With the plethora of new “super” baits and groundbaits on offer I am beginning to wonder if groundbait/bait/bait additives are the industry’s answer to the decline in float sales (with the increase in home produced and hand made floats) as the latest affordable “must haves”. It seems every season there is a new super additive/flavour/glug and it must be said that a great deal of them have proven successful but is that because of the scientific research into it’s composition or is it down to we anglers being blinkered by the baits we use and anything different will stand out.
Four years ago I bought a sack of wheat for about £9 delivered, I still have some left, and everywhere I have tried it I have caught, and not just roach which most associate wheat with. I have had bream, gudgeon, tench, carp, perch (yes perch!), dace, chub, rudd and roach in all shapes and sizes! The point is was it the pulling power of wheat or was it a different bait from the usual, soft and presented in an acceptable manner? The same goes with cheese (see previous blog entry”Cheesy what”) and I have had similar fortune with marzipan. It must be said that in some commercial fisheries there is a very prescriptive list of bait that is allowed and as most people are looking to catch carp in a match or pleasuring it is understandable that they go down the pellet route as the quarry was raised on pellet before introduction to the pool. In the same way, what goes on the hook can have a vast array of flavours and colour while there is now more of a trend to make the bait look “washed out” ie, looking safer for the fish to take confidently.
Are we alone in our preoccupation with finding the perfect super bait? Obviously not as the introduction of Marukyu shows that the Asian market is just as fascinated with bait. They tend to be “F1” type carp oriented (not sure of the exact genus as there are several!) and there is a far bigger array of baits available than here!
Most bait is paste oriented and is classified into fibrous v soft and time to break down. Most paste has a target fish and method, my lad, Gareth, has been catching a variety of fish on paste, fishing inches deep in rivers and drains. He often gets paste specially made up in the tackle shop for how long he wants it to stay on the hook. Similarly pellets are pre-banded and are different sizes, colours and make-up- the ones shown here are about 6mm in diameter but 1.8cm long.
I have used smaller varieties in this country with success- not only for carp but for quality roach and bream, the shape of the pellet makes it harder for the smaller fish to take easily.
The bottom line is does a bait work because of a magical attraction or because it is different from the norm?