When it comes to catching bream, as any carp angler will tell you, it‘s hard to find a bait they do not like and will not take; in fact if anyone ever invents a bream-free bait they stand to make a fortune.
For us specialist anglers though, who are actually trying to catch slabs, it is more a choice of ‘which bait is best to catch bream consistently?’ and for my money – and I suspect that of most bream specialists – the answer is sweetcorn. Not just any old sweetcorn though, it has to be a stack of corn giving a decent mouthful, plenty of visual appeal and a degree of subtlety in its presentation to make it stand out over a baited area.
How big a stack you choose to use is up to you but for most sessions I tend to opt for three or four grains on a size 10 hook with a long hair. The key, however, is not so much how many grains but ensuring that the rig is balanced and this is where my imitation sweetcorn comes in as I find the best presentation is a mixture of real and artificial grains.
By varying the number and position of real and imitation grains you can create a number of different presentation options but for the most part I’m happy with a single imitation grain tipping two or three real grains just to neutralise the weight of the hook and I use the longer of the hair stops provided in the packet to lock the stack together.
To give a slightly more buoyant version I either remove one of the real grains, or, add a second grain of imitation corn. This has the effect of just lifting the corn off the deck but leaving the hook on the bottom – although it will, of course, depend upon your hook pattern. I’ve never found it advantageous to have a fully popped up bait when bream fishing but the options are there.
Although corn stacks are my number one bream bait I would never go bream fishing without halibut pellets and if I’m using a third rod I opt for a hookable pellet tipped with imitation corn, again the longer hair stop anchors the corn effectively to give perfect presentation. I tend to fish this in conjunction with a method feeder moulded with a mix comprising simply scalded pellets and corn.