Let's start by taking a simplified look at how to design a mix, one of the most debated topics in the messages you send me.
We will analyse a mix dedicated to baiting and fishing, an idealised bird fish mix to study the basic rules.
The primary components identified in the accompanying chart are:
-The structure, which represents the main part, consisting of the volume flours dedicated to regulating the mechanics
-The nutritional component, which must trigger a food interest in our baits
-The solid attraction component, which must bring the fish towards our baits in the long term (while the immediate component is the prerogative of liquids).
-The taste component, which is the secondary attraction, the one that will encourage carp to continue searching for and feeding on the bait.
The structure is the volume part of the mix, which is important for the supply of nutrients and taste, but crucial for the mechanics of the finished bait.
As this is an all round mix, the first ingredient is bird food, selected according to the egg test we have already discussed.
It is essential to use a product which is also able to roll on the table pure, a guarantee of a perfect structural balance between proteins and starches.
This ingredient covers 40% of the finished mixture and can be used whole or finely micronised, which is ideal for obtaining more professional and less coarse baits.
The list is really extensive, but my personal choices fall on some evergreens and on the latest technical products, among which I would like to mention:
-Egg biscuit crumbs
-Biskò and Biskò white
-Quikò classic egg futter
-Cede egg biscuit
-Classic white Happy Bird
The other fundamental ingredient for structuring a birdfish is soy flour, an important vegetable protein source, a fundamental resource of phospholipids indispensable for the correct emulsion of the fattest ingredients of animal origin and for the primary attraction obtained from them.
As can easily be seen from the chapter dedicated to this legume, the right choice is roasted fat meal for food use.
The nutritional component of a birdfish mix is undoubtedly an LT fishmeal, i.e. obtained at low temperature, with a protein percentage of more than 70%.
Herring, salmon, tuna, mackerel, anchovy, etc. are all good choices for an ingredient that can cost between 6 and 10 euros per kilogram.
The choice depends entirely on the imagination of the angler, who can also assemble several types, up to 20% of the finished mixture.
Of course, there are also different alternatives, such as meat flours, among which I would point out the one made from pork cracklings, which is very aromatic with more than 60% protein, or inactive yeast, with protein around 50%, but with an alternative taste and a very appetising flavour.
My preferred choice is LT salmon and yeast, which will require protein supplementation (usually 7-10% rennet casein).
The attraction component is the most expensive part of the mix and is very important if the baits are to be used during travelling fishing trips or with little pre-baiting, while it becomes replaceable with normal fishmeal (raising the nutritional part which we have already discussed) when baiting continuously and secondary attraction can then be used.
The main choice for a birdfish is soluble fish protein, predigested fishmeal, which is available on the market in various forms and price ranges.
CPSP 90 is the acronym that characterises the reference product, the 'soluble fish proteins' marketed by the French giant SOPROPECHE, which are the most widely used (and expensive) by companies.
Less widespread but still functional is the Chilean predigested, obtained by hydrolysis from Formic acid and less expensive than the previous ones.
An interesting alternative are all the predigested products and extracts obtained from internal organs (including, above all, liver), blood and derivatives.
Here too, the choice is subjective and conditioned by the final budget of the project and its primary use.
A practical solution that allows fascinating compromises to be made is to make only the baits with these expensive ingredients, even increasing the dosage by up to 15-20% at the expense of fishmeal LT, thus guaranteeing particularly high-performance baits.
The primary taste part of the mix is missing, the part that can condition the fish and make them search frantically for bait on the bottom!
In order to characterise the solid part of the mix, you need a final 10% of ingredient with a strong taste that can surpass the already evident bird food, fish and soluble flours.
The possibilities are many, but my four favourites are:
-Belachan powder, the fermented shrimp meal, very savoury and intense.
-Robin red, the famous Haiths bird food, rich in peptides and carotenoids, which is particularly suitable for interaction with fish.
-Roasted peanut flour, a Nutty ingredient that has given me incredible results on birdfish, especially in summer and autumn.
-Silkworm chrysalis flour, a very tasty insect flour that is very popular with large carp, offering a taste alternative that is generally not used much by carp anglers.
In my book Boilies you can find dozens of recipes for technical mixes.