How to attract fish?

Attracting fish to a fishing spot

Part 1. Principles of Composition and Application of Bait and Baits.

Photo by the author

Over many years of practice catching fish with bait on the hook, anglers have developed many ways to improve the efficiency of the process. In particular, one of the most effective methods of increasing the concentration of fish in a local place, and hence the activity of biting here, is either baiting or baiting. And what is the difference between these two approaches?

First we need to define the terminology. Baiting is considered batch feeding attract fish fodder (substances) in the place where the planned fishing, and this is done directly in the process of fishing. Privada, on the contrary, served in advance, for a long time, and then fishing is organized in this place. In the process of fishing can be applied and bait. On the other hand, if the fisherman constantly, with short breaks, fishes in the same place with bait, then the selected area of the reservoir can be considered baited. Now let’s understand the purposes to which bait and bait serve.

Bait by means of smell and moving particles of food in water collects fish located near the place of fishing, increases its concentration in a small area of the reservoir, increases food competition and, consequently, the activity of fish.

Baiting is used in order to accustom the fish, randomly moving around the reservoir, to visit the selected by the fisherman section of the reservoir regularly, at a certain time. The immutable rule of baiting is to plant food exactly at the time, which then come to fish.

Understanding the terms and objectives, we note that in addition to bait and bait, there are other ways to accumulate fish in a chosen place. Many publications were devoted to its successful attraction with the help of various objects (snags, twigs, bushes, stones, sticks, painted balls, transparent vessels with fry, luminous devices, etc.) placed on the bottom of the reservoir or in the water column. In the same way, both peaceful and predatory fish are collected in a limited place.

Here we will talk only about attracting with bait and bait fish of the Carp family, more precisely, such its typical peaceful representatives as bream, roach, carp, crucian carp, gustav, asp, ide, tench, etc. Naturally, if the composition of bait or bait will include components of animal origin (worm, moth, grouse, clam meat, dried blood, etc.), it will attract and predatory fish, especially the young (bass, pikeperch, ruff, chub, trenches). Besides, the noisy jostling of fish around the bait in a limited area of the reservoir is well audible for large predators even from a great distance, and they will not leave it without attention.

Fishing in the last century (not commercial fishing!) was the destiny of the elite, and in some places it was persecuted as socially harmful, corrupting idleness. Only thanks to our great fishermen S.T. Aksakov and L.P. Sabaneyev and thanks to popularization of the western fishing culture, first of all English, fishing became a hobby for millions. Therefore, as for baiting, today it is rarely used, although at the beginning of the century it was the main way to attract the objects of fishing. Because baiting presupposes long time fixing of a place for one fisherman, and with modern mass attendance of reservoirs, especially near big cities, unauthorized “rent” of a comfortable part of the shore causes categorical protests of other fishermen. For this reason the technology of baiting of fish has remained at a level of the last century, while the whole industrial complex has grown on manufacturing of bait.

Now about bait and bait compositions depending on fishing conditions, season and fish species, about means of their delivery to the place of fishing and about correct and responsible use of this serious “weapon” by a fisherman. First of all, it should be borne in mind that its thoughtless use can cause great harm to the ecology of the reservoir: not once have I been faced with a complete absence of biting in an ideal in all respects, but often visited, “overgrown” by others place. This is the result of excessively generous because of their fishing illiteracy “feeders”, who carry on the reservoir full backpacks of different porridge and cake, and go back empty, cursing the lack of fish, bad weather, unsuccessful place … Others do not sin with abundant offerings, but even in standing water, they roll bait in such dense clay balls that it becomes inaccessible to fish, quickly deteriorates in warm summer water, scaring away all life around. The same happens in the first case – the fish is not able to consume a large amount of food, it is not a pig and knows the measure.

Baiting, unfortunately, gives the same picture, only here a large amount of food is considered almost a rule of thumb. Although in this case one or two handfuls of flavored bait is more than enough. Here the main thing – not to feed the fish, and accustom it to “come to fish” at the right time. From this a simple conclusion: fish better underfeed than overfeed, and feed consumption activity should be comparable with the speed of digestion, which in summer most of all depends on water temperature – the higher it is (in a certain biological range), the more fish consumes food, and vice versa. To keep the rate of feed consumption close to the rate of digestion, modern bait is made of carefully crushed components. By collecting small particles, the fish slowly fills the intestines, moves a lot and consumes extra energy. Besides, some components of bait, especially those containing heavy vegetable oils, particularly cake, or additives of oil itself (sunflower, corn, rapeseed, burdock, etc.), act as a laxative on fish, about what L.P.Sabaneyev wrote.

