The Alternative Angler - Give Us this Day
This week the Alternative Angler (a.k.a. KevinPerkins) looks at adding an extra dimension to old style baits....
Give us this day our daily bread…………
Or maggots, or worms, or pasta, or well, just about anything other than boilies and pellets, if you are a fish, that is…..
Maybe it’s just me that thinks that in our seemingly headlong quest to find the perfect, irresistible boilie or pellet, we anglers, (and particularly the budding young alchemists amongst us), appear to have overlooked and therefore never bothered to further develop any other baits that have proved perfectly effective in the past?
Maggots are a prime example, if we take the deadly bloodworm/joker combination, where is the maggot equivalent? Surely by now someone should have developed a ‘supermaggot’ the size of say, a Witchetty grub to use as hook bait? Now there is a bait to sort out the men from the boys (as it were) underwater. And not only will they appear a toothsome mouthful to our piscine quarry, it you get hungry, a couple of them popped between two slices of bread should easily keep you going until tea time.
Worms, there’s another prime area for further development. Our American cousins use plastic imitation fluorescent coloured worms to great success, but that trend doesn’t seem to have caught on over here to any great degree. I think it’s the plastic bit that is the problem. We have hi-viz pop-up boilies, why not screaming yellow/pink/green or blue real live wiggly worms?
And why stop there, how about matching the colour to a taste. Give your worms the right dye and flavouring combination to munch on for a while, and you could be on to a winner. Yellow for Pineapple, Pink for Strawberry, Green for errrrr….. Crème de Menthe, perhaps, and Blue for ummmm……. but you get the idea. If you want a completely different bait for a ‘hard’ water, then this has to be it.
Also, old time angling books favoured ‘toughening up’ worms in sphagnum moss to make them more attractive to the fish, nothing worse than a flaccid wriggler. So you could set up some sort of assault course in your wormery and give your wrigglers a dose of the boot camp, shape up or it’s a date with the multi-bladed scissors for you. Whilst I’m not suggesting that you try and turn your lobs into hunter-killers that actively go and track down fish and ensnare them boa-constrictor style, a little bit of definition in those muscles and a tad more stamina would go down a treat.
Pasta, where to start, have you seen how many different shapes, sizes and colours that are available these days? Of course, there are fresh and dried types, so plenty of scope for snobbery there (‘Good god, look at him using Tesco Value packet pasta….!’) but for the make –it-yourself brigade the scope for flavours/colours is limitless, and that’s before we get started on the sauces you could add. I wouldn’t mind betting that a nice cheesy pasta carbonara would prove irresistible to chub. And you can serve in up soft, hard or al dente, depending on the fishes’ preference on the day
Although the dried pasta would be a boon for long stay anglers, hair rig a couple of bits of spiralli on your hook and you can chuck it out into the lake with supreme confidence that it will still be there in a months time. Just think, no need to re-cast for the whole session, so you can get down to some serious crocheting, bird-watching, drinking or whatever it is you do to while away the long hours between bites.
For those of you to who expense is no object, how about a retro bait such as the par-boiled potato. Old school it may be, but recently, Jersey Royals were selling at £13 a kilo, that makes them around 50p each. You make not be fishing with the best bait in the lake, but it will certainly be the most expensive (the cost of 30 kilos of them for pre baiting would make even PJ wince a bit) and for some anglers, that’s all that really matters isn’t it?
Then we have the humble loaf, or not so humble these days. We’ve moved on from the days when a slice of Mother’s Pride was the only option. The supermarket shelves are positively groaning under a bewildering selection these days. Granary, wholemeal, multigrain, seeded, wheat, rye, sunflower, pumpkinseed, batch etc etc. Wheat free, gluten free, probably even bread-free bread for all I know, and then you can have it as cheesy loaf or garlic bread.
That’s before we start on the international offerings to be found, maybe French stick or panini, various types of Polish bread (good for carp….?) naan bread, the list goes on and on. I doubt that any one of us has even tried going through that lot to try and find a new ‘hot’ bait.
And finally, there is a little bonus to be had when fishing with bread. If yet another mummy’s little darling strolls along the bank asks you for the umpteenth time ‘Wot bait yer usin’ Meester?’ you can turn towards them, smile sweetly, and say ‘Focaccia’ through grated teeth.
That usually does the trick, I find………
Never mind smelling the flowers, don't forget to take time out to see the satirical side of fishing life and grab a laugh along the way.