Best grayling bait (not fly)

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Post  tootall on Thu Aug 12, 2010 11:11 pm

What approach for grayling would people recommend? These are very wary fish that I have been observing for a while and they are in a shoal of about 12 fish in a shallow sandy/gravelly bottomed very clear chalk stream.
Last time I caught one was 15 years ago in a different river and was on maggot by accident. Lol.
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Post  tootall on Thu Aug 12, 2010 11:12 pm

Ps they range in estimated weights from about half a lb to well over 2...so well worth a shot. Also best time of day to fish for them?
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Post  stephen abbott on Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:30 am

Hi Tootall, i would trott a float down from a couple of pegs away with red worms or red maggotts as bait.
the best time to fish for them is in the winter when frost is on the ground and the sky is overcast

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Post  tootall on Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:37 am

Thanks mate. Could be difficult due to their location on a bend in the river though- fishing from opposite bank not an option either. They are clearly at home there because they are well protected! I guess a stealthy approach and maybe tricking in the maggots to try and ge them to move out of their lair would help.

Do you know if they feed best at certain times of the day?
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Post  stephen abbott on Fri Aug 13, 2010 11:03 am

I would be there first light, ( they will move out at some point )
good luck

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Post  paddy pike on Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:36 pm

If the water is very clear, I think i would us a free line if they are close to the bank, Just a pinkie or maggot at first, And watch for the take, But if they are in the middle, I would use the same bait as i said,And shot the line as light as i could get away with, And as you know where they are feeding then get the line in the water before they come out to play, If this bait doesn't work then i would use the worm as stephen abbott said in his post, They are not the easyest fish to catch so try not to give in to soon, You might have a good few bites before you actualy hook one, Good luck,,,
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Post  stubbo on Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:07 pm

loose feed casters mate use a stick float possibly stret pegging deadly way to catch grayling Very Happy
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Post  Grizzly on Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:48 pm

On the bottom is where I've had all my best fish, just ledgered.

I got into grayling fishing by accident, basically I was fishing for chub using 2 pieces of corn hair rigged on a size 10 hook. I was only using a light rod (1.5lb test), the bait went in with 5 loose pieces also and it wasn't long before I noticed the rod tip knocking. It happened twice then bang! The rod tip went 90 degrees and I had a great little scrap from a beautiful grayling. Anyway, I rebaited and cast again (this time with no freebies) and bang, another grayling.

Now, when fishing for grayling I use an open ended feeder with quite a dry groundbait mix and 2 pices of crn on a hair rig to a size 10 hook. I kow a size 10 sounds a little extreme for such a delicate fish but they have fairly large mouths and it doesn't bother them.

Heres a couple of pics:

This is a 2lb fish

Best grayling bait (not fly) 2lbGrayling4-12-07

This is my pb grayling, 2lb 8oz

Best grayling bait (not fly) 2lb8ozGrayling12-12-07
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Post  tootall on Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:34 pm

lovely mate Wink still not been back to try for them yet... must go soon!
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Post  paddy pike on Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:12 pm

Nice catch
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Post  Grizzly on Sun Oct 31, 2010 3:09 pm

tootall wrote:lovely mate Wink still not been back to try for them yet... must go soon!

You been back yet? I fish for them right through the winter when the water's cold and clear! They're my favourite game fish to catch, beautiful.

paddy pike wrote:Nice catch

Cheers Paddy
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Post  Andy Macfarlane on Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:45 pm

Perhaps an accident in your eyes Grizzly but there's reason behind the captures. I WAS going to suggest sweetcorn as a top Grayling bait, especially at this time of year, because Grayling are notorious for eating salmonid eggs at this time of year and corn is a suitable substitute.

Anyway, here's a little article I wrote some time back....


