In an angling world now dominated by boilies and pellets there’s something rather cosy about using old fashioned baits like cheese and bread – but to be honest, a sense of tradition is not the main reason to use them. They are extremely effective baits, have stood the test of time, and will work anywhere.
One of the nicest things about cheesepaste is that you have to make your own; the big bait companies haven’t got in on the act yet, presumably because the chub fishing market isn’t exactly lucrative, so you can’t pop to the tackle shop and buy a tub. It’s off to the supermarket instead.
Because of this, everyone has their own secret recipe, incorporating flavours and colours, to make theirs extra special. Additives like garlic oil, butyric acid, blue cheese flavour, betaine, curry powder and food colourings can be used – the basic rule is, the smellier the better. Experiment, and see what works for you.
The recipe I have come to use is very basic and very effective. All you will need is:
250g extra mature cheddar
150g Danish blue
A spoonful of marge
A sprinkling of shortcrust pastry powder
First, finely grate all the cheese into a large bowl:
Then add a spoonful of marge. This is the key ingredient – without marge or oil the paste will be far too hard in cold water, and will stick to the hook like glue. We want a nice, soft paste that pulls off the hook when we strike:
Then a sprinkling of pastry powder:
If you want to add any extra flavours or colours, now’s the time!
Now get stuck in and give it a good kneading! Keep kneading until it is all evenly combined and smooth. If it is too sticky, add a little more pastry powder. If it is too stiff, add a little more marge. Remember that the main ingredient is the cheese, so add as little pastry as possible. Once you’ve got the consistency right it will still be a little sticky but will be smooth and soft and form a ball:
Put the ball of paste in a sandwich bag, tie it up, and put it in the fridge or somewhere else cool for a while. This will allow it to set a bit and that last bit of stickiness will disappear. It will now be a soft, smooth, smelly paste – perfect for a spot of winter chubbing.
A good winter chub taken on the cheese paste recipe above
© Andrew Walker