How to make cheesepaste


It hasn’t been a great year for chub fishing so far, thanks to the almost unprecedented high water we’ve had to endure for months on end.

However, as we enter the coldest time of the year there will be windows of opportunity when chub will be very much my number one target.

On a low, cold and clear river, breadflake will normally be the first choice of bait, but this year the chances of us getting those conditions are slim, so smellier baits are definitely the order of the day, and that means the good old cheesepaste will be getting an airing.

One of the major benefits of cheesepaste over other chub baits is the strong aroma that quickly wafts downstream, drawing fish in from quite a distance. In low, cold-water conditions, this is not going to make a massive difference to your catches, as the chub are going to be loathe to leave their positions. When the river is carrying extra water and colour, however, a smelly paste comes into its own.

Now, every chub angler has their own favourite cheesepaste recipe, and many a night has been spent in the pub with anglers extolling the virtues of one variety of cheese over another. Personally, as long as it is a nice and smelly variety, I don’t think it makes a great deal of difference, and I will happily use whichever is cheapest. Normally, this is any left-over Stilton, or other blue cheese that has survived in the back of the fridge over Christmas!

More important than the variety of cheese that you use is how you make your cheesepaste, as you need to have a reasonably soft consistency that will let the flavour flood out, without it being too soft that it falls off the hook.

Getting your paste just right takes a bit of practice, but is worth experimenting with. It also makes a difference whether you are moulding the paste around the hook or using a corkball or paste cage (left) to mould it around. If you are getting sharp pulls but missing bites then the chances are the chub are just nipping at the paste, and you will get more hittable bites if you fish the hook buried in a small piece of paste. If the fish are feeding more confidently then it is easier to use a paste cage and have the bait moulded around the hair, rather than all of the hook. A bigger bait, about the size of a ten pence piece or bigger, works well when the chub are feeding hard.


You can make your cheese paste even smellier using any number of additives, but a couple really stand out as being chub-magnets. Several of my friends swear by adding a couple of drops of N-Butyric acid to their paste. But be warned, this is without doubt the smelliest and most horrible smelling additive going, so be sure to keep it out of the house! I was told about squid powder a couple of seasons ago and my chub catches have definitely improved since I have started adding just half a teaspoonful to my cheesepaste. The squid powder is such a good chub attractor that I now leave it out of my barbel baits as I just get pestered by chub!

One other thing worth bearing in mind is that chub have very good eyesight and I am sure that on heavily-fished rivers cheesepaste begins to lose some of its effectiveness simply because nearly every time the chub pick up a piece of white paste it has a hook in it. In clear conditions, therefore, try adding some red or brown dye to your paste to darken it down and make it that little bit different from everyone else’s.

Cheesepaste fishing is normally great if you have a short attention span, as often it doesn’t take the chub long to home in on the flavour trail.

On a cold winter’s morning hopping between swims, spending anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes in each spot is normally all that is required to see if any chub are at home.

It’s a brilliant way to spend a short January day, and as long as the river is not a raging torrent, cheesepaste will do the business!




Most anglers will bait each swim with just a few chunks of cheesepaste by hand before fishing. However, when using such a potent hookbait I prefer to be more accurate with my baiting and instead of loosefeeding I mould three or four pieces of paste around a short length of PVA tape. I thentie this to the lead or nick it over the hookpoint. When cast out, the PVA will soon melt and leave the free offerings right next to the hookbait.  Hey presto – perfect presentation every time!



1 Break up about 4oz of blue cheese in a microwaveable bowl. If the cheese has a rind, then this is best removed.


2 Heat the cheese for about a minute to melt it – you are looking for a runny mixture. Then add a dollop of margarine.


3 Remove the crusts from a few slices of fresh white bread and either break them into small pieces or liquidise them.


4 Add any powdered additives to the bread and shake well, and add any liquid additives to the runny cheese.


5 Add the bread to the cheese slowly and mix. Keep adding the bread until you get a firm consistency that’s easily moulded.


6 Wrap the paste in cling film or a bag and store it in the fridge. I like to make up small batches and use them within a few days.

How to fish a mag-aligner rig for big specimen carp


Big specimen carp aren't always caught on boilies - they do eat other bait too, including maggots. This means that a carefully presented maggot or two can prove the downfall of the biggest fish in the lake, but you have to be a little clever in how you do this or you'll just catch roach, perch or gudgeon.

