Hubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble… Ten easy steps to making your own boilies

1. Clear the sink. Or get your wife/partner to do it for you since it is women’s work, washing up. My chief angler recoiled in horror because there was a fork left in ours – ‘Can’t do anything until the sink’s cleared,’ he said – and walked away from it. Seems that if you have a willy, you can’t pick up cutlery.

Del Barham - Carp fisherman and boilie maker!2. Wash hands scrupulously clean in sink now full of hot, soapy water. Nothing can be allowed to contaminate a boilie mix. Strange how he never washes his hands before eating, making sandwiches, or anything else come to think of it.

3. Half fill a very expensive, top of the range, only used at Christmas for puddings, 6 pint cooking pot with water and place on hob to boil while you read eggs. i.e. study the little dates printed on each one in an attempt to get hold of the very freshest ones – the family can consume the others, they’re not so discerning as carp.

4. Pour several table-spoonsful of boilie mix into an Ikea mixing bowl then add two eggs – complain, gently, at this point that the eggs do not ‘bounce’ as really fresh eggs should.

5. Hands in. Stir it around a bit then add a little more mix so as to get the whole glutinous mess into some kind of dough. If it’s too wet add a little more of the base mix.

6. Wash hands before allowing the bag to slip slightly, thereby accidentally adding a little too much mix then exclaim ‘Oh Shit!’ before adding another egg.

7. Wash mix off hands – by this stage in the game there will be more mix in the sink than in the mixing bowl – but the final product should be just damp enough to roll between finger and thumb.

8. ‘Is that too wet, do you think?’ (poke, feel, roll) Like I can tell just by looking at it - I’m not allowed to touch. When convinced that the texture is perfect, roll into small, but perfectly formed, balls, using shop bought boilies as a guideline for size.

9. Place a dozen on a wide slotted spoon and lower gently into the now rapidly boiling water, holding the spoon just below the surface. Be vigilant. The movement of the boiling water will cause the boilies to dance on the spoon and the effect can be like one of those computer games that require hand to eye co-ordination. The spoon must be constantly jiggled in order to retain the cooking boilies in their rightful place and therefore not lose a life – or a boilie into the bowels of the pan - but only for about forty seconds.

10. Continue in this insane manner until all the boilies are cooked. The finished items should be placed on spread out newspaper on the floor to dry off, and become cool before being placed in small plastic bags and frozen.

Del Barham with a Carp caught on a 'home-rolled'A couple of tips, here. When you get fed up with rolling to scale you can change tactics and create little baby ones for freebies to throw round your hook bait. And you can mix flavourings into the basic mix or dip them in something unspeakable before you freeze them.

And finally – leave the kitchen in a terrible mess, then tell the wife that you have cleaned it all up. She will tell you, next time, to leave the clearing up to her since she has to do it all again anyway, after your pathetic attempts at housework.

Oh yes – and this is what you can catch with home-made boilies. The satisfaction of boasting that you actually made the bait yourself is, apparently a ‘man’ thing and boosts a flagging ego no end.

Go on, then! Off to the tackle shop for a bag of mix. Let me know how you get on.