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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys

After a bit of advice here if possible.
I’m extremely tempted to try using mussels for bait this season whilst targeting Gilthead bream from my Kayak.
I usually use blow lug for them with pretty good success however I wanted to try something a bit different.

One of the locations that I target them is around the area of some mussel poles which only slightly uncover on very rare occasions during the big spring tides.
The Giltheads that iv had there on worm and razor cocktails when gutted for the table their belly’s busting with mussel shell piece.

iv not used the bait before so I’m a little unsure of the best way to prep them for the trip.
I was thinking of lightly steaming them for a minute or so just until the shells popped open a tad and then de-shell them and pop them in a container to take out with me and my other baits.

i guess I’m just wanting to find out how some of you may prep them before a trip ?
Do you guys de shell them during the session (which I imagine would be a little tricky whilst out on my Kayak)
or do you have them ready to rock and roll de shelled.

Thanks in advance…

Tight Lines
Sam
 

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Hi Sam, Welcome to WSF forums. A very cheap and underrated bait. I would use them fresh, you can prepared them at home, easy and it’s safer, with a blunt rounded knife, to open them, any broken shells or opened ones I would not use. You can freeze them as well, or salt them to toughen them up, and for better hook hold, or used them fresh using some bait elastic for an even better hook hold and presentation, depending on size of hook and species of fish how many mussels you use can vary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Colin

Ok that sounds perfect. I think I’m going to have to give it a try.
Every single one iv gutted has been rammed full of mussel which makes since considering the capture location being right next to where the mussel poles are.

il give it a bash late spring early summer when the shoals turn up here most frequently.

Tight lines bud
Cheers
Sam
 

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Hi Colin

Ok that sounds perfect. I think I’m going to have to give it a try.
Every single one iv gutted has been rammed full of mussel which makes since considering the capture location being right next to where the mussel poles are.

il give it a bash late spring early summer when the shoals turn up here most frequently.

Tight lines bud
Cheers
Sam
Hi Sam, There are plenty more post on this Bait Discussion forum, for Mussels, you can look down the posts or do a search, There was one interesting post, where the member used a whole Mussel with the shell as well for Bream, but cannot find the post Good luck.
 

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Definately dont heat them in any way to open them.
Any chef will tell you that once the shell opens..... its cooked.
As Colin says, open them with a blunt knife. Going in at the pionted end with the middle of your knife is best. You will soon get a technique that works. Its much easier at home.
I drop them on to sheets of newspaper as i do them. Then once i have enough i cover it with more paper and leave them for half an hour. This will remove a lot of the excess moisture.
Then drop as many as you want into zip lock bags. I tend to have about 15 in a 4in x 3in bag. Before you seal it flatten the bag getting as much air out as possible then pop in the freezer.
Freezing them will firm the flesh without spoiling it. The good thing about mussel is if you dont use it all it can go back into the freezer for another session.
Many years ago people use to win all our club matches catching coalies down the side of the pier. Mussel was the bait they used. The method of preping them was to shell them then drop them into a bucket of fresh water the day before the match. This firmed them up. It worked very well when targeting a shoal of sight feeding coalies.
I tried the same method for wrasse. They wouldnt go near it. Yet as soon as i shelled a fresh one, they were straight at it.
Dont be tempted to buy bags of prepared mussels from tackle shops unless you know who supplied them and the way he shelled them. Lots of people who supply shops drop them in warm/hot water to open them slightly. [cooking them].
They dont work as well.
Please let us know how you get on with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Definately dont heat them in any way to open them.
Any chef will tell you that once the shell opens..... its cooked.
As Colin says, open them with a blunt knife. Going in at the pionted end with the middle of your knife is best. You will soon get a technique that works. Its much easier at home.
I drop them on to sheets of newspaper as i do them. Then once i have enough i cover it with more paper and leave them for half an hour. This will remove a lot of the excess moisture.
Then drop as many as you want into zip lock bags. I tend to have about 15 in a 4in x 3in bag. Before you seal it flatten the bag getting as much air out as possible then pop in the freezer.
Freezing them will firm the flesh without spoiling it. The good thing about mussel is if you dont use it all it can go back into the freezer for another session.
Many years ago people use to win all our club matches catching coalies down the side of the pier. Mussel was the bait they used. The method of preping them was to shell them then drop them into a bucket of fresh water the day before the match. This firmed them up. It worked very well when targeting a shoal of sight feeding coalies.
I tried the same method for wrasse. They wouldnt go near it. Yet as soon as i shelled a fresh one, they were straight at it.
Dont be tempted to buy bags of prepared mussels from tackle shops unless you know who supplied them and the way he shelled them. Lots of people who supply shops drop them in warm/hot water to open them slightly. [cooking them].
They dont work as well.
Please let us know how you get on with them.
many thanks for the heads up it’s much appreciated!
if I remember il let you guys know how I got on with them. It will more then likely be around end of April time which is usually the start of the Gilthead run here.

thanks again
il get the knife ready!
 

