Category Archives: Bait

Cockles for fishing bait

Used by themselves cockles are good for catching dabs and wrasse, but they mainly attract smaller species such as pouting and rockling which are not the major quarry of the sea angler. They are far more successful as a secondary bait for tipping other baits. The exception to this is during or just after aContinue Reading

Fishing with feathers

As long ago as the 17th century, feathers were being used as a means of catching fish in the sea. Today strings of feathers which have either six or twelve hooks – tied to short snoods – are made by the tens of thousands. They are used principally to catch mackerel. It is likely thatContinue Reading

Mussel power

Compared with such baits as peeler crabs, lugworms and ragworms, mussels are extremely easy to find and cheap to buy. Most visitors to the seashore have seen clumps of bluish brown common mussels often forming a dark line along the low water mark. This bivalve mollusc is widespread around the British Isles and large numbersContinue Reading

Rubby dubby – groundbaiting the sea

Rubby dubby is a form of groundbait used for boat angling at sea. It is made from minced fish, bran and fish oil and is designed to lay a long bait trail which predatory fish follow to the source. Fish with oily flesh, such as mackerel and herring, make the best, most potent dubby –Continue Reading

Squid and cuttlefish

Strange as it may seem, squid and cuttlefish are molluscs: they have modified shells on the inside. Properly prepared, they are clean, firm-fleshed baits that stay on the hook and catch a variety of fish. They also freeze well, so it’s always worth having some in your freezer. Two types of squid are commonly usedContinue Reading

Razorshells have the edge

Most species of fish take razors, especially flatties, bass, cod, whiting and pouting. Used in cocktail form they add another dimension to a plain worm bait. Boat anglers in the north-east swear by razors that have been allowed to go ‘off’ as a bait for cod, whiting and flatfish. Where to look Razors are foundContinue Reading

Collecting and using the unbeatable peeler

Peelers are an angling enigma – their versatility in catching anything that swims, along with an ability to be species and specimen selective, has delighted and confused sea anglers for years. If you understand the intricacies of their collection and use, the rewards are great, but many trying peelers for the first time, frozen, fromContinue Reading

The deadly ragworm

Unlike the lugworm, which filter-feeds peacefully in the shelter of its burrow, the ragworm is a voracious carnivore and scavenger that forages relentlessly through sand and mud. Looking somewhat like a cross between an earthworm and a giant centipede, it propels itself along on a mass of bristly ‘legs’ and seizes its food – smallContinue Reading

Common and yellowtail lugs

The lug is a natural marine bait but its habitat is so secure that fish rarely encounter it. Sometimes, though, a heavy storm knocks out a sandbank and washes the worms into the surf: then, the fish go on a feeding frenzy. Lugs take all types of sea fish except for mullet, shark and conger.Continue Reading

Groundbait for punch fishing

Match and pleasure anglers have discovered that hard-to-tempt canal roach and skimmers readily take punched bread when baits such as maggots fail to raise a bite. But now that more and more anglers are using the technique, it is necessary to refine your tactics if you want to stay one step ahead of the field.Continue Reading