The perfect way to avoid smaller nuisance fish is to use a fake or imitation maggot as they can withstand beign pecked and sucked by small fish.

Then, on top of that you will have to use a large hook for two reasons: firstly a big hook won't be taken into the mouths of smaller fish, and secondly, if you hook a very big carp you'll need a large, strong hook to get the carp out and on your unhooking mat.

The rig below shows you just how to use an imitation or fake maggot bait easily and effectively.


1. Take one of the specially designed Enterprise Tackle fake grubs and carefully thread it onto a lip-close baiting needle.


2. Thread the rubber grub onto your supple hooklink staying as close to the skin of the grub as you can, this retains as much of the hook gape as possible.


3. Tie a size 10 hook onto the link with a grinner knot. Slide the grub over the hook eye and down the shank. The hooklink should exit on the point side.


4. Thread two live maggots onto the hook along with a big PVA mesh bag filled with maggots. The hookbait just gets wolfed down with the freebies!


5. Try varying the colour of the grub depending on the water clarity and the lake bed.

In winter the water does go very clear and carp have excellent vision, using different colours of maggot might produce more takes.

Presenting bunches of hair rigged maggots for carp and barbel

Have you ever wondered how to fish for carp and barbel with a wriggling bunch of maggots on a hair rig? Well here's how you can do it easily and quickly using Korda's brilliant Maggot Klip.

All too often anglers feel they need to resort to either boilies or a drilled halibut pellet to catch big barbel and carp, but that's the wrong way to approach these species.

Often these big fish have seen boilies and halibut pellets many times before, ending up on the unhooking mat, straddled by an angler holding a pair of forceps. A thinking angler will have realised this and come armed with something different - maybe a pint tub full of juicy, wriggling maggots.

A bunch of maggots can often lead to the downfall of big carp and barbel, but knowing how to present these live baits effectively can confuse many anglers. Thats' why the brilliant Korda Maggot Klip was crated.

Here's how to use one...


1. A size 10 hook and a Korda Maggot Klip are all you need for this rig. I favour using the Klip on a supple, coated braid or a light fluorocarbon in the winter when the water is gin-clear.


2. My favourite sizes of Klip are the small and x-small. It works on a simple latch principle, the maggots are threaded onto the sharp point of the Klip and then the gate is closed, easy as that!


3. Simply tie the Klip to the end of a length of your chosen hooklink with a suitable knot, this is a three turn grinner. It takes seconds to tie and is very secure.


4. Set where the Klip is required in relation to the hook and tie off with a standard knotless knot. I like a reasonable length hair to keep the maggots away from the hook point.


5. Now thread some maggots on the Klip. Try not to burst the grubs, they stay active for much longer and will be more attractive to the carp. A big ball of wriggling maggots is better than a bunch of dead ones.


6. Shut the gate closure once you’ve put as many maggots as you want on the Klip. It is the quickest and most secure way to attach maggots to a standard carp rig. As the main picture shows, you can also use a lump of cork to pop-up the bait.


How to use Peperami


One thing that is vital at this time of year is your bait choice. In winters gone by one of my favourite baits for scratching time has always been a little sliver of Peperami, or as I refer to it - ‘Rami’.

I don’t know whether it’s the garlic, spice or oil content but it’s a superb winter bait and can often get you a bite when fish won’t look at a conventional bait.



1. Peperami comes in a few different guises. I always have a few of the mini packs tucked in my rucker, even through the summer, they are an ideal convenience hookbait for diffi cult times. Give the hot versions a go over some ‘chilli hemp’.

My chosen components - delicate hooklinks and size 10 hooks.

2. 10lb fluorocarbon is an ideal hooklink for such a small, delicate bait. This soft version is especially good.

3. I start by cutting a small sliver about half a centimetre thick off the sausage.

4. This is about the size of sliver I use, tiny!

5. Thread it on through the intact skin and fix with a boilie stop as normal.

6. A simple knotless knot is all that is required. Because I use such a small bait a light, simple presentation capitalizes on its subtlety. A bigger hook or a thick coated braid would defeat the object.



