Groundbait plays a big part in all types of fishing, whether you’re on a commercial fishery or a big natural lake. But while I think we’re all familiar with the classic sweet mixes, adding fishmeal into the equation can muddy the waters a little.
Fishmeal is great for carp, F1s and bream and, increasingly, roach and other silverfish are getting used to it as well. The question is, when should you use fishmeal in your mix and when is it the kiss of death?
It all comes down to the time of year and the species of fish you are after. Fishmeal or pellet-based mixes lose some effectiveness in cold water, but in summer they’re a must.
Carp love a strong fishy mix, but skimmers prefer something that’s toned down a little bit. If in doubt, I’d always advise using a sweet fishmeal groundbait to get the best of both worlds.
Essential for carp and F1s in summer, it’s best to find out if the venue you’re fishing sees a lot of carpers on it. If it does, a strong mix will work because all species will see boilies and pellets as a natural part of their diet.
This type of mix is more appealing to silvers as well as carp and F1s. A premixed groundbait is fine, but I like to use a bag of fishmeal and a bag of sweet and combine them to let me control how much fish content there is.
Never used on commercials, this is a groundbait that works on natural venues that see no carpers, so Ireland or the Norfolk Broads rivers, for example. You’ll catch on a commercial with it, but the results won’t be as good.
Why does fishmeal groundbait lose its appeal in the cold? That’s because it doesn’t break down so easily and is not as digestible to the fish as sweet mixes. Sieving and riddling the mix will help in the cold.