Pilchard oil on flys and lures?

markg

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
5,013
Reaction score
526
Location
South East England
I bought a second hand book yesterday "Angling from the fishes' point of view" by Barry Atkinson written in 1961. Interesting book with chapters on watermanship, the element, the environment, physiology, taste and smell etc.
In it is one tip for spraying pilchard oil on lures. The idea is fish chase lures and somethings not
quite right and the fish gets frightened and does not take the lure. I have seen this many times, watched a fish chase my lure and not actually take it or ducking away at the last moment. His theory is if it smells natural this will overcome the fishes fear. He also includes spraying it on flies as well; does this make sense ?
Another tip was liver as an excellent bait for mullet, must try that sometime.

There was a book "Bream Fishing" by John Wilson in another shop for £30! I opted for this one for £4 and it was in excellent nick but minus the cover.
 

S-Kippy

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 2, 2006
Messages
11,891
Reaction score
275
Location
Stuck on the chuffin M25 somewhere between Heathro
The trouble with stuff like pilchard oil etc is that the bloody stuff gets everywhere. I tried it on my deadbaits one time but I found it impossible to keep the stuff off my gear and me. I absolutely stank at the end of the day...moreso than usual and so did the car. I might have noticed a difference over time but it was just too messy to keep and apply. Binned it.

I know less than nowt about lure fishing so eho knows ? I wouldnt sully my flies with the stuff though. If they dont want them as they are they can buqqer off. Im not having my fly boxes reeking of rancid pilchards.
 
Last edited:

markg

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
5,013
Reaction score
526
Location
South East England
The trouble with stuff like pilchard oil etc is that the bloody stuff gets everywhere. I tried it on my deadbaits one time but I found it impossible to keep the stuff off my gear and me. I absolutely stank at the end of the day...moreso than usual and so did the car. I might have noticed a difference over time but it was just too messy to keep and apply. Binned it.

I know less than nowt about lure fishing so eho knows ? I wouldnt sully my flies with the stuff though. If they dont want them as they are they can buqqer off. Im not having my fly boxes reeking of rancid pilchards.
7
your right, didn't think of that, it does stink, maybe give it a miss.
 

S-Kippy

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 2, 2006
Messages
11,891
Reaction score
275
Location
Stuck on the chuffin M25 somewhere between Heathro
7
your right, didn't think of that, it does stink, maybe give it a miss.
Trust me...no matter how careful you are with the stuff you and your gear end up covered in it and whereas YOU can have a nice shower your rod and reel handles, bags etc stink to high heaven for evermore. I cannot be doing with a full NBC decontamination process every time out. Its not like boilie dip or flavourings which are terribly well behaved by comparison
 

bullet

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 10, 2011
Messages
588
Reaction score
263
Location
Devon
Trust me...no matter how careful you are with the stuff you and your gear end up covered in it and whereas YOU can have a nice shower your rod and reel handles, bags etc stink to high heaven for evermore. I cannot be doing with a full NBC decontamination process every time out. Its not like boilie dip or flavourings which are terribly well behaved by comparison
Your dead right!

My mate keeps his 'bonio' carp flies in a pot of the stuff because he reckons they work better....from what I've seen the only difference it makes is a rank smell..
 

keora

Well-known member
Joined
May 8, 2004
Messages
648
Reaction score
2
Location
Leeds
I bought a second hand book yesterday "Angling from the fishes' point of view" by Barry Atkinson written in 1961. Interesting book with chapters on watermanship, the element, the environment, physiology, taste and smell etc.
In it is one tip for spraying pilchard oil on lures. The idea is fish chase lures and somethings not
quite right and the fish gets frightened and does not take the lure. I have seen this many times, watched a fish chase my lure and not actually take it or ducking away at the last moment. His theory is if it smells natural this will overcome the fishes fear. He also includes spraying it on flies as well; does this make sense ?
Another tip was liver as an excellent bait for mullet, must try that sometime.

There was a book "Bream Fishing" by John Wilson in another shop for £30! I opted for this one for £4 and it was in excellent nick but minus the cover.
I remember the book by Barry Atkinson. In it, didn't he say that floats should be painted a pale grey blue to blend in with the sky when a fish is directly under the float? Scientifically he's right. I even may have painted a float with a pale body, I never bothered again

I do a lot of fly fishing, I think trout go for the appearance and movement of a fly. I doubt if dipping a Partridge and Orange in pilchard oil will make it more attractive to a trout.

As for pike they identify prey by sight and vibrations, and can find deadbaits by smell in a flooded river. Is it worth coating a pike lure in pilchard oil? After a couple of casts and quick retrieve probably most of the oil will be washed away.

