Particles, seeds and pulses – great fishing baits for big fish

Particles, pulses and seeds are excellent baits to attract bigger fish. They are a little specialised and often don’t bring instant success, but if you are considering a fairly long-term baiting campaign, or are planning a weekend session they could provide you with great results.

Preparing particles, seeds and pulses

It cannot be stressed strongly enough that almost all particles, seeds and pulses need preparing before they can be used for fishing. The reason why is because once they come into contact with moisture they will start to swell. So, any dried particles that are introduced into a fishery will begin to take on water and increase in size. If a fish eats those particles before they have swollen fully the fish could be in big trouble as the particle will continue swelling within the fish’s digestive system. And we certainly do not ever want that to happen.

Each particle, pulse and seed must be either soaked or boiled and simmered for a certain length of time before it is safe for the fish to eat. Please follow the instructions detailed on our website to ensure that you are preparing your particles properly. You will find the details on our particle preparation page.

Using particles

Particles such as sweetcorn, hemp and tares can be used straight on the hook or as loosefeed to catch some ‘everyday’ species such as roach, bream, tench and carp. They are sold in the tin, prepared and ready to use. But most other particles are used to attract fish into the swim, to bring the fish towards your non-particle hookbait (a boilie, a cube of meat etc).

The most famous particle has to be hemp. It has been used for many years to attract roach, barbel and carp.

Other particles, seeds and pulses worth trying as a loosefeed attractant for barbel, carp, bream and tench are groats, wheat, rice, pearl barley, chick peas and red dari seeds. Once prepared properly they can be literally shoved into a river swim or the margins of a lake where they will emit a rather potent scent that will waft downstream or with the undertow to pull in fish from far afield.

A few samples of your hookbait scattered among the particles will soon give the fish enough confidence to find and eat your true hookbait.

Hooking particle baits


Of all the particles anglers use around 50 percent of them can be used as hookbait. Smaller particles such as hemp, corn and tares can simply be side hooked, while larger particles such as peanuts, tiger nuts and black-eyed beans are better presented upon a hair-rig.

Because you should have prepared the particles correctly hair-rigging them poses no real problems – simply pass a baiting needle through the bait, clip on your hair and draw it back through. Easy really.

Feeding particles


Most particles, when they are prepared correctly, cannot be fed using PVA bags or stocking very easily because the moisture within and surrounding the particles will melt the bag.

So, one of the most favoured ways of feeding an extensive amount of particles is with a spod, pictured above.

This large rocket-like device can be attached to the line set upon a strong specimen rod (a 3lb test curve rod with 15lb line is perfect) and used to cast the particles out.

The spod will fly through the air fairly accurately and once it hits the water's surface it will up-end and release the bait.