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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


Pallatrax Cheese paste

Page 48 In Francis Francis A Book on Angling published 1867 he writes One of the most common and general ways of fishing for chub is with float and ground-bait; the best baits to use thus for chub are greaves and cheese. There is a coarse common kind of cheese made in the north and in Wales for about 2d per pound which is suitable for this purpose, the cheese is cut to the size of gooseberries.

Today we don't have greaves but cheese has stood the test of time. Its not just a top bait for coloured water but works right through the season. Today I can pop into a tackle shop and pick up some pots of Pallatrax cheese, but even more important I can now pick up a jar of cheese glug the consistency of a thick heavy treacle. Stick your weight in this stuff and it will give off a scent trail that fish will want to follow, unless you spook the fish. Remember what ever bait you use you must also use water craft and treat your fish as a wild animal. Chub are easily spooked, in fact you want know you have spooked them as the fade away ghost like, not even leaving the smallest ripple.

Hair Rigs are not Efficient

Many of my friends have copied my way with Pallatrax cheese feast with great success, now in my opinion fishing a hair rig for chub will lose you a lot of fish, unlike the barbel or carp, chub are far harder to catch and more crafty, they don't just suck up the baited hook, usually is picked up in the lips at the extremity of the paste bait away from the hook. I have lost count of those bites where the rod wraps round or the bobbin flies up to the rod ring, then you find the chub has taken a piece of the paste leaving a perfect imprint of its lips. Forget the hair its not efficient. I reckon its important to fish your paste baits as soft as possible, I find the Pallatrax cheese feast need some additives to make it a better bait on the hook. First job is to microwave the pot on high rating for a minute, this will soften the paste, I then break in into pieces before chucking it into the food processor available from Supermarkets for less than 30-00 I then add 2 table spoons of vegetable oil and half a dozen good squirts of the Pallatrax cheese spray this not only makes the paste smoother and softer but gives it a bit more smell. I don't think you can have a too powerful smelling cheese paste. Even the mice have left my garage.
Fishing Cheese Paste

The beauty of this bait is it can be used as a rolling or static bait both will work, though its horses for courses, some days the fish want the bait nailed on the bottom other times moving through the swim. There are times when they will even take it on the drop. One of my most successful ways of fishing soft cheese paste is in conjunction with a chunk of crust, I start off by baiting a size 2 or 4 Pallatrax barbless hook with a cube of crust then mould cheese paste around the crust. This gives a more buoyant bait and also counteracts the weight of the hook. Last season balanced cheese and crust accounted for many barbel and lots of 5lb plus chub. The backend of last season Will Carter watched me take 3 chub in 4 casts 5-7-0 and a brace of 6-2-0 fish. My 5th cast accounted for an 11lb barbel. On another occasion last winter I was doing a feature with Angler's Mail Gary Newman on the Kennet I had 5 x 5lb plus chub in about 2 hours. Balanced cheese paste certainly works.Why don't you give it a try this season but don't spook the fish.

Martin James Fishing