Too much bait?

Aknib

Well-known member
I’m talking about this in a more natural environment and not your typical commercial where anything that sinks is likely to be engulfed before it hits the deck.

Ok, not quite then but you get the gist.

So there you are, on a large and lightly fished water where your quarry is usually cruising around on the breeze and expending the minimum amount of energy to food intake ratio when suddenly…

Whump!

There’s a kilo of groundbait with all the trimmings?

Do you spook away knowing instinctively that it’s too good to be true and that some terrible fate will descend upon you if you indulge in these offerings or do you get your head down and enjoy the ride?

Maybe pre-baiting is the answer where and when circumstances permit?

Or is it just down to the day and how hungry they are?

Do you use too much bait when trying to attract fish into a swim, have we been conditioned into buying a bag of this, that and the other in order to create the ‘magical’ formula or would a more conservative approach be better?

To be fair, I've often wondered why popular mixes of X, Y and Z aren't available off the shelf in a single mix but I think I know the answer.

Horses for courses of course, I’ve killed many a swim by piling it in too early and am still learning some forty years on, unlike the match anglers of the 80’s who could, it seemed, feed on an almost hand to mouth quantity ratio although I will concede it's far easier when running a stick through with maggots.

Would we be just as well off being ultra-conservative and only offering miniscule amounts of free offerings on more natural waters or should the coffers of Sensas and Van Den Eynde be brimming on every occasion?

On certain gravel pits that I've become familiar with I've found it's best to lay out a substantial 'carpet' in preparation for when the fish arrive and give you the opportunity to catch as many off it before they clean up and 'graze' on.

What’s your approach and how does it vary on the waters you fish?
 

tigger

Well-known member
Without a doubt my approach changes depending on the water, be it running, a small or a large still water. Also my target species and how long i'm staying for will decide my approch.
 

sam vimes

Well-known member
I've long believed that lots of anglers use far too much feed, especially on more natural, or lightly stocked venues. You can also add waters with high levels of natural food. Even if the fish aren't spooked by beds of bait, you are often just reducing your chances of the fish finding your hookbait. It seems to have become commonplace for people to turn up to a venue, dump a load of bait in and then fish over the top. This can certainly work on the right venue, but it can be the kiss of death on others.

You can also get away with large amounts of bait on some of our rivers. However, I've watched people in despair dumping loads of bait into my local rivers. They seem to think they are fishing a commercial. Few have any idea of the concept of building a swim with regular introductions of small amounts of bait. I know I can sometimes be a little tight with bait (especially with more expensive baits), but I've alway found that it's far better to underdo the baiting than overdo it.
 

theartist

Well-known member
Regardless of where I fish it's little and often all the time every time, if it's a fast river then sometimes it's a trickle of feed three times a cast, it even works down the coast and works a treat on rivers in winter even though it's supposed to be too cold and the fish are dormant, haha. I can't even cast a float without feeding either before or after depending on the swim. I feel the biggest mistake anglers make is to not feed often enough, just sitting there. It's hard work but worth it as it gives you an edge. In summer you can get through a lot of bait, just don't spook them early doors.

Some baits spook fish more than others, regardless of amout, and whilst you can't overfeed fish in a river you can see what happens on low clear waters when you rain even small baits like maggots over their heads, some baits they will spook and return to some baits it's bye bye for the rest of the day, it pays to watch the fish rather than go straight in with the gear, you have all day after all. That's if you're lucky enough to have clear water and a good vantage point
 

Peter Jacobs

Moderator
Staff member
On a small (known) natural venue I would start off with just 2 or 3 jaffa sized balls of groundbait with a small quantity of my hook baits incorporated.

Then wait and taking the advice of Jan Porter from many years ago . . . Feed To Your Bites . . . a simple concept yet one that many seem to get wrong . . . . . the more often you get a bite then the more often you need to put a little more feed in . . .

For those larger venues where there are huge shoals of target fish, like the Danish lakes and their bream, then you can "fill it in" as you are really waylaying the shoals in the hope of keeping then in front of you long enough to put together a good weight.
 

tigger

Well-known member
I never use ground bait nowadays (other than not over liquidised bread) when fishing the river, pretty pointless imo. I just stick to particles, small baits. I've never seen any fish spook from my baits, especially maggots, prolly because I feed upstream for the biggest part and don't drop them on the fishs heads.
 

theartist

Well-known member
I've never seen any fish spook from my baits, especially maggots, prolly because I feed upstream for the biggest part and don't drop them on the fishs heads.
In some swims there is no upstream, in small overgrown rivers there is no option other than to feed where you can, therefore you have to gauge how they will react to different baits going in, or if you can see them, watch the show
 

tigger

Well-known member
In some swims there is no upstream, in small overgrown rivers there is no option other than to feed where you can, therefore you have to gauge how they will react to different baits going in, or if you can see them, watch the show
I fish small rivers also, small rivers are imo the easiest rivers to fish. There's always an upstream, unless your river comes straight out of the ground or out of a pipe? If your talking about streams congested with weeds etc, overhanging trees just catty/throw bait up in the branches rushes etc. It falls through and into the river, surely that's obvious?
Those little streams are so easy because the fish are easy to locate and often you can see the fish...like fishing for pets queing up to be fed.
 
Last edited:

theartist

Well-known member
I fish small rivers also, small rivers are imo the easiest rivers to fish. There's always an upstream, unless your river comes straight out of the ground or out of a pipe? If your talking about streams congested with weeds etc, overhanging trees just catty/throw bait up in the branches rushes etc. It falls through and into the river, surely that's obvious?
Those little streams are so easy because the fish are easy to locate and often you can see the fish...like fishing for pets queing up to be fed.
Oh thanks now I know how to fish them, I'm so lucky they are like pets too :eek:mg:
 
Top