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    I met Tim about 5 months ago and it wasn’t long before we started talking about our passion for carp fishing.  Tim had been an angler all his life but in the last two years he had set himself a mission to catch a 20lb+ carp.  However, he had been struggling to reach his goal and had always been a few pounds under that target weight.  With that in mind I decided to try and help Tim reach that target weight and we put together a plan.

    After discussing the different types of ingredients and flavours he could use Tim set off to Merrington Carp Fishery in Shropshire for a three night session in September in anticipation of landing his target weight.

    Just 6 hours later I got the phone call I had been waiting for….  Tim managed to slip a 22lb mirror over the net cord!  This was a massive achievement to happen so early on in the session and gave Tim the confidence boost he needed.

    The hook bait was AS1 rolled by CBS who source a number of raw ingredients from Target Baits.  To prepare the hook bait I used a glug with a Sweet Almond taste to cover the baits with first, before covering the boilie with Active Boost - AVT24.  This takes about a week to process and the end result is a boilie coated with a thick layer of Active Boost - AVT24 which is a ticking time bomb of goodness.

    From personal experience I have used this successfully and have smashed waters apart by using single hook baits with no free offerings.  This just goes to show the pulling power of these hook baits.












    Product Development, Target Baits

  • Carp Baits - Colour Powdered Additives

    Carp are reliant upon their senses as much as humans and for very similar reasons. Carp use their senses to find food (to hunt) and to spot danger (to survive). However carp, as with many fish, are far more reliant upon these and other senses then we are because their need to be independent is far greater than ours. Carp do not have the luxury of a home made sunday lunch delivered to their door and the element of danger is always evident. Predators are a constant concern and with every meal fish run the risk of being hooked by an eager angler. Imagine if these were the dangers we were faced with every time we left the house or with every meal we sat down to eat - how long would you spend inspecting your sandwich before you took a bite?

    For the purpose of this article we are going to look at what fish can see, where they can see it and why it is important for anglers to add or change the element of colour in our baits. This will hopefully give you a better understanding of the importance of coloured baits. Most of the information presented in this article is of course theory based, but is taken from experience and scientific theory gathered from well respected sources.


    What Can Carp See?

    It is a shared theory amongst anglers and marine biologists alike, that Carp cannot only see the same full spectrum of colour that humans can, but also Ultraviolet light. Due to the outcome of many experiments it is thought that Carp have exceptional vision in dull conditions. The eyes of a fish develop to suit their environment and as they spend their entire lives underwater the clarity in which a fish can see underwater will inevitably be much greater than ours. The same works vice versa as you would expect.


    Field Of Vision 

    Due to the position of a Carps eyes, their field of vision is a lot wider than you may initially believe. Fish have two small blind spots - one in front of their nose and one behind their tale. Following on from the first blind spot in front of the nose, Carp has have an exceptionally high definition area of view that stretches back towards the pectoral fins. The girth of the Carp will block a portion of area from the carps vision, but at this point the carps line of sight has reached a low definition status. It is often concluded that a carps high definition sight is superior to ours because they live in such a challenging and different environment to our own.


    carp eyesight


    Value of Sight

    Carp do not rely solely on sight to locate food. They can smell and taste, and are able to detect the smallest fluctuations in sound wave frequencies due their lateral line, which connects to their inner ear. However, sight still plays a big factor in how Carp locate their meals.


    Blend In Or Stand Out?

    Colouring Carp baits has been a weapon in a Carp anglers arsenal of tricks for many years. It is not a revolutionary idea to add a touch of colour to a base mix or coat a hook bait in dye, however colouring baits has stood the test of time and is still one of the first elements an angler will consider before preparing their bait. There are two factors to consider when colouring a bait which is the outcome of the following question - Do I want my bait to blend in or stand out? On some high pressured waters, Carp anglers often try to match their base mixes to the colour of the lake bed in order to a) not bring too much suspicious attention to a large volume of bait (a groundbait or base mix) and b) in order to lay a plain backdrop from which their hookbait can stand out. An angler will often use a coloured hookbait (often bright) or in some circumstances ‘tip’ a bait with a bright colour. In the creation of these hook baits powdered additives are sometimes used over liquid additives depending on the results required.


