It’s very difficult to catch in a swim with no fish! A tried and tested method developed over the years adopted by anglers, is laying a bed of groundbait particles to lure in fish. The smell, texture and colours of particles, act as an attractive beacon to hungry carp and other species, drawing them ever closer to your hook bait and increasing the chance of a bite.
In this article we’ll take a look at the pro’s and con’s of particle fishing, why the technique works and how to use it most effectively. Let’s crack on…
Best particle fishing for carp?
Buying particle ingredients in bulk, from wholesale food stores and preparing your sloppy spod mix, or groundbait recipe DIY style at home, is by far the cheapest option. However, if you want to save time and effort there are some fantastic off the shelf options. Particle baits suppliers have fine tuned their mixes over the years for maximum effect.
Dry particles for fishing?
Carp and coarse fish love rummaging around on the waters bed for opportunistic food sources and dry particles do a great job of not only drawing fish in to your swim, but will keep them there feeding for hours.
Hemp seed are the most popular dry particle, and are often used as the base component for ground bait PVA bags and spod mixes. Tiger nuts come a close second on the list, as carp can’t resist the natural crunch and sweetness of this affordable particle bait.
Types of fishing particles?
Hemp seed and tiger nuts are not the only form of particle bait used in fishing. Anglers have a wide selection of particles to choose from, each having their different benefits.
So, I’ve compiled this comprehensive list of the top 20 fishing particles, and we’ll dive a little deeper in what situations they should be used, how to prepare them and where to buy them online.
1. Pigeon conditioner
This mixture contains red dari, wheat, white dari, peeled oats, linseed, rapeseed, safflower seed, mung beans, aniseed oil and is primarily designed for feeding racing pigeons.
However, it also makes a fantastic groundbait for fishing. It comes premixed, so preparation is easy and can be purchased in bulk at a very reasonable price from pet food wholesale outlets.
2. Mixed pellets
Mixed fishing pellets are good versatile product as they can be used as loose feed or within a groundbait mix. The ingredients break down at different times, holding a wide range of fish species in your swim longer and fish love the high nutritional value.
You can buy pellet mixes in bags or bucket from local fishing tackle shops or reputable online suppliers.
3. Unprepared particles
This type of fishing particle, and as the name suggests are grains and seed in their natural form. Unprepared particles such as maize and hemp can be bought much cheaper in this raw state, and then angler need to soak, mix and add attractants at home before use.
A less expensive option, but more work involved. However, you do have full control over additives and flavours, letting you brew a secret fish catching mixture.
4. Prepared particles
Prepared particles have been mixed and softened by the manufacturer and are fishing ready. You can buy large bags of this style of fishing bait, and with zero effort be laying groundbait and filling spods.
You’ll also find prepared particles come in many flavours and ingredient options, allowing you to mix and match, or experiment with what works best for the target species.
5. Cooked particles
Some fishing particle products need more than an overnight soak, and require cooking to make them soft and safe for fish (and humans) to consume. Tinned beans and pulses are quick and convenient alternative to preparing your own.
You can also buy precooked, fishing ready and exotic flavour particles online or in your near by tackle store.
6. Hemp seed
Industrial hemp is one of the fastest growing plants on the planet, and is used in a wide range of products including harvesting the seed for fishing bait. Hemp seeds contain high amounts of essential acids, vitamins and healthy fats making them an ideal base for spod and ground bait mixes.
They are also cheap to produce, therefore to buy and are great at absorbing flavours and additives to attract fish. Health, pet and farm food suppliers all stock hemp seed.
This versatile cereal grain (corn) is the dry particle version of sweetcorn. Although there are many uses for maize, in terms of fishing it’s a great grain to bulk out groundbaits. As corn is grown on mass for mainly livestock rations, it’s very cheap to buy in bulk for fishing reasons.
Soaking and cooking the grain releases it’s naturally sweet taste, good for attracting fish such as carp. You can pick up a bag of maize for a few quid at most local supermarkets or corner shops.
8. Red kidney beans
Red kidney beans make a great hook and ground bait, but please make sure to use the tinned or precooked ones, as they contain toxins that can be poisonous to both humans and fish if not prepared correctly.