1. The second way I use Peperami is as a slightly larger combination bait. I use this when I want an extra little bit of visual appeal. A section about 1cm is used here.

2. Peperami is full of oil but if you leave the skin intact it can only escape through the ends. I roughly chop all the skin off to

leave a ragged piece of meat to increase the surface area.

3. To provide the visual hint to the hookbait I use one of the new tiny plastic corn pieces. I permanently leave a few grains of plastic in with my pop-ups so they absorb some of the smell too.

4. You’ve now got a lovely little hookbait that gives visual and food signals out.

5. Once again I use a small size 10 Wide Gape hook to make the set-up as discreet. A knotless knot is also used.

6. Small, smelly, oily and ideal for a winter bite or two.


1. Use a food blender or coffee grinder to pulverise a Peperami stick, it is a superb PVA stick mix additive.

1. Use a food blender or coffee grinder to pulverise a Peperami stick, it is a superb PVA stick mix additive.

2. Korda’s new ‘Long Chuck’ funnel web is perfect for making tiny PVA sticks.

2. Korda’s new ‘Long Chuck’ funnel web is perfect for making tiny PVA sticks.

3. To give you a scale, this is my little finger!

3. To give you a scale, this is my little finger!

4. Micro pellets and some Dynamite Meaty Marine mix completes the bait.

4. Micro pellets and some Dynamite Meaty Marine mix completes the bait.

5. Barely bigger than my thumb, but a superb ‘one bite’ tactic for recasting regularly in the cold months. Trust me, it catches carp even in Arctic conditions.

5. Barely bigger than my thumb, but a superb ‘one bite’ tactic for recasting regularly in the cold months. Trust me, it catches carp even in Arctic conditions.

Are you using the right fishing lure?


Spoons, plugs, spinners, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, poppers, shads, jigs, micro jerks, floaters, divers, jointed, trolling – there are so many different pike and predator fishing lures out there that picking the right one to use is an absolute nightmare for the newcomer to lure fishing. Here we explain everything we know about lures and how they perform.

We won’t detail colours of lures in this article because that is something that varies on any given day and there isn’t a definitive ‘best colour’. If there was, all lures would be that one colour! Instead this in-depth article details what to look out for when buying lures to catch pike, zander, chub and perch.

In the main lures can be split into five different groups: plugs, spinners, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits and shads. And of those groups there are many variants. Take plugs for example – there are floating plugs, sinking plugs, jointed and diving plugs.

Here we’ll cover them all in detail to explain how they all work and perform, plus we’ll show you how to retrieve each style for the maximum effect.

Choosing plugs


Plugs can be bought in single bodied or jointed form. They perform the same but you'll find the jointed lures wriggle and can produce more fish.

You’ll find that most plugs have metal or plastic lips protruding from the heads. These lips are designed to either make floating plugs dive to a specific depth when they are wound back, or the lip will ensure that sinking plugs maintain their depth when they are cranked back or trolled behind a boat.

Some plugs to not have lips. These are floating plugs designed to catch fish in the surface layers because they do not dive under the surface very far – only inches in most cases. Great for summer pike action.

The angle of the lip will determine how deep floating lures dive. If the lure has a long lip that points straight out front it will dive very quickly indeed and will be designed for winding down to depth of around 10ft or even more. These are perfect in winter when the predators will be lying at the bottom.

If you see a floating lure that’s lip points downwards it will be a shallow diver – it will dive quickly to around 4ft deep maximum.

There are lips set at 45 degrees to the body – these will dive to around 6-8ft, so all depths can be covered by a variety of floating diving plugs that have different lip angles.

Sinking plugs will continue to drop to the bottom until you start retrieving. If these lures didn’t have lips they would simply come straight up to the surface, but the force of the water against the lip pushes the lure down. The combined effect of trying to wind the plug to the surface against the force of the water pushing down on the lip makes the lure travel in a straight line. It will only begin rising upwards when it nears the angler and the upward pull from the reeling beats the downward force on the plug’s lip.


The lips on plugs vary massively. The uppermost plug has a long, straight lip that will make it dive very quickly to extreme depths. The lower plug has a lip that protudes downwards and this will make the plug dive to only a few feet. A good combination of lip patterns will ensure that you can cover a multitude of depths.

