Better breadpaste

A large number of anglers first started fishing using breadpaste. It’s ideal for the beginner – easy to obtain and use – and it doesn’t squirm around in your hand. But don’t fall into the trap of thinking it is just a beginners’ bait. It’s easy to prepare, simple to use and very attractive to fish such as roach.

A better bait

The best thing about breadpaste is its versatility. Few other baits appeal to such a variety of fish. It catches dace, gudgeon, rudd, roach, tench, carp, bream, barbel and chub.

It has several advantages over other forms of bread baits such as flake and crust. The size and texture can be altered depending on the type of fish you are hunting and the water conditions. It can be made firm for faster water, yet temptingly small and soft for fishing lakes and reservoirs. It is also easy to add colourings and flavourings to give further appeal.

Adding taste and colour

Use slightly stale bread, at least a couple of days – and up to a week — old. Some anglers use milk instead of water to add flavour when mixing the paste.

Colourings and flavourings have become something of an art form. Thanks to baits such as boilies, a whole variety of new flavourings and colours are available. Take your pick from exotic flavours such as salmon supreme and strawberry yoghurt. More traditional flavourings are cheese, ground hemp, aniseed, custard powder, honey and sugar. Some very unlikely ingredients have been used over the years, such as ground almonds, tinned pet food, Marmite and even beer!

Colours can vary widely. Many proprietary colourings are available, though you must not use aniline-based colourings such as Chrysoidine as they can cause cancer. Cochineal, a red cake colouring, is useful, and saffron makes an effective yellow. Custard powder makes an interesting pale lemon – as well as adding flavour – and red Leicester cheese, which gives a good flavour, produces an orange colour. Bear in mind that you might want to keep back some untreated paste; it is frequently the simplest baits that are the most effective.

You can firm up the mixture by using flour – the amount depending on the texture you need. Store the paste in an airtight container or in the fridge or freezer if you are not fishing with it immediately.

Fishing with breadpaste

No special techniques need to be followed, but take care when casting that the bait does not fly off the hook as it travels or when it hits the water. Breadpaste is a little prone to parting company with the hook!

Use it firm for swift streams, and as a soft paste in slow or still water and when you only need to cast a short distance.

To make your breadpaste sink slowly -for example when fishing over weed – add a piece of crust to the bend of the hook. This slows down the bait and allows it to rest on top of the debris – rather than falling through out of the sight of most fish.

If you have flavoured the breadpaste it is a good idea to add the same flavouring to your groundbait so that the fish get a taste for kiwi-fruit – or whatever unlikely sounding flavour you are using.

Breadpaste postpones the decision of whether to fish for small dace or large carp until you actually get to the bank – as you can use it in a variety of sizes.