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What is a boilie?
Boilies are probably the most used bait for carp fishing worldwide. Boilies are boiled dough balls which are then dried to use as carp bait. Made from a base mix containing various flours, seeds, and flavors, they come in various sizes and colors. European carpers have been using boilies to fish for carp for years, but they are just starting to become popular in the U.S. and Canada.

Why use boilies?
Fishing a boilie will almost guarantee avoiding nuisance fish, though I've caught an occasional channel catfish while carp fishing with boilies. Their texture is too hard for smaller panfish to peck away at them, and once carp in a given area a turned on to boilies, you can fish in peace knowing that your bait is sitting on the bottom waiting for a carp to pick it up. Furthermore, boilies are extremely effective when chumming. Due to their round shape, one can chum an area more precisely than with partlicle baits such as corn, by using a boilie catapult, or tying PVA stringers to your hooklink for added accuracy. Most importantly, boilies will help avoid catching small carp, typically drawing in bigger and bigger ones as your session goes along.

Store bought boilies
Boilies are not readily available in most of Canada. unless you have a specialized carp tackle shop in your area. In addition the boilies you'll find in most shops are "shelf life" boilies. As any product made from dough is suseptible to moulding within a short time frame, the boilie manufacturers load their their boilies with preservatives, to give them 1-2 year shelf lives. As the preservatives give off a chemical scent, they are then forced to compensate by adding huge amounts of artificial scent and flavor, which eventually hinder their performance as bait. Lastly, store bought boilies are often stale. Not much of a surprise from an item thats been sitting in storage containers and shelves for extended periods of time. On occasions where some smaller boilie producers don't use preservatives, they often dry them rock hard before packaging, which requires anglers to either pre-drill each boilie before use, or soak them in water, making them un-useable with any PVA application.

Fresh boilies
Using fresh boilies is really the way to go if you plan to maximize your chances at hooking carp in decent numbers. Though shelf life boilies can be efficient, I've run extensive comparison tests which all concluded with the same results: Fresh boilies outfish shelf life boilies by a ratio of at least 2:1, often 3:1. I imagine this mainly due to their texture, all natural ingredients and subtle scent / flavour. I don't add any artificial scents, sweeteners or colors to my boilies, as I've found that the color and scent don't seem to be a major factor on most days.



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