With care, sinking plugs can be worked at any depth. All you have to do is to count them down. As soon as the lure hits the surface start counting and start the first retrieve when you reach two. On the next cast aim at the same spot, count to four, then start retrieving. If the water’s deep enough do the same again but count to six.

Doing this ensures that your plug works at different levels of the water, giving you a higher chance of retrieving your plug right alongside a pike.

Some plugs are jointed versions. They perform exactly the same as the above descriptions except they wriggle when they work through the water. They are very popular lures because of this added attraction.

Here's how floating plugs work underwater. When you crank the plug back it will dive to a depth determined by the angle of the lip, and when you stop winding the lure back it will begin to float upwards again. Simply repeat the process to create a zig-zag pattern through the water.

Here's how floating plugs work underwater. When you crank the plug back it will dive to a depth determined by the angle of the lip, and when you stop winding the lure back it will begin to float upwards again. Simply repeat the process to create a zig-zag pattern through the water.

Benefits of spinners and spoons


These are very simple lures that can be used throughout the year. They are easy to fish with and easy to work through the water – all you do is wind the spinner in.

As they are made from metal they sink very quickly so you’ll have to count them down again from the instance they splash down to ensure that the spinners are working at the required depth, and once you’re happy that the lure has fallen to the right depth you must start retrieving steadily.

As soon as spinners start moving they will rotate and this creates a series of flashes as the shiny metal base and coloured top spins. It’s these flashes that attract the predators.

Fishing with jerkbaits

A decade ago jerkbaits were out of reach for most anglers as they required incredibly powerful and specialist rods that are only any good for jerkbait fishing, super strong traces of 100lb-plus breaking strain, 100lb braided mainlines and powerful multiplier reels. Now times have changed and thankfully any lure fisherman can use the new breed of micro jerkbaits on the market.

Years ago jerkbaits used to weigh between 6-12oz and cost £25 or so apiece. Now you can buy much smaller mini jerkbaits that weigh the same as most plugs and cost under a tenner – perfect!

Here's examples of jerkbaits. On the left, we have the new breed of micro-jerks and on the right are the original jerkbaits that can weigh in excess of 8oz.

Here's examples of jerkbaits. On the left, we have the new breed of micro-jerks and on the right are the original jerkbaits that can weigh in excess of 8oz.

These lures catch loads and loads of fish, and that’s a fact. The reason why is because these lures don’t travel back to the rod in a straight line or upon a straight plane – they dart sideways, up, down, they even sometimes turn right around and flip over. They really are amazing.

To make these lures perform as haphazardly as that requires a completely different technique. Instead of winding the lures back they should be flicked back using short and sharp flicks of the rod. The rod should be jerked downwards to make the lure shoot forwards, then the angler will have to lift the rod and wind in some line then jerk the rod down again.

The results can be amazing – we would definitely advise you give these tremendous little micro jerkbaits a try.

You will need to use a braided mainline though because mono will stretch and absorb some of the action made by flicking the rod tip down.


Here's how jerkbaits work underwater. Some jerkbaits sink while others float, but they should still be fished in the same manner, which involves flicking the rod tip downwards sharply to force the jerkbait through the water. This action will make the lure dart about all over the place.

Fishing through weed with spinnerbaits


Amazingly these V-shaped lures with their inward-pointing hooks do catch predators. They are quite specialised in that not many anglers use them, probably due to the strange shape and not knowing just how affective they can be.

But spinnerbaits are great fish catchers as – like a certain lager - they reach the parts other lures can’t. Because of the inward-pointing hook they can be worked really close and often through strands of weed – the lure just bounces through the green stuff. And in winter, when the pike sink to the bottom and tuck themselves up right in the strands of weed, these lures can be very effective indeed.

To fish them correctly requires using the countdown method (detailed above) to ensure that the lure works at the right depth. When it’s steadily wound back to the rod tip the lure spins and flashes as the metallic spoon attached to the body catches any light at the bottom of the water.


Here's how spinner baits perform underwater. They should be counted down to the bottom and then retrieved steadily with the odd pause to make them flutter through any weed on the bottom.

Bumping the bottom with shads

Borne from the sea angling world, shads have found a large following among coarse predator anglers. In fact, once an avid lure angler discovers just how lifelike and effective these simple rubber, wobbly baits are they find it difficult to switch back to the old-style of lures.

