Angler’s Mail – the No.1 mag has the No.1 Facebook, and we ran the first live fishing Q&A in November 2011.

ANGLER’S MAIL MAGAZINE’S Facebook page (click here to join) recently ran a live forum starring Dr Paul Garner of Peg One tackle and Fish Frenzy baits.

In a session of two halves, Paul started by talking about baits. And below are his expert answers, full of top tips!


Commercially produced, but these boilies are offered by Paul as halves.


The answer Kevin is that most of the time I use baits from the major bait companies, but there are still times when I want to alter the flavour, shape, texture, buoyancy of my bait, and this is much easier to do if I make them myself.

All of the bait companies put a huge amount of research into developing baits that really catch fish, so I can’t compete on my own with that level of development, but I do like to use something a little bit different, so I will use their baits and put my own mark on them.

For example, I will chop boilies in half, make a paste out of the base mix ingredients, perhaps use a pop-up and a bottom bait to alter the buoyancy.

It is worth mentioning that you can come really unstuck making your own baits, I have been there, come up with what i think is going to be a great bait and then blanked royally on it!

So these days I tend to let the bait companies do the hard work and then add my own twist to them.

Question thanks to Angler’s Mail magazine Facebook fan Kevin Pestell.


Flavours do make a difference, says Paul.


The short answer is yes. A few years ago a friend and I spent a lot of time looking at different flavours and additives and how fish in large tanks reacted to them.

Some of the results we got were simply amazing, the fish would literally rip up the gravel in the tank looking for food! This wasn’t just carp either, roach, tench, and barbel, we got similar results! Even with very small amounts of flavour the results were the same.

Remember though, this was in tanks, I then tested the same additives with wild fish where I could watch them with my underwater cameras and I got some good results, but nothing like as good as in a tank.

In general we found that the ‘food dip’ type additives were better than just flavours, we got great results on Scopex Squid, Monster Crab, Amber Strawberry, the all time classics really.

So would I flavour fishery pellets as was asked in the Q&A session on the Mail’s Facebook, yes definitely. And I know a few top match anglers who have really got into this to make their baits stand out.

Question thanks to Angler’s Mail magazine Facebook fan Sean Masom and others.


Those red balls help Paul pop-up his deadbaits for pike fishing.


Deadbaits – I pop them up almost all the time. I normally use the pop-up foam balls that you can buy and attach them with a short length of wire to the trace.

A lot of the time I want them only semi-buoyant though, so they sit just off the bottom, not right up in mid-water.

Do oils and flavours make a difference – yes, a lot of the time we are using sea baits, which aren’t natural anyway. Pike have a highly developed sense of smell, so adding oils, or just mashing up some fish, so you get a real trail of flavour will get you more bites, especially on rivers where you get a nice flavour trail going downstream.

I use a lot of different deadbaits, but just recently I have been catching a lot of fish on herrings, but like all things, that’s because I have got most confidence in them, and that has so much to do about all fishing!

Question thanks to Angler’s Mail magazine Facebook fan Gary Wilson, Andy Scott and Matt Wooldridge.

Click HERE to read Paul’s responses on tackle.

LOADS OF TIPS ARE IN OUR MAGAZINE! Be sure to read our All The Answers section in Angler’s Mail each week. If you have a question for the mag’s experts, you can ask it by emailing: