Getting the best out of bait
Are you getting the best out of popular, commercial fishery baits? Here’s a look at how I present and use them, just to make sure!
After a lot of trial and error, I’ve concluded that its important to keep an open mind concerning how pellets are presented as hook baits on commercials.
Initially, I like to work through the main ways of attaching them to the hook, experimenting with hair-rigged, banded and directly hooked pellets, to find out what works most effectively.
Recently, on a hard-fished venue, I tried hair-rigging to begin with, but the fish were not responding well to this format. Bites were iffy, and I bumped the hook out of several good fish.
I then tried banded pellets without a hair, simply nicking the hook through the band so that the pellet ended up tight to the bend of the hook. I quickly landed a couple of decent carp, but I was also still missing tentative bites in-between.
My final option was to try directly hooked jelly pellets, and boy did this make a difference! I soon discovered that apart from carp, the swim was heaving with bream and skimmers, so I bagged up on both species! I’ve never been a fan of feeding big, square cubes of luncheon meat, which to my mind look a bit too artificial.
One of my favourite tricks is to mulch meat in a pole cup with a penknife, which results in a complete mishmash of different sizes of uneven looking pieces.
Dumping this lot in and fishing just one cube of meat over the top has provided me with many good mixed catches, as well as carp-orientated hauls.
Now that we have meatcutters, you can get much the same effect with smaller and easier to produce morsels of meat.
The advantage here is that the meat ends up a lot more uniform than when hand cutting or pushing it through a bait riddle, so you can dust the diced meat with dry groundbait and catapult it out.
I also occasionally like to use punched meat on the hook, either over hard pellets or hempseed feed.
Having a soft hook bait over a bed of hard freebies often works wonders.