Fishing with Bread
Used for bait when fresh and for berley when stale, bread can be an exceptional weapon in an angler's arsenal. That very ordinary, average slice of bread can be extra ordinarily effective when it comes to enticing fish. It has the advantage of being readily available, relatively inexpensive and, because it freezes well, can be kept for long periods.
Many species such as Bream, Mullet and Garfish will bite ferociously on bread, particularly when it is used with accompanying bread berley. The part of the loaf used and the method of baiting the hook varies according to the species sought.
Fish with small mouths such as Garfish, Mullet and other bait fish will be more likely to be trapped by using the softer, inside part of the loaf. If bread is fresh, a small piece, rolled into a tight, doughy ball, will have enough adhesion to withstand the rigours of a careful cast. For this type of bait, unsliced bread is better than sliced. Sliced bread has a tendency to dry out once the packet is opened, and it will lose the doughy properties which are necessary for moulding the bait onto the hook.
Fishing with a bread bait in this manner is more successful in quiet, estuary waters rather than in open waters where the current is strong. Successful rigs in this situation will require light, sensitive floats such as a pencil or quill float. Plastic bubble floats can also be used. Half-filled with water, these floats give sufficient weight for a good cast without the assistance of a split-shot.
The crust makes a better bait for bottom-feeding fish and those species which prefer a more turbulent habitat. For these fishing locations, sliced bread is a better choice than unsliced, and simplifies the task of cutting up a bait supply.
For a good crust bait, fresh bread is better than stale. Bread crust that has gone stale is often hard and brittle, and can be very difficult to thread onto a hook. It can break up altogether, and even if you manage to place it on a hook, its very toughness can sometimes be enough to deflect the hook when a fish has a nibble. The crust is an ideal bait for Black Drummer, whose sucking action makes it particularly susceptible to a bread bait.
When baiting with bread crust, the point of the hook must protrude. If the hook is completely buried, there is a tendency for the bread to come off the hook when wet. Also, for species like Bream that are renowned pickers, you need to be able to set the hook with the least amount of trouble.
Casting technique is important when using bread and this applies to all soft baits. A smooth, gentle action must be used. Any harsh, jerky movements will dislodge the bait in the air or it could become loose when splashing into the water. A gentle, side cast action is recommended rather than an overhead cast.
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