The Method feeder is a great way of catching tench – the combination of groundbait and chopped worm is hard to beat, especially with my secret ingredient, Krill powder.
Into a bait bowl add three parts of Dynamite Baits’ Swim Stim Green groundbait to one part Krill powder. Mix it up dry to start with.
Wet the groundbait slowly until it will stick well to a flat Method feeder. Leave to stand for a while until the water is fully absorbed.
Finely chop a handful of dendrobaena worms so that they are reduced to a fine mush, then mix the worms into the groundbait.
Use a Quick Stop on a size 12 hair rig to hold a worm in place. The stop can be pushed through the worm, but will then hold it securely.
Alternatively, try swapping the worm for an artificial caster on the hair. This will often produce extra bonus tench.
I suppose you could say that potato hookbaits really are as cheap as chips! While not suitable as feed, potato can easily be cut into slices and punched to make a tough hookbait. Better still, it takes on colours and flavourings readily, making it a very low-cost, easy-to-use alternative to other hookbaits.
Micro pellets cannot be prepared in the same way as pellets of a larger diameter, simply by soaking or pumping – try to do that and they will quickly turn to a mush.
Instead, you have to add water a little at a time, allowing time for the micros to absorb moisture but never become saturated. You can add liquid flavouring to the mixing water (right) and for an extra ‘kick’ try a teaspoonful of rock salt sprinkled over the prepared pellets.
One of the easiest changes you can make to many baits is to alter the colour, but does this really make any difference to catches? I don’t think that fish are attracted to any one colour, but some are definitely more visible than others in different venues, and this can influence our results.
On heavily pressured venues, using a colour that is different from the norm can also catch you more fish, especially if you use some of the more obscure hues.
What can coarse fish see?
Coarse fish have eyes that are not much different from ours. However, they can see some ultraviolet light beyond the blue end of the spectrum that we can see, useful in deep water where most light is at this end of the spectrum. Rather than what colours fish can see, we would be better asking what colours are visible in the murky depths of a river, or the clear water of a lake? Light at the red end of the spectrum is actually absorbed quite quickly. If you go down to 30 feet then even in a gin-clear lake, reds will appear as shades of grey.
Most of the time, though, we aren’t fishing in water anything like this deep, so the colours we see are not that different to what the fish will be seeing too. At night colour becomes less important. Even though fish can see quite clearly on even a moonless night, they will see in black and white, with bright colours appearing as lighter shades of grey and dark colours like red appearing almost black.
Paul's top tips for dyeing your baits
Many baits will take colours easily, and some anglers who have experimented with unusual combinations have enjoyed surprising success until the fish become ‘wised up’ to them.
Why not experiment yourself, with simple food colourings? The sky’s the limit!