Groundbaiting for Predators
Ian Welch looks at some slightly off-radar pike fishing methods and reviews Bait-Tech’s Predator Plus liquid.
The first time I can recall actively groundbaiting for predators was many years ago when using the original Ace Worm Extract, which I mixed in with a bread-based groundbait mix also containing chopped worm and red maggots.
Perch were the target species at the time, on the River Thames at Bourne End if my memory serves me correctly, and I caught well enough to ensure it was a tactic I employed regularly – indeed I still use something similar to this day – although now you are more likely to find me (and don’t read on if you are squeamish....) liquidising a few handfuls of live lobs in a blender to create a worm liquid.
Groundbaiting and adding attractants for perch has now become far more commonplace than it was back when I first tried it in the 70’s and you only have to watch a match angler on a perch peg to see just how effective it can be. Groundbaiting for pike and other predators, however, has never really taken off.
I’m not really certain why that should be the case as I’ve been successfully using groundbait for pike for a number of years now and have written about it enough times to flag it up as a method you do need to be aware of. More significantly pike anglers of a far higher calibre than me, such as Mick Brown, have also raised the profile of the tactic but still most pred heads are happy to ignore the technique and continue to sit behind a static deadbait or three waiting for something to happen...or not.
By groundbaiting I don’t mean chucking a few lumps of chopped fish around my swim but creating a ‘proper’ cereal or fishmeal groundbait mix to be balled into a swim or, as I prefer to use it, fished via a big feeder.
My approach is simply to lace a bag of groundbait with a good helping of finely chopped fish, perhaps a can of tuna, and a flavour or additive. The resulting mix is deposited via a big feeder, which I fish free-running on a buoyant link to keep my main line above any bottom debris. I don’t just fish it when deadbaiting either as I’ll often make sure I get a bit of scent in the swim and around my bait when I’m livebaiting too. I get a lot of strange looks, but I also catch a lot of pike.
The method works in both still and running water, although I have to say I tend to mostly fish for river pike these days, and on a river carrying a bit of colour it is a terrific method to employ, especially in conjunction with a relatively small ‘chunk’ of bait on a big single hook.
As we have just entered the start of a new predator season, and as I’m planning to do a bit more predator fishing than usual this winter, I was rather pleased to find a bottle of Bait-Tech’s Predator Plus liquid in the FishingMagic review box.
Blood red in colour and with a deeply pungent aroma it gives your groundbait a real kick, whether you are looking to target perch or eels, pike or zander. I mixed it up with pike in mind and created a dense mix with plenty of chopped fish to target a river but I also had a play around with my ‘perch head’ on too and put together a nice, sloppy mix which gave a good cloud in the water – something I’ll lace with chopped worm and maggots and cup out to a few canal big perch spots I’ll be fishing the far side of Xmas.
Of course the liquid can be used on all baits, not just as a groundbait additive, and I can see pellets soaked in it being attractive to many species, particularly bream and tench; I’m also very keen to give it an outing on dead maggots too.
Supplied in a 250ml bottle you’ll find Predator Plus liquid in all Bait-Tech stockists.
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