Sack up on a sausage! How a su­per­mar­ket bait is catch­ing big bar­bel

Yorks river ace Dean Brook shows his smelly meat ap­proach for late sum­mer fish

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

IT STINKS, it’s not very healthy and it’s not ad­vised to keep an open packet in the fridge at home!

De­spite its mi­nus points, a chunk of gar­lic sausage makes a fan­tas­tic bar­bel bait at this time of year and run­ning into the au­tumn and early win­ter. It has a fairly soft tex­ture and gives off a very strong odour which the fish love and seem to find very eas­ily in all wa­ter lev­els and clar­i­ties. Some of my mates have a lot of suc­cess us­ing it for carp on still­wa­ters too!

I use the Topino ver­sion from Jack Ful­tons and cut the size of chunk I need to put on the hook, which is usu­ally the size of a 50p piece or slightly larger. I’ll feed a few cubes too, but not many.

Lo­ca­tion wise, look for gravel runs with pacey, oxy­genated wa­ter un­der an over­hang­ing tree or close to cover. Bar­bel also love to sit un­der­neath streamer weed on smooth glides, and un­der­cut banks can also be good ar­eas.

If I didn’t know a stretch of river, I’d al­ways put some time in to look for swims with th­ese key fea­tures.

By spend­ing a bit of time in each place, you can of­ten spot bar­bel in shal­low rivers, es­pe­cially if you’ve put some bait there as you might see their flanks flash in the flow.


Lots of an­glers au­to­mat­i­cally cast their baits to the far bank when a lot of the flow and cover is on their own bank, right un­der their feet, and this is def­i­nitely the case here on my favourite River Wharfe.

Ap­proach swims qui­etly and cau­tiously, and you’ll be sur­prised by how many bar­bel you can catch at close quar­ters! For me it’s all about min­imis­ing dis­tur­bance, so I use leads which are as light as I can get away with. This is re­ally im­por­tant on a low, clear river.

When the fish are right un­der my own bank I’ll cast down­stream a few me­tres away from the side and then let the rig bounce around and swing round into the cover. I only step up my lead size when I have to, which is in pow­er­ful flows or flood con­di­tions. I use a feeder

on a larger river when I want to get some bait down fur­ther out.


When fish­ing like this close in I usu­ally only em­ploy a sin­gle rod and I make sure I’m sat right next to it, oth­er­wise it’s a recipe for a lost rod!

I feed pel­lets quite heav­ily near the cover to be­gin with, aim­ing for the pel­lets to ar­rive on the bot­tom a few me­tres above the bar­bel. Then I grad­u­ally start to re­duce the amount I’m putting in.

The idea is to get the bar­bel graz­ing on the pel­lets and com­pet­ing, en­cour­ag­ing them to ven­ture out of cover once less bait be­comes avail­able.

A large piece on a long hair-rig makes a good hook­bait .

An­other bar­bel for Dean on the gar­lic sausage.

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