Preparing Mashed Bread

Mashed bread is without doubt one of the best weapons within your coarse fishing tackle armoury for chub.  It is tremendously effective at drawing chub into your swim and putting them in a feeding mood.  It can be used in small balls as loose feed or in a cage feeder.  Often it’s a good idea to pop a couple of small balls of mashed bread into a swim 15 or 20 minutes prior to fishing, just to get them mooching about for more.

When mashed bread is prepared correctly you end up with a nice moist, stodgy mixture that once it enters the water starts to break up almost immediately.  As the mash starts to descend down to the bottom, pieces of bread will be breaking away and the ball of mash soon breaks up completely.  It leaves an enticing trail of small bits of mash throughout the water columns.  It’s a method that rarely over feeds the fish due to the size of the bits that break away.

The right consistency is important.  You don’t want it too stiff and neither do you want it too sloppy.  I like to make mine with the crusts still on, the only time that might be different is if I was using it for roach.  Then I might make it much smoother.  However for chub, everything goes in.  So here’s how I make it, but that’s not to say it’s the only way!

  • Get a couple of cheap cut loaves of white bread, preferably thin or medium cut.  This helps the drying out process.
  • Leave the slices of bread exposed i.e out of the cellophane wrapping, until it dries out.  It needs to be completely stale. It must be totally dry and crunchy.
  • Now scrunch up the slices into a bucket.
  • Cover with water and leave for 10 minutes.
  • Tip the contents into a large conical sieve/colander and remove the water from the mixture.
  • Pop a lid on the bucket,
  • On arrival at the water add a little water, until the consistency is right.
  • It’s now ready to use.

I’m lucky enough to have access to a couple of very hot, dry rooms at my workplace.  So it only takes 24 hours to get my bread slices bone dry.  At home, this may take quite a few days.  You could always pop them onto a tray and keep them in the airing cupboard.

I also have access to colanders and sieves.  Again if you don’t, then add the water a little at a time, mixing carefully, until you achieve the right consistency.  This can be done at the waterside quite easily.

What is the right consistency?  Well that’s down to trial and error.  But I would say that on entering the water, you want the mash to start breaking up immediately.  If you are fishing in faster water or it’s bitterly cold, then you can make it just a little stiffer, so that it starts to break down nearer the bottom, which is where the chub are likely to want to feed in serious sub-zero conditions.

My personal preference is to then fish a piece of bread crust between 1-4 inches off the bottom using one of my favourite feeder rods, the TF gear Compact Commercial feeder rod in conjunction with a feeder or just some shot on the line. Crust is a deadly chub bait.  With a few modifications to bait and hook size, it can then be used for roach and even barbel.  Give it a go this winter.

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