Boss The Margins With Paste
Paste is an incredibly versatile bait. It can be used directly on the hook, wrapped around a hookbait to give extra attraction or rolled into tiny balls to use as loosefeed. Angling Times’ Dr Paul Garner is no stranger to using paste and has mastered the art of fishing with it over the years. Below, he’ll explain how to make your own paste and reveal a trick or two to give you an edge on the bank this weekend…
If you want to catch big weights of carp, especially in the margins, then you need to get to grips with paste fishing. On so many venues that I visit at this time of the year paste rules the roost, catching some whopping great carp from the margins. And whilst margin fishing is where we are most likely to use paste, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a paste for every situation, from the long pole to even feeder fishing, as we shall see.
IS SOFTER BETTER?
A super-soft paste that almost melts off the hook might be trendy, but is it always the best way to go? Really soft pastes are difficult to fish beyond the margins, and even a savage line bite can be enough to knock the bait off. Personally, I like to use a paste that has some body to it that clings to the hook well and that is just that bit more reliable.
You can buy ready-made and ready to mix pastes, and these are a great way to start paste fishing. They also come in a wide range of different consistencies, so you can start off with a tougher bait and over time try softer baits. I prefer to make up a fresh batch of paste the night before a trip, as this will be as fresh as possible, and have a nice consistency.
My favourite paste is made from finely ground micro pellets. Not only does this have the perfect consistency for my style of fishing, but can be flavoured and coloured very easily too. You can buy ground pellet if you don’t have a coffee grinder.
Pellets already contain some binder, which gives the paste a brilliant texture, clinging well to the hook, yet with the surface layers breaking down to give a soft outer. Different pellets will give you a slightly different consistency to your paste. Coarse fish pellets give a softer paste than micro pellets, so it is worth experimenting.
If you are new to paste fishing and are worrying about keeping the bait on the hook, then look no further than stringy or fibre paste. This has a soft texture, but doesn’t break down in the same way as normal paste. In fact, the fibrous texture means that it will stay on the hook almost indefinitely. You can even use this stuff on the hook when feeder fishing it is that tough!
The secret of stringy paste is gluten – a high protein component of wheat, corn and rice. You can buy wheat gluten from carp bait suppliers and just 10% added to your paste powder will give the finished bait a stringy consistency.
FEED PELLETS, FISH PASTE
When the water is cool I rely on just the hookbait when paste fishing. Because this softens up in the water the hookbait will come off when you lift the rig out, so you are effectively leaving a nugget of bait behind. In warmer weather, step up the feed by introducing twenty or so 4mm coarse pellets every couple of minutes. The sound of the pellets hitting the water is an added attraction to the fish.
Give your paste hookbaits a powder coating by rolling them in a small tub of pellet powder. This gives an instant cloud of particles in the water.
TEN MINUTE MAKE – Power-packed Pellet Paste
Ground pellets make a brilliant base for your paste, having enough binder to hold together firmly, yet still breaking down quickly leaving a brilliant scent trail. Ideal on the hook, or use this paste as a wrap around large pellets and boilies.
- Finely grind two handfuls of 2mm F1 pellets in a coffee grinder. Don’t try to grind too many pellets at once, as we want a fine and lump-free powder.
- I like to sieve the pellet powder to remove any bits, this gives a finer texture to the finished paste.
- To make a stringy paste add a tablespoonful of wheat gluten to a pint of paste powder.
- Add a teaspoonful of Fish Gutz to a pint of water and mix well.
- Slowly add the water to the pellet powder in a large mixing bowl.
- I like to make a ball of paste roughly the size of an orange as this will be used quite quickly and not have time to dry out.