Attractants

mikench

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As the weather remains cold with overnight frosts , does the addition of ground bait in general and liquidised /mashed bread put in in small quantities, stimulate feeding in any significant way and are pinkies or squats a better bet than maggots. I have never even seen squats let alone tried them and am wary of pinkies even though available.
 

whitty

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Mike,pinkies and squats are good attraction for small fish in winter,or holding baits in summer,obviously some smells and flavours attract fish,but also are there to attract our money,often the biggest consideration is location,or at least the location of the areas where fish are prepared to feed during the colder months,on the stillwaters you fish where carp are present try fishing a single grain of corn,or a piece of bread cast all over your swim to find fish...or if you get some good method type mix,throw a few handfuls of corn into the mix and use a medium sized feeder cast into the deepest area every 20 minutes or so,single grain of corn,do not deviate just plod on until they find you...
 

markcw

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As the weather remains cold with overnight frosts , does the addition of ground bait in general and liquidised /mashed bread put in in small quantities, stimulate feeding in any significant way and are pinkies or squats a better bet than maggots. I have never even seen squats let alone tried them and am wary of pinkies even though available.
If you do fish squatts make sure you have fine line and fine hooks,
I feed a few grains of boiled rice and fish a squatt over it ,
The same for white pinkie.
If fishing multi coloured batch of pinkies .
Morrisons do multi coloured rice cartons
Feeding rice is cheaper than feeding squatt,pinkies,
It looks like a dead squatt or pinkie when on the bottom of the pool/canal.
As for bread ,remove the crusts from slices of bread, liquidize slices ,freeze ,repeat a few times and use a very fine sieve to remove any large crumbs.
It is now more of an attractant than feed,it will not fill the fish up.
Try fishing a grain of corn and no feed , same with a piece of bread.
 

peter crabtree

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I’ve always been sceptical about any artificial flavourings and agree with Alan, an unececessary money spinner, especially in winter.
Squatts are tiny and as you have stated in the past, you find small hooks and fine tackle difficult to use, so I think you may struggle to mount a squatt on a 24 hook? These tiny grubs are more suited to winter canal fishing. Pinkies however, are slightly easier to use but again require tiny hooks to be effective IMO. In their favour, pinkies will last for months in the fridge…
 

markcw

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I’ve always been sceptical about any artificial flavourings and agree with Alan, an unececessary money spinner, especially in winter.
Squatts are tiny and as you have stated in the past you find small hooks and fine tackle difficult to use,so I think you may struggle to mount a squatt on a 24 hook? These tiny grubs are more suited to winter canal fishing. Pinkies however, are slightly easier to use but again require tiny hooks to be effective IMO. In their favour, pinkies will last for months in the fridge…
And if it's really cold fish half a squatt on a size 26 ,
Those were days ,scratching for bites in a team winter league. 😳
 

mikench

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I have bought some hooks in size 20 and 22 and will give pinkies a go on these small hooks.
 

peter crabtree

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You can fish single pinkie on a 22 hook and feed squatt via catty, this can be very effective for roach, bream and perch in winter. You would need to fish fairly close in as catapulted squatts don’t travel very far.. Feed a pouch of squatts every minute, literally.
 

Peter Jacobs

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I am quite keen on attractants, flavours and colours especially in the colder months, and in winter I rarely ever fish unflavoured bread, pinepple or tangerine beng my chosen flavours.

When using maggot or pinkie I typically add some form of flavour . . . .

I guess it is all about what gives you the necessary confidence in the colder conditions.

I well rememer a night in Oslo, in a hotel bar agter dinner, with Steve Gardiner, Dave Vicent and Jan Porter discussing attractants with Jan, and Stevie saying they always use them but Dave prefering unfavoured baits . . . .

.
 

peterjg

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I agree with Peter Jacobs. The right attractants used sensibly definitely work. Tried and tested (many, many times): betaine, garlic salt, ordinary table salt, monosodium glutamate - all basically similar. Flavours (as apposed to attractants): geranium, Robin Red, frankfurter sausage, garlic, chocolate malt, monster crab, caramel, chocolate orange, garam masala. All the previous flavours have worked depending on the species and venue. However; one makers product with the same name can be significantly different to another's. In reality all the above are both attractants and flavours. The biggest problem is getting the amounts correct - usually less is more! For example, many years ago I made some garlic boilies, initially they were useless, I kept on reducing the level of garlic and then (eventually) they went from being a useless bait to being really good! I used them for years until moving to other flavours etc.
 

