WONDERING what baits to try next? Trying to keep your bait bills low? Make more effort to explore the aisles in your local supermarket...
There are countless shelves stacked with convenient products that work superbly, and there are meat baits galore!
Some you can use straight from the can such as meatballs (above) and hot dogs. And of course there is the old faithful, luncheon meat.
Others might need some preparation to make them usable.
The great thing is if you experiment, you will have a bait that’s a bit different to what everyone else is using. That’s never a bad thing!
Instant and raw meat baits
Spicy Peperami sausage is an instant option that makes a very popular hook bait for big fish.
Have you ever tried it? Many successful big fish anglers have a Peperami in their bag… just in case!
It can be presented with a few free offerings, or used in conjunction with luncheon meat, hemp and pellet feed.
Peperami is tough so it stays on the hook well and it can also be hair-rigged.
It’s a robust hook bait for long range casting, also good for trundling through fast flowing river swims. Barbel in particular love this stuff.
There are many other sausages to explore – cooked, raw or as paste.
Use this hook bait with minced beef, which is a brilliant pulling and holding feed.
This rare combination works brilliantly for river chub and barbel, also on stillwaters for tench, bream and carp.
A top method is to feed mince through an open-end or blockend feeder.
Catfood, the super smelly meat bait
You need a strong stomach to use cat food, which is extremely pongy. They also make brilliant meat baits!
Match anglers clean up with this gear on coloured commercial fisheries, often landing some really lumpy carp with it.
Cat food tends to have a medium consistency so it stays on the hook quite well.
You need to use a big strong hook and stepped up tackle, fishing hard on the bottom with float gear.
Cat food is very filling so it needs to be fed carefully.
You can chop it up with a knife, mulch it with multi blade scissors, or push it through a metal maggot riddle.
This is a messy job, resulting in a semi liquid goo. If you want to tidy things up a bit, trying mixing some fishmeal groundbait in to stiffen up the feed.
Another good trick is to mix in some micro pellets, or some dry brown bread crumb.
The only really viable way to feed mashed cat food and all the rich gravy it comes in – without adding any extra ingredients – is with a pole cup.
This slop might look pretty disgusting but on many venues it drives carp wild!
Pouring a sloppy mix like this into a swim creates a big lingering cloud and covers the bottom with a fine bed of feed.
But make sure you use a strong pole with this method!
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