In the first two blogs in this series we covered firstly how rivers flow and secondly how to approach fishing a flooded river. If you missed them they can be found here.
This week I thought we could talk about one of the Chub anglers favourite subject… Cheese Paste.
Over the years I’ve had many people ask me “How do you make your paste?” And To be honest I’m not going to tell you as its something I’ve perfected over 40 plus years of hunting Chub and also Roach, Bream , Carp and Tench. I have my own preferred pastes for each. What I will do here is explain how easy it is to knock up a basic cheese paste mix and that will give you a base from which to experiment and find your own ‘Secret Recipe’.
Firstly we need to ask ourselves why Cheese Paste? Well way back in 1653, In his book The Compleat Angler, the great Sir Izaak Walton mentions using cheese to catch Chub. Almost 400 years later the fish haven’t changed they still love a good smelly lump of cheese.I would hazard a guess that of all the freshwater fish we target none has a sense on smell to match the Chub. So what follows is a quick and easy way to knock up a killer bait.
CHOOSE YOUR CHEESE. The rule here is almost any cheese will do, the smellier the better. as its Xmas in a week or two there will be a plethora of mouldy half eaten bits cheese lurking at the back of the fridge, perfect. Take every last one, put them in a sandwich bag and pop them in the freezer until your ready to make your paste. Without doubt the go-to variety for any Chub angler is the mighty Stilton, and if you don’t have Stilton in your fridge go buy some its a must have. The rest is up to you but I would personally avoid hard cheeses such as Parmesan and Goat/Sheep cheese as they have a high salt content which I personally think makes the bait less attractive.
For this example I will be using a mix of Stilton and Red Leicester.
Take your cheese and grate it finely.
Pop it into a bowl and stick it into the microwave for 10 seconds. No more or you will separate too much of the fats. Mix it together to make a thick stinky cheesy goo. I should have mentioned at the start that this whole procedure is best carried out when your other half has left the building.
Next take some flour add the melted cheese, I also like to add a beaten egg, I’ve no idea why it’s something I’ve always done and it seems to work.
and mix, and mix and mix. It’s important to mix well as this action gets the starches in the flour active and gives the dough/paste a certain elasticity, which is what we want.
Once you have a soft dough turn it out and kneed for 5 minutes.
Your paste should be fairly soft and a little sticky, almost gooey.This bit is trial and error and comes with experience. Don’t worry as when you get outside on the bank, in the cold, it will be perfect for moulding round your hook, and when it gets in the cold water it will stiffen up even more.
HOW TO USE PASTE
Take a piece of paste and roll it into a ball.
Squash it flat.
Lay your hook on the paste.
Mould the paste round your hook
I like my paste to be quite soft and the hook will pull through the paste on the strike, however it you prefere you can mould the paste round the shank to leave the hook point showing.
So there you have it, a simple basic and easy to make killer bait for Chub. From this basic recipe you can experiment adding many different flavours in powder and liquid form, here are just a few ideas to get you started, Garlic (many peoples favorite), Tumeric powder, Curry powder,Mixed Spice, you get the idea… SMELLY is what you want.
Stick it in a Tupperware pot, keep it in the freezer and you can grab it as you go fishing, no need to defrost overnight. When you get back just put it back in the freezer.
One further tip. When I have made a new batch of paste I like to test it sy yesterday I headed down to a backwater on the Suffolk Stour that I know had a good head of smaller Chub. Four hours fishing with Sheena’s Drennan Acolyte Plus quiver tip rod and 13 Chublets later I had full confidence that this is a good batch.
So tomorrow I will venture out to where the big Chub live full of confidence in my bait