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Title: Groundbait  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Pellet waggler, Fishing bait, Basnig, Arlesey Bomb, Chumming
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Groundbait is fishing bait that is cast into the water in order to attract fish to the fishing area. It is often used in coarse fishing.


The ground-bait

You shall take a peck, or a peck and a half, according to the greatness of the stream and deepness of the water, where you mean to angle, of sweet gross-ground barley-malt; and boil it in a kettle, one or two warms is enough: then strain it through a bag into a tub, the liquor whereof hath often done my horse much good; and when the bag and malt is near cold, take it down to the water-side, about eight or nine of the clock in the evening, and not before: cast in two parts of your ground-bait, squeezed hard between both your hands; it will sink presently to the bottom; and be sure it may rest in the very place where you mean to angle: if the stream run hard, or move a little, cast your malt in handfuls a little the higher, upwards the stream. You may, between your hands, close the malt so fast in handfuls, that the water will hardly part it with the fall.

Your ground thus baited, and tackling fitted, leave your bag, with the rest of your tackling and ground-bait, near the sporting-place all night; and in the morning, about three or four of the clock, visit the water-side, but not too near, for they have a cunning watchman, and are watchful themselves too.

Then, gently take one of your three rods, and bait your hook; casting it over your ground-bait, and gently and secretly draw it to you till the lead rests about the middle of the ground-bait...

– Izaak Walton 1676 [1]

Groundbait is a mixture of various natural ingredients, for example fishmeal, bread crumbs, vanilla sugar, hemp seeds or oil,[2] maize and other ingredients, which are then moistened with water and formed into balls. These balls are then cast into the water at the fishing spot. Depending on the groundbait mixture, the balls may break up quickly and create a "cloud" of particles in the water attractive for mid-water feeding fish, or sink to the bottom where they slowly release feed to species feeding on the bottom. The amount of groundbait is optimized to draw as many fish as possible to the fishing place, stimulating them to feed without over-feeding, which will stop the fish from biting. Anglers may use groundbait at the fishing site (or swim) for several days before fishing, and then allow the fish to regain their appetite for a brief period before fishing begins.[3]

One method of distributing groundbait close to the hookbait is by using a method feeder. The method feeder is a wire container that holds compact, moistened groundbait and other particle baits above the hook bait on the fishing line. When the line is cast out, the method feeder disperses its contents right over the bait, attracting fish from a wider area. Another method is to simply squeeze the ball of groundbait onto the line just above the hook.[4]


Due to concerns about the ecological impact of introducing nutrients to a water, acting as fertilizer,[5][6] angling in some waters is affected by regulations on groundbait use. Where groundbait is banned, soil or loam is sometimes used as a substitute.

Other Uses

The BBC have used the term to describe popular TV shows, placed immediately before newscasts or broadcasts of a socially pertinent nature, to draw in viewers.[7]

In Austria, the German term Anfüttern is used to mean a way of bribing, particularly in regard to political corruption.

See also


  1. ^ Walton, Izaak (1676) The Compleat Angler Project Gutenberg.
  2. ^ Bailey 2008, p. 47
  3. ^ Bickerdyke 1888, p. 10.
  4. ^ Bickerdyke 1888, p. 39.
  5. ^ Niesar T, Arlinghaus R, Rennert B and Mehner T (2004) "Coupling insights from a carp, Cyprinus carpio, angler survey with feeding experiments to evaluate composition, quality and phosphorus input of groundbait in coarse fishing" Fisheries Management and Ecology, 11 (3–4): 225–235. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2400.2004.00400.x PDF
  6. ^ Arlinghaus R and Niesar M (2005)"Nutrient digestibility of angling baits for carp, Cyprinus carpio, with implications for groundbait formulation and eutrophication control" Fisheries Management and Ecology, 12 (2): 91–97. PDF
  7. ^ Burns 1977, p. 54


Further reading

External video
Mixing groundbait for carp – GoFishingOnline

Groundbait Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

  • Cryer M and Edwards RW (1987) "The impact of angler ground bait on benthic invertebrates and sediment respiration in a shallow eutrophic reservoir". Environmental Pollution, 46: 137–150.
  • Edwards RW and Fouracre VA (1983) "Is the banning of ground baiting in reservoirs justified?" In: Proceedings of the Third British Freshwater Fisheries Conference, University of Liverpool, pp. 89–94.
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