whitty

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Look,all the flavours and baits you mention catch fish,nobody is saying they dont,but what doesnt,Robin Red for instance pellets,go fishing with trout pellets,you catch as much imo,confidence is often why we these things,back in the day matches on the Gt.Ouse above Bedford were won with big weights of roach and dace,everybody carried and threw in half a gallon of maggot and 10lbs of brown and white crumb,they didnt seem to worry about feed content or overfeeding,nowadays every video talks of low food value groundbait,or minimal feeding,even on commercials where there are zillions of fish,try going fishing and balling in a kilo of groundbait with half a pint of maggot on a decent commercial,even in winter,leave it an hour and have a cast over it,at some time during the day they will come over it unless its absolutely freezing...also mix up a kilo of crumb and tip it into the clear margin,it isnt that much bait,in fact I reckon two or three carp could woof the lot down in 10-15 minutes,fishing is a strange pastime and no mistake.....lol
 

nottskev

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I'd say the main thing in winter, thinking specifically of your fishing Mike, rather than what works elsewhere for others, is to find a water or part of one where fish are caught, and see how the angler(s) are doing it. Many shallowish stills can get very hard and fish can gather in particular areas. Some waters are more or less a waste of time in cold conditions. I'd have no hesitation in visiting a few places you like and just taking a walk around and seeing if anybody is fishing, how and with what results, what swims look recently fished, if any fish show at the surface etc etc. I'd also use any contacts you have - in the tackle shop you use, anybody you know who fishes "your" waters, even the club officials whose phone numbers or email are in your club books.... All the ideas about fishing fine and feeding light that have been suggested, and the different ways to try to find/be found by carp, are totally right. But you can't beat local knowledge, and putting your box - or chair, in your case, in the right area of a carefully chosen water is the key.

For my tuppenceworth of advice: if you're floatfishing, plumb up, start off a bit overdepth, sink your line, shot your float down so no more than absolutely necessary is showing, feed very small amounts of bait at intervals of a few minutes, and watch the float like a hawk. Only feed more/more often if you start to get regular bites. Should you start to get bites as your bait is sinking, move shot away from the hook and even shallow up if they get very keen. In cold weather, fish commonly feed, if at all, in the warmest part of the day, and often need coaxing. So forget the 7am starts; start fishing at 10 or 11 am, and with a softly softly approach you may well have got your swim "warmed up" for the peak time to catch - likely to be afternoon. That approach might not be optimum for a given water, but it will mean you always stand a good chance of getting bites and not messing up your swim with a baiting approach that may well not work on your water.

I'd still do a few recce's though - you might as well fish where people catch.
 

S-Kippy

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Back in the days when I fished the GUC almost to the exclusion of anywhere else I wouldn't dream of going without some fluoro pinkies. I'd start on punched bread and if that didn't work very quickly switch to double pinky....often on a 2 swan link and a wand. Rarely failed and half a pint would last for ever too.
If I was still there at dusk I'd chuck a bit of meat out and often bag a bonus carp.
 

pelamid

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I can really only speak of flavourings for boilies and groundbait when river fishing for barbel, chub and bream. Roach do respond to some of the additives I use though.

This winter has seen some of the lowest temperatures for some years along the Lot. Severe frosts most mornings for a couple of week, yet the river temperature was still 6c a couple of days ago.

Back in November it was spicy crab flavour that did the business with a few catches of 5 or 6 barbel fairly normal. The bream loved that flavour as well! To me the smell was pleasant, definitely spicy, probably hot paprika in the mix.

December I could barely catch a fish! A few bream came to the spicy squid boilies and quite a lot of roach to pinkies. Groundbait was fishmeal and ground maggots based with well soaked dried maggots(a week in a bottle of water) and sweetcorn added. That certainly got the fish shoaled up, but I am pretty well barbel fixated and could only stick at the small stuff for a couple of hours! I was hoping the activity would attract something bigger into the swim!

January has been quite different. I do not know if the barbel and chub were feeding actively all along but now I tried a new flavour of boilie, krill & garlic.

I find the smell of the garlic strong but quite pleasant. The barbel and chub certainly approve and I am catching regularly again!

I make up a gluggy bait dip from hydrogenated krill, green lip mussel powder and a few other things I cannot remember at this moment. Bit early for me and I did not sleep well!

My bait fridge is full of various flavour additives, it is worthwhile experimenting. Sometimes the things that work are those that smell appetising to us, often it's the most disgusting mix you can concoct.

Go figure! :unsure:
 

mikench

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In current conditions and temperatures does a GB which clouds the water a little, rises up through the water column etc make a difference. I'm thinking of fine liquidised bread or a dryish mix of a proprietary GB.
 

whitty

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Anything can make a positive difference,then again it can have an opposite effect too,each water is different,all conditions change responses,nothing is written in stone,in spite of what is written by any of us,or supposed stars of our sport,the goalposts are continually on the move....
 

markcw

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A couple of months ago we cleared the cupboards out, I went through all the jars of spices and sachet mixes that had gone out of date .
I ended up mixing most of them together and putting the resultant mix I clip lock containers, I am going to wait for a decent day when the weather is good and nothing is planned to go and have a few hours on one of the pools I fish and try the mix out, I will also be trying it out in both the margin and in a swimfeeder on one of the gravel pits, Hence using more than one container to store it and not mixing all of it up in one go , holding some back for future use/refinement.
 
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