Have you ever wondered how to correctly air-dry your boilies? Or how to store boilies to enable you to transport them overseas for long sessions or longer than normal periods of angling here in the UK? Well, here is my information regarding some of the pros and cons of correct air-drying and storage with the right products in the right situations.



Short Sessions

The great thing about having to transport bait these days is that there are so many purpose-made bags and accessories available that it really makes the job easy.

Have you ever used a cooler bag and found that you fill the bag up, get to the lake, only to find that the bait at the bottom is still frozen or soaking wet and the stuff at the top just how you want it? That’s because it’s a cooler bag and not a freezer bag! We’re talking about short session angling here so DO NOT fill your bag up with frozen boilies! It’s one of the things we’re all guilty of, however DO fill the bag up with chilled baits. You could even place a can of drink in amongst it all just to keep things really cool but try it like this.

1. Take your baits out of the freezer.

2. Place the baits in an air dry bag and and shake any frost from them.

3. Spread the baits out in the bag and lay out flat.

4. Leave for about 20 mins only until the frost has disappeared from them.

5. Now is the time to place them in a cooler bag of your choice.


These will now keep for at least 8-10hrs in this condition which will definitely give you plenty of time to get to the lake, set up and get a brew going with no more soggy baits!

It doesn’t really matter how much boilie you want to take with you, so long as you use the right size cooler bag in which to transport them. Trakker’s dedicated NXG Chilla Bags are made to take the maximum capacity of boilie with optimum insulation to do the job.


Longer Sessions/Trips Abroad

OK, so say you are planning on a trip to France, and want to keep your bait as near-to-frozen as possible during the journey. Now for me, personally when going on longer trips I never air-dry my baits before I get to the destination but would much rather do that when I’m there.

In order to get them to your venue of choice it’s easy, here’s how.

If for example you’re taking a larger amount of boilie (up to 20kg), then something like Trakker’s NXG XL Cool Bag is the ideal solution, but rather than just throw your bait in straight out of the freezer, zip the bag up and forget about it, there are a few measures you can take to ensure that your bait remains in prime condition for as long as possible.

Unlike trips closer to home, where there isn’t a long journey between leaving home and getting to your chosen venue, you want the bait to still be frozen when you put it into the bag, in fact the sooner you transport it, the better. So a quick transplant form freezer to the bag is really important.

Whether you get your bait in small bags or large try to compact it into solid blocks by removing as much air from the bags as possible. This will keep the temperature constant throughout, or as near as, like that of a block of ice.

JoeTurnbull – Blog – Trakker

Try and take as much air as possible out of your bags of boilies before placing them into a cool bag.

If possible, place either ice-packs or bottles of frozen squash or juice in with it, and if you have some bubble-wrap lying around then add this to the bag to further enhance the bags’ insulation capabilities. Whatever you do though, don’t be tempted to open the bag whilst mid-journey as this will only spoil the whole process.

JoeTurnbull – Blog – Trakker

Ice packs can be used to fill any cavities in the bag, keeping the contents colder for longer.

JoeTurnbull – Blog – Trakker

Packing the bag out with bubble wrap will further enhance the insulation properties when you are really looking to maximise the time your bait will remain frozen for.

JoeTurnbull – Blog – Trakker

Once you’ve got the bag packed, it’s important not to open it until you reach your destination.

Once you’ve arrived at your destination your bait should be in tip-top condition where from there you can now proceed to hang it in your air-dry bags, ready for use throughout your session.



Why Air-Dry?

Air-drying your boilies is something you might want to do for a variety of reasons. In the first instance, it’s a great way to keep your bait from turning during a session of a day or so, and in this instance, transporting them to the lake in a cool-bag before transferring them straight to one of Trakker’s dedicated air-dry bags (don’t cram them in though, they’ll need room to be moved around inside, or you’ll run the risk of the ones in the middle not drying properly and going mouldy) and hanging them out of direct sunlight from a nearby tree/fence/heron’s beak is about as simple as it gets, and all you’ll need to do. Return to the baits every now and again and give them a shake to move them around inside the bag, as the ones on the top and outer edges of the bag will naturally dry quicker than the ones in the middle, especially during the early stages of the drying process.

JoeTurnbull – Blog – Trakker

Don’t cram your air-dry bag full of boilies, they’ll need room to move around if they are to dry evenly.

