Monday, 7 September 2015


Yes, you've guessed it, another silly groundbait recipe. This time I thought I would go down the feline route and use some of the dried cat biscuit. To bulk it up I will add equal quantities of dried breadcrumb and biscuit and to enhance the attraction and to add some spice to the mix, ginger powder will be added. Can you see where this is going yet?

I've been shopping again!

Now, at this stage I could give you some old guff about the refractive index of the colour green, the visibility in certain types of water at varying depths as a reason for adding a green colouring to the mix. Or maybe that it is to enhance to appeal to a particular fish. Well, I could but I won't. The real reason is that I already have a yellow mix and a red mix so now I need a green mix to complete my traffic light trio. There is no logic behind this concoction other than to produce a mix that is different and I can give a silly name to. Now for the recipe and the silly name.

Breadcrumb. The supermarket price-wars are really doing us a favour when it came to gathering ingredients. This week Aldi  have reduced the price of their economy sliced bread to 36p for an 800g loaf. It was 40p last time I bought some and I have noticed since that other supermarkets are selling their similar 800g loaves at 40p too. I suspect they will follow suit soon.

I dry my bread by resting it on the top of the radiators at the moment. we are in the process of refurbishing our house and any crumbs that drop through are easily swept up from the bare floorboards below. I will have to come up with another solution once the house is finished, but for now this is a very quick and easy way to get the slices bone dry in a few hours overnight. An 800g loaf will render approximately 650g of dry breadcrumb.

Gingernut Biscuits. Again the Supermarkets are always fighting about the price of biscuits. Do check the weights though, unlike bread, which seems to be fairly constant, the weight of biscuit packs can vary considerably.  Again, my local Aldi comes out the cheapest by a long way on this one.  A 300g pack of gingernuts is only 25p at the moment.

Cat Biscuits. I suppose a more correct description might be 'dry cat food' but whatever you call it it is the boxes of little dry lumps of cat food that our cats used to go mad for. (we are a no-cat family at the moment). These are as hard as nails and do not take kindly to being whizzed in the food processor so it is back to the coffee grinder again to produce a fine powder. There are famous branded versions but while I was buying the bread and gingernuts I spotted an own-brand box of 960g on special offer at 85p. It may be available cheaper elsewhere but this will do me.

Ginger Powder. Look in any supermarket and you will find small jars and packets of herbs and spices designed for use by the British cook who will to the most part use flavourings 'sparingly' to hint at the experience. To this end, 23g jars of spice suffice. For our needs we need to look elsewhere as this has to be the most expensive way to buy this ingredient. The best place to buy spices, and for that matter all manor of dry goods, is an Asian 'supermarket' . These tend to be small, independently run, concerned with very helpful staff' My 400g bag of ginger powder was £1.99 and will last a very long time so long as the bag is resealed and kept cool and dry.

Food Colouring. Most food shops sell food colouring in liquid form. For our purposes I prefer to use the dry powders which are not so readily available. In this case I could not find any powdered green colouring, although I think if I had gone to a sugar-craft, cake decorating shop I may well have found some. The only drawback with using liquid colour is that it has to be added to the wet ingredients in order to be distributed through the mix evenly. As this is a totally dry mix, it will be added on the bank with the lake water used to moisten the mix. The small bottle of colouring cost me 59p but as it will be used very sparingly I could see no point in buying it in any larger quantities even if it is available.

Green Ginger Tom groundbait recipe

  • 750g Breadcrumb
  • 750g Gingernut biscuits
  • 450g Cat biscuit
  • 50g Ginger powder 
  • 2 tsp. Green food colouring*
*This is added on the bank. I usually split my batch of groundbait mix into two equal amounts so each batch will use one teaspoonful. If that is not 'green' enough I will just add more, if it is too green I will add more of the second batch to dilute it. This is the starting point, until I actually use it I will not know exactly what will work for me.

If, as me, you want to use this as method mix you need to make it as lump-free as possible. All my ingredient are passed through a flour sieve and anything that is too big is either ground down in a pestle and mortar or the invaluable coffee grinder. This is not as arduous as it sounds, the food processor I use makes a pretty good job of making fine breadcrumb from the dried bread so long as it is totally dry. The biscuit also processes down to a fine powder without much effort.

All the dry ingredients are mixed together and riddled, and riddled and riddled.... and riddled again! I can't stress how important riddling is. It is then bagged up into two 1kg bags and put in the freezer until the night before it is ready for use. If it is totally dry it probably does not need freezing but by freezing it you will ensure it stays 'fresh' for when it is required.

The dry mix will be moistened with lake water at the venue. I prefer to do this but it can be done at home the day before but I would use rainwater and not tap-water to avoid introducing any of the chemicals that are now added to our tap-water as a matter of course.

I will let you know if it works. My Two Dog mix works really well and I have caught plenty of fish using it when others have struggled. It will be interesting to see if the fish take to this mix.