Want to land a big net of specimen bream this summer? Then check out these great bait tips for bream from bait expert Paul Garner as he has put together the ultimate list of bream baits to help you catch more now.
For more great tips from top anglers head to this year’s The Big One Show
Every summer I try to put together a good catch of bream.
This could come from a river or a stillwater, as both types of venue can contain shoals of slabs averaging 5lb and upwards.
My tactics are simple, but effective. The Method feeder is my first choice, loaded with a groundbait mix that won’t break the bank.
A lot of rubbish gets talked about how much bait you need to catch bream. Sure, a shoal can number dozens, if not hundreds, of fish, but remember – you are trying to catch them, not feed them! My experience is that heavy baiting for bream can be counter-productive.
If the fish are following a patrol route then no amount of bait will persuade them to stop. Introduce too much and they will leave most of it, including your hookbait.
A couple of kilos of bait is more than adequate for a day or night session. The bulk of this will be groundbait, with a tin of sweetcorn and some pellets and mini-boilies thrown in for good measure. If I have some frozen maggots in the freezer they will go in too, but they are just the cherry on the cake and not essential.
CHEAP GROUNDBAIT MIXES
Bream do love fishmeal groundbaits, and a mix that contains plenty of crushed pellets will certainly do the trick.
It’s surprising how little fishmeal is needed in the mix to have an effect, though, so to cut costs I will use a 50-50 combination of groundbait and brown crumb, to bulk out the bait. Remember, though, that brown crumb does not bind particularly well, so this could well affect how much feed the groundbait can hold.
I use soaked flaked maize a lot. This resembles cornflakes in its dry state, because that is essentially what it is! When soaked it swells up and emits a milky haze with soft flakes that bream (and carp) really like.
I use molasses to flavour and sweeten the groundbait – I find it to be most effective for bream, and it’s cheap. You can buy it by the litre from animal feed shops.
Bream love corn. Its yellow colour and salty taste make it easy for them to locate and they will spend a lot of time eating every grain. This makes it a top hookbait too and I normally use two or three grains on a hair to make the hookbait stand out. Because this is a relatively soft bait, look for grains that are fully intact. Try combining two pieces of real corn with a buoyant flake bait to produce a brilliant wafter.
If I am night fishing then 12mm boilies will often be my hookbait of choice, simply because they are long-lasting and I can have total confidence that they will still be there come morning. For bream up to about 8lb I use a single 12mm bait, but for bigger specimens I find two 12mm baits brings more bites. Try a sweet flavour, such as Strawberry Crush.
Live maggots can attract too much attention from small fish, even though they are a brilliant day-time bait. Switching to dead maggots both in your feed and on the hook can avoid this problem, as their lack of movement doesn’t attract as many small nuisance tiddlers. Try using a bunch of four maggots on a size 14 hook for best results.
Worms can be problematic if you are on a venue with a lot of small fish, but on a
low-stocked pit they can be very effective. Try to get hold of some small lobworms – no more than 4ins long. I like to hair-rig these, adding a piece of buoyant corn to not only give the bait some buoyancy, but also to act as a giant bait stop.
Bream love pellets, especially high-oil halibut pellets, and two 10mm baits hair-rigged in tandem have caught me a lot of big bream. You can buy ready-drilled baits that are very easy to rig, but the hole can be a little too large for a normal bait stop. Try using a Quick Stop, or add a tiny square of elastic band before the stop.