"Winter Grayling"

When I was a dedicated Trout angler I used to long for the season to commence once more. When the tension became all consuming I would head out to a water near Kilmacolm, somewhere between Glasgow and Greenock.
There is a fine little stream called the Gryffe in Kilmacolm and the winter Grayling fishing is second to none. The scenery is fairly hard to beat for a town not 15 minutes from Paisley.
This stream is quiet during the season for the most part so fishing during the Winter could be a lonely affair. Fair do's...I like things that way.
Armed with a fly-rod set up for light touch legering (I'll explain later) and a 12 foot match rod rigged with the lightest of stick float set ups, I would head out over the frost bitten fields in search of some suitable runs.
The Gryffe is a fairly fast little stream that dips into dark, mysterious plunge pools and swings round corners and under bushes at a decent clip. As long as you fish the fastest bank or the middle of a run, you would always produce at least one of these fine looking ladies.
Maggots would be introduced to a run 2 or 3 at a time over 20 minutes or so whilst keeping well out of sight. Not one single cast would be had until I was satisfied the fish had the general feeding pattern worked out.
Fingerless gloves would help with casting and the dextrous touch required for lifting and lying the bait every couple of inches along the gravelly bottom.
Bites would be infuriatingly shy at first but as the continuous pattern of freebies ensued the bite rate would pick up. I have watched through sunglasses, the Grayling gathering from seemingly nowhere, to the top of the run, jostling for position in a competition to grab the best offerings.
Usually I would try to take as many fish from the bottom as possible using the trotting set up. A flick with a fast sinking fly line and 5 foot of 2 Lb break and 3 BB's was the order of the day. I would get the bait down quick and set the shot so as the lightest of lifts would set the bait on its downward journey again. Lowering the tip would see the maggots wiggling on the spot once more.
Grayling can be notoriously shy at times but once induced on a feeding frenzy, it is hard to see where this reputation comes from when their ability to jump on the hook one after the other in some sort of strange suicidal pact comes into play.
Don't get me wrong. All it takes is for one fish to see you or one noisily landed fish crashing around or for a boot to scrape the gravel at the side of the stream and they would retire to their hiding hole. Once there, it is very hard to tempt them back out and a journey home may seem like the best option.
It was quite possible on a good day to take 12 or so fish from the same pool over a couple of hours, that is, if you sat still long enough with your assets freezing.
When the fish were not willing to show themselves, the match rod would come out to play. Sometimes when the fishing was slow I would use the little clear Carp wagglers used for stillwater fishing as these offered very little resistance and coloured floats can spook fish all day long.
I would again feed the pool lightly, then drop the float straight down into the head of the run with a single maggot on a size 20 hook. More often than not the float would travel all the way to the bottom of the run before dipping confidently under the surface. This action could be performed again and again leading me to believe the Grayling were following the bait from somewhere further up the run. Maybe they wanted to inspect these freebies but gobbled them down once they realised they would disappear into the next patch of fast flowing water. Iím not sure but I couldnít see a dozen or so fish couped up at the tail end of the pool.
I always thought they fought rather elegantly. Hard and determined but without the erratic leaps and misdirected crashes that a hooked Brownie often displays. I think it is when the huge multicoloured dorsal fin stands up proudly in defiance and turns the fish side on into the current that shows the Grayling to be a wise and worthy contender. Even in the Winter they are quite able to string a fight out for what seems like an eternity.
I usually returned all the Grayling I captured but if the numbers reached the teens, a fish would definitely find its way to the dinner table. A fine eating fish I always thought but too rare in numbers to make a habit of.
I have not fished for Grayling in quite a while but all this talk of Winter has me buzzing again. Although I am now a Piker at heart, I find all that tea making a little demanding so the Grayling may see me creeping around again once more when the frost sets in.
Ahhhh....almost makes you look forward to less favourable weather.
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Post  stubbo on Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:00 am

good read that andy ........ i seem to be going the other way from pike angler to trout angler really enjoying it at the moment getting into catching pike on the fly Very Happy
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Post  nickcarpy on Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:17 pm

had a few grayling today on white maggots plus a bonus trout on don in sheffield,first time ive fished / caught one. Very Happy
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Post  MAD BAD ANGLER on Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:01 pm

saw an article by mr roberts a few weeks ago on the don around medowhall. he had some nice grayling on maggots and some trout Very Happy Very Happy

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Post  nickcarpy on Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:35 pm

yes gaz saw it thats one of the reason why i gave it ago,never caught one before so gave it ago Very Happy
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Post  barbels1 on Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:04 am

I fish the Test in hants for them, generally maggot or sweetcorn, sweetcorn being more selective. A lot of Salmon parr to try to avoid
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