Man- Made Fishing Bait
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About Man- Made Fishing Baits

One of the greatest thrills in angling is to catch a big fish on a bait that you have concocted yourself, especially if you have tried a secret bait, ingredient or flavour which nobody else knows about.

To cater for the need to experiment, there are now bait companies marketing a wide variety of colours, additives and flavours for you to add to your pastes, boilies and groundbait. In addition, your local supermarket is full of potential baits that you can use straight from the tin or packet.

Here is a brief description of the man-made baits which have accounted for the majority of big fish in recent seasons.

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You can make your own paste, or buy it ready-made and flavoured from a wide selection available at tackle shops. As well as being good fun to make, pastes are an excellent bait for chub carp, barbel and tench.The basis of paste is a fluffy white loaf of bread – at least four or five days old – with the crust cut off. Soak the bread in water until it is soggy, then squeeze out as much water as you can and wrap the mass in an old tea cloth or, better still, a piece of muslin. Wring this out as firmly as possible and you will be left with a doughy mass. At this point you can add all manner of flavours, colours, cheeses and the like as you knead the bread into a paste. When it comes to pastes, the motto is, “the smellier the better,” and for winter chub fishing adding strong blue cheese is particularly effective.

Paste should be firm enough to stay on the hook during casting, but soft enough to come off the hook as you strike at a bite. If your paste is too soft, you can firm up the mixture by adding a small amount of flour.

Several companies market mixes which just need the addition of water, and trout pellet paste is particularly effective for catching carp. All pastes should be hooked so that the paste covers the whole of the hook shank and bend, but with the tip of the point showing Paste can be used with hooks of sizes ranging from 6 to 14.

Spicy Fishing Bait

Luncheon meat can be flavoured by frying it for about a minute in oil mixed with your chosen flavours. Spicy flavours are best in winter, and sweet flavours in summer.


Boilies and meat baits should be presented on a hair rig. Boilies are frequently misunderstood by non-carp anglers. Put simply, boilies are essentially small balls of paste, which have had egg added and which are then boiled so as to create hard outer shells which small fish cannot nibble away at.

These days you can buy base mixes from tackle shops, which contain all sorts of lovely proteins, fats and vitamins, and which mix easily into a paste. To turn the paste into boilies, add eggs, flavours and colours to the mixture, roll it into small balls, and then boil them in water for about 90 seconds. Leave them to dry, and after a few hours the skin will have hardened enough to use. Any boilies not required for an immediate fishing session can be stored in the freezer.

Boilies are fun to make and it is not difficult to produce good results, but there are several companies manufacturing ready-made boilies which are ideal for beginners, or for those anglers with limited time. Manufactured boilies are sized in millimetres, by diameter, and should be fished on a ‘hair rig’ using hooks between 4 and 10 in size. Boilies will take carp, tench, chub and barbel.


Smelly cheeses, such as stilton and danish blue, will attract fish when fishing rivers that are in flood. Cheese works well when incorporated into pastes but can also be fished straight from the packet. The rubbery cheeses like Edam and Gouda are best as they stay on the hook firmly and withstand constant pecking from small fish. Smelly cheeses like Danish Blue are good on rivers in flow conditions. Cheese is an excellent chub bait and should be fished in cubes with the hook point sticking out. Use hooks sized 6-12.

Processed Meat

Pepperami and other processed meats make excellent baits for big fish. Luncheon meat sa classic bait for carp, barbel and chub. It is best cut into cubes and fished on a hair rig. Processed meats are particularly attractive to chub, barbel and carp. Luncheon meat is probably the most popular meat bait and is usually fished in cubes on a hair rig, or directly on the hook. Other commonly used meat baits include pepperoni, cat food and hotdog sausages. Use hooks sized 6-14.

Dog Biscuits

Doc biscuits make superb bait for surface feeding carp. Floating dog biscuits, in particular Chum Mixer, are a super summer carp bait, and they will also tempt other species including chub. Out of the box they are hard, and as a result quite tricky to hook. The best method is to cut a groove in one side of the biscuit and glue the back of the shank of a large hook into the groove using superglue. They are quite easy to flavour and colour, and should be fished in conjunction with a controller float. Use hooks sized 10 – 12.

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