Groundbait is great at attracting fish to feed in your swim. It's typically made from bread crumb or biscuit and comes in a wide variety of flavours. Many of the brands of grounbait on offer in your local tackle shop have been designed and tested to catch particular types of fish. Once mixed with water and other freebies such as corn, casters & maggots, groundbait can be formed into balls which can be introduced by hand/catapult or used in conjunction with a swim feeder to guarantee a close parcel of feed next to your hook bait.
Types Of Groundbait
Continental type groundbaits originated as their name suggests from continental Europe and are made up from different types of base mix such as ground biscuit, rice, peanuts, hemp, maize & other powdered additives. With their many ingredients, continental groundbaits have a sweet aroma and are ideal for catching carp, bream, roach & tench.
Fishmeal groundbaits as the name implies are packed with high concentrations of fishmeal as their main ingredient, something which is a proven fish catcher. Some brands are also coupled with a high ratio of crushed hemp, this crushed hemp helps the groundbait to fizz and fall apart quickly. This can be further enhanced by riddling the groundbait prior to mixing, as this introduces air into the mix and creates a fluffier groundbait which dissipates quickly helping to create an enticing cloud around the hook bait. This type of ground bait is particularly effective when fishing cage feeders over short to medium distances.
Method Mix groundbaits are created in such a way that when mixed the groundbait takes on a sticky consistency which can then be squeezed around triangular feeders and stay in place on long casts. This firm binding ability means the feeders can be left longer in the water.
Stick Mixes are small parcels of groundbait and other bait items such as hemp, pellets or ground boilies contained within a PVA web attached to the hook. Once the PVA melts, its contents will sit below your hook bait luring fish in. Although pre made stick mixes can be purchased, it's just as easy to find your own combination of bait items and break them up within your own mix.
Start by riddling your ground bait into a bucket or bait box - riddling helps to add air to the groundbait to help it breakdown quickly in the water and help stop large lumps forming in the mix which can fill fish up.
Now add a little water at a time and stir by hand - any liquid flavourings should be added at this stage. Once the groundbait begins to darken with water check the consistency by squeezing, if it crumbles easily add a little more water, & if it's too sticky add a little more groundbait to dry it out. If you wish to create an even lighter mix, the groundbait can also be riddled again at this stage.
Add any freebies to your mix like corn, caster, maggot or pellets which will hold the fish in your swim - in this mix fiery chilli hemp seed is added. Your finished groundbait should hold together well when compacted into balls or inside cage feeders.
Mashed bread is an extremely cheap way of baiting a swim, particularly for hungry river chub or marginal bream & carp. It also mimics the bread that is thrown into park lakes when people go to feed the ducks, which means on the right venue, it's a natural food source for many hungry fish. It can be mixed slightly dry so that a ball can be formed for easy throwing/catapulting, or it can be made on the sloppy side to create a soupy explosion when used in a pole pot or baiting spoon.
Start by putting sliced bread into a bucket, add a little water, then mash up the bread until it forms a sloppy mix.
Once you have the desired texture, you can add other inclusions such as corn, hemp boilies or pellets.