Perhaps not the wonder bait, but certainly one of the most over looked and under used cheap bait sources that we have. Mussels are a good alternative to peeler crab and a lot cheaper. In this article I am going to show you how to prepare and use them.

Mussels are available from Cornwall to the Islands of Scotland. I am lucky enough to be able to have fairly easy access to some local mussel beds, but I know anglers all around the country that have them in abundance, growing on low water rock marks and in large mussel beds uncovered on low water in estuary’s and on beaches. For those of you that cant or don’t want to collect them yourself then you can buy them at a very reasonable price from your local supermarket or fish monger. Make sure they are fresh and not frozen.

A lovely pile of fresh mussels

For a 4 hour session you will need about a kilo of Mussels. Fish a two hook rig with mussels on one hook and Ragworm on the other. If one out fishes the other then swap to the most successful bait.

3 mussels removed from their shells

With a knife, carefully prise open the mussel shell and cut away the flesh from the shell. Depending on the size of the mussels I would recommend that you use 3 or 4 mussels on a hook.

Not easy to keep them on the hook

Thread or hook the mussel onto a size 1 or 1/0 Aberdeen hook. This is the tricky bit as they are very slippery and hard to keep on the hook.

The finished product, Mussel bait bound onto the hook

Using plenty of bait elastic, bind the mussel on to the hook. If you have bound it on tightly enough it will withstand being used on a flapper rig if you don’t want to clip your rig down.

The end result, a nice Plaice on the beach

Mussels are a very good bait for Plaice, Dabs, Cod and Bass and can be used through out the year. I would love to hear of your success stories if you try it. Mail them to

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