Shantan Naidoo has been fishing for carp from 2010 and the rabbit hole has only gotten deeper ever since.
How long have you been carp fishing?
From an early age using conventional methods. It was in late 2010 when I came across specimen carp and the rabbit hole only got deeper.
Being inland there are not many options when it comes to fishing opportunities for really big fish. Carp are majestic creatures and I enjoy the challenges in pursuing them.
Do you make or buy your boilies?
Homemade’s have always been a personal preference; I try using them as an edge.
How much bait do you use in a month?
Not much at all; it depends on how many sessions I do, anything between 2-10kg a month which is season dependent.
Favourite boilie, bird food, fish meal, milk protein, or a combo and why?
Quality fishmeal with the recommended dose of WPC and sometimes casiens when experimenting, each of these come into their own offering good sources of protein and essential amino acids from the milk proteins.
When did you start to experiment with your own baits?
In 2014, during the winter months.
How did you start the process of learning about boilies?
Online research and local information, aiming to obtain a basic understanding of carp digestive systems and what ingredients contain and offer, the ’building blocks’ of a boilie. I always continue to learn and take any advice given regardless, information is endless.
When you make your own bait, what’s the most important for you, longevity on the hair, leakage, etc?
On short sessions I prefer soluble boilies that are actively breaking down, leaking with attraction, I do however boil some for about 90 seconds and others just less than a minute to achieve slight variations in leakage and break down time; air drying also differs before freezing.
As a home roller, a lot of new rollers find it a challenge to get their ingredients. What advice can you pass on to them?
Some milk proteins and super foods are available at pharmacies and health stores while local bait firms do offer fishmeal and other ingredients; there’s also the options of buying in bulk or making your own by dehydrating certain ingredients and blending others using them as liquids.
Favourite “never leave out” ingredient?
Ironically it’s mixed spices…
How much research do you do before starting to actually mix and roll?
I have spent numerous hours on research over the past few years, and still do when tweaking a base mix.
What equipment do you personally have in your bait kitchen?
A couple of different size tables and a decent boilie gun, entry level equipment.
Are you a fan of artificial flavours?
I have found artificial flavours seem to remain in boilies where some natural flavours dilute in the water; they work for me when used sparingly.
Sometimes, when tweaking or experimenting.
Favourite size of your bait?
18mm is a good all-rounder when it comes to feeding and fishing double bottom baits or snowman presentations.
Favourite liquid foods?
Dynamite premium CSL
Boil or steam?
I prefer boiling; steaming seals the outer layer of a boilie trapping in the flavour.
How often do you experiment with new mixes?
All the time, I tweak my base mixes by using small doses of different artificial flavours and butyric acid, also by adding or removing ingredients such as spirulina, GLM, CLO, kelp and hemp protein powders.
What does a kilo of your homemades cost you?
Are you a believer in the HNV theory?
The old HNV theory is a very debatable one; we understand carp can only use a certain percentage of the protein and nutrition in HNV boilies, most gets wasted because of their short digestive system so the HNV theory may seem pointless compared to BNV’s; I do think HNV’s offer a bit more in terms of sending food signals to carp but a good bait needs to be balanced to get and keep the carp interested.
Advice to prospective home rollers?
Start by doing some homework, use simple proven recipes from the internet and magazines to build your confidence until you are ready to create your own mixes.
Eggs or egg replacers?
I use eggs as they are readily available and work well when using artificial flavours.
Best advice you ever had regarding your own bait?
Don’t over complicate things, introduce a quality boilie in the right places and you will catch them.