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SPOTLIGHT ON BAIT

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SPOTLIGHT ON BAIT
 
TRADITIONAL BAITS
SPOTLIGHT ON BAIT - TRADITIONAL BAITS
These are all the baits that we all used to use when we first started fishing and maybe sometimes do not use them as much any more as we should. They are all proven catchers, and when more modern popular baits are not doing the business you should really think about giving these a go.

Sweetcorn

Its always worth keeping a tin or two of sweetcorn in your tackle bag either as a main bait or a standby in case something else is not working. 1 or 2 grains can be directly put on the hook, or hair rigged for added stealth. Sweetcorn is perhaps most effective when fished on the float, and in waters where sweetcorn is used a lot and the fish have become wary, a touch of food colouring or bait flavouring such as tutti-frutti can turn the fish back on to the bait. Although a simple and readily available bait, sweetcorn should never be underestimated.
Worms a classic traditional bait
Single grains will take roach, rudd & bream, multiple grains can be responsible for some enormous carp, indeed the British carp record was held by Chris Yates for 15 years for a 51lb carp taken at Redmire pool on sweetcorn.

Maggots/Pinkies

The bait that most people first start fishing with, but still one of the most deadly and versatile. If presented in the appropriate way, there is virtually no British fish that cannot be caught on maggots, from tiny gudgeon up to enormous carp. In their natural state they are either red or white, but these days tackle shops supply them in a variety of dyed colours to try and keep those fish wary of red & whites still biting. Generally maggots tend to be fished on the float in 1s, 2s or 3s and in a variety of colour patterns based on each anglers preference. To hook a maggot correctly, hold them by the narrow end and push the hook through
Maggots - almost all fish love them
the small protrusion which will come in and out of the blunt end of the maggot. Pinkies are essentially the same as maggots but are generally much smaller, and tend to be favoured by match fishermen looking to put large numbers of small fish in the net in order to make up large total weights.
More recently carp anglers have returned to maggots with the development of the maggot ring, a fine metal ring that allows you to thread 10 or 15 maggots on to your hook presenting a large bait for bigger fish.

Castors

Castors are maggots which have moved into the crysalis stage before developing into blue bottles. First used on the match scene in the 1960s, castors can be a deadly effective bait if used correctly. Under normal circumstances castors will float on the surface of the water and be quickly carried away, however keeping them in a bait box with a little water will ensure
they sink to the bottom when thrown out. Castors can either be hooked in the same way as maggots, or by using very fine wire hooks which should be buried entirely within the body of the castor, with only the tip of the hook protruding.

Worms

Available in everyones garden and often overlooked, perhaps because of their ready and easy availability, like maggots, worm can often be a deadly and effective bait. The most commonly used worms are lob worms (your common or garden earth worm) and dendrobaena (also called the european nightcrawler and commonly found in compost heaps). Both will catch pretty much any fish you can think of and the simpler you can keep your presentation the better. Hook the worm twice around 1/3 of the way down its length which will allow it room to move without getting too tangled up but not provide too large a bait for a fish to bite in half without giving you a chance to get it hooked! A worm of warning, when hooked, dendrobaenas release an unpleasant yellow liquid designed to warn off potential prey, however this does not seem to have any great deterent effect on fish, just makes your hands smell a bit nasty after hooking.

Bloodworm

Not actually a worm at all, bloodworm are the larvae of midges but are called bloodworm because of their bright red, blood-like colour. Traditionally the preserve of dedicated match fishermen, they are a small bait, used on light tackle to catch large numbers of small fish.

Bread

Another commonly available but deadly effective bait, bread can be hooked as small flakes on your hook, with a 2cm piece pinched around the hook leaving as much of the light fluffy bread available as possible around the hook. Pieces of crust can be hooked in the same was as you would many other baits such as sweetcorn and will bob just above the lake bed if fished off the bottom, providing an interesing morsel for any passing fishing. Pieces of crust or flake fished on the surface can provide some of the most exciting fishing you can do during the summer months, when the carp readily suck floating baits from the surface. Knowing when to strike is something that can only be learned from experience (of losing a few fish!), strike too early and you will pull the bait away and spook the fish, strike too late and the fish will have sucked the bait down and the hook will have pulled through the bread falling harmlessly into the water.

Luncheon Meat

Spam, spam, spam. The best use for luncheon meat, apart from a good monty python sketch, is cut up into cubes around 1cm squared and either fished directly on the hook or hair-rigged (although be careful when casting as the rigged meat has a tendency to fly off). Like sweetcorn, its always worth keeping a tin of luncheon meat in your tackle box for emergencies.

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