07 Aug Is chicken the best bait of all?
People like chicken, fish like chicken….even chickens like chicken! You can’t get a more versatile food…and even better bait!
I first found out about using chicken as bait many years ago. A dedicated bream angler would use virtually nothing else….because he could catch a truckload of fish with it, so why change?
He would use chicken straight from the supermarket, cut it into cubes, thread it on a size 4 hook and cast it in without a sinker. The chicken would slowly sink and he often got bites before it hit the bottom. His reputation for landing large bream was well known and he never changed his approach.
Fast forward to today and chicken as bait is gaining in popularity. It has a proven track record and catches a lot more species of fish than just bream.
I know anglers across Australia that have caught everything from bream and Murray cod to coral trout and small crocodiles (really, but that’s another story!)
The great thing about chicken is its flesh density and softness. It is very palatable to fish and its neutral taste means it can represent just about any food item in the water….and this is where its real value comes in.
Over the last couple of years I have experimented with chicken as bait. I started fishing salt water using plain chicken in different sizes and shapes with different hook sizes. It caught plenty of fish, and while I expected to just catch bream and mullet I was surprised by what else I caught, Australian salmon, garfish, trevally, even a small mulloway….just about everything liked it.
I would use chicken when I ran out of my preferred baits like prawn, pippi and pilchard…because these always caught the most fish.
But things changed when I started to use flavoured chicken!
The great thing about the neutral flavour of chicken is that it can absorb just about any other flavour. I experimented with all kinds of oils and spices and got some surprising results…..and I mean GOOD surprise??
I was starting to hook more fish than with some of my preferred baits.
After a lot of experimentation I found some pretty sure fire chicken flavouring ingredients and processes that put more fish on your hook.
So, here are some of the things you can do to make a real fish attracting bait.
The first thing to do is choose the best cut of chicken. I usually go for breast or thigh because these have nice consistent flesh that’s easy to work with. If you look around in your local supermarket you can get this stuff real cheap.
While you’re at the supermarket or you can go to a discount store to buy some small containers to store your chicken bait in. Get the ones that seal air tight so you can use them to add flavours to.
Once you get your chicken home cut it into small pieces. You want to cut it into pieces that are hook size… so you need to know what fish you are targeting. Remember that fish mouths vary in size and even a big mullet or bream has a relatively small mouth.
The next most important thing is the flavouring….and when you add it.
I experimented with different oils and spices. Some worked and some didn’t. After a while I found a combination of stuff that worked just about every time….
…..and it often out fished normal baits like pippie, squid and prawn.
This combination of ingredients was a winner and the more I used it the more fish I caught. It was deadly in salt water but amazingly I caught fish in fresh water as well….
…One day I fished a dam stocked with trout. I ran out of bait and before I left I decided to bait up with spiced chicken which I never intended to use in fresh water. I was amazed at the results – 3 trout in 3 casts!
Later I found out there’s a commercial chicken bait specifically processed for Murray cod… and it catches fish.
It seems everything likes chicken!
This mix of oils, spices and other additives has put plenty of fish on the bank. I had to give it a name….
….Spicy Chicken Formula was born!
These days there is always a container of Spicy Chicken in my tackle box….and I catch a lot of fish.
If you want to do the same always take some chicken with you when you go fishing.
Whatever you do, keep notes on what works on a certain day. If you do this you will build a diary of best baits for different situation’s….and start to catch more fish more often…..
….and wouldn’t that be great?