Traditional river bait

Fugley-fisher

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I was just reading on a different thread people trotting pellet on a river for roach, now when drifted away from fishing 20 or so years ago the only people using boilies were the carp lads on lakes, fast forward to present it seems pellet/ boilies are a staple bait on all forms of venue, i have a bit of a problem with this coming for a time when maggot caster bread hemp n tear were the staple baits on rivers and lakes, and most groundbait was some sort of biscuit/crumb mix.

I've only just come to terms with bait bands speedstops ect on lakes with the boilies pellet wafters ect, but I never thought I would have to employ those baits on the river, i blame the thoughtless person that introduced them to the river if the fish never seen them i could still catch on traditional bait, or am I just being a old purist and should move with the times.
 

Sam Vimes

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Just because many don't use them, it doesn't mean that you can't catch on the likes of maggot, caster, worms, corn, bread, hemp, tares and stewed wheat. In fact, there are days that baits other than boilies and pellets will give far better results. I rarely go far to fish these days. However, in summer, once every year or two, I'll take a trip to the Trent. I tend to wait until the barbel anglers are complaining that the river is too low and clear. I'll just float fish it with maggot over stewed wheat or caster for anything with fins. It's unusual if at least a couple of barbel don't turn up.

When I stay local, I never go to my rivers without maggots, but I'm not really chasing chub and barbel. I just set out to catch anything with fins and get as many bites as possible. Sitting it out for the odd fish on a legered boilie or pellet bores me stupid.

Big roach do undoubtedly turn up on hair rigged pellet and boilie intended for barbel/chub, but they still turn up on more conventional gear and baits. The problem is that fewer folks are fishing in a manner, or with baits, that you might consider more traditional.
 

Fugley-fisher

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@Sam Vimes I understand, I fish the dorset stour we do have chub but I'm to far upstream for the barble, main species are bream chub rud and roach in no particular order and I to just fish for bites, just seems the proliferation of what I would call artificial baits is just making life harder and if you don't know people are putting those sort of baits in to your venue it does put you on the back foot.
 

Silverfisher

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99% of my fishing is on the likes of maggot, hemp, caster, worms, tares, elderberries and bread so all traditional baits. I do fish pellets occasionally but only little dark ones as an alternative to tares, hemp, elderberries rather than as pellets if that makes sense. Because we don’t have many barbel and carp around here not many artificial baits go in the rivers so they don’t tend to be recognised by the fish so the traditional baits still work best.
 

PJG

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It depends on the stretch of river. Pellets work where the fish are used and educated on them. On rarely fished stretches dead maggots or bread are better. Though I still don't understand why fish will take bread as a 'natural' bait?
 

lliopp

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I suspect another reason is the convenance of pellets. Easy to store, no need to go to a shop before every trip, less waste, last for ages etc. I like the fact that I can just go fishing if I get an opportunity without having to faff about collecting or storing bait.
There's still a big place in my angling trips for maggots, casters etc but I find myself using pellets more and more.
 

ukzero1

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Eh? What's wrong with using a big, black ethinic slug? Used to be one of the staple baits.
 

Silver fan 82

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@Silver fan 82 its not so much i wont gove it a go i just never thought anyone had put such bait in the river to try it in the first place.
Makes sense mate. I have to admit I would love to catch decent size fish on the more natural, traditional baits but to do so where I fish it's a case of sitting through small fish after small fish until a decent one eventually comes along.
I get where you're coming from though.
 

Fugley-fisher

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@Silver fan 82 I had many sessions before when conditions allows mashed bread very fine hemp and bread punch, fish one line for several hours and end up with catching 8oz to a 1lb roach, they were golden days,
 

Zerkalo

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Before I started Barbel fishing on the Severn I was told that pellets were the go to bait, and having only just returned fishing, I wasn't used to bait bands, wafters, and stuff like that even on commercial fisheries. Even now in winter when I fish commercials, I still fish maggot on the hook.

The Severn sees so many pellets though it's difficult to ignore them when fishing for Barbel and having picked up the odd big Roach on them it seems like it's going to be their staple diet even when I thought worms would be a banker bait. On the weir on a smaller river I fish though, I wouldn't even try pellet and think worm and maggot is about as good as you can get there.
 
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JayD

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I've never used a pellet in my life, and still catch fish. The 'traditional' baits still work, maggots, casters, bread, worms, hemp, tares, sweetcorn, wheat, cheese, and luncheon meat, are all in my armoury. Groundbait is mainly bread crumb, coarse or fine, of a suitable colour with crushed hemp and a few hook samples added, nothing fancy. I fish rivers, canals and 'natural' still waters (when I can find them), and try and avoid the 'commercial' or 'circuit' waters, for just about anything that swims, and I don't usually do that bad.

John.
 

Robwooly

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I find it interesting that many now consider hemp and tare traditional baits but there are those on here who will remember when they were considered the new wonderbait, banned on certain waters as it was deemed to be like a drug to the fish. Maybe Pellet is going through that cycle and the pellet pioneers will be doing similar in a few decades when the next big thing comes along. End of the day it gives another option on certain waters and it can pay to 'match the hatch' after all those fish aren't going to see it as unnatural where it's introduced regularly
 

Silver fan 82

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I never had much faith in pellets or plastic baits until I tried them. I use pellets a lot in my fishing now.
 

JayD

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I find it interesting that many now consider hemp and tare traditional baits but there are those on here who will remember when they were considered the new wonderbait, banned on certain waters as it was deemed to be like a drug to the fish. Maybe Pellet is going through that cycle and the pellet pioneers will be doing similar in a few decades when the next big thing comes along. End of the day it gives another option on certain waters and it can pay to 'match the hatch' after all those fish aren't going to see it as unnatural where it's introduced regularly

I think the use of hemp was was introduced by Polish anglers moving here after WW2. It was banned in NFA rules matches back in the 60s and 70s when I started match fishing, but we could use it for pleasure fishing. I too remember being told that it was a drug, and the fish got hooked on it :LOL:, maybe that's how 'stone loach' got their name?:unsure:
Sweetcorn, was a relatively new bait, and we first heard about it up here in the early/mid 70s, and it took me ages to catch on it.
If we wanted to use real traditional baits, then ox blood, bullocks pith, and brains would be up there with the best.

John.
 

Zerkalo

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Worms are definitely my favourite bait on the weir on the Stour near me. Catch a good variety of species on them too. Half a lobworm being the boss.
 
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