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Con­ven­tional baits such as red mag­gots, cast­ers and worms have worked won­ders for bream over many years and are still suc­cess­ful, although smaller squatts and pinkies are far less used.

At one time just about all se­ri­ous skim­mer and big slab hunters re­lied on squatts in their ground­bait, to help ac­ti­vate the fish, be­cause these tiny feed mag­gots kept a shoal graz­ing for ages. But squatts are hard to find these days and pinkies seem out of favour, too. I find this strange, be­cause I have en­joyed some of my best bream ses­sions com­bin­ing the whole spec­trum of nat­u­ral baits.

I re­mem­ber a fea­ture I did at Ely Pits, where big­ger baits such as mag­gots, cast­ers and worms were be­ing ig­nored by the bream, but when I switched to smaller pinkies on the hook it was a big slab a chuck. Must try that again! is avail­able from rep­utable tackle deal­ers.

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