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BAIT
COARSE  FISHING  WITH  THE  ESSEX  ANGLER



A ROUGH GUIDE TO BAITS AND HOW TO USE THEM
Also see "PARTICALS" in The Carpers corner section.

blueline

MAGGOTS

The Maggot is the larvae of the bluebottle it's largest of the "maggot family", when fresh the maggot should be soft and lively, you should be able to see a black spot in the center of the maggot,known as a feed spot.This indicates that they have only just come off the feed they were bred on and a sure sign that they are fresh.You can improve the quality by riddling off the maze and sawdust the shop has added and adding some fresh maze with a little milk,just enough to dampen them or even pieces of apple.

hookingmaggot
"The Pinkie" is the larvae of the greenbottle and can be used as feed, they are also a very good hook bait when bites are shy and hard to come by.Used by Bream fishermen, they can be prepared and used in the same way as Maggots, but you must keep them dry due to their microscopic hairs which help them to cling to the sides of bait boxes and escape.

"Squatts" These are the smallest of the maggot famaly, and the larvae of the housefly.Mainly white in colour, although some taclkle shops sell red. Used mainly as feed, either as a loosefeed or mixed with groundbait. Due to their small size, large quantaties can be added to ground bait.
Bought in damp sand, they are the only maggots that should be kept damp, because if they are allowed to dry out they float.

When putting them on the hook, always hook the "blunt end" of the maggot, just nicking the end without bursting it.
CASTERS

Normally supplied in air tight bags due to the fact that casters can breath.If they are left too long with out air they turn brown and die. Once thet have died they will not attract fish due to the aroma. Before using the Casters place them on a riddle and rinse them under a tap. Then add them to a clean bait box and fill the box with water remove any casters that are floating. Dont throw these away, take them with you as they counter balace the weight of the hook which makes them very usefull when the fish are being fussy.As well as a hookbait, they can be used in grounbait and maggot feeder.

SWEETCORN

Attractive to many fish because of its bright colour, smell and sweet taste.Tinned corn is more effective than the frozen corn because it's a much brighter yellow and is soaked in sugary juice. It can be coloured and flavoured, by using flavourings and powdered colourings.It can be added to groundbait, whole or liquidised.
When attaching to the hook, push the hook point through the seed inside the corn before bringing it through the skin. If you dont hook it this way, the fish is likely to such the seed out, leaving you with just the skin.

hookingsweetcorn

BREAD A very common bait with most species, and popular for surface fishing plus its cheap.It can be used in many ways.
As a hookbait you need very fresh bread as stale bread wont stay on the hook very well, plus fresh breadflake sinks slowly and settles nicely on the top of silty or muddy bottoms.
Do not use too small a hook, size 12 is a good starting point.
The crust can also be used and is very popular for carp.You can even make the bread into a paste and add flavourings, but if you are going to do this then stale bread is best to use.Paste is simple to make, just remove all the crust and wet the bread with cold water; squeeze and knead to remove excess water until you have a firm dough.Then any kind of flavouring can be added.
Just wrap and mold the bread around the hook shank, leaving the tip of the hook exposed.

PELLETS

Used by carp anglers for many years, they come in many sizes and flavours so what ones should you use?
Like boilies, some pellets are more effective than others, but one of the best and most common types used are ordinary sinking trout pellets.
The size of pellet must also be decided although the smaller pellets seem to be more effective.
You can even scald them, turning them into a paste that contains lumps of solid pellet, small bits of pellet, crunchy bits and so on. By doing this you have a bait with different textures, therefore giving yourself a bit of an edge because each mouthful to the carp will feel different and it will be too pre-occupied to be aware of the dangers.
Larger pellets can be attached to a hair rig, by drilling them and using a bait needle.The smaller pellets are attached to the hook with a bait ring. Can even be mixed with groundbait.

MEATS

Greedy carp love meat, especially luncheon meat. Polony is another good one to use. I've even known someone to catch with pepperami ? Easy to use, just cut into cubes or cylinder shapes and put either directly on the hook or hair rig.

hookingmeat

BOILIES

The carper's favourite. These are basically as the name suggests, flavourings and paste boiled until rock hard balls. They are presented on a hair rig with a baiting needle.

hookingboilie

1) CAREFULLY PUSH THE NEEDLE THROUGH THE BOILIE (or other bait).
2) HOOK THE LOOP OF THE "HAIR" ONTO THE NEEDLE.
3) SLIDE THE BAIT OFF THE NEEDLE ONTO THE "HAIR".
4) USE A "BOILIE STOP" (or blade of grass), TO PREVENT THE BAIT COMING OFF.

GROUNDBAIT

Ground-bait is a mixture which aims at attracting fish to a particular place. In ground-bait fishing the bait attracts the fish, stimulates its appetite and encourages it to take the bait on the line.
When mixing just add a little water at a time so as not to make it "too wet".Mix so that it is kind of a loose flakey texture but when moulded in a ball will stay firm. Other freebies can be mixed in too,like maggots,sweetcorn,casters etc. If you are fishing for fish which normally live on the bottom (roach, bream, small carp, etc.), you should throw in about ten balls of bait about the size of a tangerine,making sure they all go to the same area and not spread all over.

These are just a few of the many baits you can use. Add extra flavourings to them like strawberry. You can get spray flavours from your tackle shop. Or why not soak the maggots in curry powder,you'll be surprised.
If bites are a bit slow, try a cocktail bait i.e. sweetcorn sandwiched between 2 maggots.
Chat to other anglers, what bait is used most on the water, what's getting the results, what isn't ?
It costs nothing to ask, and could save a lot of time and wasted bait !

STORING BAITS

The most ideal way is to invest in a small second hand fridge, this will save you from getting "grief" from the family. If you cant get hold of a fridge,store your maggots on a cool garage or shed floor with the lid off. Make sure there is maize in with them or they will sweat and die.
Other baits such as hemp, boilies and meats etc, can be frozen and thawed prior to using.
Another good tip is to get a coolbag to store your bait in when fishing on hot days, (if we get any).

blueline


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