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I've been experimenting with mussels, mainly as some of the marks I fish for Gilts have plenty of large mussels that are easily collected. I cut them open and use roughly 3 or 4 of them in a mesh bag, slid down into the mesh bag using a plastic tube and forming it to make a kind of mussel chipolata with the knots of the mesh bag neatly trimmed to the base of the knot at each end. I then use a single chinu hook around the middle of the bag and use bit of bait elastic at the top end to hold it in place. I've had a few like this but only started doing this end of last summer - when the Gilts were getting a bit thin on the ground.

Lug is far more effective to be honest, but I'm going to carry on with it this year starting around March time. Thinking of using a pennel rig this year as a hook top and bottom may work better and get more hook-ups. I always think, the fresher the bait the better so don't faff around doing stuff at home, all done on the rocks. Its easy to prep the next bait between casts, or make up a few at a time and let them sit in the juices in a small container. This way the natural juices are being released into the water and although I believe Gilts to be sight feeders, the scent can only help bring them in.
 

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I've been experimenting with mussels, mainly as some of the marks I fish for Gilts have plenty of large mussels that are easily collected. I cut them open and use roughly 3 or 4 of them in a mesh bag, slid down into the mesh bag using a plastic tube and forming it to make a kind of mussel chipolata with the knots of the mesh bag neatly trimmed to the base of the knot at each end. I then use a single chinu hook around the middle of the bag and use bit of bait elastic at the top end to hold it in place. I've had a few like this but only started doing this end of last summer - when the Gilts were getting a bit thin on the ground.

Lug is far more effective to be honest, but I'm going to carry on with it this year starting around March time. Thinking of using a pennel rig this year as a hook top and bottom may work better and get more hook-ups. I always think, the fresher the bait the better so don't faff around doing stuff at home, all done on the rocks. Its easy to prep the next bait between casts, or make up a few at a time and let them sit in the juices in a small container. This way the natural juices are being released into the water and although I believe Gilts to be sight feeders, the scent can only help bring them in.
Freezing them first really does firm them up, so they can be hooked and whipped on with elastic easily.
The firmer flesh can also be put straight on the hook if you keep twisting and hooking back through the bait as many times as possible. Its not a long lasting bait this way but has a more natural look especially if your just dropping it down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've been experimenting with mussels, mainly as some of the marks I fish for Gilts have plenty of large mussels that are easily collected. I cut them open and use roughly 3 or 4 of them in a mesh bag, slid down into the mesh bag using a plastic tube and forming it to make a kind of mussel chipolata with the knots of the mesh bag neatly trimmed to the base of the knot at each end. I then use a single chinu hook around the middle of the bag and use bit of bait elastic at the top end to hold it in place. I've had a few like this but only started doing this end of last summer - when the Gilts were getting a bit thin on the ground.

Lug is far more effective to be honest, but I'm going to carry on with it this year starting around March time. Thinking of using a pennel rig this year as a hook top and bottom may work better and get more hook-ups. I always think, the fresher the bait the better so don't faff around doing stuff at home, all done on the rocks. Its easy to prep the next bait between casts, or make up a few at a time and let them sit in the juices in a small container. This way the natural juices are being released into the water and although I believe Gilts to be sight feeders, the scent can only help bring them in.
I started using a penned for them last year and found the chinus as a penned were really good.. all though I did miss a couple of really good takes Which makes me wonder perhaps small circle hooks could be an option.

here’s a 4K video I made during one of many successful trips last season.
il definitely give the mussels a go this year I think it will be interestin.

tight lines matey


 

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I use mussel quite often for my shore fishing and as described put them in a freezer then let them defrost before shelling them. I then push them on to a double spike bait pin about 6 inches long until I have about 6-8 of them on it then whip it in to a mussel sausage with thin bait elastic. I then pop these sausages in to the freezer and take them out when I need them. The sausage can be cut to size needed and whipped to the hook with elastic , works with frozen or defrosted sausages. Any left over can go back in the freezer for next time. This bait can take a full pendulum cast and stay intact and can be made into cocktails with squid or fish.
 
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