Groundbait...help!

Alantherose

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Right, I need some help.

I fish regularly- primarily still waters- and barely ever fail to catch. However, I have to confess I am utterly bemused and bamboozled by groundbait. Not only is there a dizzying array of brands, smells and (one assumes) flavours, but they all seem to have target species and are even designed to go with the appropriate water temperature. I'm just not sure what to use where, and for what. And given that what looks like a small bag can be around £5+ it is a lot of money to "throw in a lake" if it's the wrong thing.

Can any of you older (wiser?!) and more experienced anglers give me a breakdown of what you use, where, when, and for which species?

Best,

Al
 

Arry

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What are you fishing for... thats gotta be the first question...?
 

Arry

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Sensas Bream and some Roach Noir... to be honest if I was after bream I'd be using wetted 2mm micro pellets with a mix of sensas Bream and the roach noir just a cup of each mixed together wetted and added to a pint of wetted pellets fished on a method feeder or a small drennan cage feeder with a 6mm wafter on a banded hooklink...
Works for me
 

ukzero1

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So would you always go fishing with groundbait? How much would you use?

I think this would depend on the fishery rules. On our lakes, the maximum allowed is 1kg dry weight. It doesn't seem much but when mixed up, a kilo is a large amount to use in a day with the weather being as it is. Feed little and often rather than hand ball it in.
 

RedRidingHood

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Maesknoll

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All I would advise, is that if you fish commercials, stick with fishmeal based groundbait as a base, in the winter it may want ‘diluting’ a bit, so add plain brown crumb and Sensas Lake. For the fishmeal GB my choice is Sonubaits Thatchers, it uses a different fishmeal than the others. Sonubaits F1 is a reasonable substitute and works out a bit cheaper. You could grind pellets and make your own fishmeal element of the GB, a bulk sack of pellets will make a lot of groundbait.
 

Alantherose

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Groundbait is a lot of money, And it doesn't last long at all. Unless you're fishing competitive waters (e.g matches or commercials) just buy bulk of this;


£8.99 for 9.5KG. I used to mix it with 'specialty' groundbaits but literally found no difference. I've used it on Rivers, Commercials and hard fishing still waters with great results.. Screw paying £5-6 for 1kg.

That's exactly the kind of thing I'm after. I have found a few places to bulk buy pellets and I even bought a big bag of brown crumb- so that sounds like a good steer fella, thanks.
 

Yosemite Sam

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You can always take home a freeze what you don’t use. Measure it out using a small bait tub. You can always mix some more if you need it. You will get to know how much you use after a few fishing trips.
 

OldTaff

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I hardly ever fish without groundbait & have a couple of go to favourites depending on venue and target species that I discovered over many years of club match fishing and carried that into my pleasure fishing.

Among the staples in my stores are Sensas Magic (red), Gros Gardons, Lake and River.

Sensas Brasem is a brilliant additive for plain crumb in the feeder.

Sonubaits Super Crush Robin Red method mix is quite frankly amazing - I’m having incredible success on my local lake with this & 2mm stiki pellets.

I feel more confident with groundbait where it is allowed and I think it helps garner good catches.
 

Pompous git

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Sensas lake or magic are my go to groundbaits, I like to lace them with my own wheat/hemp/tare mixture to keep them
grubbing around.
 

Deejay8

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I always used to use Sensas, usually Lake mixed with Magic red, but it seems so expensive these days. I am probably going to find another brand of groundbait to use. I tend to like to stick to one make.
 

Simon R

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There's more rubbish written (in the media mainly) about groundbait than about almost any other product we chuck in the water - second only to flavouring maggots.

Groundbait can be broken down into three broad categories:
Traditional is your standard brown or white crumb - bread based and been in use (in the UK anyway) since the days of old Izaak - still useful for bulk feeding or to water down other more expensive products.

Continental groundbaits are mainly used when targeting silver fish - Van Den Eynde, Sensas etc - they started to become popular in the mid/late 80s - coinciding with the increased popularity of pole fishing and England's dominance of the world championships. Generally biscuit based but with many other ingredients added to alter the flavour, texture or how they reacted once in the water. VDE Special for instance is a very light cloud bait designed for fishing on or near the surface - at the other extreme VDE Turbo is a heavy groundbait designed to hit the bottom of deep lakes or rivers and remain intact until it gets there. Supercup is a personal favourite - it has an aroma of chocolate and I rate it highly for skimmers and bream. The long since vanished Picardie smelt strongly of garlic/curry and was the groundbait of choice when targeting gudgeon. The various products could be mixed together to produce a groundbait with different qualities - Supercup alone is quite light and not really suitable for balling in - mix it with VDE Secret and you get a sticky mix that'll hold plenty of particles and get to the bottom reasonably intact. Unfortunately 'cos the word carp doesn't appear on many of the bags they aren't as popular as they once were and are quite difficult to find in many tackle shops.

