Fieldtester Tips... Richard Skidmore
Give ‘em some stick
If you have ever tried to use a throwing stick to its optimum you will have noticed that a frozen bait does not travel as far as one that is already thawed. Therefore, if I’m going for a session to a lake where I know that fish are usually found at distance, I always thaw out, the night before, the bait required for the next day. Simply get a bag out of the freezer and put it in the car the night before you go. By the following morning they will be perfect and I can guarantee it will put you a few vital yards on your ‘sticking’.
Just in case
Sometimes you may have one of these ‘red letter days’ that happen once every couple of seasons and the last thing you want to do is run out of bait! Simply carry a spare kilo or two in the back of the car at all times. There is always one ready-made in our selection that, if not perfect, will be very near to the bait you are using, be it fishmeal, birdfood or a combination; never be out of bait and miss out on that ‘last gasp’ big ‘un!
It still amazes me how many anglers do not carry pop-ups with them. Not only can they be used in the usual way, but they also double up as ‘cork balls’ for moulding paste round. Alternatively, you can simply make a standard boilie into a crucially-balanced bottom bait by shaving a small amount of the pop-up to balance up the normal one and mounting it ‘snowman’ style on the hair.
For added attraction when making your own baits for freezing simply add 15mls of either Nutramino or Multimino to a bag of boilies before freezing. Give them a good shake round to make sure the liquid has been evenly distributed and then put them into the freezer. Over a 24-hour period you will find the liquid food has been drawn into the bait and produces a very attractive leakage once submerged in the lake.
Sometimes, after the ‘silly’ time of June and July the fish tend to be a bit ‘finicky’, so a good dodge is to use a stringer with different shaped and sized baits on – for example, 2 x 18mls, 2 x14mm’s and 2 x 10mm’s, with perhaps, a 10mm barrel on the hair. The different strengths of suction required by the fish to test the baits sometimes confuses the fish and may put one on the bank at ‘scratching’ times.
It is worth mentioning that during the spring you can imagine the number of phone calls asking for advice on bait, such as which one to use.
Usually my answer is the same, for I can offer no better advice. If your lake responds well to a fishmeal bait, then look no further than the classic recipe: to 6 eggs add approx 500g Big Fish Mix, 30ml Nutramino, 4ml Cranberry, 10ml Salmon Oil, 4g Green Lipped Mussel, 2g Betaine – an all-time winner on waters around the world.