    Effects On The Light Spectrum In Water

    How far light travels through water, or more specifically how far colours of the spectrum travel, is not a factor most Carp anglers will ever need to consider as all colours of the spectrum will travel at least 15ft. As the table below shows, unless you are fishing in depths more than 15ft you can be assured that the colour of your bait is still visible.


    Although the colours do not travel further than their stipulated distance, conditions can play an additional factor in the equation. Also remember that their eye sight underwater is far superior to ours and although the colour may not be visible, it doesn’t completely disappear.


    Red Is Dead… Fact or Theory?


    Red, is not visible in depths over 15ft so don’t going throwing all your red dyes away and pledging your angling allegiances to all baits blue just yet. There is one major fact to consider and that is what is the most the popular colour of bait found in most angling stores today? Yep the colour red! This proves that we shouldn’t always base our angling approaches around scientific fact, but sometimes the best approach of all is to base our attack on experience and results.


    Powdered Colour Additives

    When colouring baits you need to decide whether a powdered additive or liquid additive is required. In the majority of cases, if you are dying a substance that is already in a powdered form then use a powdered additive.


    Over at Target Baits we have a selection of powdered colour additives in handy 1 and 2 kg portions. Remember, as with most additives, you do not need much to get the desired effect. Below is a small selection of the colouring we have available in our online store for purchase. 


    Monster Red
    Titanium White




    At Target Baits we stock a wide variety of carp fishing baits on our website such as premixes, colourings, groundbaits and particles.


    Please visit our online carp fishing store for an enjoyable shopping experience and quick delivery.

  • Carp Baits - Liquid Additives

    Since the very birth of angling, fisherman have been searching for vital edges in order to trick wary carp into taking their baited hook. One such edge is the flavouring of hook baits.


    Fish, carp in particular, are fussy creatures when it comes to food, who like humans, have keen taste buds and a preference for certain smells and tastes. Some of these invoke an urge to feed when fish are not particularly in the mood for feeding. Over time this has given anglers an edge when those around them cannot sniffle out a bite! Think out it in a similar way to how the smell of a double cheeseburger has an uncanny way of releasing chemicals from the brain to tell the body we are hungry and need that burger when in reality we are still full from our Sunday lunch.


    On pressured waters, when whittling out a big 40 or 50 lb’er is a tricky task, hook bait additives have become the norm amongst the angling elite. Additives, liquid additives, in particular, are now a staple part of the assortment of baits used by any serious anglers. The big decision these anglers now have to make is not whether or not to take liquid additives with them, but more so, which ones they should take. Many anglers are spending days, and sometimes weeks, on the bank, so knowing your hook bait has an additional attractant gives anglers that extra confidence to leave a baited hook out for hours on end.


    Liquid Additives vs Powdered Additives

    Both liquid and powdered additives are superb additions in their own right, but they each have their own strengths and understanding when you may choose a liquid additive over powdered one will add big advantages to your angling knowledge.


    Liquid Additive Carp Baits - Target Baits


    Advantages of a Liquid Additive

    Because of their form, liquid additives can be applied to coat a bait in a matter of seconds. Baits can be dipped into thicker ‘glug like’ liquid additives and cast out in reasonably quick time. However, the biggest advantages of a liquid additive can be gained when effective preparation and planning is made, pre trip. When baits are left to soak in a liquid additive, for hours on end, they absorb all of the flavouring, and in some cases colouring, which means the hook bait transforms, completely taking on an enhanced new flavour - similar to a joint of beef being left to marinade for a few hours.

    Contrary to the ‘not so’ popular belief of the ignorant non-angler, carp do not just eat everything in their path. The chemical sensitive cells that line their mouths tell fish what food is good to eat and what is not. Most fish, including carp, have a highly developed olfactory system which allows them to sense any minute alteration in the concentration of the lake water.


    See No Evil, Taste No Evil, Smell No Evil!

    Most people on the planet would know that fish can see and taste, but did you know that carp, amongst other fish, can actually smell! This fact is a game changer for carp anglers looking for vital edges. The importance of liquid additives for taste and visual effect now takes on a 3rd element and liquid additives are perfect for adding all three.



