The best baits for bream

Steve Ringer reveals his favourite hookbaits for skimmers and bream

The best baits for bream

by Angling Times |

Think hookbaits for bream and automatically you’ll go down the classic route of worms and maggots. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, and they do still catch lots of fish, but the advent of fishmeal for this species and the impact of carp fishing on many venues has seen a big shift in what we now use on the hook.

In fact, on some venues, natural baits rarely get a look in. Boilies, pellets, wafters and corn dominate to such an extent that it’s a waste of time slipping on a couple of red maggots! For that reason, having a well-stocked bait tray and being prepared to experiment is an approach that always catches more fish.

Tailor your worms

I think worms work on some waters and not on others, so finding this out beforehand is important. If you are feeding worms, though, and are catching, it makes sense to use them on the hook. For big bream, two halves of a hair-rigged dendrobaena are unbeatable, while for skimmers, a worm head seems to be better.

Tailor your worms
Tailor your worms

Wafters and boilies

If a lot of carp anglers fish the lake I wouldn’t use anything but mini boilies or wafters alongside micro pellets on a Hybrid feeder. Light colours are best, with yellow or white my picks, fishing anything from a 6mm to 10mm size. They are very much a big-fish bait, though, so don’t expect to catch many skimmers on them!

Wafters and boilies
Wafters and boilies

Use corn for big fish

Colour is key with this bait. It’s bright yellow, a colour that bream absolutely love. I’d not fish it for skimmers, though, preferring to save it for big bream between 4lb and 6lb, fished as a single hair-rigged grain. I know some anglers like to use a stack of two or three pieces, but I’ve never found this to make much of a difference.

Use corn for big fish
Use corn for big fish

Try a meat cylinder

Despite the arrival of boilies, meat still works. I’ve caught plenty of 100lb bream nets at Ferry Meadows and Stanborough Lakes on meat dyed yellow, so by all means use meat – bream really do love the stuff. It’s very much a summer bait, and I dye it by soaking the pieces in Ringer Baits Sweet Energy liquid overnight.

Try a meat cylinder
Try a meat cylinder
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