Prawns, cockles and mussels

mikench

Well-known member
I have had success with prawns on some waters but not all the time and total failure on others. Mussels come of the hook or hair quite easily and I haven't caught consistently. I have never caught on cockles.

This brings me to my question of the day. I can locate cockles and mussels quite easily but they are pickled. I usually pour of the vinegar and wash them in water but have occasionally tried them straight out of the jar. I can buy fresh mussels and cook them but there wouldn't be any left for the fish. What do others do?
 

theartist

Well-known member
I'm still learning about prawns.

I find Asda's ones work well and Sainsburys don't, of course the lack of confidence could be a self fulfilling prophecy when using both but it has happened so many times to make me think i'm not totally bonkers (In that respect anyway ;)). Also think they can spoil quite easily and need looking after on the bank
 

S-Kippy

Well-known member
I'm a fan of cockles...both to eat and as bait but I only ever use the frozen ( non pickled ) ones. You can wash the pickled ones but to my mind you will never get rid of the vinegar completely and in doing so you are rinsing most of the scent down the plughole. Tesco used to do a big bag for a fiver but not any more...Sainsburys still stock them round here. They can be instant and also devastating for tench. Rarely use prawn as to my mind they are just not selective enough...perch love em as do carp and bream. I do use them but not often.

Never done any good on mussels...other baits have been much more productive for me so even though they look terrific I never use them. Bearing in mind I am almost always trying to avoid carp and bream.
 
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theartist

Well-known member
Rarely use prawn as to my mind they are just not selective enough...perch love em as do carp and bream. I do use them but not often.
And Chub, I've never seen chub make a beeline for a bait as they do for prawns, it's quite a sight in clear water
 

mikench

Well-known member
I'll have a look for frozen cockles in my local Sainsbury's. I prefer to use ordinary prawns rather than king prawns. I had a can of smoked mussels with me once but ate them myself; I was transported back to my local tapas bar.:)
 

chrissh

Well-known member
Fresh mussels from Morrison’s fishmonger pop in to Morrison after 6pm and buy them they mark them down to 50 or 60p a tray bag them up and freeze them in session pack size 10 or 12

I rig them no a hair rig and use a clear sequin to help stop the hair pulling out

Push the hair though a sequin then the mussel then thought another in the sequin so the mussel is sandwiched once this is done you only need to re thread the top sequin when re baiting

Sequins work well with any hair rigged soft bait (you could use coloured in you wanted)

Bags of sequins from eBay are 1.50 for 2000
 

Keith M

Well-known member
And Chub, I've never seen chub make a beeline for a bait as they do for prawns, it's quite a sight in clear water
I started to use peeled prawns back in early 1977 before they had become a standard bait for the coarse angler, and were never even mentioned in the Angling press other than very occasionally when someone had used an unpeeled prawn for catching the odd Salmon.

Back in those early days very few Chub had even seen them let alone been caught on one; and I had just left the RN and had started to work in a freezer food storage company where I had access to lots of broken packets of peeled prawns, and I just thought that they might be a great bait for Chub so I tried them on the river Kennet for Chub and was very pleasantly surprised by the positive bites that I got when I used them.

I remember when I had driven past Dobs Weir on the river Lea after a night out chasing Carp at a nearby lake and I had a packet of prawns in my freezer bag so decided to give them a try there.
Dobbs Weir that sunny day was packed with every swim occupied by someone, but I waded out to a sunken barge in between two swims and started to fish from there.

Within a minute or two I had my rod almost yanked from my hand and had a very nice Chub on, and I continued to catch Chub on prawn, then the guy on my right came over to ask what bait I was using, because very few fish had been coming out that day around the weir; and I ended up sharing my prawns with him and we both started Catching Chub.

I also caught my very first 5lb Chub from Kings Weir using a peeled prawn too.

But nowerdays everyone but the barman’s daughter is using prawns and they’re no longer a rare bait and no longer seem as good a bait as they were back in those early days.

I used to hook them as in the diagram below which was almost guaranteed to hook my Chub in the corner of its mouth nearly every time; using a light link leger.



The prawns I used were not the cheap and colourless ones with their flavours boiled out of them, like you get in the average supermarket, but were the better quality ones with some of their juices and flavour still in them (I didn’t have to buy and pay for them myself as they were from broken packets that I found in the storage freezers).

Keith
 
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s63

Well-known member
Just a reminder that the (joint) record perch was caught on a prawn.

I did go to the record venue with a bag of prawns and blanked unsurprisingly.
 

nottskev

Well-known member
If you have any reason to think mussel will work on your water, Mike, or you just want to give it a try, get yourself a pack of fresh mussels ( about £1.30 from Morrisons), get one of those bait bands with a little tab to put the hook through in a size suitable for a large pellet ( I bet you've got some). Hook up the band and open it with one of those things with 4 prongs that people hold pellet bands open with (again, I bet you have one or even two), and put your mussel in the band. You'll be pleasantly surprised to find it will stay on for several casts and you'll never try to hair rig one again. I'm not going to tell you what I use banded mussel for, but it's not bream. :)
 

bennygesserit

Well-known member
I have tried Prawn for Carp and they work but the perch go mad for them and I had problems keeping them on the hook - I like that diagram thanks !
I have tried the other baits mentioned to no real effect but also did try tinned roe in my ground bait and that seemed effective (except there are so many other variables in fishing [especially my casting]) that its difficult to define what has made the difference
 

mikench

Well-known member
again, I bet you have one or even two), and put your mussel in the band.
Strangely enough Kev I do.:rolleyes: I will try that. I just have to remember where they are in my miriad of bait boxes, cabinets and rucksacks. What a joy fishing is!
 

John Keane

Well-known member
I find prawn a faddy bait that goes in and out of fashion and can be brilliant one day and fish-repellant the next. Nowadays I carry virtually no fresh or live bait just pellets, wafters and band-ums, a tin of corn or some Nash 12mm boilies. Few flavourings like Mainline Activ-8 or Tiger Nut Goo and just grab the bait bucket and go.
 

rich66

Well-known member
Frozen mussels from Tesco work well for me, you can hook them near the silver disc or through the brown tube bit you find inside both are very tough so make sure the hooks well through to penetrate. Alternatively I just hook them through the middle and a gentle swing out. Pellet banding also works well, or pellet band on a hair. If you’re using half a mussel banding works especially well.
I also find if I take too many they re-freeze well even 2-3 times
 

maggot_dangler

Well-known member
I have used Hair rigged Cockles on my local pools with good effect Prawns drew a blank that was ok i scoffed the rest not tried Muscles yet but they do seem to work for some but mainly pellets now


PG ...
 

seth49

Well-known member
Haven’t had much success with cockles, mussels and prawns work ok, although some days better than others, usually fish them in a bait band, on a hair,
Good for carp and tench, also perch.
 
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