In general, taking into account the activity of bait, it is necessary to give bait exactly as much and with such a frequency that the fish would be waiting for the next portion of tasty food and a hook with bait would be desirable for it all the time of fishing.

I think it is now clear that in their composition baits and lures should be close to each other, the only difference is the technology of their application. The structure of both consists of a base and a binder, filled in a certain ratio with forage and attracting components. In bait, production of which is available to any fisherman, the basis is usually made up of wheat or corn breadcrumbs and bran at a ratio of about 3:1. The most readily available binder is the toloknok. If you do not have it on hand, you can take oat flakes, roast them slightly and grind in a coffee grinder. Binder weight should not exceed 1/3 of the weight of the basis, otherwise bait when mixed with water will get too viscous, will lie on the bottom of the pond lump and slowly disintegrate into particles, resulting in the fish will quickly become saturated and lose interest in your continued actions.

Almost all components of bait are interesting for the fish, but feed additives are considered to be only those that have an animal origin (worms, chaff, worms, etc.). This also includes a very small amount of plant bait, which are introduced into the bait in the summer – in order to “familiarize” the fish with the bait. Usually it’s steamed cereals (pearl barley, wheat, oats, corn) or beans (peas, lentils, beans, etc.). But if the fisherman is not stingy and adds to the bait worms and grouse, the bite on live bait will be much better than on all kinds of porridge, dough and grains. In the entire bait, the feed component takes a tenth of the weight.

To attract fish are those products that contain large quantities of substances that excite taste (milk powder, egg powder). They usually make up a tenth of the bait, because, among other things, they have a very strong binding effect. Almost all modern bait is used in combination with flavorings of different nature. Of course, the efficiency of bait and bait depends on how much water you add to the dry bait mixture (this is done immediately before fishing). Too much – then bait will turn into a doughy mass, too little – components will swell badly, and current will carry them away from the catching area.

Very often in the composition of bait or bait it is necessary to introduce ballast – an inert filler. This is necessary for two reasons: it increases the weight of bait and “dilutes” its food part, as a result the fish is saturated not so quickly. Ballast must be friable, not interfere with the dilution of bait in the water. Usually it’s river sand

or fine gravel, less often earth or loam. Only for the strong current additives with a large content of clay are suitable, but they are better to enter bait in dry, crushed into powder form, and then stir the whole mixture with water – in this case bait will be well washed out, and clay will give a long plume of attracting fish mousse.

How to activate the fish

Years of observation and fishing practice has allowed me to form a number of tricks to help activate the activity of fish on a body of water and make it bite. Some of them can be called universal, i.e. suitable for any fishing season. Some of them bear the imprint of the inherent season. But, one way or another, the question of activating the nibble is of interest to absolutely any lover of fishing. And since it is, let’s discuss it.

I should preliminarily mention that in this article I do not deliberately raise the issue of using bait to attract fish or factory flavors and attractants to activate the bite. Although, I’m sure, ask anyone how to improve the bite, and he first of all will begin to tell, what flavoring to splash bait or with what smell to use bait, based on the conditions of fishing and time of fishing. Today I’m going to talk about more natural, if you will – natural nibble activators.

1. The first way to activate the nibble is to use local bait. What does this mean? Suppose you are fishing on the float, and the fish is cautious, refuses the bait that you have prepared or bought before arriving at the reservoir. You can try other types of imported bait, if you have them available. But it’s better to try to catch what lives directly in the place of fishing.

Different water insects, shits (larvae of the lake brookman living in their houses – photo 1), crustaceans-shellfish are often more attractive for the fish, than, it would seem, appetizing worms or oparats, on which we usually fish. Maybe it’s the weather, or maybe it’s just cautious and timid, but the option to offer what it directly feeds on each day is often very productive.

During the open water season you can always find local critters that the fish eat at the bottom of shallow water or on coastal rocks, fallen trees, in the grass. If you go near bushes or trees overhanging the water (photo 2), look around: maybe some bugs or larvae (photo 3), which live there or fell from the branches into the water, will be more desirable for the fish this time.

And sometimes it’s enough to turn some stones or logs and take out some grass on the shore (photo 4), and there you will also find something edible (photo 5) .

In ice fishing, to get the underwater food base, it is enough to swing the auger up and down in the hole at shallow depth or near the grass, and then sharply pull out the auger. After the auger a stream of water will rush out of the hole, usually together with aquatic vegetation and small insects on it (photo 6).

In winter, we standardly use a moth or grouse. Think about it, maybe even without preparing in advance, it is possible to find something at the place of fishing? Very interesting example of this approach I have repeatedly observed on the approaches to the popular places of fishing: all balls-topper near the burdock bush are fairly quickly broken off by lovers of fishing (photo 7) .