The vast majority of shads are based upon two pieces – a flexible rubber body and a weighted head that has a long but powerful single hook.


A typical selection of shads. You can clearly see the metallic, weighted heads, the large single hook protruding from the back and the colourful rubber bodies. As the hook remains uppermost, you can bounce these shads along the bottom, safe in the knowledge that they won't become lodged in weed.

Shads can be caught complete with the hook embedded within the body and the weighted head in place, or they can be bought separately which is a good thing because often the hook far outlasts the plastic body that can quickly become ripped to shreds by pike’s teeth.

When rigged-up correctly the hook should protrude out of the top of the plastic body so that the lure can come to rest on the bottom with the hook pointing upwards, well out of the way of any weed. This makes the lures perfect for bouncing along the bottom to create plenty of disturbance and even small clouds of silt eruptions from the lake or river bed that will attract the attention of nearby predators.

For this reason they are ideal in the depths of winter when the pike lay close to the bottom.

Splashing the surface with poppers

In summer and autumn, when the pike can sometimes be seen close to lilies and weeds, inches underneath the surface, you will do well fishing with poppers. These small lures are purpose-built to attract pike near the surface.

They are tubular lures that are extremely buoyant. They don't have lips to make them dive, but they might have flattened noses, concave noses or even propeller-type blades at the back. All those features are designed to create as much disturbance on the surface as possible.

The principle behind poppers is to make as much noise as possible. And to do this the lures should be cast out, the line should be straightened to the lure and then quick, short, sharp flicks of the rod tip will make the lure dart forward a couple of feet making a terrific splash as it moves. It's those splashes that will grab the pike's attention.

Braided mainlines work best with poppers as they have no stretch, so any movement on the rod will be transferred directly to the lure making it move even more violently than could ever be achieved if you use mono mainlines.

There are many different types of surface lure - some resemble frogs, some resemble water voles, while others resemble fish. they are definitely worth a try when pike fishing in the summer months as the takes can be explosive!


Here's how to fish a popper. After casting, it's best to leave the popper floating for a few seconds to let any nearby pike respond to the splash. They should be retrieved with short, sharp flicks of the rod to make maximum disturbance on the water's surface.

Top tips to ensure you get the most from lures

Replace rusty hooks

If the hooks of your lures rust take steps to change them. Work the split ring from the lure and carefully remove the rusty treble hook. Replace it with a new, shiny treble of the same size as before.


Polish your spoons

Both spoons, spinners and spinnerbaits rely on the flash of light made by the rotating blade to attract fish, so you must ensure that the lure is kept clean and shiny before clipping it to your trace and casting out.

Use a trace

Regardless of whether you are spinning for perch or chub you MUST use a wire trace. A pike could easily take your lure and bite straight through the mainline if you aren’t using a trace. It’s better to be safe than sorry.


Pop-up the hook

If you are noticing ‘taps’ on the lure from fish hitting it as it’s being retrieved, but you aren’t gaining proper takes, try this neat trick. Cut off a small section of rig foam and slide it over one of the points of the trailing treble hook. This will lift the treble hook and provide far more hook-ups from any fish that hits it.

Store them separately

Lures can quickly turn into a tangled mess when stored withing the same tackle box compartment so either buy a multi-compartment box or hang your lures around the lip of a bucket to avoid making a mess.


Try a rattler

In murky water or when fishing lures really deep down, predators may not be able to see your lure approaching, but by using a lure featuring a rattle within the body or a rattle clipped to the trace the fish will hear the lures long before they manage to see them.

Pinch down the barbs

A lot of lures feature massive treble hooks which have huge barbs. These hooks can be very difficult to remove from fish so pinch the barbs right down using a strong pair of pliers.

Remove the third hook

Lures having three sets of trebles can be a nightmare to unhook, so why not remove the front-most treble? Pike take lures from the rear, so the front treble is near redundant anyway!


Size matters

You don’t always need big lures to catch huge pike. Providing the lure you are using is presented correctly you should catch, and that is regardless of the size. All you need is the confidence to fish the lure you’ve just clipped to your trace!

How to present buoyant artificial baits pop-up style


Most artificial rubber or plastic sweetcorn grains, maggots, casters, pellets and the like float and that gives anglers a challenge when it comes to presenting them correctly.