Carp groundbaits - ignore the hype - they're all fishmeal based. Sillybait was the first in the late 90s - must of been about 95% fishmeal - was a nightmare to mix 'cos fishmeal alone doesn't bind well so needed the addition of brown crumb. A lot was used in conjunction with Magic Meat Powder (icing sugar in a fancy bag) which made your little cubes of meat sticky so when sprinkled in Sillybait enough adhered to make a soft, fishmeal flavoured bait - soft pellets or expanders hadn't yet been invented. Until its use in animal feed was halted after BSE it was possible to buy a 25kg of fishmeal for under a tenner from any animal foodstuffs supplier - and it was practically identical to Sillybait, a quick sieve to get rid of the bigger lumps was all that was needed.
Modern carp groundbaits add a different colour, perhaps increase the sugar content to produce a 'sweet fishmeal' but the actual differences are minimal. Some advertise that they're made from crushed pellets - pellets that are 35-40% fishmeal to start with - Sonubaits, Dynamite (swim stim), Ringers, Bait-Tech, Sensas Crazybait - the list is endless. My personal favourite is the original Crazybait - by it's smell and texture I think it has a higher proportion of fishmeal which is what I want in a groundbait for carp but pick one and learn how it works - how much water it absorbs and how long it takes to absorb it all - no good mixing a groundbait that takes an hour to become fully wetted, 20 minutes before you want to use it.
And my personal bugbear - never sieve dry groundbait - you've bought a bag of groundbait that has been painstakingly mixed and blended to achieve a certain texture and action once in the water - it may, for instance, have crushed hemp in it which helps to push bait out of a feeder or break down balls. Sieve out all the bigger particles and you completely alter the groundbait - if you don't want large particles in your groundbait buy a bag that doesn't contain them in the first place. Groundbait is expensive enough as it is without chucking half of it away.

And one thing is certainly true - fancy groundbaits have caught many more anglers than they ever have fish. :p
Personally I use a lot of this Boland - cheap but just as good as the stuff costing three times as much - postage is a bit steep but fortunately the UK importer only lives a couple of miles away so I can just nip over and grab a bag when I'm passing (y)

Simon
 

RedRidingHood

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@Simon R what Boland groundbait are you buying / recommend?

Prices are steep with delivery when you're buying a minimal amount but if I was to fill a 30kg order then it's not so bad.
 

Neil ofthe nene

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I use a home made groundbait that works out at around £1 per kilo. Originally conceived as a carp groundbait it has helped me catch a wide variety of species including - carp, skimmers/bream, perch, tench, small catfish (in France) and roach.

Takes a little bit of effort to make but roughly an hour's work should see you with enough for several sessions. I store it in plastic milk bottles.

From my blog written a few years ago.

Groundbait
I use fish flavour dry catfood. Used to be Morrisons but they changed their recipes so now its Tesco Premium Cat Crunchies, salmon, trout, tuna & shrimp - £1.35 a kilo*.

I liquidise the catfood and pass it through a flour sieve** I then mix the powder with brown crumb, also sieved. Two thirds cat food to one third crumb. It takes on a lot of water but makes a nice friable mix that is good for both balling and Method feeder. I have caught carp, bream, tench, roach, and even small catfish (in France) using this mix.

I have also enhanced the mix occasionally when targeting larger bream or bream dominated waters by adding a tin of fish flavour catfood that has been pushed through a maggot riddle. Mix the groundbait first and then add the catfood.

With the brown crumb usually at less than a pound a kilo this makes a very cheap but for me effective groundbait.

* Recipies change all the time and I now buy whatever seems to have the best fish content so am constantly looking at various supermarket's and shop's catfood despite not having a cat.

** Both liquidiser and sieve are mine and not the ones from the Boss's kitchen.
 

Zerkalo

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I think this would depend on the fishery rules. On our lakes, the maximum allowed is 1kg dry weight. It doesn't seem much but when mixed up, a kilo is a large amount to use in a day with the weather being as it is. Feed little and often rather than hand ball it in.

