paste fishing

1. Swim stim ground bait – Add almost boiling water to a bowl and then sprinkle on the ground bait, keep adding until it is very sloppy and then leave for 10 minutes, the mix will stiffen when it begins to cool. This is a great paste used on the pole very soft, it breaks down within a couple of minutes to leave a small pile of feed.
Great for carp, bream and tench fished over pellets. If you want to add flavours add it to the water before adding the ground-bait.

This type of paste works with all the swim stim and crazy bait ranges of ground-bait and I have done it with silly bait but tend to sieve it first as it has some bigger particles.

2. Pellet Paste
Method one – Get yourself a coffee grinder ( mine was 14 quid from amazon) Put a handful of pellets in the grinder and grind until a very fine powder, keep doing this until you have a bag full and then mix with water just off boiling as you would with the swim stim. I have found that dependant on the oil content of the pellets you sometimes get a very sticky mix, add a drop of ground bait if needed to make it a little easier to use, again if you want to add flavours add to the water first.
Method two – get a bowl of pellets, cover with boiling water and leave for an hour, only just cover the pellets with water or will be too mushy. After the hour just kneed the mush with your hands to make the paste. This method I have found best when a fishery states you must use their pellets, this is what the fish are fed so using a paste made of the same makes sense.

This is how I make all my paste and the tips I can give are : Fish it as soft as you can get away with, obviously you need to make it stiffer to fish with rod and line. I personally don’t add eggs, this makes the paste too binding for the way I fish it, I want it to break down in a couple of minutes, however it may be better for rod and line fishing. The other thing about eggs is that they go off in hot weather.
Water just off the boil is better than cold, it emulsifies the oils in the paste giving off more attractants, Roy Marlow agrees with this and he knows more about carp feeding than most.
Flavours that have worked well for me have included, Strawberry and scopex crazy bait double squirts, Vanilla essence nicked from the missus food cupboard and csl and mollases. Dont be afraid to experiment with different flavours.

Paste floats .

In the margins less than 18″ deep I use a loaded PI Tyson float. This is a self-cocking dibber type float, which is very short and visible. I plumb to find a clear flat spot on the bottom and fish it slightly over depth (1/2″). I don’t strike at all when fishing paste but lift about 4 inches to set the hook but only when the float has completely disappeared.
In water between 18″ and 4′ deep I use PI Durafloat 7’s in between 4 x14 and 4 x 18 sizes dependent on the depth and tow. I slightly undershot the float by about a no. 10 shot, which just leaves about 2mm of the body showing. I then take a lot of time to plumb up and find an area about 12″ square that has a flat bottom, I know it states in the mags that you need to be completely accurate with your placements but no-one can guarantee landing on the same inch perfect spot. Right, I plumb so that the float is absolutely at dead depth allowing then an additional 1/2″ inch of line as the piece of paste can pull the line a little further down and if set dead depth the float disappears.
In water deeper than this I use a maver paste float which has a very long bristle in sizes between 1/2 g and 1.5g, don’t be afraid to use a heavy float as paste is a heavy bait and the fish don’t tend to feel the resistance. If conditions are good I shot this with an olivette locked with a shot, the weight of which takes the float only to the bottom of the bristle. I fish it with the olivette at least 2ft from the hook. I again plumb the same allowing 1/2 inch for the paste ball. Don’t be afraid to have an inch of bristle showing. With both this and the dura float I only strike when the float sails away, lifts sharply or disappears, if getting a lot of liners and knocks I often count to one after the float goes before lifting into the bite, get much less foul hookers this way.
If the weather is bad or the water is towing strongly add a no.10 shot and fish the paste 2″ over depth, again only lift into bites that are solid as I said above.
I always use a pot on the top kit to put my paste in as it is very soft and tip it in, I make mine by drilling out dove deodorant tops, they are just the right size for me but the fox toss pots are also good. I never fish smaller than a size 12 hook as paste is a big bait and will even go up to a size 8 drennan star point for big fish.
I try and fish as short a line between pole and float as possible, 6″ in good conditions and up to 2′ if windy, I ship out with the paste in the pot, tip the paste in and then ship back the distance between pot and pole tip so that the float is directly over the paste. If fishing with a float over 1 gram i lift the float out of the water as soon as I tip the paste in and slowly lower it so that the shot/olivette doesn’t pull the hook out of the paste.

I tend to only feed a pot of pellets at the start along with 3 or 4 pieces of paste, your paste is constantly feeding you swim as you keep re-baiting. I only top up the pellets when I stop getting bites or liners. I have found that if i feed a few pellets each cast it can lead to fish coming up in the water which causes no end of bother.