Such artificial baits like bread and dog biscuits don’t pose so much of a problem as they are designed to be fished on the surface anyway, so you don’t have to make great alterations to your rig – you can simply fish these baits as you would fish real bread or dog biscuits.

Most other artificial baits need treating differently though, to ensure that you present them as close as possible to how the natural baits look when they come to rest on the bottom.


Let’s take a grain or two of artificial sweetcorn as an example. First of all you are going to have to fish the rubber or plastic corn kernel upon a hair rig because there’s no way that your hook will ever pull out of the bait if it were side hooked - you’d lose every fish that you hook.

Now, once the bait is on the hair rig it will float unless you alter your rig slightly so that the bait is pulled down to the bottom.

To do this you need to create an anchor for the bait and two of the best forms of anchor are either split shot or tungsten putty. Kryston make arguably the best and it’s called Heavy Metal. This malleable tungsten putty can be rolled between your fingertips to warm it up slightly, then it can be rolled onto the hooklength to create a streamlined weight.

Popped up corn.jpg


This is quite critical as the position you place your anchor will determine how far the bait sits off the bottom. And then you will have to take into account the make-up of the venue’s bottom. Is it free from weed? Is it silty? Does it have an abundance of Canadian pondweed on the bottom? All these things will make a difference to where you position the anchor for your bait.

On clean and clear bottoms placing your split shot or tungsten putty anchor around 2in away from the hook works well. This will make the bait sit off the bottom by 2in, obviously!

A 2in lift off the bottom isn’t going to look too unnatural, and believe us you’ll get plenty of runs with a bait presented that far off the bottom.

If the venue is silty we would recommend having a 4in to 6in gap between the hook and the anchor weight/s as the weight may sink into the silt but the distance between the weight and the hook will ensure that the bait sits proud of the silt where the fish will be able to find it.

If the venue is very weedy try using a gap of 12in between the hook and your anchor weight so that the imitation bait rises up through the weed and doesn’t become entangled within it.


Split shot copy.jpg

The amount of split shot or tungsten putty you will need to use down the line will depend upon the buoyancy and size and number of fake baits that you intend to use. As they all vary slightly in buoyancy the only way to find out is to bait your hair rig with whatever fake bait you’re using, add a little weight onto the hooklength and lower the hooklength into the margins to see how the bait performs under the weight of the shot or putty that you’ve used.

The rule of thumb here is to use just enough to pull the bait down – don’t use excessive amounts of shot or a big lump of putty as it’s not necessary. In most situations a BB shot will be enough, or a chunk of putty the size of a 1p.


The key to success here is to use a flexible hooklength, so that rules out thick fluorocarbon as that stuff just refuses to bend!

The best hooklength to use is braid as it is soft, supple and will bend really easily at the shot/weight to create a hinge up towards the popped-up bait.

Monofilament is second best as it prefers to lay straight and won’t produce a perfect L-shape at the point where the weight is placed.

As regards the length of the hook link material, that’s up to you. Generally speaking a Method hooklength will be anywhere between 3in and 12in, a specialist semi-fixed bolt rig hooklength will be around 4in to 8in, while a general purpose feeder/leger hooklength will be anywhere between 12in and 3ft. The choice is yours.


This is a technique that many anglers use when fishing the Method. The buoyant fake bait is fished upon a short hooklength of between 2in and 6in that is tied directly to the bottom swivel of an in-line Method feeder and no weight is used to anchor the bait to the lake bed. Once the rig is cast out the groundbait around the frame feeder breaks down and the fake bait rises upwards to sit between 2in and 6in above it.

Popped up fake pellet.jpg

Unusual fishing baits found on supermarket shelves


We’ve all used supermarket baits at some time or another, be it sweetcorn, luncheon meat, bread, mackerel or dog biscuits, but there are loads of other baits on those shelves that will catch plenty of fish.

Variations on a similar theme seem to produce the most fish. Take luncheon meat as an example. We’ve all used that at some time or another, but have you tried Peperami? This tough meat has an added kick and can produce runs from carp, barbel and chub when run-of-the-mill luncheon meat fails.

Cheese is another great bait that has given anglers countless personal best chub when fished as a paste, but have you tried cubes of Cheddar or Gloucester for carp? It’s deadly in the summer!

