During the cold winter months there is no better bait to use than bread, its flexibility in the way that it can be prepared and used makes it an essential bait to take on the bank with you this winter. We've asked our regular bait expert Dr Paul Garner to show us his top 3 ways of using bread while fishing.
In fast-flowing or deep rivers your feed can get washed a long way downstream, taking the chub with it rather than pulling them upstream towards you.
Bread alone will work in water up to 4ft deep, as long as the flow isn’t too strong. Beyond this I will use brown crumb to stiffen the feed so I can form it into soft, fast-sinking balls. A cloudier mix that breaks up well can be made by handfuls of instant dried potato, such as Smash, to the mix.
When I get to the bank I cover a broken-up loaf or two with river water, leave it for 10 minutes, then squeeze it in an sieve or carp sack that holds back the fine particles but lets the water pass through.
Bread can be quite tricky to use for the first time. Stick with it, though – as a cheap and effective chub bait it really does take some beating.
ON THE HOOK
You can mould flake around the hook shank for chub. Their cavernous mouths will easily handle a 50p-sized piece. Match hook size to the bait – for big baits a size 8 is about right, for large punch go down to a 12.
I feel that a large piece of punched bread is much more effective than flake. Because the punch evenly compresses the bread it tends to stay on well, even when just nicked on to the hook.
Flake, pinched around the hook shank, can stay on better, but at the expense of producing a soft, neutrally-buoyant bait.
Traditional bread punches tend to be a bit small for this job. I use 10mm punches, and will often cram to or three pieces of bread on to a size 10 hook to give a more substantial bait.
Sliced bread can be made a lot more user-friendly by wetting and compressing it the day before you go fishing. This produces a much denser bait that holds together.
First, remove the crusts from a few slices of thick white bread then soak them for a minute in cold water.
Remove the slices of bread and place them on a board covered with a couple of pieces of newspaper.
Add more newspaper on top, along with another heavy board to compress the slices. Leave overnight and by morning you’ll have slim slices of damp bread that make perfect hookbaits.