An Introduction to Particle Baits.
Some particle baits are very effective fish catchers, but as with boilies some work better that others. My favourite particle have to be tiger nuts and trout pellets, they are two baits I would have confidence in almost anywhere. These two are closely followed by maize, chick peas and peanuts. When it comes to mini-particles hemp seed is almost irresistible, many people use it as loose feed, it's just presenting it on the hook that's the problem - due to it's small size.
I think that carp anglers themselves must also be held responsible for some bans. I have in the past seen anglers turn up on club and day ticket waters with bin fulls of bait or great 25kg sacks of dog biscuits. That really is enough to have your average club committee match angler breaking out in a cold sweat. In general you will find a few pouchfulls of bait around each hook bait is all that's required.
One of the things that a lot of carp anglers can learn from successful match anglers, is the need for accurate baiting. By saying accurate I mean accurate. Go watch a match on a commercial fishery, the match winners there bait up with precision, it's one of the reasons why some anglers come in the top few most of the time. Now spend another day on a commercial carp fishery where people are there with their two rods and buzzers. you will see bait being scattered over a wide area. Go find a large expanse of land and put a marker on the floor to represent your bait. Now go a good few yards away and catapult a highly visible particle like maize over your marker. Then have a walk up to your marker and just see how barren the baited area looks.
As most particles rely on the mass bait attraction, I do thing that in most cases you need to keep your baiting as tight as you can. The obvious answer is a bait boat, but not all can afford them and not all waters allow them. Method feeders are one method, but again I know a lot of waters where they are banned. Isn't it strange why some clubs and owners seem to relish in banning methods that catch fish.
Particles have had a bad press over a number of years, with reports of carp deaths due to undercooking or peanut protein causing carp problems with nutrition. This means that many particles are banned on a lot of waters, so please make sure you know your waters rules before fishing.
Also please ensure that you soak and boil your particles for a long enough time. I have given details of how long to soak and boil specific particles for under the description of each bait. I will also publish a guide in table form when I get around to it.