Try The Summer Super Bait

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Over the last few years on Cosgrove Park one bait has stood head and shoulders above all others for match and pleasure anglers and that is - paste.

In this months blog I will be showing you how to make and use this summer super bait.

Paste is an old school bait that I remember from my youth when I used bread paste flavoured with custard powder for tench on the lakes now called Fountain View and FV2.

Before I start on the technical stuff Id like to say a big thank you to resident Fred Jackson who helped me with the pictures and information for this blog. Fred has become a real paste fishing expert over the last few years and most days through the summer you will find him catching carp and other species using paste.

Before anyone asks Fred was given special permission to use a keepnet for this short session to show off some of the beautiful Bream Lake carp he caught using paste. 

Fred Jackson with one of the many carp he's taken using 'paste'

Tackling Up For Paste

Paste as bait is a little more specialised to use than say pellets, corn and maggots and to get the most out of the bait its best to use pole gear. You cannot beat the accuracy and presentation that a pole provides. You can use a running line using a waggler float or even ledger/feeder gear but you will have to mix the paste stiffer - more of which ill describe later in this blog.

Let me first say that you will need strong gear to tackle the species that you will catch on paste. Carp, tench and bream all grow pretty big on the park and you will need to tackle up to cope with them. If you've not tried pole fishing before give it a go - it is great fun. You don't need to spend thousands of pound on the latest match pole. Poles especially 'margin poles' are pretty cheap, are long enough and more importantly strong enough to cope with most fish you'll hook.

Fred pole fishing paste in Bream Lake

On the theme of strength I would recommend you use a strong hollow pole elastic in a size 16 to 20. I personally use either black or red Daiwa Hydrolastic.

Make sure your terminal tackle is also well up to strength to balance with these heavy elastics using at least 0.20mm dia main line that is roughly 8lb bs in old money. Specialist paste pole floats usually have a very long stem and long bristle and these are really good for deeper water, but as Fred will tell you he uses cheap but strong carp floats that in the shallower water of some Cosgrove lakes are more than adequate. These floats are 'double rubbered' to maintain there strength.

Fred uses a simple pole float for paste fishing 'double rubbered' for strength

Hooks should be strong and on the large-ish size to help hold a pretty big knob of paste on. I use sizes 10, 12 or if I'm using a very small bait a 14, even nice roach will pick up paste baits with these sizes of hooks.

Keep your rigs very simple. Fred literally uses no shot on the line relying on the weight of the paste bait to cock the float. I personally do use shot but I weight the line lightly so the float only cocks to the bottom of the bristle then by careful plumbing up the weight of the paste cocks the float down correctly. Both methods show when the paste has fallen off by either laying flat or showing all of the bristle.

If you are intending to use paste on a running line either with a waggler float or a ledger/feeder try using a hair rig with a kitchen/bathroom X tile spacer or half a boilie on the end to act as an anchor for the paste to grip on.  

How To Make This Super Bait

As I said earlier you can make a paste bait from all sorts of ingredients, bread and cat/dog food immediately springs to mind. Todays bait ingredients are mind blowing but keep things simple by using either a proprietary paste powder or one of the modern sticky ground bait's that are mixed with water and made into very attractive pastes. Even pellets can be made into a paste by scalding them and moulding into a lovely strong smelling bait. Fred prefers to use a paste made from a modern carp/method groundbait and use the complimentary flavoured pellets as feed. I use a pole cupping pot as my measure to get the ratio of ingredients right. A lot of shop bought paste powders are mixed on a one pot of paste powder to one of water ratio, but you may need to experiment to get the perfect consistency. For the deeper lakes or where you may need to wait a little longer for your fish I like to mix up my paste a little stiffer.

Fred uses a very sloppy (groundbait based) paste with complimentary micro pellets as feed

For angler wanting to use paste with a running line you can mix the powders stiffer or even mix with a beaten egg or try Sonubaits Fibrepaste that has a very stringy ingredient that helps the paste hold onto the hook. 

You can also customise your paste by adding your own tweaks such as chilli or curry powder in the mix or by adding liquid flavours to the mixing water!


How To Fish Paste on the Pole

Once you've set your gear up and mixed up you chosen paste the next most important thing is accurate plumbing up of your swim. You need to use a heavy plummet and make sure you are fishing 'dead-depth'. In practice when you start fishing with paste you will find the bait pretty heavy and will act as a plummet as well. Any variations in the bottom will show themselves on your float.

To start with you may wish to bait up using pellets, knobs of paste or even ground bait. Fred prefers to cup in a small quantity of pellets then play it by ear whether to feed again or just let the paste that drops off feed the swim!

As you can see Fred uses a good knob of paste around a biggish hook

Obviously when using paste that is very soft there is no way can you ship out with the bait dangling either in the air or in the water. You need to use a pole-pot on the end of you pole and place the paste bait in that to ship out. Once over the swim you rotate the pole a drop the paste in. It will the be supported by the water until it touches down on the bottom. At this point you must keep your pole still so as not to disturb the very soft paste. On most occasions the bites will be positive affairs either good pull down or a proper lift bite. Give a good strike with a positive lift of the pole to set the hook. On occasions small silver fish will attack the paste before bigger fish can get at it. I overcome this to a certain extent by fishing a hooker pellet on the hook before covering it with a knob of paste. At least I am confident of having a bait there!

Fred puts his paste bait in a pole-pot before shipping out

Fred lifts into a positive bite and the hooked carp roars off!

Although the carp is fighting really hard, strong tackle will cope

Fred draws the lovely carp over the landing net

Just a sample of the carp caught from Bream Lake on a very short lunchtime session

This then is a short intro into fishing with paste. It does take a little getting used to but with a bit of practice and keeping the faith it is the best bait to use during the warmer months.

If you'd like any further information about paste fishing or any other fishing related subject contact either reception or vie email 


Tight lines - Gary S



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Venetian Marina Whilton Caravan Storage Whilton Marina
Cosgrove Park. Main Street, Cosgrove, Milton Keynes, MK19 7JP.
Phone: 01908 563360 Fax: 01908 263615