May 2021

PASTE PERFECT!

Preston Innovations and Sonubaits man Andy Findlay demonstrates how easy paste fishing really should be…

Despite being widely recognised as one of the most effective big fish catching tactics, paste fishing, in the opinion of Sonubaits superstar Andy Findlay is still massively underused on the match fishing scene. Anglers often steer away from paste, in preference of hard-pellets or other ‘easier to fish’ tactics, and whilst there is no denying these alternative methods often prove effective, The Fin is adamant that on its day, paste simply cannot be beaten. Of course, this is great news for anglings great innovator, who himself regularly exploits other anglers reluctance to fish with this devastating bait to guide himself to regular match wins at many a local venue including todays venue of choice The Glebe Fishery in Leicestershire… 

The Paste

Firstly, let me get one myth out of the way… Paste fishing needn’t be a difficult, frustrating or complicated tactic whatsoever. I feel like people give it a try having heard lots about it, but disregard it as soon as they face a few quick indications that they inevitably strike too early at before chucking the rig and any future thought of using paste up the bank. Let me break things down into the simplicities of paste fishing starting with the paste itself… There are many different pastes out there, and I have played around with just about every mix imaginable including making pastes out of meat, corn and even over soaked pellets. However, if it’s a super simple paste you’re looking for that does the job and is almost impossible to get wrong, then the One To One Paste range from Sonubaits has got to be your choice. It’s a groundbait style paste, but the ingredients within are all of high quality and tailor made for a paste mix, smelly, potent, high oil ingredients with loads of flavour and added fishmeal. Perfect for the job at hand – catching big fish.

As the name suggests, mixing requires one cup of water to every cup of the powdered mix. Once mixed, leave to stand for 30minutes and from there you can fine tune the mix as you see fit but this on the bag instruction is rarely too far off the mark. I’ve been having a lot of success recently at The Glebe with the Power Scopex version of the mix, my choice for today. But there are a number of different flavours and even coloured mixes in the range, so pick what best suits your preferences.

The Rigs

Rigs are also incredibly simple when it comes to paste fishing. In fact, for me there is only one choice of pole float, that’s a Paste 1 pattern from the Preston Innovations Commercial float range. There are three sizes in the range but the Paste 1 covers me for all of my paste fishing for depths between three and eight feet. The rig itself is then tied on 0.17mm Reflo Power, straight through to a size 12 XSH-B hook, no messing about – there is no need for creating a weak spot in your rig in this game! I don’t like to have any shot down my line at all but do use a small amount of tungston tubing as my bottom float rubber to help dot the float down to about middle of the bristle, this helps prevent the float from pulling the hook out of the paste when fishing. Elastic choice is 15Hollo through a Short Stop kit to which I attach my paste pot. The pot itself (one of which comes provided in each bag of paste) is attached to the very end of my top kit. I see many anglers fix this a couple of feet down their kit, but this just isn’t accurate enough in my opinion. You need to ship your feed and paste into your desired spot, drop the bait into the swim and have your float sit directly above it instantly. This allows you to be efficient, accurate and be fishing as soon as the paste enters the water. A small amount of electricians tape can be wrapped around your kit to get the pot to fit tightly at the end of the pole.

Feeding & Fishing

Where in your peg you choose to fish is another consideration when fishing with paste. It is an effective method whether you choose to fish it down the margin, on the short pole or even long. But a decision has to be made and for me this comes down to maximising what I catch on this line, a balance of catching for as long a period as possible and being efficient when I am fishing over this line. For this reason I prefer to fish it just a few sections out. If I’m faced with a deeper margin then this is an option, but usually my choice is on a short pole line at the bottom of the nearside slope where the lakebed starts to flatten out. I actually plumb up so that I am a couple of inches over depth rather than the traditional dead depth associated with this tactic. This again, helps me to keep my hook in the paste for longer, the bites I’m looking for are always positive when fishing in this way so I’m of the opinion I don’t miss the indications I’m looking for even with this extra bit of depth on my rig.

A bit of priming is required before dropping in on a paste line but there are no hard and fast rules on when it will come good. Sometimes this can be after just 30minutes or an hour of the session. On other days you may need to prime the swim for a couple of hours and be extra patient. Either way it’s just a case of introducing an attractive feed, pellets are my go-to, 6mm Fin Perfect pellets for today’s session, with a couple of samples of the paste itself. This goes in at the start of the session and then a couple of lots of 15 pellets are loose fed regularly throughout the day in order to draw fish to my bait. If I have a look without any signs then the big pot is called upon again with abother 40 pellets or so plus a couple of blobs of paste. Having another swim somewhere else in the peg will keep you ticking over until things kick off on the paste!

The Result

Today’s session at The Glebe has gone exactly to plan, and it wasn’t long before I was able to get some bites on paste. Early action is to be expected during pleasure sessions but while it may take a little longer to kick in during a match it doesn’t always work exactly like that so it’s worth regular visits in the early stages just to scout out what is happening and to potentially maximise your catch potential. Following each fish or missed bite 15 or so pellets are deposited into the bottom of my paste pot with a generous lump of paste with my hook neatly tucked inside placed on top. The paste is squeezed roughly into a shape around my hook rather than a smooth ball, I feel these rough edges help to draw fish in as they break down more quickly than the centre where my hook is concealed. The contents are shipped to my spot in the peg and dumped in all at once. With my pot positioned so close to the end of the pole there is no need for me to reposition and my rig follows the hookbait into place. At this point it is common to experience some eratic indications, it’s inevitable that one or two will fool you into thinking it’s a true bite, and if they do, and you strike at nothing, don’t be disheartened, see it as feeding the peg, come back and repeat the process. A quick, sharp bite taking the float under is what you are looking for. I’m convinced that there are fish in these venues that you simply don’t catch on other baits and that is seemingly the case today with my average stamp of fish much larger than the typical pellet fish that are so often caught at the venue. By the end of the session I feel I’ve demonstrated the ease of this tactic well with a stunning net of The Glebe’s finest all taken using simple tactics and the simplest of bait!

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