The so called supermarket baits are simply called that because that is usually the best place to obtain them, they also tend to be baits that are mostly intended for human consumption. They are also some of the best baits available and the sheer amount of possible bait available in the average supermarket is staggering, as a result of this I will just include some of the most popular in this article but if you see something on the shelf that takes your fancy and you think it might be suitable then don’t be afraid to try it.










Possibly top of the list in the popularity stakes is sweetcorn, I would think there can be hardly any coarse anglers that have not fished with sweetcorn at some point, it is responsible for some huge catches including at one time the Carp record (Chris Yates-Redmire Pool) sweetcorn can be bought either canned or frozen and the canned type is probably more popular, it is convenient and cheap and now it comes in ring pull cans you don’t even need a can opener, although some fisheries don’t allow cans to be taken onto the venue because of the amount that get left behind so check first.

Just about all the species can be caught on corn although Perch, Pike and possibly Eels are not caught too often on it. It is bait that can be fished with just about any method too and is probably most effective at picking out better specimens of the fish you are aiming to catch. Float fishing is probably the commonest fishing method and corn is often fished this way, either using pole tackle or the waggler on still waters, you can use it with the float on running waters but usually ledgering or the feeder are a more popular approach on rivers with corn. Single grains are a good way to start with corn, use as big a hook as you can get away with to get bites, start with a size 12 or 14 and only go smaller if bites are hard to come by or are a bit finicky, in any event I would be reluctant to go smaller than a size 18 with corn. Loose feed is usually just corn but don’t throw in too much as it fills fish up quickly, little and often is the way forward, hemp is a good alternative loose feed with just a few grains of corn added, or just add a few grains to your ground bait.

Several of the big bait companies now also offer sweetcorn in their ranges; these are often coloured and flavoured and can be extremely effective in the right circumstances.


Luncheon Meat.


Luncheon meat is another bait from the supermarket that like sweetcorn has legendary fish catch abilities, there are loads of types available, luncheon meat, spam and bacon grill to name just three, they all work and are all treated in the same way. Generally considered to be a bait for specimen fish, meat is particularly good for Carp, Tench, Bream, Barbel and Chub although in smaller pieces it will catch Roach and Crucian Carp as well. Using it is simplicity itself, all you need do is remove it from the tin and either cut or break a suitable size piece from the meat and bury a hook in it, make sure the hook size is well matched to the size of the piece of meat you are using though, don’t be afraid to use a big hook either, as big as the piece of meat allows, luncheon meat was always traditionally cut into cubes for use but there is a feeling among some specimen anglers that the fish have wised up to the shape and Barbel anglers in particular don’t tend to cube it much any more preferring to tear pieces from the meat to use on the hook, the thinking behind this is every piece is a different size and shape and the fish are not alarmed by it as they sometimes are with the angular sides of a cube, especially if they have been caught on a cube several times before. Meat is not the best bait to cast long distances being soft in nature, a way around this to some extent is to use a stop in the bend of the hook, just pass the hook right through the meat and place a stop in the bend of the hook, a short piece of dried spaghetti is good for this, it will soften once it is in the water and will not generally impede the hook on the strike, you can also buy a spring like attachment now that you attach to the hook hair rig style, this is then wound into the meat like a screw and holds the meat surprisingly well and it can then be cast a fair distance. Meat is generally fished as single hook baits when targeting specimen fish or over a bed of loose feed such as hemp or small pellets.


Another popular meat fishing method now is using meat as a loose feed or as an addition to ground bait, a very popular method with match anglers on the commercial carp ‘bag up’ waters.

It is quite simple to prepare, all you have to do is take the meat from the can and cut it into slices, 5 to 10 mm is about right, these slices are then pushed through a maggot riddle, or if you want it finer, through a pinkie riddle, what you then get is like a fine dice and it can be fed as it is, either by hand or with a pole cup attachment on the end of your pole or you can add it to ground bait to make a meat rich mixture.

Like sweetcorn most of the big bait companies now offer their own versions of meat containing flavours.




Cheese is another good bait from the supermarket, probably not as popular as meat and corn but a good bait all the same, particularly for Chub. You can use it as it comes in the softer varieties like blue cheese, just mould a piece around a good size hook leaving the point exposed, probably the most common way to use cheese though is to make it into a paste.

The best stuff to make cheese paste with is frozen pastry, and I think this is what most anglers use nowadays, I use the short crust variety, once thawed roll it out into a thin sheet, this is the best time to add any colours or flavourings, just smear a little flavour over the pastry or sprinkle a little powder dye over it, red makes a killer colour for Chub. Then you just cover the pastry with grated cheese, about the same quantity as the pastry, strong smelling types are probably best, then just turn the corners of the pastry over to capture all the cheese and start kneading until you have a smooth paste, it will be a bit multi coloured at first but keep at it until it’s all one colour. Cheese paste freezes ok too and there is no need to throw away leftovers as you can re-freeze it, in fact, some people say it gets better with age.


There are many other types of bait available from the supermarket; you are only limited by your imagination. Some that I know that have been successful include pepperami, sausage meat, cat food, tuna, prawns and of course cat and dog biscuits.









By Chris Nicholls.



Luncheon Meat


Spam  is possibly the best known brand of luncheon meat