How long do carp boilies last - Mixture of boilies

Boilies are arguably the best and most used bait for carp fishing. They come in a massive range of flavours, colours, and sizes and with different ingredients to appeal to the carp swimming in the water below us.

The make-up of boilies means that they can only last a certain period before going off, and this will differ depending on what type of boilie you opt for and if they have any added preservatives.

So, how long do boilies last?

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  • What are Boilies?

    Before getting into how long boilies last after you buy them or open a packet, let’s get a bit of background of what boilies are and why they can even go off in the first place.

    Boilies are balls rolled of mixed carp attracting ingredients that are then boiled to give them a hard outer shell, hence the name boilie.

    The ingredients commonly make up boilies are a combination of fishmeals, milk proteins, soya, bird foods, and semolina with added flavourings and oils.

    As a lot of the components of boilies are essentially foodstuff that can go off and begin to rot, then you need to put some thought into how you can keep your boilies fresh for as long as possible.

    There are two types of boilie that you can buy, which are shelf life and frozen.

    Shelf life boilies as you’d imagine, are the type that you can buy in packets and frozen boilies need to be kept frozen to keep them fresh.

    Shelf-life boilies will have added preservatives that will stop them from going off quickly. The air-tight and sealed bags they come in also help keep them fresher for longer.

    Frozen boilies, on the other hand, don’t generally come with added preservatives and freezing them will keep them from going off.

    How Long Do Boilies Last?

    Shelf Life

    As shelf life boilies have added preservatives, they can last for a year or longer before opening, and the bags that they come in should usually be marked with use-by dates just like the food we buy from the supermarket.

    Once the bag is opened, the shelf life boilies shouldn’t go off too quickly, and they will usually come in resealable bags that will help prolong their life once opened.

     You should keep your shelf life boilies out of direct sunlight and in a cool place to prolong their life. So, when you’re fishing, don’t be leaving any bags out in direct sunlight.

    This will ensure they retain their nutritional value and attraction in the water.

    Shelf-life boilies tend to be harder than defrosted frozen boilies, so if you want to release attraction into the water faster, you can soak them in liquid with some lake water before fishing them.


    Frozen boilies don’t have the added preservative of shelf life boilies and should be kept frozen to maintain their nutritional value and stop them from going off.

    Frozen boilies are generally softer once defrosted and can release their nutrient and attractants into the water quicker than the harder shelf-life boilies.

    In the freezer, these boilies will last longer than shelf life boilies, but once they are taken out and defrosted, they need to be used fairly quickly, within 4 days or so, to ensure they are still holding maximum effectiveness.

    The lifespan of frozen boilies can be increased by air drying the boilies once they are taken out the freezer and defrosted so they can maintain fresh between sessions and for longer periods.

    Air drying the baits removes all the moisture within each boilie and prevents them from becoming mouldy.

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