It’s time to get dusting – Chris Cameron
Don’t panic, we’re not talking about housework! We’re lifting the lid on Chris Cameron’s secret edge for fooling wary fish with luncheon meat
IT’S no secret that supermarket baits have plenty of pulling power with thousands of tins of sweetcorn and luncheon meat piled into fisheries each summer. However, on venues where they are fed heavily fish can wise up to the approach and become increasingly cautious. When this happens, many anglers turn to alternative baits to swing the odds back in their favour. Not Chris Cameron. He believes putting a new twist on an old bait is the way forward. The Middy-backed angler makes a weekly supermarket trip to top up his luncheon meat stocks and tweaks it to keep one step ahead of his quarry. “It is often the most simple bait tweaks that produce the biggest results,” said Chris. “I have transformed how I use meat by coating it in groundbait. This makes it look like a completely different bait to the fish. Try it and you’ll get bite after bite when others are nicking an odd fish.”
Whenever you make a change to your bait or tackle you need to consider exactly why you are making that specific amendment. When Chris sat down and set about adapting his meat feed and hookbaits, several factors needed addressing. “I wanted to give it extra flavour and also change the way it behaved underwater. After a little bit of thought I decided that sprinkling dry groundbait on to my cubes of meat would achieve both things. “A small quantity of the groundbait will come off as it falls through the water, creating a distinctive cloud, and when the fish start to feed aggressively it will release even more attraction and draw fish in from other pegs.” Chris uses Bait-Tech’s The Juice Groundbait, adding a quarter of a bag for every tin of cubed meat he uses.
Forget little and often!
Many tactics are centred around a cautious feeding strategy where small quantities are dripped in at regular intervals. The theory behind this is sound – you can’t remove that bait back once it has gone in but you can add more when you are certain they are hungry! But there are exceptions to pretty much every rule written and the heat of summer is the time for a rethink. “If you keep trickling in bait you run the risk of drawing fish up in the water and they become much more difficult to catch,” warned Chris. “The fish come off the bottom because they are competitive and want to get to the bait first. The problem with this is that your hookbait will be on the bottom and you then reduce the amount of fish that see it and consider taking it.” In order to keep them pinned to the lakebed Chris piles in a big pole pot full of dusted meat and adds extra whenever bites dry up.
No matter how big your favourite venue is, you can be confident that the fish will come close to the bank at this time of year. Lots of bait is deposited on the pole line and hungry fish will linger nearby waiting for the next bombardment. Chris regularly fishes venues such as Coventry’s Meadowlands Fisheries where a first glance would make you think that an all-out feeder attack would be required. “Lambsdown Lake is a large water but at this time of year my main lines of attack will be at 9m and down the edge later in the day. I’m confident that it won’t take long to get bites fishing short,” he explained. A big pot of meat was dumped at 9m before his rig was laid over the top. As expected, skimmers were the first to show up, proving meat is much more than just a carp bait. Around 15lb of them were netted before his Middy 20-24 Crimson Reactacore was given a much stiffer test. “This might sound like a really heavy elastic but it is extremely forgiving on the strike which makes sure the skimmers aren’t bumped off, but it powers up quickly to tire out those bonus lumps.” That theory was spot on as a 7lb carp soon succumbed. After three hours of action – and only five cups of bait later – it was time to prime the margins. Micro pellets were included alongside the dusted meat to bulk out the payload as Chris crammed as much bait as possible into the pot before dropping the lot into the margins. “The fish don’t naturally sit down the edge so you need a lot of bait to entice them in. Once they find a big meal they drop their guard and become easier to catch.” With shallow water at close quarters he would know exactly when to investigate. He only had to wait 15 minutes for the first tail pattern to announce the arrival of fish. Rather than go straight over the top he allowed them to settle for slightly longer. His patience
was rewarded when his 4x12 Middy Styrex Series One float thundered under 30 seconds after being lowered in. It marked the start of a hectic final stint, putting another four big carp in the bag in no time at all. “There’s no doubt I would have caught fish on meat straight out of the tin today but by coating it in groundbait you catch bigger carp and bream that have wised up to old tricks,” concluded Chris.
Use a big pot full of dusted meat to keep fish on the deck
In the mix: luncheon meat, The Juice groundbait and liquid attractant
A decent bag of carp thanks to dusted luncheon meat