There is a another problem which has been mentioned - it's a messy smelly job coating lures/baits with fish oil. Spill it and you'll come home reeking like a Grimsby trawler.
 

markg

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
5,013
Reaction score
526
Location
South East England
I remember the book by Barry Atkinson. In it, didn't he say that floats should be painted a pale grey blue to blend in with the sky when a fish is directly under the float? Scientifically he's right. I even may have painted a float with a pale body, I never bothered again

I do a lot of fly fishing, I think trout go for the appearance and movement of a fly. I doubt if dipping a Partridge and Orange in pilchard oil will make it more attractive to a trout.

As for pike they identify prey by sight and vibrations, and can find deadbaits by smell in a flooded river. Is it worth coating a pike lure in pilchard oil? After a couple of casts and quick retrieve probably most of the oil will be washed away.

There is a another problem which has been mentioned - it's a messy smelly job coating lures/baits with fish oil. Spill it and you'll come home reeking like a Grimsby trawler.
I haven't read all the book yet but I just looked that up, he does recommend light grey or pale blue for the underside of the float. He precedes it with all about how a fish sees and reckons dark green or brown as they often are is stupid. I think I will get a pot of light blue/grey paint-(good memory you have)

Lots of interesting stuff in the book but I can see the problems with the pilchard oil but I still think he is probably right that if a lure or fly smelt natural it might just overcome their fear on a few occasions. However, I will give it a miss.

I like the idea of liver for mullet though, in my mind I can think they would like it and maybe other sea fish as well. I will try that out sometime because sea bait is always a problem and this is cheap and easy enough to obtain; worth an experiment.
 
Last edited:

nottskev

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 3, 2016
Messages
2,862
Reaction score
194
I feed tinned pilchards to the cat from time to time. But that's as close as they get to my fishing gear. If I ever got anything that smells so bad on any tackle I'd bin it.
 

Molehill

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 26, 2017
Messages
453
Reaction score
43
Location
Mid Wales
I'm going to get all old fashioned and ethical about this, my opinions only. If you are lure or fly fishing the idea is to fool the fish with an imitation, naturally it doesn't always work, whether a dry fly for trout or a foot long lure for big pike. But the if you fool the fish you have won and if the fish turns away then you have lost - learn more and present the lure better. The whole point is not purely to land a big bag of fish.

For instance, I don't consider chucking a booby (the fly!) out on a fast sink line, from bank or boat, and fishing it static just off the bottom to be fly fishing. Dunking it in pilchard oil could be the next step and imo have little connection to the art of fly fishing. I am sure it would be very, very effective but what is the point?
So possibly it could work on both, in certain circumstances, but I ask why do it, just ledger a pilchard instead.
 

john step

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 17, 2011
Messages
5,704
Reaction score
316
Location
There
Not lures or flies but this is worth a try. Instead of a bomb put a small maggot feeder on. Put a piece of sponge in the feeder.
The sponge has been dipped in pilchard oil by using forceps not fingers. Cod live oil is good and not so unpleasant.
The sponge can be reinvigorated from time to time.
Great for coloured water conditions on a river. Also works when eel fishing(horror).
 

The bad one

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 8, 2008
Messages
4,656
Reaction score
78
Location
Manchester
John you've just reminded me of a method a mate of mine 25 years ago was using for barbel on the Severn around Shrewsbury. A square piece of pink sponge squeezed in liquidised Luncheon Meat with a little added veggie oil. Reckoned he could fish all day without losing the sponge unlike meat, and swore by it for barbel bagging as the Severn was back then.

I never got round to trying it myself but given the growth in artificials and their catchability of the present day might be worth giving it a go when the rivers up and coloured and smelly baits are the order of the day.
 

markg

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
5,013
Reaction score
526
Location
South East England
I'm going to get all old fashioned and ethical about this, my opinions only. If you are lure or fly fishing the idea is to fool the fish with an imitation, naturally it doesn't always work, whether a dry fly for trout or a foot long lure for big pike. But the if you fool the fish you have won and if the fish turns away then you have lost - learn more and present the lure better. The whole point is not purely to land a big bag of fish.

For instance, I don't consider chucking a booby (the fly!) out on a fast sink line, from bank or boat, and fishing it static just off the bottom to be fly fishing. Dunking it in pilchard oil could be the next step and imo have little connection to the art of fly fishing. I am sure it would be very, very effective but what is the point?
So possibly it could work on both, in certain circumstances, but I ask why do it, just ledger a pilchard instead.
I know what you mean Molehill but we all draw a line somewhere and there are no rules as to where that line should be barring some places that insist on a purist mode of fishing.. For a very casual lure or fly fisher who doesn't catch many fish using these methods I wouldn't mind enhancing my chances if I could with a bit more subterfuge, all fishing is only that really; the art of subterfuge to overcome the fishes natural fear. Overcoming its sense of smell as well as its sight and natural instincts, is it wrong with whatever form we use.
 
