Groundbait...help!

SpenBeck

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If you are after the cheapest base mix, I use Pig Weiner Meal and add flavours, braseem, vanilla, fishmeal etc.

A 25kg bag of Pig Weiner Meal is £10.35 from my local animal feed supplier.

 

Alantherose

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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.
Thanks Neil,

I am quite into the idea of making my own- just to see if I can make it work! It somehow feels more in the spirit of adventure (and surely that is a key part of angling) to concoct your own groundbait.
 

Alantherose

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Thanks for all the kind and generous replies. I shall experiment and keep you posted with results...if they merit sharing ;-)

I did catch four nice carp in my last hour of fishing yesterday (without any groundbait), best being a common of 10lbs on four red maggots. One was a 7lb mirror that was foul hooked. It felt like Leviathan when I was playing it!!
 

rd115

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Groundbait doesn't have to be expensive.

I've started using Mivardi.

3kg bag for a fiver.

 

tipitinmick

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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
Can you imagine Simon .... A brand new unopened bag of Picardie ? That’s what my mate Nicky Dodds has on a shelf. It must be 30 years since I’ve seen or used that stuff and yes, it was for gudgeon bashing. ?
 

adriang

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

Lots of good info here.. A few pointers from me..

I use groundbait is generally for 2 purposes, as an attractant and as a medium to carry loose feed (casters, maggots, particles like hemp or corn and so forth). On the day, it can be useful for both, or just as an attractant.

During winter, I would tend to consider it more as an attractant, to get fish interested in feeding, but as they are less active and therefore eat less, so I avoid filling the up.

I have been using the Sonus groundbaits this year, either the super feeder dark or the so natural range. The super feeder has worked really well for skimmers, break and roach for me, they come in larger bags (I think), and they seem to be packed with particles which I assume are high feed (even looks like tiny pellets in there). I would add about 1/3 brown crumb to the mix to bulk it out and increase its capability to carry loose offerings. I would get several sessions out of one bag in the summer.

For the winter, if I was ground baiting, I would use something with less feed content, and more attracting qualities, for example secret/supercup as mentioned above, and depending on the venue and the species, minimal particles added. Yes we are talking £10 or so of groundbait, but I would be thinks it could be a 1/4 of a bag of each for a session, using a tiny feeder or feeding small nuggets by hand.

I've used some of the Decathlon stuff mentioned above, and I think it's great value in bulk, although I waited for them to have a free shipping offer, and then they had a problem which meant I had a damaged bag of the vanilla biscuit crumb, so they sent another one, meaning had 10kgs of it!).

I have seen some postings on here where members have shared various groundbait mixes made up from cheaper, bulk items, might be worth a look.

But, as a 'final thought'.. there is a lot of choice out there, I've tended to stay with a few products, mixing them up a little, but keeping it simple.
 

Simon R

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Can you imagine Simon .... A brand new unopened bag of Picardie ? That’s what my mate Nicky Dodds has on a shelf. It must be 30 years since I’ve seen or used that stuff and yes, it was for gudgeon bashing. ?
About twenty years ago I emptied out my old shed, prior to knocking it down and found half a bag of the stuff in a box with a load of other bags of ancient groundbait. Everything else had gone mouldy or just turned to dust but the Picardie appeared to be intact. It still looked the same, still smelt the same but must have got damp at some time as it had solidified into a single lump.
After cutting it out of the bag and attacking it with a cheese grater it resembled groundbait again, so I bunged it in a plastic bag and put it back in my new shed. Unfortunately I had a mouse invasion and it, together with another half dozen bags, got scoffed :cry:

Simon
 

The one and only Harvey

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I use the Sensas 3000 range. For some reason I've always had more faith in french cooking than in british . . . Each bag is mixed in with equal amounts of white and brown bread crumbs. A kilo Sensas becomes 3 kg groundbait. I usually mix in boiled hemp, and some sweetcorn. It's as simple as that. This season, Sensas was in short supply. I bought polish Boland groundbait instead. As far as I have noticed, it works equally well.

Years ago, I made my own white and brown bread crumbs. Half of each, and some boiled hemp added, I caught more than my mate sitting beside me. He used off the shelf groundbait. With a lot of fancy additives. More and more, I have been lead in the direction that it really dosn't matter that much.

Maybe you could add a little salt. Salt is always in short supply in freshwater venues.
 

tipitinmick

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About twenty years ago I emptied out my old shed, prior to knocking it down and found half a bag of the stuff in a box with a load of other bags of ancient groundbait. Everything else had gone mouldy or just turned to dust but the Picardie appeared to be intact. It still looked the same, still smelt the same but must have got damp at some time as it had solidified into a single lump.
After cutting it out of the bag and attacking it with a cheese grater it resembled groundbait again, so I bunged it in a plastic bag and put it back in my new shed. Unfortunately I had a mouse invasion and it, together with another half dozen bags, got scoffed :cry:

Simon
You’ve got me thinking back to when I used it for gonks on the Leeds / Liverpool canal in the eighties. I used to go to work on a Monday morning stinking of the stuff. It took until about Wednesday for the smell to subside. ??. Oh happy days. Nice to remises some days. Cheers Simon. ?
 

NoCarpPlease

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I don’t do carp . so my groundbait experience is mainly rivers and canals for roach and bream.