As air-drying hardens the baits over time, it is ideal for preparing them for use with a throwing stick, as the force exerted on a softer bait when trying to achieve long distances with the stick can often split it in two mid-flight. Now your boilies don’t have to be like bullets for this, but if you want to use the baits from the throwing-stick as soon as you arrive at the venue, then it would pay to begin the air-drying process before you travel to the venue.

There are other reasons you might want to air-dry your baits at home, either because you don’t have space to store them in a freezer, or you prefer to transport them this way on a long journey. In both instances, the boilies can be re-hydrated at the venue if you wish to soften them up again before fishing with them. Lake water is ideal for doing this, but if you want to add a boost of attraction to your baits, try rehydrating them in the juices left over from cooking up a batch of hemp.

At home, the process is much the same, except you can simply place baits in your chosen air-dry bag straight from the freezer, and hang the bag somewhere dry and out of direct sunlight – preferably where there is plenty of air circulating, such as the garage or shed, and just make sure that you give them a couple of extra shakes at the start of the process to knock off any frost that might be on the baits.

Take your bait from the freezer and pour it into the corresponding air dry system of your choice ensuring that you leave plenty of space inside so that it has room to be moved about. Don’t ram it full with bait as this will only make the bait sweat and then go all mouldy.

Now all you need to do is hang it somewhere out of sunlight and preferably where there is plenty of air circulating, somewhere like a garage or shed is ideal.

After 24hrs you should notice that all the bait will start to look the same but again keep returning to it and keep continuing to turn the bait over. You need to do this for the next 48hrs or so, even picking one or two baits out and feeling how hard they are. It shouldn’t take long until the bait begins to feel really hard and sooner or later they should even start to shrink in size somewhat. Once they’re at this stage they’ll keep for months on end, even years!

If you wanted to preserve the baits in this way, without them going to bullet-like status, simply take the same steps but this time, before air-drying begins, place them in a plastic bag and add some liquid food to the baits, ensuring they are evenly coated, before transferring them to the air-dry bag and drying as before. This will not only prolong the freshness of the bait but will also add extra pulling power to the finished boilie as it draws the liquid in as it thaws out. Something such as a yeast extract is particularly good, or if you’re on a budget try molasses as this is an excellent underused carp attractant which I rate really highly.


Air-Drying Multiple Sizes/Shapes of Bait

I learnt very early into my carp fishing journey why not to mix different sizes and shapes of baits before trying to bait-up with either a catapult or throwing stick, or even by hand or with a scoop at a certain range. Have you ever tried catapulting-out a mixed pouch of 15 & 20mm boilies? It’s messy. Basically, a smaller bait will need to be catapulted with more force than a larger one to achieve the same distance, so if you fire a pouch of mixed ones out, the smaller ones will fall shorter than the larger ones. OK, you could argue that you are going to spod or Spomb them out, but why not do that in small amounts prior to actually using them? Let’s just say you’ve caught a fish from an area where you’ve spodded out a bed of mixed-sized boilies and chops, you believe there are still fish in the area, and want to top-up the spot with a few accurately-deposited handfuls of boilies. If you had mixed your baits together, you would be spraying baits all over the place from the catapult, or spending ages picking out the required-size ones to use with the stick.

Now if you are drying large amounts of mixed sizes, for instance 5kg of 12mm boilies, 5kg of 15mm boilies, and 5kg of 18mm boilies, then I would suggest placing each size individually into one a large single-compartment air-dry bag such as Large Air-Dry Bag. However, if you are going to be using smaller quantities of each individual size, then Trakker’s Air-Dry Tower is the perfect solution, as it’s three separate compartments are each capable of holding up to 1.5kg of boilies, allowing them the optimum room needed to dry as evenly as possible.

JoeTurnbull – Blog – Trakker

The Air-Dry Tower allows you to air-dry up-to three different sizes or shapes of boilie separately, within one bag.


Well I hope this gives you all the info you need in order to successfully move your bait from A to B. Bait is one of the most important parts of the equation when it comes to catching carp, and it’s not cheap either, so it’s well-worth taking a few steps to ensure it’s in good condition when you introduce it to a water.

Now go catch a monster..


JoeTurnbull – Blog – Trakker

Joe Turnbull is mad about bait, and writes the monthly BaitWorld column for Carpworld magazine.






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