    It’s not only hook baits that benefit from liquid additives, spod mixes are a great way of introducing larger amounts of additives, although often concentrated to ensure the enhancements are not too overpowering due to the volume of additive added.


    What’s On The Market?

    There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of different liquid additives on the market in a variety of colours, tastes, smells and viscosities and it’s easy to get carried away. Before filling your shopping basket with an array of bottles, it is important to remember that you should firstly thoroughly test them out in a controlled environment. There are many deciding factors when it comes to catching fish and sometimes it is simply that the fish simply wanted to feed more so than on other days. With this in mind, we recommend testing one or two new liquid additives at a time and giving them at least 3 or 4 tests before making your conclusion.


    Carp Bait Additives - Target Baits 

    It’s a complicated business, and here at Target Baits we have removed a great deal of the testing phase from the equation. Our select group of expert sponsored anglers have tested our liquid additives in numerous conditions and only those they felt gave their baits the real edge are added to our range.


    Target Baits Liquid Additives


    If you haven’t checked out our full range of carp baits yet head over to our online store where you will find additives, base mixes, particles, ground baits and lots more!

  • Carp Fishing Baits - Powdered Additives

    Carp bait additives mainly come in two forms, powder and liquid. It is the former that we are going to discuss in this month’s Carp Baits series, detailing what a powdered additive is, what it is added to and why; also, when you would use them.


    Powdered additives are installed firmly in the memory of a lot of angling sessions and it is their pungent smell that often triggers that memory back again when we catch a whiff of a strong smelling additive either on the bank or in our second homes (the tackle shop!). Personally every time I pick up a piece of garlic bread the memories of mixing up a base mix with a garlic powdered additive come flooding back!


    Getting the right overall mix is both an art and a science. We angling bait companies have spent time and money ensuring that the theory behind the creation and application of our baits is one that science agrees with. That’s step 1. Step 2 relies on you, the angler. How baits are mixed is often at the preference of the angler, our guidelines are there for good measure, but proof is in the pudding and experimenting with different quantities, colours, flavours and smells of bait is what makes angling so exciting and proves that angling really is an artform.


    So what is a powdered additive?

    Simply put, a powdered additive is an attractant. It exists in powder form and will enhance one of the following features of your bait;


    • Colour
    • Smell
    • Flavour
    • Consistency
    • Nutritional Value


    What would you add a powdered additive to?

    Powdered additives can be applied to a number of carp fishing baits, but generally speaking because of their fine powder consistency they are added to groundbaits and base mixes. They are often used to coat hook baits such as luncheon meat and can be used to enhance boilie mixes in cases where powder is preferred to a liquid additive.


    Why would I use a powdered additive?

    Base mixes are often just that, a base, in which further additives can be applied in order for the angler to create a bait with a desired appearance, smell, taste and consistency. In the angling world no single bait is king forever and as seasons change the dietary requirements of fish, and angling conditions, change also. This demands a varied approach to angling baits and what better way than to give anglers the ability to alter their baits as and when they require. In winter months and poor light conditions brighter white or yellow hook baits can often outscore darker ones and having the ability to bring a selection of different colour baits to the bank increases your chances of getting it right on the day. There are numerous situations when a particular colour of a bait can outscore others such as matching the colour of your base mix to the mud on the lakebed, or vice versa. Fish have eyes, they can see, it may not be their strongest sense but it is not one to be ignored.


    powdered additives


    The smell of a bait is often one that can entice a fish to feed and we’ve lost count of the number of times an angler on the bank has pulled out a huge carp straight after changing baits with different smells - it can’t be coincidence. A similar train of thought can be applied to flavours and often the two go hand in hand.


    The final two factors to consider when deciding why to use a powdered additive would be bait consistency and nutritional value. Consistency does not tend to change with additives, but there are minor variations in how course an additive can be so this is a factor to consider. Finally nutritional values are one of the most overlooked benefits of an additive. It is strongly believed that fish are conscious of their diet and will often seek out baits that offer a higher nutritional value and if you do not believe that then what harm is there to using one? We want our fish to be looked after well so that they can grow into the big 60/70lb carp we dream about.


    What Powdered Additives Are On The Market?

    There are a multitude of powdered additives on the market today from a variety of brands. Walk into any tackle shop today and ask the assistant to show you the additives section and you will find an Aladdin's cave of smells and flavours. Here at Target Baits we provide a wide selection of powdered additives to help you enhance your baits. Below is just a small selection of our powdered additives.

    Vanilla Flavour Powdered Additive

    Fenugreek Seed Powdered Additive

    Garlic Powdered Additive

    View our powdered additive range or view our full carp baits range. If you need further assistance, contact us for more information.

  • Carp Fishing Baits - Nutrient Premixes

    Most of us keen anglers spend the majority of the week grafting away in our day jobs. The monotony is briefly broken by a recurring daydream, one in which we imagine spotting the shadows of a huge carp from the lake bank. This followed by line screaming from the spools of our baitrunners as a lake monster is fooled by our carefully positioned bait trap. It is often the thoughts of the angling weekend pursuit that gets us through the day and we spend much time meticulously planning out what lakes we visit, what spots we may catch from, what set ups we will use and, more often than not, what bait we will use.

    Bait preparation plays a huge part in every carp anglers armoury, but how much do we really understand about the bait we use and what makes it attractive to the fish we seek to catch? Look beyond the fancy branding and catchy sales messages and slogans and ask yourself why you have chosen the bait you have. If the answer is simply “because it smells nice” or “my friend says it works” then does that really justify spending 48 or 72 hours on the bank pinning all your hope and faith in a bait just because it smells like strawberries!

    Understanding the principles of carp baits and what they are made from adds a logical theory to their application and boosts your confidence as you can apply a sensible reasoning for using the bait you do.


    Over the coming months, Target Feeds will be breaking down nine of the foundational elements of carp baits covering nutrient premixes.


    The Nutrient Premix - What is it?

    A nutrient premix is a nutritional additive added to a base mix in order to provide a boost of attraction. They often contain a carefully balanced group of vitamins or amino acids that aid fish health and growth.


    What Should I look For In A Nutrient Premix?

    Nutrient premixes work well in all conditions, but we have found they produce excellent results on high pressured waters when the target fish are more selective over their feed choice. Certain air pressures and times of year can dictate that fish must seek out baits with nutritional value. Fish have brains just like all creatures and are wiser than we think when deciding what foods to eat. It is often debated that carp consider their dietary requirements when feeding. Results from many anglers lean towards the conclusion that fish, especially carp, prefer a bait that assists and benefits them from a nutritional perspective.  A lot of successful carp baits such as pellets and boilies often contain a carefully balanced mix of amino acids and/or vitamins for this very reason and nutrient premixes should be no different.


    What Nutrient Premixes Are Available?

    Believe it or not, there are not many Nutrient Premixes on the market. Many base mixes contain nutritional ingredients, but this does not offer the angler the control over what nutrients to add and in what quantity. In the angling world, it is often the smallest decisions that offer the greatest reward therefore control over the addition of nutrients to base mixes can offer fantastic results.

    At Target Baits, we have worked hard to produce three carefully balanced nutrient premixes. The results of years of research and hours have helped us develop our latest range below;

    VitaB - is a carefully made balance of nine B Group Vitamins which help support immune function, wound healing, tissue repair and overall health.  




    Amino - S4 contains a blend of four amino acids presented in the correct proportions to aid growth and development.  


    Amino - S4

    Active Boost - AVT24 is a carefully made balance of four amino acids, 14 vitamins and six trace elements on a calcium base to help support immune function, wound healing, tissue repair and overall health while aiding growth and development.  


    Active Boost - AVT24

    Our bank side research produced very positive results. We were not surprised to see an indication that larger carp were developing a preference to the base mixes with nutrient premixes added.  We were amazed to see that over the course of time larger carp were seemingly forcing smaller carp out of the swim in order to feed over the nutritional baits.

    To see a full selection of our Nutrient Premixes and our complete carp baits range please visit the Target Baits Store or contact us on 01948 880598 for advice on our product range.

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