Tinned red kidney beans can be used for fishing safely straight from the tin. I like to crush the beans slightly and break the skins, as they can absorb and soak up lot’s of carp glug and slowly release it in the swim.
9. Tiger nuts
Tiger nuts are one of the best fishing particles out there. It’s the sweet flavour and crunchy texture that carp just can’t resist. You should give tiger nut a whirl when you want to hook huge specimen fish, as smaller species are unable to eat the nuts due to the toughness and size.
However, over baiting with tiger nuts can have a detrimental effect, so keep feeding them as a treat, not the bulk of your bait setup. You can buy tiger nuts in 25kg bags online, which will keep you fishing for well over a year.
10. Ready made spod mix
Yes, you buy very good ready made spod and groundbait mixes straight off the shelves. These particle mixes are usually made from a combination of 10 or more ingredients such as seeds, grains, hemp and maize. They are also often steeped with syrups and additives to make them more attractive to fish.
Even though these spod mix recipes do the job, I’d recommend buying the components in bulk (look for deals) and making your own at home. This will save money and allow more experimentation.
11. Dry dog food
Yes, a strange one on the list for non anglers, but crushed dry dog food added to spod mixes can attract a lot of fish on certain waters. The way I visualize the dry particles working is when dry they will float towards the surface and as it takes on water will slowly sink back down.
This motion let’s the scent and oils spread through all level of the water and drifting further afield. Purchased in any pet store dry dog food can also be soaked and added to regular groundbaits. It also make a fantastic carp bait for surface fishing.
When particle fishing for carp, adding wheat to your bait mixture will help you land more fish. This versatile particle mix ingredient, much like others, needs to be soaked and boiled to soften it up, plus release the sugars and flavour.
Available to buy at health food stores, wheat can also be used as an effective hook bait. Wheat grains should be soaked for 12hrs and boiled until tender before fishing.
Buckwheat is highly nutritious and rich in oils, and the inner kernel structure makes it an ideal hemp seed alternative. A 50/50 spod mix combination of buckwheat and hemp make a killer particle mix and keeps fish grubbing around on the bed for hours.
Buckwheat is also a much cheaper fishing particle substitute than hemp, if your tight on funds. To prepare buckwheat at home, soak for 24hrs and boil for a few minutes. You can buy buckwheat grains at farmers markets, health food shops and online.
14. Bloodworm pellets
Bloodworms in all forms, make an excellent fishing bait ingredient, whether in boilies, ground bait or spod mixes. Bloodworm pellets are packed with soluble attractants which slowly release in the water, creating a cloud of scent and oils to draw fish in to your swim.
The only down side is price… They are quite expensive, but having seen first-hand how effective these pellets are, I’d say they’re worth the money. A little goes a long way!
Lentils aren’t the best particle fishing bait ever, but their cheap and convenient. In my experience micro seeds, such as lentils require a load of sweet or fishy additives added, as on their own are a little bland to attract fish.
However, because of the low price, they are an ideal bulking agent for groundbait mixes. You can buy bags of lentils at any local Indian food store, and I have a great wholesale place near me that supplies ingredients in bulk to restaurants.
16, Frozen particles
Buying frozen mixed particles is a great way to stock up on spod bait while ensuring freshness. Several goundbait ingredients like water snails and yellow peas need to be used on the day they’re prepared, because of the short shelf life, and freezing particles and then defrosting 24hrs before use is the best way to make sure they don’t go off and locks in all the flavour, nutrients and oils.
You can purchase ready frozen particles from reputable fishing bait suppliers online in a variety of combinations.
17. Liquidised luncheon meat
Luncheon meat, spam and corned beef are highly versatile fishing baits, and have been used successfully by anglers for years. Liquidised luncheon meat added to spod and groundbait mixes hugely boosts fat levels, and it’s these fat particles that drift wide and far distances in the water to attract fish.
It also adds stickiness to your spod mix, this holds the bait in your fishing spot longer, slowly dissipating in the water rather than being swept away by current.