Here’s just a selection of different baits available from supermarkets, and a brief description of how to use them.



A fantastic bait alternative in the winter and spring when plain-flavoured baits cease to work. Try small lengths of it legered for chub and barbel, or small chunks hair-rigged and fished alongside a PVA bag of pellets and Peperami pieces, or alongside a Method feeder for carp.



During summer small cubes of either Cheddar or Gloucester tossed into the margins of a carp fishery will soon draw the attentions of those large carp that cruise along the edge. Try fishing a larger chunk of cheese on a waggler rig or pole rig right over the top of the cheese pieces and you’ll be surprised by the results!


Macaroni tin copy.jpg

NOT one of the most popular of supermarket-bought baits, but Macaroni cheese can be devastatingly effective for carp and tench. It’s a very soft, sweet smelling bait that lends itself to close range work using a pole rig because it cannot be cast as it’s so soft. Bites are near unmissable as the hook pulls straight through the soft cheese, and the best way to hook them is to pass a large, round bend pattern straight through the inner, following the curve of the bait.


Prawns .jpg

These are fresh/frozen prawns and cockles, not pickled versions. They make superb carp and tench baits when floatfished during the summer and autumn. Due to their near neutral buoyancy these baits come to rest gently over weed and are therefore ideal for use in the margins or very close to lilies.


This tasty fish has become a firm favourite among both match and specimen carp anglers as it makes such a brilliant attractor when mixed with groundbait or used in conjunction with pellets and a little groundbait for spodding. Remember to pick tuna chunks in water, not brine.


We all know that dog biscuits are a firm favourite for surface fishing for carp, but occasionally you need to introduce another type of bait to persuade the fish to feed avidly, and that’s when cat biscuits come in. They are smaller, often differently-shaped and they smell strongly too, and that combination will help give the carp a little more confidence when it comes to feeding again.


These tiny floating morsels are another great bait to feed when surface fishing. They aren’t ideal for catapulting though as they are so small and light, but when placed in a PVA bag together with a dry pebble they can be fired long distances where the PVA melts and the bait disperse. Carp and rudd love ‘em!


Cooked rice is cheap, bright white and makes for a brilliant bulk feed to add to your groundbait when prebaiting for carp, bream or tench. Simply simmer for 12 minutes and it’s ready. Allow to cool and then add to your already dampened groundbait. Rise is pretty useless on the hook though as it’s so small, but it’s perfect for feeding.


A box of semolina has two uses for the angler. It makes a superb base mix to which you can add different colours, additves and flavours when making your own boilies, or it can be mixed quite stiff with other attractants to create a unique paste that only you know the secret to. These boilies and pastes can be used to great effect on specialist and commercial carp waters.



A match anglers favourite. Although pretty dreadful to use as it makes a right mess, catfood in gravy provides a supply of perfect-sized chunks of soft meat that carp adore. It’s so soft that casting is virtually impossible so catfood is best used on pole tackle, but remember to step up your elastic and mainline strength because you’re very likely to encounter plenty of big carp when using this phenomenal bait.


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Often called calamari in supermarkets, squid makes a terrific catfish bait. You’ll need strong tackle and a very large hook to present a squid, but it’s well worth it as the results can be astounding.


This is another great catfish bait, undoubtedly due to the strong aroma leaking from the liver. You can vary the size of the liver chunks to match the size of the hook you are using, but whatever size you decide, make sure the hook you use is a strong one or the catfish will straighten it in seconds. Liver is best fished down the marginal shelf or tight to snags, throughout the night.


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Anglers of old used to fish with par-boiled potatoes when targeting big carp to great success, but nowadays potatoes tend to be used by some match anglers. Well… not exactly whole potatoes, but small cylinders of raw spud extracted from the whole potato using a meat punch. These small cylinders of potato can be side hooked and make a brilliant tough pellet alternative for fishing for carp up-in-the-water. The pale colour of the bait ensures that the carp can see it clearly. Soem anglers dye their potato pellets with strong black coffee to turn them brown to match the colour of fishmeal pellets.


