ANGLER'S MAIL is No.1 for tips and tricks. Here we look at hooking meat baits, ensuring you will get perfect presentation every time.

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USE meat baits with confidence. They might not be up there with the boilies and pellets in most angler’s preferences, but an oily chunk of luncheon meat or a section of spicy Peperami is an appealing food item for a variety of different species.

Presenting meats as a hook bait is pretty straightforward, as most varieties are soft enough to be mounted directly onto the hook.

Hooks can be concealed totally from view and will easily tear through on the strike to give a positive hook hold.

Very soft meats, such as smoky hot dog sausages, are the perfect bait for mounting directly and gently lowered in the margins. They can be the downfall of the most cautious of specimens.

Hair-rigging is another option for firmer meats such as Peperami sausage.
This flavour-infused oily meat can withstand medium range casts without any concerns about ripping off the hair. River species such as chub and barbel love it, too.

Luncheon meat demands a dedicated hair stop with wings, as they retain the bait more securely.

Another trick is to use a piece of artificial corn as a hair stop. It helps spread the weight for casting and also offers extra visual appeal to a fish on the prowl for some food.

A piece of sedge grass, picked from the bank makes a great alternative hair stop for softer baits – and it’s free!

There’s not a species that doesn’t like the stuff, and rolling a chunk of meat at the same speed of the current is a deadly method for barbel.

Luncheon meat can also be hair-rigged, but it’s too soft for any sort of long-range casting. You’re better off giving it a gentle underarm flick to marginal hotspots.

Meat baits can be mounted directly on a hook that is concealed from the view of beady-eyed specimens.

Salami sausage, such as Peperami, is far firmer and is perfect for mounting on a hair. Spicy, oily scent trails make this meaty treat a winner for coloured water, even in the depths of winter.

Stringer baiting needles are the perfect tool for mounting a soft bait on the hook. Push the needle through the meat, slip the crook over the bend of the hook and ease it through the bait until the point emerges. Then simply turn the hook and carefully pull it back into an unbroken part of the bait.

You could always hook on a PVA stringer of meat chunks just before pulling the hook back into the meat, for introducing a tantalising feast for any nearby fish.

These all make great alternative hair stops

Standard boilie stops tear through soft meats, but there are alternatives that work much better. Dedicated meat and pellet stops provide extra grip against the meat and spread the weight for casting.

A grain of artificial corn makes a great hair stop, too, and adds extra attraction.

Little wire coils also score well for chunks of soft meat. Attach one to a hair and use it like a corkscrew for securing chunks of luncheon meat.

John Roberts Worm/Luncheon Meat Stops are slipped onto a hook to prevent mounted meat baits sliding down the hook, leaving the hook point free.