Stick mixes are a very successful way for fishing (for carp) from margins to long range.
But how do you define a stick mix? Personally, I think it’s any micro-ingredient – be it bread, boilies, particles (refined down to crumb) but in layman’s terms it’s a ground bait mix which can be made up into a Pva stick. This to some degree is nothing new. Just altered the mix enough to remove or override the water content so the PVA will not melt.
I have been spicing up Pva Bags since the late great Duncan Kay sold large ones that you could cut down to the size you wished. One of my best tricks was not to remove the air, cast the bag near an overhanging tree and with the wind in the right direction it would drift under the tree. This accounted for a fair few fish for me back in the early 80’s.
I have digressed a bit here; as long as you can get the mix dry or enough oil not to melt the Pva, the world is your oyster! I have tried many combinations for a stix mix, in fact think I may well have forgotten more than I care to remember over the past couple of years. With the emergence of top quality ingredients, which are now available in their own right, it’s really opened up the combinations you can create yourself all over again. I personally use Spotted Fin products, as their catalogue of ingredients is like a sweetie shop to me. There are plenty of choices for the raw dry products and a bucket load of choices for additives and oil etc.
I have also come to the conclusion that as the stix mix revolution is well and truly out there in the carp world, you have to make your mix stand out from the rest. There is no point in my opinion, to scrimp on cost as you need to have your mix a cut above the rest. We all spend bucket loads on reels, bivvies, and rods, we should also be concerned with top quality ingredients. If you see me on the bank, you will notice that a fair bit of my kit is over 10 years old (still in top condition), I just funnel all my spare cash at tackle and bait.
One thing I will say, I find that once I have the perfect dry mix combination, I make up a load but I don’t add any liquid, this can be done at a later date. This way it gives you the opportunity up swap things around a bit more with your stick mix. It all helps to outwit the carp and gives you an edge over other anglers. It also gives you the ability to find which oil/liquid additive the fish prefer.
My favourite stick mix is –
Betaine HCL, Green Lipped Mussel Extract, Catalyst – Active Stick Mix, Catalyst Food Dip, Minamino’s.
Step -1 – Put Green Lipped Mussel Extract to a bowl
Step -2 – Add Betaine HCL to the mixture
Step – 3 – Mix together and get rid of any lumps, if needed
Step – 4 – I personally like the Catalyst active stick mix but they have so many other choices, its worth a play about. I know I will be over this season!
Step – 5 – Yep, you guest it, mix it all together.
Step – 6 & 7 – Time for some liquids, I like to use the catalyst food dip and Minomino’s but the choice from the range is overwhelming with options.
Step – 8 – Mix it into a nice sticky constancy but not to wet. You can add more liquid if you would like after you have made up the bags – this makes life easier.
Step – 9 – I find it best to add the mix to a pot, then you can easily make up the bags by pushing the tube into the mix using the opposite end that you have tied a knot in.
If you like, you can spice your mix up even more with crushed or even ground down boilie, which I like to soak in Betafin & Minaminos first.
I have even been known to add micro pellets or even more ingredients. If I do add micro pellets, I like the stick mix to be more of an attraction than a food source. This is also why I like tiny bags, as they have the advantage of being able to be fished at range.
Another great ingredient that I sometimes add for a bit of extra humph is Milled Halibut pellet.
If you make up the base mix for the stick mix first, you can easily add other ingredients and liquids as and when you with wish. This can depend on the whether or not you wish to give yourself another edge of other anglers. It all depends on what takes your fancy but remember what works on one lake can easily work on another or not as the case may be.
As far as I am concerned, there is no maximum size for a stick, just the limitation on the ability to cast it out or drop them in the margin. It’s most certainly worth thinking about for future options.
Another option this mix can be used for (that I have found very successful) is a large bag dropped in the margins. This method has served me very well over the past few years, on short day sessions which I do do quite often, being a house husband!
And don’t forget the old fashion way, is another great way to catch carp and it’s helped me bank a couple of 30’s in the early part of last year. You can add this mix to the bottom of a pva bag and then add crushed, whole boilies or just the mix itself and you can add as much neat liquid as possible. This is a great way to get added attraction into the lake. I have been working this method over the past 30 ish years of my fishing and it has caught me some fantastic fish on some many lakes.
I hope this has helped and you will get back from fishing the experiences I have.
Until next time