And it’s right tactically, because a very interesting and promising bait – the larva of the burdock moth lives and lives in them (photo . Or pay attention to the stalks of wormwood (photo 9) – the larvae of mugwort live there (photo 10) .

Turn any stone, turn over a log or push aside a fallen tree – who knows, maybe it is this found bug (photo 11) will be interesting to the underwater inhabitants and will bring you luck today. In short, the issue of using local bait and increasing the variety of bait offered is a very good help to the angler in the matter of activating the nibble.

2. The second method is to experiment with the size of the bait. Many anglers, especially spinning anglers, know how favorably affects the nibble of the passive fish over the available in the fishing box baits or wobblers. I will not talk about changing types of baits (wobblers to twisters, etc.) or using baits from different manufacturers, tell about the way to activate the fish with the bait size. This trick can work at any time of year and in a variety of fishing methods.

Fishing for spinning and not biting? Put a bait that is strikingly different in size from the baits you just fished with (photo 12) . It is possible that the fish will react with a bite on a bigger wobbler, seeing in it more appetizing object of attack. Or, conversely, will react to a small wobbler, figuring that such a baby will be much easier and simpler to catch up.

Of course, this must take into account the test spinning, but in any case, you can think of something – for example, if the bait is too light for your tackle, you can put a small weight in front of it.

If, on the contrary, say, wobbler too heavy for spinning, then to an interesting point on the river it can not be thrown, and float downstream. Fishing in the winter on jerkbaits and do not see work? Including look at the size of the live bait (photo 13) . Why not put a smaller jerkbait or, conversely, a fish with a larger size? There is a complete analogy in the conclusions with the previous example.

And if we turn to float fishing from the ice or fishing on mormyshka, I will not talk about the difference in the size of mormyshka, it would be too expected, I will say this. Often anglers get a difference in biting if they use the same bait, but of different size. It may seem like a small thing, but sometimes it has a big impact on the final catch. My brother, for example, has long noticed a feature that inactive “white” fish is more willing to be caught on half a maggot than on a whole maggot.

Yes, perhaps it plays a role here that the larva begins to emit its odors more vividly, it is worth splitting it in half, but also about the fact that it becomes half as small, do not forget.

For the convenience of performing this trick he always has with him in his fishing equipment are special scissors (photo 14) . And wary perch, it was noticed, more readily shows itself if instead of several moths to put on a single. When fishing smallmouth bass in the fall, I often noticed that if we replaced a standard small fry of 4-5 cm with a largemouth one, even small perch would be more active (photo 15) .

Is it a desire to fatten up before winter or natural greed? I do not know, but sometimes, in periods of falling bite, I use this trick. Not always a hundred percent, but still it definitely makes sense. In short, always experiment with the size of the bait and lure.

Let me give you an example to illustrate this. I fished with my brother on the river, choosing a familiar shallow shallow area, smoothly coming out of the bay to the shoal of a sandy beach. We used to catch perch and occasionally small pike here quite well. Accordingly, this time we used small silicone lures, small wobblers and miniature propellers. We spent two hours fishing without a single bite, combing the place up and down.

Remembering the trick with the size of the bait, which used to help me out, I offered my brother to switch to a large wobbler, the strength of his spinning rod allowed him to do this, unlike my tackle of the light class. And although Alexander reacted skeptically to the proposal, but agreed to the experiment – and on the first wiring gets a clear catch and brought quite a good pike, whose size clearly exceeded the size of the catfish, which broke in this place in the previous fishing (photo 16) .

3. More than once in winter I was helped by the following method to activate the bite. If the place of fishing is not very deep, in the nearby woods or bushes you can cut a stick or a twig (twig), with which you can raise the mud from the bottom in the hole (photo 17) . And if there are several holes and they are in relative proximity to each other, the cloud of bottom mud can turn out quite impressive sizes.

Naturally, initially by such actions you will scare away all the animals under the ice, but, having calmed down, it will return back, attracted by the turbid suspended matter, which may be bottom dwellers, previously hiding there. Of course, in this matter it is not necessary to go to extremes and scare away all living things for many, many meters with their super active actions. No, you rustled a stick in a couple of holes, raised the mud – and, without creating additional noise, proceeded to fish them a few minutes afterwards. And when you are collecting local underwater insects with a drill, as I wrote a little above, do not be lazy, run with a fishing rod on the same holes after 10 – 15 minutes. And there is a chance that the result will please you.

In the summer, especially when I was a kid, we used to catch gudgeons in the rivers in a similar way. You step into the water, as far as the height of bogs allowed, and you start to stir up the bottom layer with your boots. Not big fish quickly assemble in the muddy loop, grabbing what you pull out with your feet. And in passing responds favorably to the bait presented by you. Isn’t that a way to activate the bite?

