HOW many different baits do you take with you when you go for a day’s fishing? Colin Mitchell takes a closer look...

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One main choice and one change offering is probably normal as regards baits for many pleasure anglers.

Carp anglers probably have a favourite flavour or make of boilie they stick with whilst match anglers are more than likely to have a good selection of baits.

So how many baits do you really need?

I’m not going to claim to be an expert here but there are definite guidelines that can boost your final bag of fish.

Take your favourite bait. It might sound obvious but confidence in the bait and tackle you use is a big thing in fishing.

In my case this more often or not would be maggots or worms. There are few fish that will eat these and even less days when they will work.

But as the weather gets warmer these small natural baits can be a magnet for smaller fish and not let you get through to the bigger fish.

Meat and sweetcorn are my next two baits. Meat is working now – indeed it has most of the winter for me. Corn works all year but in summer it’s a bait that can cast better than meat and you can use more than one grain on the right size hook.

Pellets and paste next. There is no doubt that pellets are now a very important part of an angler’s bait armoury but don’t sit there like a dummy when they won’t work. Try other baits – even different size and flavour pellets can sometimes catch when one variety doesn’t raise as much as a sniff.

Paste isn’t for everyone but there are now enough ready made and good make-it-yourself mixes on the market to help you get a great hookbait.

And paste will certainly deter those smaller fish and tends to be pretty instant once fish are in your swim.

Bread is a very important attractor and one overlooked on a lot of waters where it can work well. Paste, crust, flake, punch – a few slices give you’re a big selection of alternatives.

If I had any two of the above baits I would be happy on the bank. Just one and I would be worried I could struggle.

The more baits you carry the better your chances of catching, so long as you don’t swap and change all of the time without giving the fish a chance to prove they fancy snacking on your bait.

I’ve not gone into different flavours and colours for all the above baits – that is something for another day, but just think about how a change in either could give you an edge, particularly on a well-fished water.