Bait - Preparing Mussels

The common Mussel is often overlooked as a bait but its readily available on our foreshores and with a little preparation is a deadly bait either on its own or in a cocktail. Its even better for us kayak fishermen as it stays on the hook better with little or no casting.In my younger days a bit of grannys hair net kept it on long enough to tempt good cod and a host of flatties. I confess I haven't used it regularly for ages but last weekend a trip to the seaside resulted in a plentiful supply for winter.
Opening the mussel is best with a blunt , thin tipped knife , starting at the end where the shell normally attaches to the rock. Once you gain access work the blade all around before carefully scrapping out all that pungent flesh You can open the shells with hot water but I always like to try first without..

An hour later and we're left with plenty of flesh!

There are two ways I use the bait. Firstly thread a good density of mussel onto a kebab stick , bind tightly with plenty of bait elastic and then slide off to leave a bound sausage of meat. Wrap in clingfilm and freeze. Out on the water you can then cut off a section , mount on your hook and bind on with a little more elastic - a perfect flattie bait.

Secondly , using an ice tray , pack tightly.

A tray and two kebabs ( one packet) ready for the freezer.

The mussel cubes are ideal for filling squid for those monster cod.
Many thanks to Egbertnobacon for this article.

No comments: