Popular Angler's Mail website blogger, Colin Mitchell, is back with another look into the coarse fishing scene. This time it's baits that have been working for him lately, especially worm.

IF YOU are still searching for a new wonder bait, come a bit closer and I’ll let you into a secret…

Get down to your local tackle shop or the bottom of your garden and grab a load of worms!

Any regular readers will know that if I was only allowed one bait to catch a fish it would be good old wrigglers in any of their various guises.

Spring, summer, autumn or winter worms are the wonder bait that will always catch.


So why start to remind you of this right now?

Well, fishing hasn’t been brilliant in recent weeks and in some places it has been difficult to string a few bites together.

In an attempt to gain some inside knowledge I asked one of my local tackle dealers what sort of pellets he uses on the hook.

His reply was brutally honest: “I don’t use them!”

That was enough to make me have a rethink about my plans for a trip as I had found pellets were no longer the hook bait they have been in the last two summers.

Dead red maggots had taken over as my number one choice but I felt I could find something even better.

Enter the good old dendrabena and a few of the ‘specials’ from my own wormery at the bottom of the garden.

Tench love a bit of worm... or even a whole worm!

Tench can feed all day long.

To cut a short story shorter I used the worms and dead maggots and caught… and decided that my next trip would utilise the same baits.

This week, like everyone else on the lake, I was struggling when I decided maybe it was time to fish a bit like it was winter and revert to chopped worm only.

I caught but it still didn’t seem right so started to use small segments of worm, around 1cm long, on the hook – and bingo we were in business with bream, tench and crucians plus the inevitable perch.

Now this is in my book a killer method – the worm juices attract and the bit of bait looks very much like a maggot and even more like a caster.

I used to think that fishing a bigger piece of worm or a whole worm over the chop was the best way of enticing fish faster but last week changed my mind – bits of worm that looked like the cut up sections were definitely better!

I fed with just a sprinkle of groundbait and topped up regularly through a pole pot, which all worked a treat.

Chopping worms-2

Chop chop…it’s all about the juices, not just the wriggle!

It was also noticeable that I saw and hit more bites by dotting my pole float down to a pimple on the surface, something I don’t normally feel the need to do with chopped worm fishing.

Normally I like to see the bite develop a little but the fish were obviously being very clever – yet even hitting dips of that pimple resulted in lip hooked catches.

Another thing to remember is that you are in a swim – which usually offers many different areas to fish.

Don’t just put all of your bait in one spot and hope the fish find it and stay there.

You can start like that but have another area or areas to fall back on if you don’t get bites.


Work with the plummet and search different spots in your swim.

Ideally, plumb up around the swim before you start and before you feed to find flat spots, deeper bits and shallows – and any sign of snags or weed.

One swim can then turn into many swims once you know the contours of the lake, river or canal.

And at any one time of the day the sun or shade might mean the fish will move to another area.

At the same time, never write off completely an area where you were catching that may have dried up.

Fish do get a bit spooked and then might just come back to that spot later and feed on the same bait or prefer a different one.

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