Particles are often overlooked by a lot of anglers but if they are used in the right way, they can be devastating.

Particles consist of, seeds, nuts, beans, peas and pulses but it really is up to you what you use in your mix. All fish love particles and if you are on a chosen venue and are starting a baiting campaign, using particles can be a very cheap way of baiting up. You can also flavour your particles, with any flavour of your choice. This is best to do when you are soaking it, prior to boiling because this is when the bait will take on the most amount of liquid and the flavour will get right into the centre of the bait. Please make sure you prepare all of your particles properly, they must be soaked for at least 12 – 24 hours and boiled for a minimum of 20 minutes depending on which particle you are cooking. There are a host of great videos on YouTube that you can watch to get great advice.

One of my favourite particle mixes, is hemp seed and maize, especially if I’m fishing weedy waters. When I introduce it to my chosen spot, the maize sticks out like a beacon showing the fish where it is. Then once they get down there, the white tails of the cooked hemp seed attracts them even more. The carp see them like water snails and start crunching on them, this in turn attracts other carp in the area as they hear it. If your spot has light weed in it, the carp will soon clear the area for you as they rip away at the roots, to get at the bait. Even if it’s murky or cloudy water, if your maize and hemp is cooked right, the maize will leak out its sugars and the hemp its oils, into the water columns, enticing the carp in to feed.

Carp love tiger nuts, they love the crunch and their sweet sugary taste but PLEASE make sure they are soaked and cooked right. If they aren’t cook correctly, when they are sat in the carps stomach, they will continue to swell up and ferment and this can KILL the fish. One thing I feel a lot of people don’t understand about carp and tiger nuts or other nuts, is that carp find then very hard to digest, if they can digest them at all. I see people baiting up with lots of whole tiger nuts but this can kill it for you unless there’s a large head of carp in the water. When a carp eats a tiger nut or any food source, it will take it back to its pharyngeal teeth (throat teeth) and crush it into two, three or more pieces. So because a carp struggles to digest them, one tiger nut will be passed as a many small pieces of nut. So in other words, 10 tiger nuts could end up as 30, 40 or 60 pieces, then when these small pieces will be crushed into smaller pieces and the whole process is carried on.

Maize can also be a devastating particle used on its own and works great as a hook bait with two or three pieces and a bit of yellow pop up foam on the hair. A lot of people just boil maize till it softens then use it. I like to soak it well, then boil it until it starts to split then mix it well so the sugar and starches start to come out. I allow it to sit overnight to cool down, then transfer them to a bucket using a strainer to separate them from most of the liquid, just leaving enough to keep covering them. With the liquid I’ve collected, I will re boil it and render it down till it thickens up adding a bit of corn flour, so you are left with a thick maize gravy that is great for a bait dip, glug or can be added back to the maize to give them a wonderful sticky finish.

Maple Peas are often overlooked or just forgotten about but carp love ‘em! When you boil them, they soften up and swell, giving you a lovely milky liquid that would work well mixed with other particles. Maple peas are great as a hook bait and you can use a small cork ball to help pop them up. I think carp love them so much because when they are eating them, they get a pop when they crunch then, with a soft juicy centre.

PLEASE NOTE: All particles that aren’t cooked correctly can be detrimental to fish and in some cases can kill them so it’s of paramount importance that you cook them correctly.