Last edited:

john step

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 17, 2011
Messages
5,704
Reaction score
316
Location
There
John you've just reminded me of a method a mate of mine 25 years ago was using for barbel on the Severn around Shrewsbury. A square piece of pink sponge squeezed in liquidised Luncheon Meat with a little added veggie oil. Reckoned he could fish all day without losing the sponge unlike meat, and swore by it for barbel bagging as the Severn was back then.

I never got round to trying it myself but given the growth in artificials and their catchability of the present day might be worth giving it a go when the rivers up and coloured and smelly baits are the order of the day.
Another thing I did was on the Tidal when I arrived to find it in flood. I had never envisioned the river could get that high. The weir at Collingham had almost disappeared with just a crease showing where it was.

I filled a big blockend feeder with large halibut pellets that took ages to dissolve and fished with one on the hair. One of the few occasions I have fished here immediately below the rod top!

I reasoned that loose feed was a waste of time but the filled feeder would sent plenty of scent downstream. It worked a treat.
 

Jeff Woodhouse

Moaning Marlow Meldrew
Joined
Jan 2, 2002
Messages
24,572
Reaction score
10
Location
Subtropical Buckinghamshire
Skippy is lucky it wasn't eel oil. Now that stinks but something akin to a dog's anal gland.

I remember an article in CF in 1996, then I looked up a Google and found this to explain it -

Back in April of 1996, Tony Miles did an article for Coarse Fisherman in which he compared the results of fishing Mackerel tails flavoured with Rod Hutchinson's Eel, Smelt and Mackerel Pike Attractors. The final tally of Pike over 10 LB was 5 to Mackerel Oil, 12 to Smelt Oil and an impressive 30 to Eel Oil.
Posted by a Steve Russell in Fishing Warehouse, if anyone knows of it.

Well I read the very same article and I too was impressed. At the time I had an account with a wholesaler who dealt with Hutchie's stuff so I ordered some, had to buy 6 bottles, but boy how I looked forward to the results. First problem was it was so thick I could get it into a needle even one with a very wide bore. Second was, yes, everything around me stank like a dog's anal gland (we'd had a dog with that trouble). Third, even when I got some in or on the baits there was no noticeable difference in catch rate, in fact I blanked more regularly that I had before.

The only good use it ever came to was when a chap down the road used to park his car in front of our gate and when asked to shift it we just got mouthfuls of abuse. So every time he did it, I took a little dropper out with me full of the stuff and dribbled it over his fresh (?) air intakes. Hopefully his car started to smell like a dog's anal gland, but as for his parking, the police sorted that for us.
 

S-Kippy

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 2, 2006
Messages
11,891
Reaction score
275
Location
Stuck on the chuffin M25 somewhere between Heathro
I've tried most winterised oils on me deadbaits at Bury Hill but passed on the eel oil having had a sniff of it. They are all as disgusting to use as each other and the only thing I noticed was that I seemed to get a few more pike on the "oiled" baits which was not the idea at all....hence me abandoning the idea.

I even tried oil in a foam feeder once......i got covered in the stuff. It was even more disgusting to do than injecting oil into the bait. I ended up just dipping the bait in a pot of oil but it just got everywhere.
 

wyncroft

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2011
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Location
Dorsetshire
For anyone who's tried a little LRF or HRF, the brothers White over in Jersey always recommended a little of what they called 'sauce' on a lure to enhance the attraction. Recipes were kept secret but I think the assorted oils and flavours were blended with petroleum jelly to not only help contain the mess, but also increase the time said 'sauce' was present on the lure. Additions such as glitter for added visual enhancement were not uncommon. I received a batch from a friend in Harwich who owned an LRF lure business for a while, God knows what the postie thought as he squeezed it through the letterbox. It didn't stay in the house long...

One of the first Japanese LRF soft lures imported and sold widely in the UK was the EcoGear Pocket In Mebaru set with two of three different soft lure types and half a dozen jigheads in a pocket size plastic case also had what looked like a Cod Liver oil capsule in a blister pack to be applied for added attraction. I've still got a couple somewhere, hopefully intact.

Ecogear by the way was/is I think a division of Marukyu, who still produce groundbaits and also the Marukyu Isome LRF bait/lure. The bait/lure distinction gets a bit grey as they're made from a vegetable based protein with in-built attractants that leach out in use to apparently make the target species hang on just that little bit longer to allow setting the hook.

I'm going off on a tangent now, apologies, the missus has the remote....
 
Top