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Am thinking of giving mussels a try as there are some thick mussel beds near where my girlfriends parents house,i was just wondering how you go about using them as have never used them before?
 

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I use mussels quite a lot.

If you collect them yourself, then I suggest you shell them the day before and keep them all in a container in their own juices.

When you need to use them either thread them onto a hook, or simply just tie them on to the hook, but whichever method you use, you will have to use bait elastic, or they will simply fly off during even a gentle cast.

I usually always use them along with rag or squid etc, but have also caught fish with mussel as the only bait.

They freeze very well, and again just shell them and shove them in an airtight container in their juices, then just chuck them in your freezer.

There is also good thread somewhere on this forum on freezing them in sausage shapes so they can be placed straight onto the hook part frozen. Another guy said he hooked them all onto quick release hook snoods and then froze the whole lot like that. Then he simply unclipped the old snood, and clipped on the ready baited one.

I usually catch Cod, Coalfish and Dabs with mussels.
 

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I think a similar thread was one of the ones that went missing recently....

My tip for mussels was to freeze them as normal, but then when you come to uys them, thread several of them onto a baiting needle while still frozen, and whip them together 'sausage' style with elastic and then slice to required bait size and slide onto the hook. I suppose this could also work with fresh.

I found that it is easier to tie elastic to them while they are on the baiting needle rather than chasing them around the hook
 

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If you go to the chemists you can get a finger bandage called Tubegauze. There are 2 types, the one you want is the open weave type. You then need a funnel with a 3/4 inch opening. Feed the tubegauze onto the funnel neck and knot the end. Get your shelled musssels and fill the funnel, squeezing them into the gauze to make a sausage. Make your sausages the same length as a wide necked flask and freeze them.

Take them fishing in the flask and take 1 out, put the hook through and cut off to length, put the remaining sausage back in the flask.

You can add all sorts to the sausage to make cocktail baits.

Dead easy to use and puts out loads of scent and particles into water. The remains of the gauze will come off the hook easily when you need to rebait.
 

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when i use muscle i use the largest i can find or go to the local fish mongers and buy them . to use them i put the hook through its foot then pusshit on to the hook then lash it with bait elastic another way is to thread some on to a bait needle and againlash with bait elastic (wot wud we do without elastic) remove the needlle and bait is ready to hook up.
 

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Yup, I caught two 5lb Bass on fresh live Tesco mussels. They have a chemical scent very similar to peeler crab. Top bait also for flatties. Very underused, I prefer mussels to lug or rag.
 

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cut the top off a tea bag empty the tea out, put in your fresh mussels and tie to your hook with bait elastic it works a treat in the dee estuary for flatties.(there goes another one of my trade secret's).
 

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Another method you can use with any is the squid mantle stuffed with mussel and secured at the open end with elastic so that it resembles a mussel filled balloon. Pierce it a couple of times with a baiting needle/knife so the juices leak out.

Rhod.
 

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My suggestion for Mussels is to get some drinking straws push aload of mussels onto this then whip on with elastic. If you put plenty on then they make a pretty impresive bait. Then simply cut the straw to the size of bait you require,tie your hook snoods up with a loop at one end! hook at the other! Slide on your bait over the loop and freeze in the qty`s you`ll need per session,
Then if/When you catch a fish simply unclip your snood,and put on another so your fishing straight away.
Hope this helps......................Kevin.
 

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Another method you can use with any is the squid mantle stuffed with mussel and secured at the open end with elastic so that it resembles a mussel filled balloon. Pierce it a couple of times with a baiting needle/knife so the juices leak out.
Now that is a very good idea, I'll try that next winter for cod.
 

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That was precisely the idea we had. Unfortunately there either weren't any around or the conger beat them to it - drawback of a fishy bait over rough ground.

It's an old trick and like I said you can stuff the squid with anything - lug, rag, crab etc.
 

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I must say I have used Squid for a long time now and use it through the winter for cod, I use it most than other bait but I have never given it a thought about filling it's body with other stuff, Now I can't wait till next cod season up here.
 

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I personally find that the best thing to do with any shellfish bait is to shell them and then leave them for a couple of days so that they stink. This is the way that the fish would find them in naturally. They are brilliant a couple of days after a good blow and fished tight to a feature or towards the top of a good flooding tide in very close.
 

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Squid mantle stuffed with fresh mussels- Tomato Basil and red wine sauce with a hint of garlic As Homer Simpson would say -mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
 
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