Welchy gets his teeth into some meaty offerings from Bait-Tech. Well, he doesn’t because he’s veggie... but you know what we mean!
Meat - love it or hate it there is no denying its importance in the angler’s armoury and these days you are just as likely to find it chopped and finely diced alongside a matchman or pleasure angler on a commercial pool as you are in a great big lump on the end of a barbel rod.
There is meat and there is meat though, and what you find inside your can varies enormously from brand to brand. Different percentage composition of meat, different varieties of meat, differing fat content, different textures and densities, different colours; make no mistake some are FAR better fish catchers than others and indeed some are far more angler friendly than others too.
Personally I’ve always had a bit of a love hate relationship with ‘the old pink barbel scarer’. I can recall watching literally hundreds of barbel over the years bolting for cover as soon as they saw a piece of the stuff in a swim, hence my (and indeed many other barbel anglers) name for it. On the other hand I’ve caught a lot of barbel on it too, including some right lumps.
As with most forms of fishing it’s all about putting the right bait in the right place at the right time and the purpose of this piece is not to tell you how I fish meat but to take a quick look at the ‘Mighty Meat’ range from Bait-Tech which comprises three different variants: Boosted Luncheon Meat, Strawberry Luncheon Meat and Halibut Luncheon Meat, all of which are supplied in 340g cans and which will set you back some £2.99 at your local tackle shop.
As far as this is concerned there is actually very little of the ‘pink’ about it, or at least the bright pink, because it is subtly coloured and indeed subtly flavoured pork. The strawberry is clearly designed for the commercial market, something that little bit different from the norm for carp, tench and indeed crucians (which love the stuff). It’s not an OTT flavour but is nonetheless discernible and it persists for some time – certainly long enough for the duration of most casts on the type of fishery where it is likely to find most use.
The halibut I found very interesting indeed, particularly as it contains LO30, a soluble fish protein that I have long rated as one of the best fish attractors there is. Coloured a nice dark brown hue the meat also includes fish oils and the smell is definitely along the lines of a halibut pellet but with the porky background notes. Barbel will love it, chub too and carp undoubtedly will be pulled by it. Given the attractors bream are likely to go silly for it so use it - or give it a swerve – accordingly!
The boosted meat was a more typical luncheon meat colour, it’s boosted with Bait-Tech’s attractants which are not detailed but the smell is of an intense meatiness – like luncheon meat but more so one might say; I’m suspecting a bit of betaine in there too.
Texture-wise all three were dense, making them easy to slice, dice and hook even when warm. I pushed a can which had been at a warm room temperature for days through a meat cutter with no problem at all and the resulting dice were easy to hair-rig and stayed on the hook for several chucks, something most off the shelf supermarket meats are just not up to.
Bigger chunks, whether cut or ripped, also hooked up well and even with a standard hair stop rather than a purpose-designed meat stop they stayed on the hair very well indeed. With a meat stop they were, as you might expect, pretty much there until you caught!
Pushing a can through a riddle took a little effort due to the texture (and I got red hands with the strawberry) but the result was a really nice, sticky and highly aromatic ‘mash’ perfect for adding to groundbaits.
As with all meats these should ideally be refrigerated before use and kept in a cool bag, or covered with water in a bait box, during use to prevent drying and hardening – although given the conditions this summer...
For rolling the Mighty Meat the texture was dense enough for direct hooking and a few bumps through my local river saw no difference to the brand I would normally use. Although dense in texture the meat is reasonably light, indicating a good fat content, which is not a bad thing as it gives a decent degree of buoyancy.
I suspect these three meats will find more favour on the commercial pools than on the rivers but the LO30 in the halibut variety could well give a barbel edge on those days (or probably nights) when you feel it is time to chuck out a lump of meat – I’ve certainly stashed a can of it in my rucksack.
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