Monday, 25 September 2017

Cattyfish groundbait!

No, it is not aimed at catfish, it is just made from cat food and fishy things...

It has been a while since I made any new groundbait. My previous concoctions have served me well for the fish I was seeking and the tactics I was using. Recently I have rediscovered the simplicity of float fishing, whether that has been on rod and line, whip or my selection of tele-poles. Most of the time I am happy with whatever comes along and takes my bait. On our small local river, I caught four species in about an hour on my very first visit armed with nothing more than a 3m whip, bread and maggots.

This time of year my thoughts are turning to predator fishing. In past years that has been mainly satisfied by a spot of dropshotting, however, I have been looking into lure fishing for pike, and I think I am going to give that a go, at some point. For now, I am going to go and target the perch using my float gear. I plan to try and tempt the fish into the area with a fishy groundbait as an attractant and then feed over the top with whatever hook bait I am using. I have no idea if this will work, but I will find out. I may end up attracting all the wrong fish. Whatever happens, it will give me a chance to experiment with a new groundbait.

The Assembled ingredients for the base mix of Cattyfish groundbait
This time I want a groundbait with a strong fishy flavour that the fish will be drawn to - I hope! Perch are partial to prawn and with this in mind, a bag of leftover prawn crackers from a takeaway meal this week got me started. I also had to hand a few tins of Tesco's own brand Tuna Chunks; the result of an experimental economy drive that failed. It smells very 'fishy' and tastes horrible, making it an ideal ingredient for my new experiment. Other ingredients in the base mix are white breadcrumb, Rich Tea biscuits, fishy cat biscuit and seed hemp.

Regular readers will recall that for a long time I have been drying out cheap supermarket sliced bread. This was fine when I was only making small quantities of groundbait. As time has gone on, I am using more and more as well as making some for friends. I now buy my breadcrumb ready made that is supplied in sacks, that is much more convenient, if slightly more expensive. If kept dry, it lasts indefinitely. I have a large blue storage barrel that I keep our bulk birdseed in. The breadcrumb is stored in there where it is also rodent free.

Below is my initial recipe. This will make just under a kilo of groundbait, just enough for a single trial session.

My Cattyfish Groundbait Recipe 

Dry ingredients:
  • 200g Breadcrumb
  • 200g Rich Tea biscuits
  • 200g Cat biscuit
  • 50g Prawn crackers
Wet ingredients:
  • 175g Seed hemp, including the liquid (half a tin)
  • 160g Tin of tuna  

Dry ingredients after processing to a fine powder 
Except for the white breadcrumb, which is already processed, the other dry ingredients are 'liquidised' in my super powerful Duronic BL1200 blender and placed in a mixing bowl. The blender is powerful enough to reduce hard ingredients, such as cat and dog biscuits, to powder in no time!

Adding the liquidised wet ingredients
Half a tin of seed hemp is liquidised with the tin of tuna, to make a smelly grey sludge, and added to the dry ingredients. The whole lot is mixed together to form a lumpy mixture that is not of much use as it stands.

This is left to soak for about half an hour before being passed through a groundbait riddle several times to thoroughly mix it together and produce an excellent crumbly mix.

Now it is just right - you can't beat a good riddle!
It made just about a kilo as I had to add a drop of water to the hemp to get it out of the tin. The other half of the tin will be used as loose feed. The finished groundbait is bagged up and ready for use. It will be kept in the fridge for a few days, if I were not going to use it immediately, I would freeze it as the fish may not keep for too long.

Cattyfish Groundbait ready for use
I plan to use the groundbait as an attractant to fish over. To the base mix, I will add whatever I am using as hook bait. Initially I will be using prawn, rough chopped and added in small quantities as I go. If this does not work and I change the hook bait to say, maggots, I will add maggots to the mix.

I will let you know how I get on with this one. As I say I have no idea whether this approach will work, but I will have fun trying!