Dave's How To – Bag Up With Lumpy Groundbait

Although it says on the packet that Dynamite Swim Stim Betaine Green Groundbait is for carp, I’ve discovered that tench like this gear too. At this time of the year tench can be a bit fussy, fizzing loads of bubbles over your feed but refusing to take a conventional hook bait. This is the time to fool them with lumpy groundbait. I deliberately over-wet and only lightly stir half a bag of Swim Stim and leave it for a few minutes to absorb all the moisture.

 

Because the groundbait has been roughly mixed it goes lumpy. I crumble up some of the bigger lumps between my fingers, but once again only stir the mix lightly. I then feed it like this with a pole cup, without adding anything extra that might spook wary tench. This leaves a cloudy haze of feed on the deck with lots of different sized lumps on top. It normally doesn’t take long before this potent mix attracts tench, which as usual fizz loads of bubbles to the surface.

 I use a simple pole rig for presenting a big dollop of groundbait paste over the top of my feed, very similar to the way I would target carp - with a strong margin pole. The float has a long tip and a simple bulk of number 8 Stotz weights positioned below it, 18inches from the hook. I set the rig at exact depth, so my paste hook bait pulls the float tip down a fraction. This way, if the soft bait comes off the float rises slightly, letting me know more paste is needed.

 

I form my paste hook baits from the same lumpy groundbait mix, slightly wetting a small area of the feed and then compressing a walnut sized piece between my fingers and thumb. This doesn’t need to be too hard in consistency, otherwise the fish tend to reject it, plus there’s a danger the hook point will get masked. I gently push a size 12 wide gape hook into the paste, making sure the point is just visible…

 …As an experiment, on a day when I bagged several tench, I fed my lumpy groundbait mix on one side of the swim and the same recipe on the other side, but laced with pellets. Most fizzing occurred over the groundbait only mix and that’s where I caught all my fish on groundbait paste. All I caught over the other feed line, using pellets, was small fish. I didn’t sniff a tench there, which confirms the crafty tench were only eating groundbait – and of course paste formed from it!

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