For waters where the method is allowed there is no need to by some of the expensive commercial mixes that I see in shops. A visit to the local pet shop will allow you to buy Vitalin Dog Food or flaked maize for about 40p a pound. People into bulk buying will find that about £7.00 will buy you a 25kg. sack, which should last the summer.
Both look like giant Cornflakes, the flaked maize being a dirty yellow colour and the Vitalin, a dirty sort of grey with other bits. Vitalin has received some following recently, due to it's use being written about in one on the carp magazines. Do not overlook flaked maize ,just because Vitalin has received more publicity. I have found it brilliant when used as a method groundbait with boilies, sweetcorn or maize on the hook. It takes on flavours and colour very easily.
Preparation of Vitalin or flaked maize is very easy. I normally place about 1 or 2 pounds in a plastic bait bucket or pan, the flakes are then just covered with very warm water. Leave for a few hours and you will find that the flakes absorb the water to form a soft grounbait paste that is ideal for use with the method. You may have to experiment a little to get the consistency just right, but believe me it's well worth it. Any colours or flavours are added to the warm water before it is added to the flakes. You can also add thinks like ground hemp, fishmeal, ground trout pellets, seeds, nuts etc. to the flakes to give your ground bait more pulling power, if you really think it needs it.
I once prepared to much flaked maize and thought I would freeze some for later use. On defrosting it some days later, I found that the freezing process had somehow removed the stickiness. So there you have it, simply place some prepared flake groundbait in the freezer for a few days, and you will find it doesn't bind together as well, ideal if you want a normal groundbait.
To some extent you are only limited by your own imagination when it comes to making groundbaits for carp fishing. Crushed hemp, trout pellets, nuts, seeds, cat and dog biscuits can al be used. Again you will save yourself money in the long run, if you buy a coffee grinder to grind up your own pellets and nuts etc. All you need to do then is add a binder such as white or brown bread crumb, in other words a bag of ordinary groundbait from the tackle shop.
Don't be worried because you are using part ordinary bread groundbait, I know it's a bit old fashioned, but carp really do love bread. You will be adding to, not taking away from the attractiveness of your groundbait by its use. You may have to experiment a little bit to find out the right amount of ordinary bread groundbait to use, but start at about 50% by volume and see how you go from there.
Again as with boilies, there is nothing magical about carp groundbaits, it's just adopting a common sense approach to selecting your ingredients. Include things that you know carp like to eat and you will not go wrong.
When using groundbait to fish the method, make sure the grounbait binds together so it stays compact around the feeder until it hits the bottom. I've seem people fishing the method and it's obvious by the splash that there groundbait is falling off the feeder as soon as it hits the waters surface.