Tested by Bill Rushmer
£2 for 500 gr
Sausage meat is more like a base mix in that you need to add additives and process (cook) it before use. Just mix the sausage meat with curry powder, the amount added is a matter of individual choice. Then roll into sausages and cook in an oven on a medium heat for 20 minutes plus. The result is a very tough highly textured bait that has good pulling power and when hair-rigged can be cast long distances. Big pieces tend to be most effective. Can be very effective as a change bait, it’s generally fished as single bait. Works well for most species particularly carp and barbel.
79p for 410 gr
Just open the can and you’ll see it comes complete with gravy as a glug. You fish it directly on a big hook possibly a size 2 or alternatively fish them hair-rigged. Both the in gravy form or in tomato source, they work well. Not a particularly tough bait and problems can rise with small fish continually nibbling the bait away. Although better known as a barbel bait, these meat balls work very well in the margins or stalking. You can push a few balls through the mesh of a sieve to produce a feed. Some anglers use the sieved meat with a fishmeal groundbait to good effect.
£2.14 for 340 gr
Being soft in texture, this is a bait that is not easily fished with, from a can, however all you need to do is add bread crumb and mix it into a stiff ‘paste’ that stays on the hook. It can be fished directly on the hook or moulded onto a hair rigged cork ball. Reddish in colour it’s visible and has a fairly strong smell. Years ago this ‘secret’ bait took the Royalty Fishery on the Hampshire Avon and others apart for big barbel. It also works well for carp, but most species will accept it.
£9.50 a kilo
Normally available on the meat counter this relatively dense meat has a light speckled appearance and is well textured, with a strong garlic odour. It therefore has a strong scent for the fish to follow whilst also being very visible. Both these factors contribute to its effectiveness, but due to its texture it cannot be cast any great distance. I used this bait originally legering hair-rigged samples on the Royalty Fishery of the Hampshire Avon. I’ve also float trotted with it, directly on the hook for both chub and barbel to good effect. A good all round bait.
£1.09 for 300 gr
Good old bacon grill, has been a top bait for years and this version from Lidl called Chira Bacon Grill is one of the best. It has a fairly high fat content and salt content –and fish love it. It’s pretty tough and can be fished directly from the tin. It’s far spicier than most other bacon grills making it in my opinion far more attractive. It certainly cuts easily and is very versatile bait appealing to most species. I’ve used this bait a lot with success.
£2 for £10
Not a particularly well known bait, but one that really works. This is best fished cooked which is easy. Just place it in simmering hot water for five or six minutes and allow to cool. A relatively soft bait that cannot be cast with force great distances. Can easily be fished directly on the hook or hair-rigged. It has a light reddish brown colour that makes it very visible with a lovely smell. Tasting it, proved it was fairly spicy yet rather salty which should appeal to fish. In practice, a very good margin bait for both carp and tench and for trotting for barbel. It can also be legered.
£1.18 or five for £4
Dark red in colour and available in convenient ‘bait sticks’ there are three flavours offering varying degrees of hotness. They all catch plenty of fish on still and flowing water. And the bait could not be easier to prepare you just cut the amount you need from the stick supplied. Amongst the toughest baits in this selection, it’s best fished hair-rigged, and it can easily be fished at range. Variations on a theme in use are to either pierce it several times with a baiting needle, or skin it to get the flavour out quickly. From my Where To Fish research it comes out as one of the most consistent baits for most species across my region
£1.25 for 1,200 gr
This was my wild card in this section and one I have seen and used with devastating results. The beef flavour comes in large rubbery lumps in gravy that can be fished directly on a large hook. This is really a margin bait best fished on a large hook and under a pole float over a groundbait made by pushing lumps of Bounce through a riddle then mixed with a fishmeal groundbait plus a few pellets. When Virginia used it ‘up north’ against some class match anglers I could not believe the result. The pole anglers were fishing tight to an island using soft pellet catching mainly mid single-figure carp whilst Virginia was not only catching lots more fish, the average size was almost double! Virginia bagged about 140 lb and has had plenty of big carp on this bait.
NOTE: All products tested August 2010. All prices correct at the time of going to Press. Angler’s Mail do not take responsibility for price or product changes or current availability.