A microwave oven is a useful gadget for the carp angler to have around. Not only is it handy for last minute bacon butties before a fishing trip, it’s a nifty tool for making carp baits quickly and simply.
Instead of boilies, try microwaved baits for a change. They may not catapult as far as boilies, but microwaved cubes have certain advantages over ordinary round boiled baits. In particular, they have a wide buoyancy range which means the tactical presentations available are many and varied.
Start by following the same method you would use for making ordinary round boilies. In other words, add flavour and colour to eggs and then mix in a dry powder base mix of nutritional and tasty ingredients. Aim for a slightly wetter mix than normal since the microwaving process tends to dry out the bait more than boiling. Dry choice Make your own base mix out of your favourite dry ingredients or use shop- bought bait mixes. Birdfood and fishmeal recipes make good microwaved baits. Loaf or brick You should end up with a big ball of paste which you would normally roll into sausages to make ordinary boilies. But for microwaving you’re after a loaf or brick of bait. Pack it into a loaf-shaped baking dish – a glass Pyrex dish that holds one pound of mix is ideal. How long? Place the container of bait in the microwave oven to cook. Different mixes require different cooking times. For instance, milk protein based mixes need far less cooking than coarser birdfood mixes or fishmeal based ones. Simple semolina and soya flour mixtures require slightly more again. In other words it’s trial and error before you find the right cooking time.
A good starting point for one pound of mix is 10 minutes on medium power. Remember, the longer you cook the bait the more it dries out — resulting in a much higher proportion of floating baits. Cool or frozen Turn out the cooked loaf and leave to cool. When it’s just warm to the touch cut it into cubes. They dry out after a few hours — ready for immediate use. Or freeze the uncut loaf until you need it. Spike and soak The cubes are ideal for soaking up liquid attractors. They absorb more than ordinary boiled baits. Drench them in Multimino, liquid vitamin/mineral preparations, flavours or sweeteners.
Crust and crumb
When you cut the loaf into cubes you’ll see that the outside of the cooked loaf is harder than the inside. This isn’t in any way a culinary catastrophe but part of the overall plan. Cubes cut from a microwaved loaf have a wide range of buoyancies. Some float, others sink while others have almost neutral buoyancy. The soft centre cubes are far denser than the ones cut from the outer shell of the loaf.
Outer crust cubes make floaters – great for pop-ups and semi-buoyant hookbaits. Cubes from just below the outer skin are slightly denser — and so on towards the soft centre. This presents the carp with a problem. With normal, round boilies – all with the same density — a clever carp can isolate the hookbait simply because it behaves differently when the fish compares it with the free offerings. The hook itself makes the hookbait denser. With cubes of microwaved baits, though, there is such a vast disparity between their buoyancies that even the wisest carp find it very hard to isolate and avoid the hookbait.