Important- Particles Need to be Prepared Correctly.
Most particle baits need the be soaked and then boiled, please ensure this is done correctly. I remember reading somewhere that particularly with chick peas, if not cooked correctly they can swell up inside a fishes stomach. I've been using chick peas for years without any problems, but I always soak and boil them for an adequate length of time.
Along with maize, chick peas are my favourite non-nut particle. They are an instant bait that will catch carp from the off. Tench also love chick peas, so beware. There is no need to add to many to the swim, a few catapult pouch fulls around each hook bait is all you need.
They available dried or ready prepared in tins from most supermarkets. They are very cheap, about 80p will buy a pound of dried peas or chicks in a tin. The tined chicks are very soft, they will cast out on a hair, but can be robbed by nuisance fish.
Dried Chicks need to be soaked for a full 24 hours and then boiled for about 3/4 of an hour. They will never go soft, but you should be able to crush the chick pea with your fingers once boiled.
Chick Peas take on colours and flavours very well. You can add the colour at the initial soaking stage, or after they are boiled. I've found it best to add flavour after they are boiled and then left to stand overnight. Add between 10 to 20ml per kilo of dried chicks. When adding colour it's best to use powdered dyes, as the liquid ones from supermarkets do not give a very good depth of colour.
I do not recommend chick peas when fishing over silt, because of their ability to absorb smells. They come back smelling terrible, which gives me no confidence at all.
Looks like sweetcorn but it is harder, so it stays on the hair better and doesn't get eaten so much by small fish. A very cheap particle which is available from most pet shops and seed merchants. It is also available ready cooked from tackle shops in jars or tins, although this is an expensive, but convenient way of purchase.
It is very easy to prepare, soak it for 24 hours and then boil for about half an hour. Some people add sugar at about 2oz per pound of dried maize, I like to add salt at about a teaspoon per pound as well. If they are left in the water they are boiled in they begin to ferment after a couple of days, some swear by using maize at this stage.
Again an instant particle, carp will pick them up the first time they see them. There is not need to add to many to the swim, a few pouch fulls around each hook bait is sufficient. Great for using with flaked maize as a groundbait, see groundbaits page
Maize does not take lake bottom smells, so It's OK to use over silt.
A particle that has fallen out of favour lately, but despite being eclipsed by the two above, they are still an excellent bait. They are available from some pet shops, most seed merchants and ready prepared in tins from most tackle shops.
A very easy bait to prepare, soak for about 12 hours and then boil for about 30 minutes. I like to add sugar at about 2oz. per pound of dry bait or a liquid sweetener. Maples are a very dark colour so it's a waste of time trying to add any colour. I've always done well on maples that are freshly prepared, so there is no advantage in letting them stand to ferment.
As with chicks and maize, I have found them to be an instant bait. I've also had a few roach on them as well. One of the biggest mistakes that I've seen people make with them in the past is to put too many in the swim. I've seen people put bucket fulls in and then go home fishless after a few hours. Use in moderation, a few pouchfulls around each hook bait being OK.
They don't take on smells / flavours very well, so are ideal for over silt.