Next, a particle bait that has been catching fish for donkey’s, good old tinned sweetcorn. Whether your fishing for carp, barbel, bream or tench this uniformly sized, yellow nugget of sweetness will catch fish on most waters.
In fact sweetcorn is so prolific anglers now use corn imitation baits such as popups and boilies. Sweetcorn can be bought ready to use at any local corner shop, and is a cheap and effective bait in summer or winter. Look out for specially flavoured fishing sweetcorn for extra variety.
19. Bird seed
An unusual one on the list, and a fishing particle most angler wouldn’t think about. Bird seed is great at absorbing flavours and attractors making it an excellent ingredient for bulking out ground baits. To prepare simply soak in water for an hour or two, and mix with other particles.
However, if you plan on using only birdseed I’d advice boiling for 10–15 minutes to soften the husks. Large bags of bird seed can be purchased for local pet stores and wholesale suppliers.
20. Maple peas
Back in the day maple peas used to be a very popular fishing bait, but have dropped out of fashion recently. However, they still catch fish and are excellent when used as a component of spod mixes.
After soaking maple peas, they swell up to an 8–10mm boilie size, and at a fraction of the price, are a cheap substitute for boilies in groundbaits. Carp, bream and tench love rummaging around on the bed for free knickknacks, and maple peas will give them a reason to stay in your swim longer.
What is a particle bait?
Fishing particle baits is just a fancy way of saying “small” sized bait food stuffs or products. The term is usually associated with seeds, nuts, hemp and beans, but with the rise in popularity of specialized spod and groundbait mixtures, can mean any ingredient contained within these mixes.
I’ve found particle baits pack the biggest punch when the UK weather starts to warm up in late spring, early summer. They are also great for a spot of quick carp stalking as this video shows…
Particle baits suppliers?
While there are some great big fishing tackle brands that supply fishing particles, such as monster particles, kent particles, dynamite particles, fishing bait world, cheshire particles and baits direct. However, making your own particle mix at home is so easy, and the most cost effective option.
Buy bags of ingredients for your groundbait and spod mixes from food wholesalers, health food shops, pet stores, supermarkets and local tackle shops. Dial in your lovely concoction over time, to work perfectly on your favorite fishing haunts, and save money at the same time.
Homemade spod groundbait mix?
So, how do you prepare a good sloppy spod mix? Cheap spod mix recipes are abundant online so I’ll share a more expensive luxury end groundbait mix that’s caught me plenty of big carp over the years.
The key here is avoiding oily particle products, as oil based flavours float in a cone shape towards the surface, and we want the scent to preferably travel outwards along the lake or river bed.
- Hemp seeds
- Bloodworm liver pellets
- Tiger nuts
- Particle feed additive
- Scopex sweetcorn
- Dried mixed mushrooms
- Coconut milk
Firstly, you want to mix the dry ingredients in a bucket (250g of each), these are the hemp seed, bloodworm liver pellets, dried mushrooms and tiger nuts. Make sure to crush several tiger nut to provide a variety of sizes for the fish, and break up any large pieces of dried mushroom.
Next, add the first wet ingredient, the scopex sweetcorn with liquid and all, and mix until incorporated. Now, add 10 lid fulls of the particle feed additive and mix again. This additive, along with the sweetcorn and tiger nuts are the sweet element of the mix, we know carp love.
Finally, pour in the coconut milk a little at a time until you achieve the sloppy consistency were looking for, I aim for a very thick porridge level of moisture.
The addition of dried mushrooms and coconut milk to 1kg spod mix are the secret formula components. Their non oily intense flavour travels far and wide in the water, pulling carp towards the epicenter of the scent, where they’ll find our tried and tested crunchy sweet offerings, and protein packed pellets.
The main take away I’d like to share about fishing particles is have fun with it! Experimenting with different ingredients and methods allows you to indulge your passion for fishing even on those rainy or cold days that prevent you getting out on the bank.
Get creative and don’t be scared of trying unusual combinations, because there will come a time that cleaver British fish wise up to the common bait particles used heavily today, and just one unique addition could mean the difference between blanking or catching a monster. Happy Fishing!