How and when to use a fishmeal groundbait

Steve Ringer helps you solve the fishmeal puzzle

How and when to use a fishmeal groundbait

by Angling Times |

Years ago, the only groundbait show in town was a sweet mix or brown crumb, but the popularity of carping has seen fishmeal take over.

This is either ground-up fish or, more commonly, ground-up fishmeal pellets. Carp and bream love the stuff and even roach are starting to get a taste for fishmeal.

Yet there are still anglers who view fishmeal as too ‘strong’ for winter, when feeding needs to be light. I reckon that’s wrong – carp and bream eat pellets all year round. The fishmeal is needed to get them interested, but the mix then needs to be very fine in consistency and low in food value, so as to not fill them up.

It can be tricky to know if a groundbait is both these things when looking at a bag, but you should be able to see if it has any larger particles in it. Even if it has, sieving it will quickly reduce the food value.

How and when to use a fishmeal groundbait
How and when to use a fishmeal groundbait

Normal Fishmeal

Smells of fish and is crumbly in texture, but superb when used on the Hybrid feeder or for fishing in the margins with dead maggots. The potent smell is what attracts the fish, and we’re not just talking carp either.

Normal Fishmeal
Normal Fishmeal

Colours

The rules for a commercial aren’t the same as on a river or canal when it comes to the colour you pick. The water’s coloured, with no predators like pike, so I wouldn’t be averse to using a light-coloured mix.

Colours
Colours

Sweet fishmeal

These newer groundbaits are basically a sweet mix with varying degrees of fishmeal added. This gives you the pulling power of both types – useful on venues where pellets and fishmeal don’t dominate.

Sweet fishmeal
Sweet fishmeal

Particle size

Groundbait is made up of thousands of particles – some tiny and some big. Lots of larger particles are great in summer, but in winter I go very fine, almost ending up with a dry mix like flour. Riddle it before use.

Particle size
Particle size
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