This month on back to basics I thought I would cover a few bait up options we all know about a few worms up the line which is simple enough but for a bait that has plenty of scent trail and can make a bait bigger and last longer I thought we would go over a few squid and black bait ups ready for some nice cod through the heavier winter months. Squid: Squid on its own is probably my preferred bait of choice over worms in the Bristol channel not only is it smelly it’s also a tough bait and for myself catches as much as the live worm at times its performed better than worms not only is it a tough hardy bait its versatile in how you can present it. So we can look at a few ways first with just squid of ways to present it. Firstly Whole squid: With a whole squid its esay enough you just whip some bait elastic around the squid and then thread a hook through to one end and then put your Pennell hook in the other. Half of squid: Half of a squid cut long ways and then whipped up is a great bait for casting distance it keeps the diameter of the bait down so it can be cast further by being aerodynamic and yet you still get plenty of smell out there especially if you use both halves one above the other you can catch most species as the bait isn’t so wide which means that even smaller mouthed species like rays or smooth hounds can take the bait. With two basic ways covered now squid can also be a great combination bait one to get scent out there as well as making a bait last longer like using the mantle cover stripping out the guts and wrapping another bait in it that’s more fragile like cart/crab etc. With us moving well and truly into cod season now I will do a cod bait I like to use and one of the most popular but not always this way.
Squid & Black lug: With the squid in hand lift up one side of the mantle and push your finger inside opening up the cavity then fold your lug worm in half and stuff the lug into the cavity and push in with your finger. Depending on the size of the squid your are using you can normally get at least 2 in there should you wish to do so Whip the end up tight and snip the closed tip off the mantle then whip the whole bait up with bait elastic whipping both ends nice and tight to not let the lug slip out. Then simply stitch the hook through your bait which also makes holes for the black lug to ooze through the squid body out into the water. Finish off with the Pennell hook through the top of the bait and your good to go. A 5 star Michelin very juicy cod bait! You have the best of both baits which keeps the worm protected from annoying small fish and also gives a controlled scent release instead of a one hit wonder gone in a few minutes with a strong tide. Another small tip you can make these baits at home on a snood which I do and then freeze them down for minimum fuss when you’re on the beach. Until next month tight lines and may the cod gods be smiling on you!