Citrus fruits have been the powerhouse of potent carp fishing baits for decades and fashionable Northern Special readymades, yet few anglers really know where that power lies and how to achieve even greater success using citrus fruit extracts, in flavour, oil and other irresistibly stimulating forms. This article reveals such secrets; so get reading and catch more big fish!
Beginning research into plant active flavour compounds in the eighties opened a door to many avenues for making superior homemade baits and more genuinely optimising readymade baits. The door I opened, began with polyphenols, and quickly led to a subclass called bioflavanoids! Citrus extracts so popularised today are exceptionally rich in these most powerful plant nutrients that catch carp!
The flavonoids that citrus fruits contain greatly enhance and prolong the effect of the vitamin C they contain! This is as opposed to supplemental synthetic manufactured ascorbic acid which is easily oxidised and as a result can actually be harmful. In this case whole food is far superior; this really makes sense as carp and humans were designed and indeed are actively still evolving by exploiting synergistic activities of all natural compounds simultaneously!)
Lemons, limes, grapefruits, oranges and tangerines contain many nutrients that enhance the effects of vitamin C including other potent antioxidants such as the group known as vitamin P or flavanoids, including: diosmetin, diosmin, hesperidin, naringin, narirutin, neohesperidin, nobiletin, quercetin, rutin and the flavone tangeritin. These are essential for the optimum absorption of Vitamin C, naturally enhance and prolong the activities of vitamin C.
Raspberry ketone has been sold as a fat burning metabolic stimulant, however though such effects have been shown in a Korean study, and on various animals, the actual processes by which this occurs and correct levels, have not been established for humans, and certainly not for carp, so this is a lesson to bear in mind with any new biologically active substance. You could easily say the same of garlicin, or piperine for example.
However, these do indeed in extract powder form certain appear in my testing to stimulate feeding, and increased duration of feeding, even in 6 degree water temperatures, which I guess, really shows how effective these and many others really are. There are many variables in testing which must be eliminated, in food baits for instance in real fishing, so tank testing on boilie-wary previously lake-caught mature carp is really in my view about the closest parallel situation to test in, and which I’ve carried out individual substances, combinations, levels and effects on fish behaviours and levels of activities and feeding testing very methodically.
I knew a pet shop owner who swore by feeding his fish citrus fruit rind and white pith (the nutrients are in both) and gave the fish excellent condition and health.
So if you’re on the citrus bandwagon and didn’t know some of the most significant reasons why carp are stimulated by citrus oils, rosehip oil and other fruit, vegetable and flower extracts, think on this, and combine them!
Rutin, one of the most powerful flavanoids glycocides found in significant levels in citrus fruits, mulberries, cranberries, apple peel, elder flower, figs, rosehip, but most of all in buckwheat. Quercetin is the most abundant flavanoids, besides ellagic acid, in rosehips; quite a combination!
Flavonoids are just one subcategory of phenols, a really vital aspect of phytonutrients or plant chemicals that really form building blocks of life for plants, which catch carp!
Polyphenols found in plants, vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains and seeds, can be subcategorized depending on their source, and function into bioflavonoids, anthocyanidins, terpenes, curcuminoids and lignans.
Think of brightly coloured baits and then relate this to pigments that contribute to the bright reds of fruits or yellows of flowers etc.
Bioflavonoid pigments are extremely protective at a cellular level and give vibrant coloration to a huge variety of fruits, flowers and vegetables. Curcuminoids are bright yellow polyphenol pigments found in spices; think turmeric, queen of the spices in my view an essential factor in balancing liver function in carp and a significant part of why curry powder containing turmeric and other curcuminoids etc in powder and oil forms are so successful.
Anthocyanidins are often recognisable in the vivid red and blue coloration of many berries and other fruits. Pelargonidin is a red anthocyanin significantly associated with strawberries though apparently it is found in all berries. Cyanidins are a form found in blue and red fruits such as blackberries, cherries, blueberries, cranberries and raspberries and also in plums, grapes and red onions. Within the subgroup flavones are the anthocyanins, much valued for their extremely significantly potently antioxidant effects. Delphinidins are another form also found in blueberries and cranberries.
Within the flavanols subgroup are green tea catechins, as used in weight loss and fat burning for instance, and also having potent antioxidant properties.
Early in the nineties I asked Rod Hutchinson which his favourite flavour was and he told me, his blueberry, which happened to be my favourite at the time as a field tester of his, with mulberry as another secret and also I was using Nouvelle fizz in the original powder flavour form; this was more fruity to my senses than merely a citrus thing of today though.) This was at a time when so many anglers I knew were in a kind of Scopex fixation! For me the distinctive diacetin, butyrate, esters,
These days it’s very interesting to see people fixating on so-called Northern specials like they are something new. The combination of Nouvelle fizz flavour with any of a number of other flavours creates a winner, whether it’s Autumn harvest, or tangerine oil, mulberry, rosehip, etc. I’m a huge fan of grapefruit and tangerine (consider the potency of the flavone tangeritin for instance.)
Terpenes are like the structural building blocks of essential oils in fruits, flowers and herbs etc. Limonene is an example of a terpene polyphenol that’s pleasurably highly aromatic and protective and of course characteristic of lemon. Some terpenes resemble hormones which stimulate carp, (so you get the best of both worlds!)
Lignans are plant compounds that affect estrogen production, a key in the balancing of major hormones involved in growth, mood, and many other vital aspects. Lariciresinol polyphenol is found for example in nuts and seeds such as flax seeds, sesame seeds, cashew nuts, pistachio nuts, sunflower seeds etc. Pinoresinol is a different lignan found in flax seeds, sesame seeds cashew nuts and sunflowers. Next time you are considering seeds in your baits and use crushed sesame seeds and flax seeds, Tahini or sesame seed oil and flaxseed oil why not try crushed pistachio in your baits too, and think about this powerful aspect!
I’ve been teaching bait courses one to one in intensive 1 day personalized course formats for the past 8 years for beginners to expert levels and this has led me to produce a written and pictures-emphasised ebook course which empowers anglers of every level to make world class homemade baits and the most potent carp bait flavours and for that matter, world class readymade baits! Enjoy!
By Tim Richardson.
Seize this moment to improve your catches for life with this essential expert-to beginner proven “ULTIMATE TIM RICHARDSON BAIT MAKING SECRETS COURSE.”