Coarse fishing has spawned a huge variety of baits, both natural and 'unlikely'. Some of these, and the species you are likely to catch, are listed below.
BREAD.Bread will make at least five forms of bait to assist the angler when fishing,
1. The crust on an uncut loaf is perfect for floating on the top of the water for Carp.2. The inside of a fresh loaf is ideal for pinching onto the hook as flake.3. The inside can also be soaked and made into a paste.4. A fresh sliced loaf is used with a bread punch. (perfect for Roach)5. Left over bread can also be liquidised and frozen down for use at a later date as a cloud bait or to mix with shop brought groundbait.
MAGGOT.Maggots come in all colours and sizes and are the main bait for most anglers, they are bred on bait farms where millions of flies are kept in sheds to lay eggs on old meat, the eggs turn to maggots and as they feed on the carcases they drop to the bottom of the pen and are then collected and cleaned for the shops. You get different maggots from different fly's. These can then be coloured by the breeder or the angler to produce a range of colours from the natural White to Red, Yellow, Bronze, Green, Fluorescent, and so on.
1. The Bluebottle gives you the ordinary maggot, this is used for all species of fish mainly as a hook bait.2. The Greenbottle gives you the pinkie, this is smaller than the ordinary maggot and are used mainly as a feeder maggot to hold fish in the swim.3. The ordinary housefly gives you the squat, this is the smallest type of maggot and is used mainly in feeders with groundbait again to attract and hold fish in the swim, squats lay on the bottom as opposed to the others that try to hide under the silt.
CASTER.Caster is the next stage of the maggots lifecycle, this is when it turns into a chrysalis (caster) after it has eaten away its food sack (the black spot that you see inside a fresh maggot). The best casters come from the white maggot and are turned over a period of a few days, if left in the heat or sun they will turn too quickly and go black.
1. Caster is a good hookbait and is ideal for Roach fishing, also good for Bream and Tench. (the bites are very fast with this bait) it is also excellent for Chub and Barbel.
2. Caster and Maggot cocktail, this is also a very good combination hookbait for Bream and Tench, also Chub and Eels.WORMS.There are four main common types of worms used for fishing, and two not so common and harder to come by.
1. The big garden lobworm, use this on the hook for Pike and Perch, Barbel, Chub, Tench, Bream, Eels and Zander also it is ideal when chopped up in a feeder cup as an attracter.
2. The dendrobaena, found in compost heaps, this is smaller than the lob and is used on the hook as a single bait or in numbers for larger fish like Tench, Bream and Chub.
3. The Brandling, again found in compost heaps, this is a small reddish/brown worm with yellow stripes, best used for Perch, Grayling, Roach, and Rudd. (it smells horrible when broken)
4. The small Redworm, the best of these are found in manure by chicken runs, again a deadly bait when legering for Bream, also a good alternative when Tench and Carp are around.
5. Bloodworm, this is a deadly hookbait on canals and when the fishing is hard, it is the larvae of the Gnat and is harvested in stagnant ponds and streams, you need a scraper and floating sieve, it is easier to buy it but it is expensive.
6. Joker, again the larvae of a Gnat, this is used as a feed mixed with loam and dropped onto the bottom of the swim as an attractor and used in conjunction with Bloodworm.
SEEDS & BERRIES.This list is endless and you can use most seeds, Sweetcorn, Hemp, Wheat, Tares, and most of the berries that you see on the trees that overhang the water, you will find that Chub especially like to lie under the overhanging branches waiting for the free offerings that drop into the water, need I say more.
1. Hemp, cooked until the white kernel shows and used on the hook, deadly for Roach. Also used as a loose feed on canals or in feeders for river fishing.2. Tares, cooked until soft and used as hookbait for Roach.
3. Sweetcorn, straight from the tin, ideal for Carp, Tench, Bream, used as hookbait and loose feed.
4. Berries straight on to the hook.
MEATS.You can use most meats for Carp, Tench, and Chub. One example is Luncheon Meat which can be bought in your local tackle shop in a variety of flavours, including Tandoori Curry, Strawberry, Sardine and so on.You can also use Pork Pies, Sausages, Pork, Beef, Chicken, all of these can be flavoured with Marmite, Oxo, Curry, Horlicks, Jams, you name it and you can use it.And so the list can go on, as a rule of thumb for coarse fishing I believe in the "try anything once” method. Anyway the main thing is to enjoy yourself, good fishing.
THE REST.The rest of the baits are a bit more selective depending on the quarry.
1. Wasp grubs, these are a deadly bait for chub, fished singly or bunched up for bigger fish and fished float style.
2. Wasp cake, this is used as a leger bait and is very buoyant, it can be frozen down and used in winter. This bait is best collected during July and August.
3. Crayfish, again good for Chub, this is found under the banks and along rocky ledges.
4. Freshwater mussels, excellent for Tench, can be found in fast flowing streams and some canals and ponds.
5. Snails, good for Chub, Grayling and Roach, use as a leger bait or trot the swim for best results.
PS. Don't forget to try a bit of cheese.