Here are some really useful ideas for making your hook bait stand out amongst all of your free offerings.
A bright pink, yellow or orange Bandit Dumbell makes an extremely attractive hook bait when feeder fishing. This works equally well in conjunction with a traditional open-end feeder as it does with a Method Feeder or Pellet Feeder. Fish them hair-rigged with the aid of a bait band and you’ll have a durable hook bait that should help to single out the bigger fish.
Pop Ups can be fished any depth off the bottom, so don’t be afraid to suspend them just a few centimetres above the feed. This helps to elevate the hook bait just above the free samples and hopefully means a fish will take it first. You can easily set the desired depth using shot or tungsten putty placed on the hooklength.
All of your feed and hook baits can be dipped and glugged to increase their attraction, whether that’s groundbait, particles or even live offerings like maggots. Try adding a very small percentage of Yum Yum Bait Booster to your feed to get the fish interested, and then douse your hook baits with a much higher concentration. This helps to ensure the hook bait is the centre of attraction.
Black is an excellent target colour that creates an unmistakable silhouette against lighter groundbaits and particles. It is also extremely vivid when fished off the bottom, either as a Pop Up or suspended below a pole float or waggler. Our black Inky Squid bait range has proved particularly effective when fished this way, either with soft Yum Yums hooker pellets fished straight on the hook or tougher Bandit Dumbells and Method Boilies fished on a hair rig.
Two baits on a hook are so often better than one, whether that’s maggots, casters, sweetcorn, meat or pellets. This not only creates a larger hook bait, this larger mouthful creates a more irregular shape that should be more difficult for a fish to spit back out. A great tip is to try two 4mm Yum Yums on the hook rather than a single 6mm. This small trick has proved particularly effective with our team of experts.
The humble worm is one of the greatest fish catchers of all time and all species love them. Fishing two on a decent hook can bring plenty of savage bites, but you can improve its attraction even further by topping it off with another bait. A couple of casters or red maggots are good options, but by far the most visual is a grain of bright yellow sweetcorn. This tempting mouthful is equally effective for bream, tench, carp and barbel.
Our final tip has nothing to do with the actual bait, but what you can do it to catch a fish’s eye. The simple answer is to move it! Twitching the hook bait is such a simple way to induce a bite, yet many people forget to try it. It is easy to do this when pole fishing, as you can simply lift the rig up and down. With a waggler setup, a sharp flick of the rod tip can achieve a similar result. When feeder fishing, try dragging your hook bait slightly towards you. The key is to make the fish think a free meal is getting away from them. That’s when they will be more inclined to grab it!