals
High grade liver powder
Meat and bone meal
Toasted seeds
Meat enhancers
Liquid liver
Blend of yeasts
Whole egg
Egg albumin

Finally we have the Spicy Spirulina in its subtle olive colour oozing natural attraction. This relies on freshwater shrimp, daphnia and of course the spirulina without the need for lots of other bits other than a few spices. I had made this for fishing an incredibly rich water and found that I could draw many more natural critters to my bait with this than any other bait I had used before. So not only do the carp love to eat it but the critters do too so this has the added benefit of actually putting movement into the swim too and an extra baiting of natural snails, caddis and a whole host of natural goodies that the carp also eat, crawling to the bait.

So, that is what I’m using this June and probably July, August, September and October too.


The largest in the lake fell to my blend last Saturday.


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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