Stinker’s Fishin’: Importance of berleying

Champion Paul Lennon with a cracker bream.

MY rough calculations over the years suggest that the correct use of berley will increase your chances of catching a fish by up to eighty percent, 80 percent – a staggering statistic.

“Wow!” you say, “How long has this been going on?”

The whole idea of berleying is to attract fish to where you are fishing by offering them food in small servings and to put a scent in the water which will grab their attention.

Too little berley and the fish may well lose interest, too much and they will swim away with a belly full before you get your bait in the water.

So the first step is to regulate the amount used and this boils down to common sense.

A steady, light stream which follows a reasonably regular pattern of distribution is what is required.

Generally speaking for anglers like you and me the best berley is bread.

Yep, common, everyday, household bread – wholemeal, Sunday Bake or milk loaf, it doesn’t matter – fish love the stuff.

Just drop a handful of crumbs into the water off any jetty and you will see what I mean. Little fish immediately appear out of nowhere followed by larger scavengers.

Count the different species if you are quick enough.

Practically every fish in the Port will be tempted by the delights of bread so it is a good idea to befriend your local baker and ask him to put aside a few of the leftovers.

Don’t worry if the bread has all been sold, I have used donuts, scones, croissants, even lamingtons as berley with startling results.

Stay well clear of cream buns as you will end up with oily hands and your berley will bob around on the surface attracting a flock of highly excited sea gulls.

I always insist that all the prawn, crab and lobster shells are kept after a seafood meal as the leftovers, mixed with the bread and a couple of crushed up pilchards, make sensational berley.

By John ‘Stinker’ CLARKE

Bream are attracted to berley.

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