When berley doesn’t work

When berley doesn’t work

Use it right and catch a truck-full, use it wrong and you don’t get a bite!

If you read my blog and watch my YouTube videos you’ll know I use berley a lot…in fact I don’t go fishing without it. The simple fact is that it works and, at times, will help me out fish most anglers around me.

Berley attracts fish

Berley does a great job of attracting fish to your bait, and if you use the right bait, you’ll catch fish.

The way I like to explain it is that you cast in your bait, which is pretty small, into the water….which is pretty big – so you have a tiny bait mixed with a huge amount of water….and this can make it hard to find. When you use berley you put a heap more smell and flavour near your bait and make it a whole lot easier to find.

The wrong ingredients repel fish

99% of the time this works great but there’s the 1% time when it doesn’t. If you use the wrong berley or add the wrong ingredients to your berley it can actually repel fish.

I found this out years ago when I was experimenting with different attractants and putting different stuff in my berley. I was researching some very successful ingredients they use in Europe and they used a heap of stuff I’d never tried.

One guy was using the spice turmeric and catching fish. I did the same thing and mixed it in my berley and the result was immediate……I didn’t get a bite for three fishing trips. I finally worked out how bad it was when I compared it to my normal berley on the same day.

The normal stuff helped me land a bag of fish….and I got nothing on the turmeric blend. It was a valuable lesson.

Try different ingredients

I tried using different and unusual stuff like coffee, chili, fish paste, mustard….and the list goes on. Some worked a little and one absolutely failed so I went back to my original blend and it always worked.

Too much of a good thing can backfire

Another day I increased one of my normal ingredients in my berley. I knew the stuff worked so it had to be better if I doubled the amount, right?


Sometimes too much of a proven ingredient becomes overpowering. The fish didn’t like it at all!

Don’t overfeed

Finally, you can have too much food and feed the fish off! They’re attracted by the berley but fill up on it and don’t touch your bait. This can happen on those days when the bite period is very short or in winter with warm water species.

If you have too much feed in your berley the fish might not need to take your bait so you go home empty handed thinking there were no fish there. In reality the fish were there they just ate a bit of your berley and took off.

The reason I took years to work out the right berley mix was to learn from these experiences…..and I had plenty.

The end result was a mix that promises a meal but delivers your bait…and a hook.

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