As I said at the start I am no expert but at least this may help you get started on the paste, be prepared to miss a lot of bites but when you do master it a great days fishing you will have.

taken from a piece on maggot drowner’s .


Fishing your peg


With the weather being a bit dodgy this weekend which has prevented be from getting on to the bank , i have decided to write a little piece on how i approach my peg in a match situation , although it by no means a definitive answer but it might help a few people .

Arrive at your peg

When you get to your peg and if your anything like me you would have already done your research on the best tactics , target fish and weight needed to frame . But it is still a good idea to sit on your box for a bit to see which areas to set up your swims and maybe the fish might give them self’s away because f1s normally top where they are feeding happiest and barbel usually leap out of the water .

Set out your gear

When you are getting started in to your peg it is important to have everything to hand because you don’t want to be getting up every five minutes while trying to fish to pick things up , another thing to get right is a level box as if it isn’t you will end up with a bad back after holding the pole for such a long time , pole roller placement helps too especially when fishing at range , regarding preventing tangling rigs , spilling bait or more importantly broken sections .


Choosing the correct one for the day is all dependent on the conditions faced with ie wind-rain requires a heavier than normal rig or sunny-calm you may get away with a lighter rig and also which bait , fish you intend targeting . I always find it beneficial on using a pattern of float that you are used to and can read every little indication on the float .


The required bait for the day tends to change on most venues month by month if not week by week so it can pay off to look at the latest match results to see whats doing the business at the moment . Start preparing the bait required but be aware of any bait bans or bait limits if any on the water , the amount of bait depends on your target weight for the day but do try to limit your bait options because to many on your side tray can confuse you during the day .

Plumbing up

After picking the areas you intend fishing and try to find a flat , clean of debris place to fish , if you intend fishing an area on a slope don’t target the bottom of it because this is usually where it is the most silty and can become problematic as the day progresses with fizzing and foul hookers . Try not to fish to far out because you will not be able to follow the fish out if they back off and you also want to be comfy as you will be their for a while , try not to set your swims up to close together as it could end up splitting the shoal .

When plumbing up take your time as it is a very important part of setting your swim and i have lost count of the times i have ended up fishing over some sort of snag , always mark your pole and when you find a place that suits , put a shot under the float to mark dead depth then if conditions change and you need to put some line on the deck you always have that shot as a reference point to go back too .

Starting off

To have a chance of doing good in matches these days you really need at least two swims to catch well from because its very rare to catch enough from only one all session . Their are 3 or 4 main areas to target and these are ;

tight across

far shelf or open water

bottom near shelf


Choosing which of these that will work for you on the day and when to target them at the correct times is all you need to do .

Initial feed

This is what you use to kick start your peg and depending on the time of year , bait using, target fish , getting this correct can make or break your match so getting it right is very important . As you know their is a few main ways of feeding ;

kinder pot

big pot


Feeding patterns 

This is what separates the average club angler from the very top anglers and choosing what is the best on the day , comes with lots of practice and obviously the more you fish a venue the more you learn its moods , although what you have learned usually can be transferred to other similar waters .

Decision time

You have been catching well but it has started to slow down , what should you do next ?

1 , stay were you are and keep putting the odd fish in the net , but by working hard changing shotting patterns , depths and how you lay your rig in can catch you a few extra fish .

2, change how your feeding to try and get the fish back in the swim by increasing , decreasing the amount of feed , you could also try a big pot or maybe a different hook bait .

3, start feeding a new line in case the above options doesn’t work and its better to do this before your original swim starts dying on you but this is not always possible . But doing this gives you the option of picking up a few fish from both lines .

Playing fish

This depends on the methods you intend using but as a rough guide when using the pole ;

When you hook the fish let it swim out of the area you are fishing so as not to disturb the shoal . When you get it on to the top kit keep the pole tip low and strip the elastic through the pulla kit , till you see your float , then raise the pole tip and get the fish on the top and net it . Sounds oh so simple but take it from me it requires a lot of practice to get it right .

All the above is a very rough guide and can change from day to day and the angler that keeps one step ahead , puts the work in will always do better than those sitting it out fishing one line all day . You can read all the latest fishing magazines recommending the best tactics , equipment , areas to target , best bait etc and they are all a very good read . But i have never seen an article telling you how to feed a swim because their are so many variables required that it would be almost impossible to write and to be honest their is no better way to sort it out than on the bank fishing .

I would be very interested in peoples views on what i have written , thanks for reading .