Alright here's an answer since I'm obviously the only one not out fishing.
Packbait (similar to the South African mielie bom and the UK method mix or ground bait) is a mix of coarse grains seeds and such that is "packed" around the hookbait, or a special cage device that holds the packbait and doubles as a weight, or it can be made into balls (and frozen if you like to make them ahead of time) and throw out by hand, catapult (slingshot) or baiting spoon. The packbait is made in a such a way that it binds hard enough to endure casting, but breaks down in water quickly to create a pile of offering around the hookbait the quickly releases a sent trail.
The base for most packbait recipes is made of livestock food or grains that are cheap and easy to buy in bulk. Soybean meal, chicken layers mash, cracked corn, dried molasses, wild bird seed, calf milk replacer, bread crumbs, rolled oats, karo syrup, liquid molasses and creamed corn are all typical ingredients that are used.
To make a packbait you want a mixture that packs hard, for casting, yet breaks down in a few minutes. The general rule is to have it break down in no less than 1 minute, but no longer than 5 minutes. The ingredients can be split into two groups. There are breakers and there are binders. Breakers are bulkier ingredients that are used to make the mix break down in the water. Binders are the ingredients that hold it together for casting. Most people will break test these mixes in a bucket of water to see how long it takes to breakdown. If it breaks slower than you like simply add more breakers, too fast add more binders.
Here is a recipe I of some stuff I just made for EastHarbor:
- 2lb ----- Chicken layers feed (from Tractor Supply Company)
- 1lb 4oz - Dried molasses (from Tractor Supply Company)
- 1lb ----- Cracked Corn (from Tractor Supply Company)
- 10oz --- Plain breadcrumbs (from grocery store or GFS Marketplace for a better deal)
- 8oz ---- Steam rolled oats (from Tractor Supply Company or old fashioned oatmeal for grocery store)
- 1oz ---- Calf milk replacer (from Tractor Supply Company)
- 5oz ---- Wackerblend Plus (from Wacker Baits or any birdseed)
Mix all these dry ingredients up good in a bucket. Then mix in one 14oz can of cream style corn. Make sure to keep your hands wet while using the stuff on the bank (or making balls to freeze) or it will stick to your hands. I just keep a bucket of water next to me and dunk my hands in it before making touching the packbait. This recipe makes about twenty 2 inch balls and I usually double it. I put 3lb 4oz in a one gallon ziploc and I plan on mixing a can of corn with it at the bank to see if it works. This is way to mix corn but I'll if it holds together.
This is what the dry mix looks like:
This is a 2 inch ball of packbait ready for the freezer:
Pops: also can use sugar smacks, corn, hominey. Pops can be flavored too. If you flavor them..don't get them too wet and let them dry out..this will toughen them.
One tip, don't add to much liquid. Keep adding a little at a time until it will pack or bind. It is best when it is drier than you might first anticipate.
Main Packbait bases are Trout Chow, Rice, Millet, Oats, Grit, and Soymeal.
Flavors - Use your imagination and the grocery store...pie fillings, jello, koolaide, syrups, baking supplies, snow cone flavors etc....
NEVER REFRIGERATE YOUR BAITS
Millet Bait (makes about 1/2 of gal ziplock bag full).
3 cups millet
1 cup wheat bran
1/2 cup soy meal
1 1/3 cup flour
4 oz of karo syrup
4 oz of liquid flavoring (your choice ie maple syrup, blueberry
syrup, strawberry syrup etc)
NOTE: If you use a "non syrup" (extract,koolaide) flavoring....you will have to add more Karo so that sufficient thick syrup is in the recipe for binding purposes.
Mix dry ingredients together....mix liquid ingredients together and heat (don't boil)....thoroughly mix liquid into dry ingredients. Let set for a couple of hours and do a "break" test.
Break Test.....make egg size ball (moisten hands in water before packing to keep from sticking to your hands)...pack as hard as you can....drop bait into bucket. You don't want it to break too quick...usually no quicker than a minute....but no longer than 3 minutes. If it breaks too quick...add a little flour...remix, let set awhile...test. If breaks too slow or not at all...add some more millet...mix...retest.
Keep bait at room/outside temp...do not refrigerate. Will last a couple of weeks. May need some freshening up....use flavoring or lake water to freshen (moisten) if needed....NOT TOO MUCH.
This stuff packs like a rock and casts a mile, yet breaks down exposing your hookbait (pop) in a couple of minutes
Take about a pound of "instant grits",
put in 4 packs of kool-aid.
Dampen with water, just a small ammount of water while stirring it up.
When the grits get a 'spongy' feel to them, it is ready. BE SURE NOT YO
GET TOO WET, JUST A SPONGY FEEL.
Put a "sugar pop"....yes the cereal kind, on a number 4 hook, pack the
grits on the pop in a ball about the size of a egg.