I like to consider 4 properties for groundbait:
1. Ability to carry loose samples (ie stickier/heavier mix) collant, PV1, dry leam and terre de rivière (types of clay)
2. action .. ie. Does it break up quickly and create a cloud of particles or lay inert on the bottom? Mixing the night before is a way to achieve a more inert mix. Obviously, how you mix with water can affect this.
3. chemical attraction ... is there something that is triggering a feeding impulse (eg. Fish meal vs sweet).
4. Colour ... eg. darker colours generally work better in clear water, but what about punch crumb or liquidised bread?

I’m much more worried about the first two points, iirc It was an Ian Heaps article about England practise on the Moselle where the difference in action of the ground bait made the difference between catching roach and bream.
so my groundbait menu is pretty short
  • white crumb and liquidised for bread fishing
  • brown crumb as a bulking agent
  • PV1 and TDR as binding agents
  • Sensas Gros Gordons (large roach) for chemical attraction
  • sensas black river (binding and colour)
  • sensas black lake (cloud active and colour)
  • fishmeal (chemical attraction for bream)

and just to show that conventional wisdom isn’t all that .... for a short underwater video ... google YouTube rob hewison and have a look at “bagging on bread”. (Sorry - unable to post links at the mo)

also worth saying that I’m not an expert on ground bait ... much more of a loosefeed person. But keeping it simple works for me.
 

gingert76

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my simple advice is pick a brand and then google search each groundbait to see articles and/or videos and then watching them you should be able to match to your style of fishing and the fish you want to catch. Start there and then just keep researching and/or learning through using the groundbaits to see if it works and/or how you want to develop.

That should limit the confusion somewhat as all top brands of groundbait will catch fish, people will have their favourites and to be fair a lot of the brands now you can use/adapt for the condition i.e. F1 Sonubaits is my number 1 groundbait, light in summer and mixed with dark in winter and i can make it drier or wetter to meet how i want to fish it or even make it into paste. that meets 90% of my fishing needs these days but that is me
 

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.
First bag of this stuff arrived yesterday- will give it a shot over the weekend and see how it goes (should be a good challenge with the weather getting colder). Thanks for the recommendation (y)
 

RedRidingHood

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First bag of this stuff arrived yesterday- will give it a shot over the weekend and see how it goes (should be a good challenge with the weather getting colder). Thanks for the recommendation (y)

If you want to add some smell to it, I'd recommend going into TKMaxx if you have one local. They sell 750ml bottles of Coffee Syrup in there for 2.99. Mixture of flavours that're pretty potent. Under the basis that bream supposedly like sweet smells, I used their caramel one in mine a few times. Not sure if it made much difference... I don't use it anymore because I'm lazy. Just thought it might be worth mentioning. Goodluck mate (y)
 

Dave Spence

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I'm still 'old school' and prefer plain brown crumb with hemp, liquidised tares, crumbled biscuit, dried potato, custard powder, dried milk, vanilla essence, aniseed etc etc added in various combinations dependant upon the day. If you are using propriety groundball you are one of 'the herd' if you use something different you are often the one to beat.
 

Nunachuk

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I have never done it yet, but that's not to say that I wouldn't. I'm in my mid sixties now, (65 in a couple of weeks) and the oldest male member of my family was my father, he reached the ripe old age of 68, (so did my mother), in fact my father's younger brother, (Matty) died two days after my father aged 66. So longevity does not exist in our family, (and that's without this bloody Corona Virus)! so if I drew a no-hoper on a Sunday would I go home, most certainly and I would spend the day with my lovely wife, (maybe go for a meal together)! I don't think that I've got the time to waste! But each to their own! Stay safe!
 

Birtleyheed

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I'm always looking to keep bait costs down, so for the last couple of months I've been trying a mix of 1/3rd of a bag of NGT krill groundbait ( £2.75 a kg bag from Boyes store ), add a good handful of couscous ( 89p a kg from Aldi, similar but cheaper than micro pellets ), add a handful of hempseed ( which I buy in bulk from Maltby stores, on-line ) and a couple of big tablespoons of chinese spice or coriander powder. Using this on groundbait feeder or short pole, roach and skimmers seem to be loving it, with ide and carp also putting in regular appearances. The amount above lasts me for roughly a 6 hour pleasure session on my local commercial. Cheap as chips !
 

Alantherose

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If you want to add some smell to it, I'd recommend going into TKMaxx if you have one local. They sell 750ml bottles of Coffee Syrup in there for 2.99. Mixture of flavours that're pretty potent. Under the basis that bream supposedly like sweet smells, I used their caramel one in mine a few times. Not sure if it made much difference... I don't use it anymore because I'm lazy. Just thought it might be worth mentioning. Goodluck mate (y)
Thanks mate, I've got some of the Sensas Brasem liquid (wife and son think it smells like sick), so I might add some to the water when I make my mix up.
 

RedRidingHood

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Thanks mate, I've got some of the Sensas Brasem liquid (wife and son think it smells like sick), so I might add some to the water when I make my mix up.
I brought some of that before.. Smells gorgeous. Good enough to drink I think! Thats what originally gave me the coffee syrup idea, Because I'm sure it's all it bloody is! :ROFLMAO:
 

rudd

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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.
Would agree and I do it like this:
20Kg sack of brown crumb £22.50
20 Kg sack of Provimi 66 fishmeal £67.50
Can mix it anyway I want all year for £1.69 per kilo ?
Depending on what I want also add betaine, colouring, rock salt, micro pellets, partiblend, oats, layers mash.

In depths of winter occasionally part with cash for a bag of black low feed groundbait but will also dilute that with crumb.
 

Dave Spence

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Thanks mate, I've got some of the Sensas Brasem liquid (wife and son think it smells like sick), so I might add some to the water when I make my mix up.
Don't overdo it mate , it's very potent.
 
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