On water bodies when fishing from ice on a jig with a nozzle or on float tackle, the question of feeding or not feeding is usually not worth it. Usually the question is what to feed and how. Even on the first ice, roach and scavenger respond well to bait, and in the dead of winter it becomes absolutely necessary. Previously, they fed mainly dry semolina, breadcrumbs, bread, millet porridge – in different places there were recipes. And now in fishing stores eyes are scattered from a huge number of bright packages with baits. It seems everything is simple – choose and catch. However, practice has shown that even the products of the most famous companies do not always justify their high price.
The main task of any bait is to attract and hold the fish in place. The main difference between modern bait is multicomponent. You can also make a good bait yourself, but you will have to buy a dozen or even more components, then grind them correctly and mix them in a certain proportion. At home, doing all this is difficult, and expensive. However, knowing the composition and understanding how the various components work is very important. The basis of any bait is bread crumbs. A lot depends on its quality, including how the bait is mixed in cold water. Moreover, good bread does not always give crackers suitable for bait. So, crackers from one bakery in cold water formed large lumps with which the fish could quickly get enough, in addition, in the cold they quickly froze. It turned out that the bread was baked there with a high content of margarine and butter, which is probably good for bread, but bad for crackers used in winter bait.
Modern ready-made baits, depending on their basis, can be divided into workers and those that should not be used. If a kilogram package costs 60-70, or even 40 rubles, then there is simply no reason to talk about breadcrumbs in its composition, since decent crackers cost more than 30 rubles. per kilogram. In cheap baits they are replaced with bran. They are well mixed in cold water, the bait is “fluffy”. But bran has an unpleasant feature: they give a sour taste. I had to use such mixtures with the addition of flavorings. You can catch, but on the condition that nearby no one uses good bait. This applies to fishing both roach and scavenger, but bran-based bait attracts well, especially in combination with milk powder. But they usually use it on the last ice, when active fishing of this fish begins.
In addition to breadcrumbs, almost all good baits usually include ground biscuit, animal feed, fishmeal, and often dried bloodworms. An obligatory component of ready-made bait is any flavor. It can have almost any smell: strawberries, plums, biscuit, chocolate, vanilla – anything. But, as you know, fish react differently to the same smells differently in warm and cold water. In winter, sweet smells of fish do not attract. Therefore, if bait with the smell of strawberries says "for cold water" or "winter", then this is clearly a "joke" of the manufacturer. True, summer bait with a sweet smell and in winter can attract fish, but not due to the smell, but due to its nutritional properties.
In general, everything is not easy with smells in winter. So, I have been convinced more than once: for example, vanillin successfully works on roach and scavenger. Contrary to popular belief, ground hemp is also the best supplement for summer carp. But animal smells do not always live up to expectations. This is especially true for dried daphnia and gammarus – they do not give a noticeable improvement in bite. But in finished baits they are not. But bloodworms in dried and especially live form improves the effect of any bait.
The amount of bloodworms in the bait can be very different. So, for roach, it can be minimal, and when fishing for perch not bloodworms are added to the bait, but on the contrary – bait in bloodworms. Such a mixture attracts perch even better than a pure bloodworm. It is not very practical to use pure bloodworms to attract the scavenger: several medium sized scavengers eat 50 g of bloodworm for 10-15 minutes and float further. But where there is a lot of scavenger, usually a lot of fishermen, who also feed. Therefore, you have to either constantly supplement with a clean bloodworm, or combine it with bait in order to hold the bait in place longer.
Bait imported and domestic
For a long time there was a stable opinion: imported baits are expensive, but good, ours are cheap, but ineffective. But now there are domestic companies that produce very good products, including for fishing in the winter. True, there are also such manufacturers who simply added the inscription “For cold water” on the packaging, but others really began to produce products intended for winter, with a lower content of attractants and the addition of “winter” components, in particular protein. The types of bait have also changed. Previously, the "base", "soil", "breadcrumbs" in their pure form were only imported, now there are ours. A special “winter bread crumbs” also appeared. A wide assortment allows combining the working mixture for any conditions from the products of one company – before this was only possible with imported baits or with the independent preparation of components at home.
Speaking about the use of imported baits in the winter, it should be borne in mind that special winter baits are practically not released abroad. In the lines of many companies there are products marked “Cold water”, but in their understanding cold water is 12-14 degrees, which corresponds to our autumn, and under the ice water is only 3-4 degrees. So bait with the marked "Cold water" should be attributed to the summer and not to use them in pure form due to the relatively high content of attractants. But sometimes it happens that some summer bait works better than the one that is specially designed for cold water.
In general, many good imported baits work well in our conditions. But it is difficult to say unequivocally that one of them is better than the other, since success largely depends on the conditions. For example, I came across the fact that the bait Sensas Gros Gardons Noire (large roach, black) worked very well on roach and undergrowth in the Moscow Region, but noticeably worse on the middle Volga. It happens that out of a series of similar baits, only one works well. So, the Polish company Trapper has a series of bream; As it turned out, in our conditions, Red Bream worked best.
Of the imported baits that I used, Roach and Bream from the Belgian company Marcel Van Den Eynde, Bream from Mosella, performed well. All these baits are relatively expensive – from 200 rubles. for packing. It is comforting that in winter the consumption of bait is less and often one package lasts a day for two fishing. But in general, in my opinion, among imported baits there are no ideally suited for our conditions. Now bait is released by up to two dozen domestic firms, and the products are very different in price and quality. Many baits are similar, so I will focus on those that I myself use on fishing and competitions.
When before there was only Unicorm, it was produced in the same form for many years. The bait is not bad, it worked quite successfully both in summer and winter. Now the lineup has expanded significantly, there is a "base", a different "soil", "cracker", specialization in types of fish. Bait is added with the addition of dried bloodworms. All bait workers. However, Unicorm bait is also not the cheapest, up to 150 rubles. It can also be noted “Minenko. Cold water". A fairly fractional breakdown by type of fish, bait can be combined with others, but I did not find anything particularly outstanding in it, although, if compared with “Float”, then “Minenko” wins.
Fishbait bait, which appeared several years ago, in my opinion, is now one of the best among domestic ones. The company produces a large range of both summer and winter bait. Only specialized carp baits, I counted eight options. There are interesting winter mixtures, for example, "Universal". It includes protein, and the basis is fishmeal. Therefore, bait works well not only on perch, but even on trout. It is difficult to say whether the developers copied expensive English baits, but the result was similar and for much less money. There are simply protein-rich Fishbait crackers. They are cheaper than bait and work well as a base. For a couple of years I have been using various Fishbait baits on at least half of my fishing trips. In terms of value for money, Fishbait products are fine with me.
If possible, it is better to knead bait in the winter in a warm room so that the hands do not suffer on ice. If there is a lot of leucorrhoea in the pond, I knead a kilogram pack. In the cold, I remove the bag with the finished mixture under my clothes, and in the thaw I carry it in a small bucket. If the bait is summer, I mix it in equal parts with breadcrumbs or the "base", and bloodworms – a fifth of the bait volume – add immediately before feeding. I start with one middle feeder. In winter feeding, the main thing is not to overfeed immediately. Further depends on which fish is suitable. If roach is fed with bait, bream or perch with a clean bloodworm.
author Roman BUTUZOV
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