The bait will break down leaving the pop on hook laying in center of
1 32oz. bottle of ketchup
2 packs of your favorite un-sweetened kool-aid
2 oz Karo or other flavored syrup
Note: (you might even want to throw a couple handfuls of sweet corn
in...no water, just corn)
Pour ketchup, kool-aid and karo (and corn if used) into a pan and
heat...stir constantly until it gets steamy hot, you'll see steam start
to rise (not boiling).....remove from stove.
Immediately add 5 cups of Minute Rice and mix well getting all rice
covered with liquid.
Let sit for at least 12 hours fluffing it up after an hour and then again an hour later. This isn't "necessary" but sure seems to make a nicer textured bait.
When you're ready to fish add 2 cups of instant (not Quick grits) must be INSTANT grits, stir it in good and and you're all set....be sure and
check your break time. Once I have the grits mixed in I usually put the bait into 2 one gallon ziplocks to keep from drying out.
If you need more "stick" add a little grits at time. This bait will feel like "rubber" and might seem dry to touch. For first break test pack as hard as you can. This bait is only good for one day...then the grits dry out...for some reason you can't get them "sticky" again.
NOTE: Always moisten your hands slightly with water prior to packing.
HAVE FUN AND GOOD CARPING TO YA !!!!! Now just go out and play with binders, breakers, flavors and hookbaits ..use your imagination and experiment.
Mine is pretty simple but very effective. It consists of one box of Wheaties ground up, then I add strawberry Jello (in the powder form). Blend that together really well. Then add a few drops of vanilla extract. Cast out, and hang on to your reel handles!!
boys i just got a hold of this dried molasses stuff(was
dropped off to me to see what i could do with it)and iam
kind of at a loss here as to what the heck i should do
with it.i have messed with ALOT of different pack bait
ingreeds but never really messed with this stuff before.
i can clearly see it has binding ablitiy,but what should i do
with this stuff well i will find a use for it
Thanks for the tips fellas...i just whooped up a batch of Bob's Millet recipe...made a few changes...used birdseed instead of just millet and through in a bag of strawberry bananna jello....just waiting for it to cure abit before break testing.
Use as much as the molassas as you wish. I know some people who use that as their base with grains. I prefer 2 cups/4lb bag of packbait that I make. I just made up 8lbs for this weekend Plan to make 16lbs for next weekend though
just buy some BUCKEYE BLEND form www.wackerbaits.com it is Bob B's own mix and it works great.
Im no "packbaiter" for sure and prefer to use the "method" on Fox in-line feeders..my mix is a lot different than most and i like them to break slower than most too, because its not a packbait which covers the hookbait.
The combo of "method" feeders and simple (flavored)sweetcorn did well for me at East Harbor and helped me find my way to "stillwater" (lake) fishing.
I completely stopped using other liquids after getting the dried stuff. I use creamed corn to wet the mixed and then maybo some water to help it disolve but not much at all. Your Ohio's method man so I'm sure you'll come up with something that will cast forever.
A high molassas mix with soybean meal, moistened with liquid animal grade molassas will be sticky as heck, and binds together REALLY well. Ak's packbait works really well, and has a high molassas content. I might play around with my batch for DC and see what I can come up with.
ok guys,what exactly is this liquid animal grade molasses?
(Shawn you were saying something about it at the
outing?)is it not sweetened or something.is it the stuff
used in horse feeds and all that kind of stuff.you guys were
saying its cheap too?
i may start useing some more of this dried mollasses.
i do like the way it sends out that ''oil slick''
and seems to bind well also,i was impressed.
iam just a bit shaky on how the cats might like it
on the lakes up here.i know that grassers have always
been strongly attracted to molasses.it could be a good
thing to have when going for those giants i would like to
get aquainted with
oh BTW-since we are talking molasses here.what is your
takes on the sweet horse feed?smells alot like molasses
(duh,cause its in it)but would like to hear some views on
the stuff.seems like the stuff would be great in bags,
i have tried it on several occasions but still no action on
it.it seems like if presented in bags it would be killer?
Not really sure if it'd work as a packbait, but it works great packed around a method feeder. I just blended up some old bread i had laying around until it was turned into bread crumb, put it all in a tub, then kept it in the fridge until it was ready to use. So far i'm just using it like this, and have had good luck. The key is to prevent the breadcrumb from drying out so that it will pack without the addition of any liquids. I'm very happy with the way it packs, and it can be a very cheap, easy to make bait that will keep for a while in the fridge. By the way, i can't take credit for this idea since i first read about it on the CAG board where it was referred to as "Liquidized Bread".
CW, amem....i love the "Liquidized Bread" myself around my Fox method feeders.
Any of you guys got any other "method" mixes ya want to share with me? Im not a "pack baiter" and only fish the method style as my pack baiting skills lack everything!!
I know a lot of you guys use molasses in your method/pack baits...but i have yet to go that route...and i still do well, is molasses really that strong of an attractor? Also do you guys flavor your method/pack bait mixes...i mean with flavors like you would use on a hookbait?
Also ive been trying to figure out a mix that will break down kind of slow for my method feeders and have done OK...im looking for something that will not break down and fall off the feeder completly for atleast 15mins +. And ideas?