Of all the things you will buy for your fishing trips, none will be more important than bait. You can spend all the money in the world on fishing tackle but, without good quality bait, you may as well have bought golf clubs!
The one bait you can reply on to catch virtually everything is the humble maggot. They come in a variety of different colours, and basically two sizes. Every maggot has one thing in common though and that is that they all need to be kept cold when you are not using them. That, of course, means putting them in the fridge... Putting bait in a food fridge can be a stumbling block for many parents. But if you get the proper bait boxes with a good fitting lid, not only will they not escape, you will not smell anything either. Just for the record, maggots do not smell. The sawdust they are kept in will if it is not changed every few days. There is a section on how to look after your bait in the Coarse Fishing Booklet on this website (Booklets)
Maggots are sold by the pint and one pint of maggots will usually be enough for most sessions. You may need more if you fish on the river.
Pellets, or Carp pellets to give them their full name, are the most widely used bait in coarse fishing today. They come in many sizes but the 2mm, 4mm, 6mm, and 8mm sizes are going to be most useful. They are sold by the Kg and will last for a while if kept dry.
You will find that you will use quite a few of the 2mm pellets also known as micros.
Click on the link to go to the Booklets page for more information on how to keep and use pellets. Booklets
Cheap and versatile, Sweetcorn (or just 'Corn') is a great bait to have with you at most of your fishing sessions. Corn is a bright sweet bait that fish like Carp and Roach really love to eat. Keep it in the water that is in the tin and it shouldn't dry out too much in the warm weather.
It is a good idea to put the Corn in a small, watertight bait box before you leave the house so that the chances of leave litter on the bank is eliminated. There is more info on Corn in the Coarse fishing booklet. Click the link Booklets
'Meat' can be a fantastic bait for fish large and small. Most commonly used in small 6mm or 8mm cubes. You can sit for an hour cutting tins of meat up with a knife, but it's far quicker to use a meat cutter. Once cut, place the cubes in a bait strainer and run them under a hot tap. This will remove most of the fatty bits that the fish find hard to digest. Go to the Booklets to find out more.
Like everything in fishing the choices are bewildering. But we can easily trim those choices down to just two types of bait.
The first is a Method MIx. Coarsely ground with some larger particles and a slightly sticky texture when mixed with water. As the name suggests, it's primary use is for a method feeder, but also makes a good margin mix in the summer months.
The second is a feed ground bait that is made with finely ground fish meals and/or cereals. These types of ground baits are mainly used for throwing in by hand or cupping in with a pole. They are sometimes very finely ground which makes them very effective in the colder months.
Both of the above types of ground bait are supplies in 1kg or 2kg bags.
Look at the Coarse Fishing booklet for more ground bait mixing tips. Booklets
Bread is a good all year round bait, and better still, it's cheap!
You will find lots of info in the Coarse Fishing booklet. The best breads to use are Warburton's Orange Toastie thick cut for regular bread fishing, or a nice crusty cob for surface fishing for Carp.
Lots of fish will eat a juicy worm and, there are times when they are invaluable. There are basically two types of worm that are used in fishing.
The first is a Dendrobena. A small reddish-brown worm widely used for many species. The second is a Lobworm found in gardens and lawns. A much larger worm for larger fish.