IT’S time for our must-read Sunday blog. Every Sunday we welcome coarse fishing all-rounder Colin Mitchell.

For many years Colin was a senior Angler’s Mail magazine staff man and he has enjoyed a long, interesting journalism career. He understands match fishing, pleasure fishing, carp fishing – the lot.

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WE ARE just days away from what I often regard as the best month for fishing.

September rates very highly for catching almost every species of fish that swims in British waters.

It’s probably down to a combination of weather and the approaching winter, but at any given time you have the potential for a great day’s fishing.

And this year I reckon that one of the best baits is one that I have often foolishly ignored in the past…paste.

Like many of you I’ve often regarded paste as a second rate bait and one that all too often falls off the hook to leave you fishing with nothing!

Since I began experimenting seriously with pastes over the past two seasons I’ve changed my mind totally.

I am now firmly of the belief that paste can score when other baits remain untouched.

Give paste a go now and in the weeks ahead.

The problems of what paste to use, the bait coming off the hook easily and difficulties in sometimes hitting bites are overshadowed by the success paste can bring.

I’ve got two shop-bought favourite pastes at the moment and have also added a few made by myself, tailored to suit some of the waters I fish.

Sonubaits fibre paste has proved itself for me. I’ve used the green, fish based one, although they do have other varieties.

It’s easy to mix as you get a measuring pot. One pot of mix to one of water, mix it around, let it stand and it’s ready. That simple.

It’s quite soft but the fibre texture ensures it stays on the hook pretty well. And the fish love eating it, which is more important.

Dynamite Baits ready to use Marine Halibut paste comes in a good sized pot and again this is loved by the fish, especially bream, tench and carp. There are also other flavours.

You can stiffen paste to help keep it on the hook but several modern commercially-sold products are brilliant without mucking about.

I also used a mix of semolina, an egg and a few drops of additive to form my own paste. The addition is usually a few drops of vanilla essence, which I have a lot of confidence in.

There are no exact measures, just keep adding the semolina and mixing well until you get the right consistency.

I’ve also used this mix to create boilies, just putting small balls of the paste in boiling water for a minute or two to make the baits hard.

For me, fishing paste means using a decent sized hook, no less than a 16 and usually a 14 or a 12 for bigger baits.

Most of the time I will mould the paste around the bare hook ready to lower into the water.

Quite often I will also put a pellet or piece of corn on the hook and mould the paste around this. There are three advantages here…one, you know there will be something on the hook if the paste comes off; two, any paste that comes off is like groundbait for your swim; three, the bait on the hook acts as an anchor for the paste.

Always try to set the paste so it is just touching the bottom and keeps the tip of your float dotted down. That way, if the bait comes off the float will rise – although it could also be a bite… although more often than not paste bites are sailaways.

Long tipped pole floats are great for this work – and of course you don’t need a pole to fish a pole rig!

Many times already this season I have found fish starting to become slower or reluctant to take the baits I have been catching on during a session.

More times than not a change to paste has brought instant success. Sometimes nothing else has tempted the fish.

Pastes will still work in winter but there is no doubt summer is best and September could just prove a key month for you to have a final bag up session.

Vary your paste hookbaits from the size of a pea up to the size of a meatball, depending on the fish you are targeting or if you want to avoid smaller fish.

Remember, bites can be sailaways or there could be a couple of indiciations that a proper bite. You won’t hit every bite on paste – probably because in most cases the fish are sucking at it from a distance – but stick with it and with practise you will catch!



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