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  1. #1
    David Tovey Guest


    Dead baits !! Fresh or Foul ?

    The question "of how fresh is best" presented itself again at the weekend.
    While fishing the Foss in Lincoln I found to my horror that the frozen mackerel I had bought the day before was so old that I had to tie in on the trace.
    Speaking to a group of guys from Sheffield who were pikeing there, the old question of how fresh is best was "de-baited".
    The group agreed eventually, that fresh is best.
    At the end of the session the result was:

    On fresh mackerel, (6 rods) = 1 @ 5lb. 1 @ 15lb.

    On foul mackerel (on 2 rods) = 1 @ 6lb. 1 @17 1/2lb plus two fish lost during fight.

    What is the general thought of you pike anglers, which is best fresh or foul

  2. #2
    David Will Guest


    I have always tried to use as fresh as possible but having never knowingly used manky baits I do not know.I did read an article extolling rotten bait and the argument stemmed from pre baiting and the length of time prebaits were in the water before being taken. The chap in question said prebaits were in the water up to four days before going down a Pikes throat.Your results makes one think.Maybe we are over fussy.

  3. #3
    Steve Burke Guest


    I much prefer fresh baits. Firstly, there's a human health hazard with manky baits.

    Secondly, I often throw in old baits at the end of the session as a form of pre-baiting. Otherwise the only seabaits a pike eats has got hooks in them! However, I fish only almost unfished pike waters so this practice doesn't interfere with other anglers. One of the advantages of owning your own water!

    Perch of course rarely take seabaits, but I find newly-killed freshwater baits to be far better than old ones.

  4. #4
    Rob Brownfield Guest


    On a water near me that gets hammered, a 4 day old bait outfishes a fresh bait every time. My theory is this. The Pike have learnt that a fresh deadbait spells danger, but a manky one in the margins must be a discarded bait, and therefore safe. Notice i said margins. I get most of the fish no more than 10 yards out on this perticular water.

    HOWEVER, i use fresh baits on unfished waters (North Scotland ) as I think they give me an edge....sometimes the baits are so fresh they are still swimming! A friend of mine is so adament that freshbaits work, he will lug a bicket of live fish to the loch side, and knock them on the head before mounting them on the hooks.He will not use frozen baits at all.

  5. #5
    David Tovey Guest



    Lucky ole you, your own water eh !!!

    I agree on the aspects of contamination from an old bait. I must admit though to being a bit fussy what I eat.

    1. I tend not to eat the bait personaly.
    2. I keep a tub of water next to my baiting position and wash my hands after touching the baits.

    It might be interesting to test the theory on your water, you fish fresh and I`ll fish foul. Thats if you aint too far away.

    Let me know if its a go-er.


  6. #6
    Steve Burke Guest


    Nide try David! I don't allow even my members to go piking on my pits except for the very occasional invitation. Partly this is because it's a perk for me, but mainly because I don't want pike damaged and the predator/prey balance upset. It's very much a long term project to grow very big specimens of several species.

  7. #7
    David Will Guest


    Following on from Robs 4 day old baits outfishing fresh ones reminded me of Martyn Page outcatching others with stale Herrings on the Broads , same theory.My thoughts have been that in my experience most anglers use whatever is in a) Tescos and b) the local tackle shop , neither of which is ideal if you want fresh bait. I found a wholesaler who will bring me whatever I need ready for wrapping and freezing . The quality is brilliant.Nothing gets back in the freezer as like Steve it goes in the swim at the end of the day , one exception is Eel sections too rare and too expensive !.

  8. #8
    Andy Doughty Guest


    Last year we found that old baits that had been in and out of the freezer a few times were sorting out the zander on a pressurized section of the Cut-Off Channel. Freshly killed deads, lives, lures would not catch, but the manky old baits did.

  9. #9
    Chris Bishop Guest


    Old baits can fool fish, esp in the margins - they think it's just some discarded bait left rotting there.

    Try going to a pressured water on a Monday and margin fishing where people have fished the previous day - it works.

  10. #10
    Gary Knowles Guest


    David - Eel section too rare and to expensive ? - you gotta be joking man.

    Try half an hour on the Ribble in summer fishing maggots, you'll fill the bottom of your freezer.........

    And I'm with Rob - I like my deadbaits so fresh they are still swimming !

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