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Your bait is important no matter which discipline you fish and without it you’re going to struggle to get a take. However, we think we’re right in saying that a dream bait and additive combination is particularly important for the coarse and match angler, especially if you’re fishing in a competitive situation. Your bait can really give you the edge over the competition in these kinds of conditions, which is why Angling Direct has scoured the market to bring you the very best baiting solutions for coarse and match fishing – all under one roof. There are lots of different types of bait available for the coarse and match angler, each of which is designed to attract a different species, be used in a different manner, or be perfect for different water conditions. To help you to wade through all the options available to you, we have produced this guide to coarse and match fishing baits and additives.
This is probably the most popular bait option in our entire range and if you’ve ever fished with a groundbait mix then you’ll more than understand why. Groundbait is literally a finely milled bait mix and it is available in countless colours and flavours in order to ensure that you have an option for every fishing experience. This style of bait is favoured for its versatility and you can use it in a whole array of angling scenarios in order to attract your fish. One of the most popular methods of using groundbait is to mix it with a little river water until it forms a mouldable mix. Using a bucket and riddle combination you can guarantee a top quality mixture which can then be balled up in your palm and tossed into the water. Because this mix is less compact than a boilie, it offers a much quicker breakdown in the water, providing you with a carpet of bait that will keep you coarse fish grubbing around in the water for hours on end.
However, this is only the most basic way that you can use a groundbait. By adding other elements, such as particles or pellets, into your mix, you can alter the attraction of your bait. For example, fizzing hempseed or creamy tiger nuts each add texture and flavour into your mix, as well as offering a visual effect in the water. This might not be effective in all scenarios, but, using groundbait as your base, you can experiment with different attractants in order to figure out what works for you and your fishing.
Groundbait doesn’t only have to be balled and tossed or cupped into the water. You can also press it into feeders for a whole new method of targeting fish. Feeder fishing is one of the most popular tactics in the coarse and match fishing discipline, as it allows you to perfectly present your hookbait in a pile of freebies. There are lots of different feeder systems available, from open cage feeders through to the newly popular method feeder, but the basic principle is the same throughout. A damp groundbait or pellet mix is pressed into the feeder along with your terminal tackle rig and then the whole system is cast out (or shipped, if you’re using a pole). Once in the water, your pressed bait will start to fall away, revealing your hookbait in the centre of an appetising pile of freebie groundbait. Similarly, you can wrap your bait mix into a PVA bag and cast the whole lot into the water, letting the PVA melt away to deposit your mix precisely where you want it. The possibilities really do stretch as far your imagination.
Groundbait tends to come in one of two colours: a neutral brown or a dark red. The neutral brown shade can vary between being almost white right through to a muddy brown and this bait is best used in cloudy or otherwise muddied waters. This is because the bait will appear lighter than the surrounding mud or silt on the venue bed, so any fish that comes to feed over it would stand out to predators nearer the surface. In cloudy water conditions this isn’t an issue but it might prevent fish from feeding in clear conditions. Conversely, dark red bait is ideal for use in the clearest water conditions. This might sound odd, as you would expect red to stand out much more in the water than a brown tone. However, because of the way light refracts through water, red tones are actually more camouflaged than browns. This means that fish feel more comfortable feeding over a red bait than a brown bait in clear water conditions, as it helps disrupt their image in the water. Black bait has a similar effect, too. You can purchase bait dyes to change the colour of your groundbait mix, whether that is adding yellows into the mix to make it really pop on the venue bed or adding red tones to your neutral bait to help it camouflage in clear water.
As with all bait types, groundbait tends to pull either towards the meaty or the sweet end of the flavour spectrum. Meaty and oily baits are best used in the summer months, when the fish are looking to feed, whereas sweet baits are ideal in colder waters, as the aroma can better penetrate the water column. However, there are plenty of baits that lie somewhere between the two and are perfect for year-round use. You’ll also find that brands will formulate flavours based on the fish that you’re trying to attract and this will normally be listed on the packaging of the bait. Whether you’re looking for bream bait, silver fish bait, or carp bait, we have all options available here at Angling Direct. Of course, just because a bait is manufactured with a certain fish in mind, it isn’t to say that these baits are only effective for attracted these fish – particularly if you mix your groundbait with other flavours or additives.
Groundbaits are supplied in bags of 1kg or 2kg for the most part, although you will find some larger bags as well as some tubs of mix.