Meatballs are a firm favourite among barbel anglers. Meatballs are the perfect size barbel bait, they hook well, they smell strongly and there’s ample baits in a couple of cans to last you a whole session. A great bait to use on its own when rolling baits down a river towards a likely-looking feature, or as a large target bait over a bed of pellets, hemp or particles.


These white and pink sweets make a brilliant alternative to dog biscuits, bread and pop-up boilies when surface fishing. They float for ages, they are sweetly flavoured, they are brightly coloured and they can be side hooked or hair-rigged… they have everything going for them as a summer carp bait to use on the surface.


Found in the isles containing world foods, oyster sauce is a thin, brown liquid that has a great deal of potency. It’s a superb additive that can be used to enhance groundbaits, Method mixes and even flavour pastes and pellets with. Not a cheap additive, but a little oyster sauce goes a long way, and it will last for ages too.

Bob Nudd's 10 winter bread punch fishing tips


Bob Nudd is an expert when it comes to fishing for roach, skimmer bream and chub with punched bread, and here's his guide on how to use this deadly winter bait...

Bread punch is particularly good for roach in clear water on virtually any venue. It will catch other species of fish, too, including chub and bream, but it really is a winner for roach regardless of whether it’s a canal, lake, drain or river you’re fishing. Instant action is also likely – bites often come from the very first cast of the session!

You may find, after throwing in or cupping in one small nugget of punch crumb or liquidised bread that you will get a bite within a few minutes. That's great - but chances are this will not continue through the whole session.

What often happens is the angler will catch really well over a bed of bread crumbs for between an hour or three, then bites will begin to dry up.

That's the time to switch over to another bait that you should have fed earlier... pinkies or casters further across the canal, sweetcorn in the margins or a lake, or maybe casters in the centre of a river. They all make great change baits that you can resort to using when those bites over bread begin to dry up.

Here's my top-10 tips to better punched bread fishing this winter...l 

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Commercially available punch crumb, like the Van Den Eynde punch crumb I use, won’t fi ll the fish up as much as liquidised bread. It’s easy to prepare – just add water a little at a time and sieve the lumps off with a pinkie riddle.

1) Tip your punch crumb into a round bowl or bucket.

2) Add water a little at a time and mix the crumb thoroughly.

3) Sieve the mix with a pinkie riddle until it can be made into a ball with a gentle squeeze.

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Use medium sliced Warburtons or Sainsbury’s Long Life bread for the hook. These two stay on the hook better than other breads I’ve used. If you can’t get one of these two, make sure whatever bread you use for the hook is medium sliced.

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Use brass-headed bread punches, as these punch the bread more effectively than plastic ones. Always punch your bread out on a flat surface. I use a table-mat on my side tray. As a guide, a 3mm or 4mm bread punch is best for roach.

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Your bread feed may dry out during your session. If this happens, give it a quick spray with an atomiser to bring it back to its original form. Adding extra water without one will cause the bread to go lumpy.

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Because bread is quite a light feed, it can flow out of the swim before hitting the bottom on rivers or other venues that tow. To combat this I add some 3mm aquarium gravel to my feed to give it extra weight and help it sink to the bottom quicker.

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Liquidised bread is a cheap and easy feed, but I use it only when I’m fishing for big roach. To prepare it, simply cut the crusts off a loaf of thick sliced bread and place them in a food blender. Often, the cheaper your bread, the better it is for liquidising, because it tends to be dryer than the expensive stuff and makes a lovely fluffy feed.

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Positive pole rigs with olivettes and the last dropper shot 4ins away from the hook are best for bread fishing. The punch crumb feed attracts lots of small fish as well as the bigger ones, and the smaller samples often sit up in the water. A positive rig shotted with an olivette will whizz past these fish and give you a fighting chance of a bigger sample or two.

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To help keep your bread on the hook, pop it into the microwave for 20 seconds or so. This makes it tackier. Some anglers then prefer to roll their bread with a rolling pin to help it stay on even better, but I’ve found this leads to a lot of missed bites.

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Mix your punch crumb prior to fishing to enable all the water to be fully absorbed. Generally, the bread needs several hours to absorb the water properly. If you mix your feed in advance you can stick it in the freezer and thaw it out as and when you need it.

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Keep your slices of bread for the hook in a polythene bag while on the bank to prevent it from drying out, and take it out only when the slice you are punching has dried out, or you have caught loads and punched too much out!