2 loaves of uncut bread to use as bait.

One of the first techniques in fishing I learned as a kid was how to use bread as bait. Bread was good for several reasons when I was young. Firstly and most importantly it was cheap to buy. This made it a readily available bait that was very easy to get hold of.

Another good reason for using bread as bait was fish absolutely loved it. It isn’t just small fish that seem to love it either you can get some good fish to the net if you fish with it properly. Bread is also a very versatile bait that can be used in a number of different ways for a good variety of fish such as carp, tench, and chub just to name a few. 

Personally, nowadays I think bread as bait gets ignored somewhat due to more popular and trendy baits such as boilies, pellets, and paste. Due to this reason bread doesn’t tend to get used as much as it once did. This sometimes means that the humble bread can produce bites on days the popular baits don’t because the fish aren’t used to it.

How to Use Bread as Bait

There is certainly more than one way of using bread to catch fish. Let’s take a look at what is involved in using bread as bait, and the different methods that go with it.

Free-lining crust is a totally awesome way of fishing with bread. This method only really works when the fish are high in the water table or in the shallower water. So only really in the warmer months.

Fish such as barbel, tench, and bream are mainly bottom feeders so it is highly unlikely you will catch any of these off the surface. Fish such as carp and chub are more than happy to take the bread off the surface though and can provide some great sport. If you scale down to a smaller hook and bait size, rudd and roach are there for the taking too.

Bread paste is another way of using this super versatile bait. This way of using bread is an awesome method for catching chub on a river on cold winter mornings. Chub really do like a bit of bread paste. I like to feeder fish bread paste towards overhanging bushes on a nice crisp cold morning. Cheese paste is another good alternative to bread paste.

Bread crumb is the base mix for any decent groundbait. Just grab a good stale loaf of bread and feed several slices into a blender at a time. This will reduce the stale slices into a fine crumb. This can be either mixed in with a shop-bought groundbait to bulk it out or used as a base mix for some homemade groundbait.

For your own mix, just add some stinky additives and some particles such as sweetcorn, casters, and hemp. Once the groundbait is ready either load it gently into an open-end feeder or make it into balls and feed it directly into the water.

Liquidised bread is generally made out of fresh bread rather than stale bread for the crumb. This can be used punched on a hook or is usually thrown in as a loose feed to attract the fish.

Bread flake is basically the inner part of the loaf pinched onto a hook as mentioned earlier. This technique is particularly effective during the colder months on rivers and canals. Roach fishing in the winter using bread can be an awesome way of bagging up.

Pinching some bread on a fishing hook as bait
Bread flake is a good bait in the colder months

How do I Make a Simple Bread Paste?

There are several ways of making the perfect bread paste, there isn’t a right or wrong way. This is how I make my paste for winter chub, it really is simple to do. First, take an uncut loaf and leave it out for a good few days for it to go hard and stale. Next, trim off all the crust so you are just left with the inside. 

Place this in a bag and smash it down to a crumb mix with a rolling pin or something similar. Now all that is left is to add a bit of water, just a tiny bit at a time. Eventually, you will end up with a nice smooth paste that will sit nicely on your hook.

Liquidising bread is a dead-simple affair. I prefer to use fresh bread so it is still moist. I also prefer to cut the crusts off but this is optional. So, take a few slices of your bread and pop it into a food processor. Give it a minute or so and voila, you have the perfect liquidised bread ready for baiting up your swim.

What is the Difference Between Liquidised Bread and Bread Crumb?

The main difference between liquidised bread and bread crumbs is the moisture content. Liquidised bread is generally made from moist fresh bread that can be slightly compressed and can be thrown in by itself as a loose feed to attract the fish. Due to the fact that the bread has been through a liquidiser, it will break apart easily in the water releasing small particles.

Due to bread crumb not being moist this is harder to ball up and I find it is better to bulk up groundbait with it instead. Groundbait can be expensive and breadcrumb is relatively cheap, making them a good combination.

How Do I Put Bread on a Hook?

When I use bread I like to buy a loaf of uncut fresh white bread. Other bread will work, this is just a personal preference. The white inside of the bread is nice and moist making it easy to mold around a hook and the outer crust is perfect for free lining on the surface.

Putting bread on a hook is a very simple affair, there are just a few things that will aid you in catching fish. 

  1. Firstly take a pinch of fresh white bread. The size depends on what fish you are targeting. Take into consideration the size of the fish’s mouth.
  2. Flatten the bread ever so slightly between your thumb and forefinger.
  3. Take your hook (the size depends on the size of the bread) and fold it gently across the hook
  4. Pinch the bread together so it will stay on the hook whilst casting
  5. Finally, just make sure the point of the hook is showing making it easier to set the hook in the fish’s mouth.

Alternatively, you could get yourself a bread punch. This is just a small device that punches holes in the bread. You can then simply hook the small bit of bread punch straight onto the hook. Most bread punches have several different size punches.

If you want to fish with bread on the surface then I usually use the outer crust for this. The crust is generally stronger and stays on the hook longer. You will also find that it floats a lot easier, whereas molding bread to the hook will make it sink.

5 Tips for Using Bread

  1. First and foremost always make sure the tip of the hook is showing when using bread. This will ensure your chance of actually hooking the fish.
  2. Never use mouldy bread, no bugger likes mouldy bread including fish.
  3. A bread punch can make hooking your bread a lot easier.
  4. Try adding colouring or flavours to your bread bait to give you an advantage.
  5. Use a breadcrumb for the base mix in any homemade groundbait you may make.
A swim feeder with a breadcrumb based ground bait
Breadcrumb makes a perfect base mix for groundbait

To Conclude

Knowing how to use bread as bait can give you a big advantage over other anglers. Especially so in the colder months. As mentioned earlier there are several ways of using it and most fish are partial to feeding on it. So why not give it a go and start bagging up?

Enjoy yourself and tight lines.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do carp like bread?

In a nutshell, yes carp do like bread. In fact, it is a very underrated carp bait nowadays. Before popular baits such as pellets and boilies come about, bread was classed as one of the best baits for carp. Why not try colouring the bread or adding smelly additives to it as well?

What fish can be caught on bread?

Most fish in the British Isles can be caught on bread one way or another. From the smallest of fish such as minnows, up to the larger species such as carp.

Are there any environmental concerns with using bread as bait?

While bread is not harmful to fish, excessive use of bread in a single area can lead to water pollution and imbalance in the aquatic ecosystem. It’s important to use bread responsibly and in moderation.

Is bread suitable for all types of fishing?

Bread is versatile and can be used in various fishing environments, including lakes, rivers, and ponds. However, it’s particularly effective for still or slow-moving waters where the bread won’t be washed away quickly.

Can you attract more fish with flavored or scented bread?

Yes, adding scents or flavors to bread can make it more attractive to fish. Common additives include vanilla extract, garlic powder, or even commercial fish attractants. Experiment to see what works best in your fishing area.

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