And once I was a witness, how one fisherman, being on the shore, collected earth, clay, sand (everything that was under feet) – and profusely threw it in one point. To my question, isn’t it easier to use some even the simplest bait, to attract fish, he explained that more than once used such a simple, but effective way.

First, he planned to catch perch, which are not interested in smelly bait.

Secondly, a cloud of muck in this clean and clear water attracts small minnows and gudgeons, no bait is needed. And perch attracted by small scurrying fish becomes a prey itself, if you put a hook with worm or small fry under its nose. Well, the fact that such a bait costs nothing – and do not have to mention.

4. Have you noticed that some fishermen in their jigs use several so-called points of attack? Say, if you catch spinning, then set some small baits before the main bait. For example, before the big twister, above the line, you can hook a small twister (photo 18).

Fishing in winter on a bait or mormys – you can put a small hook with a bead or colored kembricks on the line above (photo 19). The point of all this is to spur fish activity by creating illusion that your main bait is as if chasing this small point, on which (if we speak about winter) it is not even necessary to hook the bait, it plays another role here.

Gambling, competition, the desire if not to eat the opponent, then at least to take away his object of attack – that’s what provokes the fish to bite in this case. The method is actually very effective, because not for nothing in some sports competitions in the regulations clearly stated that is allowed to catch, say, a mormyshka exclusively without the use of additional suspensions. Competitions are competitions, but as part of the normal fishing, I see nothing wrong to try to activate the fish in such a simple way. This option is especially helpful for bass fishing.

5. A very effective way to gather fish in a particular point is to attract them to this place by creating a shelter. I think many have heard that in some countries they sink old ships in the sea in order not only to excite tourists to these places, but also to create a habitat for the underwater life.

I do not know how justified it is from an environmental point of view, but the fact that there begins to live fish in large quantities – it is reliable. After all, on the bare bottom the fish has nowhere to hide, to linger, not to mention the permanent habitat. That’s why it is known among anglers such a way to create fish places, as the equipment of underwater shelters on their own. A pile of rocks, a sunken tree or bushes (especially branchy) – these are very promising spots for fishing.

Naturally, I will stress that you should not cut down live trees for fishing ambitions, but to move the fallen trees from the shore into the water – it is quite understandable action enthusiastic angler (photo 20) .

Quite quickly behind the fallen tree in the water there is a calm, often washed out hole, which is inhabited by various representatives of the underwater kingdom. In the branches of the tree is convenient to hide from predators. At the edge of the rapids is convenient to catch a gaping fish.

If such a shelter to create not on the current, and in a standing body of water, then, of course, over time and there will manifest itself the activity of fish, but it is on the river it is achieved as quickly as possible. And when the river flow is powerful, I have seen a couple of times how people additionally loaded tree trunks with stones. Yes, the activity is more than labor-intensive, sometimes causing questions and misunderstanding of outside observers, but the result of their labors is often expressed in a very impressive catch. In such places, again, you can count on a good bite of both the game fish and predator fish.

Such shelters can be made in the winter, from the ice. In a hole or a number of holes pushed through a few poles and branches, you can even find some dry tree for the same purpose (photo 21) . Such a shelter is ineffective on the current, but if you build it near the shore, it is justified to expect from it later on a good return. And if you try to camouflage this place by sawing the protruding ends of sticks and twigs and fill it with snow, then the joy of good bite will not have to share with other anglers.

6. How else can you get the fish to bite? If a fish is cautious and wary of trying your bait or bait, you should reduce the degree of her fear as much as possible. Well, that is, if possible, reduce its noise to a minimum. This applies to both winter fishing and summer fishing. In summer do not show up on the shore in bright clothes, wearing a suit of darker, merging with the environment tones. Do not stand in the background of the sky, but take shelter in the shade of coastal bushes.

In winter, it can be useful to take a rod with a thinner line. Even though there is a high probability of breakage, but also the possibility of a bite increases. In summer – to tie on a fishing rod a thinner leash with a hook, smaller in size. In a word – lighten your tackle. Not to use a smaller bait or bait, as I wrote earlier, but to work on the tackle itself.

What else? As you know, fish have the most developed sense organ is the sense of smell. So if your hands smell of machine oil, gasoline or other repellent liquid, maybe it makes sense to wash them well before you hook the bait? Of course, these are all individual cases, but they should be taken into account.

To summarize. Yes, the most understandable and usual way to provoke a fish to bite is to attract it with the smell or taste of the offered bait or lure. It’s logical. But you have to look beyond that. The art of fishing is a constant search for reasons and solutions, options and ways. And if so, I hope that my material will be useful to inquisitive fishermen and can further help in solving such a question as activation of the nibble of fish.

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