With the expansion of match type fishing to American shore fishing; our anglers incorporate many of the techniques from Europe. The use of groundbait is one of those innovations.

Match fishing in Europe is competitive fishing in which anglers have to stay within a short distance of a stake on the shoreline and fish for a specified length of time. The idea is to catch pounds of fish regardless of species. The total weight of the basket of fish determines the winner.

Groundbait is a mix of breadcrumbs, flour, cornmeal, sugar, spice and other compounds that will cloud the water. The idea is to attract fish to a specific area and then get them into a feeding frenzy. The groundbait does not satisfy them. Into the clouded water, the angler drops a worm or maggot on a small hook. The result is a strike from the frustrated fish.

Since very light hooks, line and bait are used, the angler also needs a delicate balsa wood float or bobber. Anglers use cane poles in long lengths because they are very sensitive.

Sensitivity is necessary as often very small fish take the bait. The small hooks are easily removed form all fish with no harm to them. Quick and efficient hook removal makes for more time for fishing.

Shore anglers have all but abandoned the large American bobber of years gone by. In its place has been substituted the euro-style balsawood floats and small American floats of similar style made of plastic or Styrofoam. These floats can detect a bite because they are so sensitive to light pressure. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes according to the situation.

A float used on a windy day is different from one used on a calm one. One used in a fast flowing river is different from one used in a pond or lake. Choosing the right float has become as important as choosing a bait.

The use of groundbait has found respectability. In the past “chummers” were looked at with disdain by many anglers. The basic difference is that the chummer tended to use garbage baits while the groundbait used biologically sound formulas that do not pollute the water.

Anglers in search of a variety of different species now use use maggots and other worm-like baits used in the past by panfishermen.

Ground pounders have adopted the match fishing dip net with a long handle. The use of such long handle nets allow the angler using light line to land larger fish without breaking the line.

Shore anglers respect all species of fish and have adopted a respect for all fish having their place in the angling scene. That ethic came over fromEurope with the groundbait and match style fishing tackle.


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