We’ve already mentioned pellets a couple of times in our discussion of coarse and match bait and this is because it is the second most popular option available. Often used when fishing with a waggler tactic, as well as being a popular option for feeder fishing methods, pellets are a small and soft cylinder of bait. There are lots of different types of pellets available, from sinkers to floaters and everything in between. It’s worth noting that a product such as a pellet pump can transform your floating pellets into sinkers – you can find this product in our range of bait making equipment. You can also get pellets which are firmer than your standard option. These have been purpose designed to allow you to band these onto your rig, creating a hair rigged presentation. As another alternative, you can also buy pre-drilled pellets. These take the risk out of rigging, as it can sometimes be difficult to get a hole through your pellet without splitting it in two.
As you can see, pellets are every bit as varied and versatile as groundbait. This includes the colours and flavours that the bait is available in. Unlike groundbait, coarse fishing pellets are available in an even wider variety of colours and you can find orange, yellow, pink, and white pellets, as well as the traditional browns and reds. These brighter colours are ideal for use as your hookbaits and are often available in smaller tubs – some of which will come soaking in a glug mixture to give them even more attraction. The brown and red pellets tend to be available in larger sacks, for use in your groundbait mix, your feeders, or packed into your PVA bags. Flavour wise, you’re faced with a similar set of options as groundbait. Sweet or fishy, the choice is yours depending on the season, and you have a huge range which are purpose designed for specific species, too. As with all fishing, the size of your hookbait will usually help to determine the size of your fish that you’re aiming for. Since coarse fish can vary wildly in size, coarse bait varies too. Pellets can be available from 1mm in diameter right up to 21mm – allowing you to target the full spectrum of coarse fish that are available to you from small silver fish right through to large commercial carp.
We offer a range of pellet packs on our site which are ideal for first time anglers and lifelong anglers alike. These include a mix of bait and baiting tools, as well as terminal tackle items to help you target the water with confidence. The packs available include a pellet waggler pack and a method feeder pack – both of which contain some of our favourite match fishing pellets to allow you to make the most of your time on the bank.
We’ve also mentioned particles in our discussion of groundbaits. These are pretty self-explanatory in that they are small particles of bait which are designed to be missed into your groundbait mix to add more texture of flavour. The most popular particle option by far is hemp (or hempseed), which is famous for its ‘fizz’ in the water. There are also sweetcorn, tiger nuts, and snails in our particle range online. Particles are often famously hard to prepare and, if they aren’t cooked correctly, you can risk causing serious harm to your fish. This is why the majority of our particle mixes come in cans. These cans contain pre-cooked bait which is soaking in its own liquid in order to increase its attraction – ensuring that you can incorporate particles into your mix without worrying that you’re going to cause damage to your capture. If you do want to invest in a larger amount of particle then chances are it will come uncooked in a plastic bag. In this case, it’s important to follow the cooking instructions – which are usually listed on the bag or available to read online.
Adding particles to your mix can make a real difference in terms of your attraction levels and, often, anglers who add particles to their match fishing bait experience more success than those who don’t. Of course, this all depends on the venue, your style of fishing, and the fish you’re looking to catch. If you’ve never tried using particles before, it’s certainly worth investing in a couple of different cans to see what difference it can make to your angling success.
If you’re fed up of using the same old bait mix then a liquid attractant is a really good way to inject a pop of flavour into your mix without you having to start from scratch. Angling Direct has a range of liquid attractants available for you to choose from, from small pots designed for glugging your hookbaits to larger bottles designed to soak your entire bait mix. Much like your baits, these can either be sweet or fishy – and you’ll favour one or the other depending on the season. It is often best to use your liquid as a boost to your existing flavour. For example, if you’re fishing in the summer with a fishmeal rich bait then you might want to add a krill or halibut liquid, or if you’re fishing with meat as your hookbait then you might want to add a meaty liquid into the rest of your mix. Liquids can also be used to colour your mix, either helping it to stand out or blend in on the venue bed.
Finally, we also stock a collection of artificial baits in our coarse and match fishing range. These are ideal for the angler who wants to reuse their bait time after time and they are often easier to manipulate in the water than real baits. Artificial baits tend to be a replacement for food options (such as meat, sweetcorn, or bread) rather than boilies or pellets – although you can also find these in our range. Soaking you artificial bait in liquid attractant can often produce outstanding results, with the benefit that you’re able to reuse your bait time and time again.
As you can see, there is a huge range of baits and additives available in our coarse and match range. Whether you enjoy match fishing with a pole and will be cupping your bait out or you prefer coarse fishing with a rod and you’ll be feeder or floater fishing with your bait, there is a comprehensive selection to browse online and in store with Angling Direct. We are committed to bringing you bait from only those companies which care about the welfare of your catch. This is why you’ll find Dynamite Baits, Sonubaits, Bait-Tech and Sensas bait on our site, along with countless others who put nutritional content as well as attraction as their top priorities.