One place where I fish makes it easy by only allowing Sonubaits or Angling Bait Company groundbait. I would use Sonubaits anyway. As said, fishmeal on any venue that sees a lot of pellets. You can get 2kg bags for £7 which in winter can last me up to 3 sessions if mixed with micros and only used through the feeder. That's £2.33 a session + the cost of micros. Although I do tend to mix it with Sonubaits Black Lake in winter to fine down the fishmeal and that's only 1kg bags. I think it's worth it.
 

Alantherose

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There's more rubbish written (in the media mainly) about groundbait than about almost any other product we chuck in the water - second only to flavouring maggots.

Groundbait can be broken down into three broad categories:
Traditional is your standard brown or white crumb - bread based and been in use (in the UK anyway) since the days of old Izaak - still useful for bulk feeding or to water down other more expensive products.

Continental groundbaits are mainly used when targeting silver fish - Van Den Eynde, Sensas etc - they started to become popular in the mid/late 80s - coinciding with the increased popularity of pole fishing and England's dominance of the world championships. Generally biscuit based but with many other ingredients added to alter the flavour, texture or how they reacted once in the water. VDE Special for instance is a very light cloud bait designed for fishing on or near the surface - at the other extreme VDE Turbo is a heavy groundbait designed to hit the bottom of deep lakes or rivers and remain intact until it gets there. Supercup is a personal favourite - it has an aroma of chocolate and I rate it highly for skimmers and bream. The long since vanished Picardie smelt strongly of garlic/curry and was the groundbait of choice when targeting gudgeon. The various products could be mixed together to produce a groundbait with different qualities - Supercup alone is quite light and not really suitable for balling in - mix it with VDE Secret and you get a sticky mix that'll hold plenty of particles and get to the bottom reasonably intact. Unfortunately 'cos the word carp doesn't appear on many of the bags they aren't as popular as they once were and are quite difficult to find in many tackle shops.

Carp groundbaits - ignore the hype - they're all fishmeal based. Sillybait was the first in the late 90s - must of been about 95% fishmeal - was a nightmare to mix 'cos fishmeal alone doesn't bind well so needed the addition of brown crumb. A lot was used in conjunction with Magic Meat Powder (icing sugar in a fancy bag) which made your little cubes of meat sticky so when sprinkled in Sillybait enough adhered to make a soft, fishmeal flavoured bait - soft pellets or expanders hadn't yet been invented. Until its use in animal feed was halted after BSE it was possible to buy a 25kg of fishmeal for under a tenner from any animal foodstuffs supplier - and it was practically identical to Sillybait, a quick sieve to get rid of the bigger lumps was all that was needed.
Modern carp groundbaits add a different colour, perhaps increase the sugar content to produce a 'sweet fishmeal' but the actual differences are minimal. Some advertise that they're made from crushed pellets - pellets that are 35-40% fishmeal to start with - Sonubaits, Dynamite (swim stim), Ringers, Bait-Tech, Sensas Crazybait - the list is endless. My personal favourite is the original Crazybait - by it's smell and texture I think it has a higher proportion of fishmeal which is what I want in a groundbait for carp but pick one and learn how it works - how much water it absorbs and how long it takes to absorb it all - no good mixing a groundbait that takes an hour to become fully wetted, 20 minutes before you want to use it.
And my personal bugbear - never sieve dry groundbait - you've bought a bag of groundbait that has been painstakingly mixed and blended to achieve a certain texture and action once in the water - it may, for instance, have crushed hemp in it which helps to push bait out of a feeder or break down balls. Sieve out all the bigger particles and you completely alter the groundbait - if you don't want large particles in your groundbait buy a bag that doesn't contain them in the first place. Groundbait is expensive enough as it is without chucking half of it away.

And one thing is certainly true - fancy groundbaits have caught many more anglers than they ever have fish. :p
Personally I use a lot of this Boland - cheap but just as good as the stuff costing three times as much - postage is a bit steep but fortunately the UK importer only lives a couple of miles away so I can just nip over and grab a bag when I'm passing (y)

Simon
Simon,

This is SUPER helpful, thanks for such a substantial answer. I think your breakdown of the three broad categories is one of the most useful things I've read on the subject and certainly helps with identifying the genus of groundbait.
 
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