I struggle to keep my bait fresh on the bank when doing a 10 day session in the summertime. I find that after five to six days the bait starts to go sticky and I lose confidence in it. I need some ideas to help me with this – it’d be much appreciated. Thanks,
Winstanley Estate Hi Chris,
Thanks for the question. There are a number of answers to this one. Firstly, I’d just like to state that personally I prefer my baits to be a bit sticky while using them. I feel they have much more attraction in the water, especially with the fresh bait from Mainline. Drop a couple of baits in the edge and just watch the leak-off from them. I tend to get my bait out a couple of days before I go fishing when on a two-to-three day session, depending on the time of year. In winter they may take a few more days to get like that, whereas in summer it would obviously happen a lot quicker due to the reaction in the warmer air.
As it happens, I write this as we are planning an 11 day trip to Hungary and we will be driving the 900 miles from Calais. So I’ll explain our plans to get the best out of the bait on our trip. As I have said, I prefer to use bait that is starting to get a bit sticky. There does, however, come a point when it has gone too far on the turn. You can usually tell this by smelling it. If it starts to smell sour or vinegary, it has gone too far and I would not feel so happy using it then. Over a longer session, I will treat the bait in batches, so I am using the bait I want to fish all the time. The bait I need to use upon arrival, I will get out and let thaw while travelling, so it will be smelling nicely by the time I am ready to fish. The remainder will be packed frozen in newspaper in cardboard boxes, this should stay frozen for a good period, in the region of 72 hours, and cold for another couple of days at least. Once at the lake I would want to store this in the shade all the time and also away from any warm winds, which can be just as damaging as the sun’s rays. Then
I’m looking to get the bait up to air temperature a
day or two before I need it, so it’s just right to use for fishing. We will also take along a few air dry bags and may look to dry the bait for the last few days, if it’s getting too warm.
When air drying you need to start drying the bait before it really turns, otherwise it may still go off. So start to dry some before it’s too late. If you dry it too fast it will crack, too slow then it will continue to turn. There are some great air dry bags on the market. The ones pictured are a 5 kilo air dry bag and 20kg bag. You need to allow plenty of room in the bags and give the baits a good shake regularly. Drying like this will prolong the bait for quite a while. Prior to using for fishing, add some moisture back with an accompanying liquid additive – liquid from particles, or lake water if you want to fish washed-out baits, which if you are there for a while, may be a good option.
On the subject of drying, you could pre-dry all your baits before you leave the country and add a liquid back once you are at your destination. If you can spread your baits out on a specially made tray, or cardboard boxes, they should take a couple of weeks to dry out thoroughly, depending on where you are drying them. I wouldn’t recommend indoors though! The garage is fine, as long as you are rodent free... I know some anglers swear by this method of drying and rehydrating.
You can also use a cool box, and they will keep bait frozen for days and then cold for 3-4 days thereafter – that will depend on how much space you have, of course. If you do a supermarket run, get a bag of ice and add it to the box, which will keep it cold for another couple of days.
So, keeping boilies fresh for ten days or so shouldn’t be a problem. It does also depend on the bait as well. If you are using baits with more fishmeal in, they will turn faster. I have run out of space for now, but I hope this helps.
A week-long session in France – it was 35-40ºc. The Essential Cell kept perfectly all week
A good quality bait is essential
Air-dry bait bags. Don’t overfill the bags, take a few bags and spread the bait out a bit. Hang from poles or branches