<em>The almighty, super stinky fermented shrimp paste, commonly known as Belachan, has been on the block for sometime now. Still hugely underused, this power packed piece of awesomeness has many ways to offer the angler a sweet piece of tactical trickery this summer.
It’s no wonder why Belachan has stood the test of time; it’s super potent, adds a high level of salty attractiveness to anything it comes near and costs next to nothing; meaning it is one of the most effective attractors out there to everyone today. The Malaysian sourced shrimp block comes sealed and ready to use, but be warned, this product packs a serious carpy stench that some anglers find difficult to deal with.
Yet, the carp catching credentials far outweigh the stench of this product, leaking layers of fishy attraction into the water when introduced. As this product comes in the form of a solid block, it opens up a manner of baiting techniques and edges that allow the angler to vastly increase the food signals around the baited area when used to great effect. This short technical feature highlights some trick little tips that will no doubt increase the levels of attraction being pumped from your swim through the incorporation of this deadly block of paste.
The leader and lead trick
Many anglers often ignore the fact that added attraction doesn’t have to be applied to the hookbait alone, the rig and leader can also be boosted with the aid of smell to draw fish into the rig itself. Belachan is one of those great products that can be fused effectively into the leader, for example leadcore, which has the ability to absorb liquids and scents. Simply take a block of Belachan and rub the leader into the block; you will notice that the paste clings to the leader, creating a layer of attraction that will help build scent within the swim. The tacky paste clings well to most leaders, becoming embedded within the groves and fibres to offer a highly attractive alternative around the baited vicinity.
The same trick can be applied to leads, by rubbing the lead into the past and allowing it to form a crust when dried. This tactic works best with textured style leads, as the paste clings effectively for a number of hours, which is then slowly released into the water column creating a potent fishy scent trail towards the hookbait.
The Moulding Tactic
Depending on how quick you want the Belachan paste to break down depends on the form you would use the paste in. You can either use the Paste straight from the block to mould around hookbaits or, for paste that you want to break down quicker, a small amount of hot water can be applied to kick start the process.
This is particularly effective when targeting fish in the margins, whereby minimal amounts of disturbance by simply lowering a baited rig into position can often bring quick success. The heated paste becomes easier to mould around the hook bait and due to the paste becoming slightly mushy to the touch, it now has the ability to release food signals much quicker into the swim as it has already partially broken down. This small ball of mush clouds the water instantly; creating a neat column of attraction that passing fish will look to investigate instinctively. This tactic can also be applied using the paste straight from the block, which will result in a slower breakdown rate, perfect for presentations that will be left in position for longer periods of time.
By utilising a pair of mesh tights, or the equivalent products available in the angling market, Belachan can become a truly unique and an equally devastating hookbait with many applications. By wrapping the paste in tights, squeezing it until the paste pushes against the mesh and tying the tag end off with some floss will leave you with the perfect parcel of potent goodness. This special, extra salty hookbait can be left on the rig for a number of hours, creating a consistent stream of attractors directly from the bait itself. This hookbait is perfect for use alongside a small mesh bag of Belachan pellets, which can be simply nicked onto the hook before casting out.
Due to the fermented shrimp being packed together in block form, this allows the angler to vary the size and shape of the pieces they use for fishing. Carp over time can become acute to pellets and boilies of regular sizes, but by using the Belachan Block, it allows you to cut of varying shards of paste which can then be introduced into spod mixes, bag mixes etc. The soft texture allows the paste to be shaved off with a pair of scissors or small grater, to create alternative loosefeed sizes that will no doubt keep the carp guessing. A neat trick is to introduce a 50/50 mixture of paste pieces and pellets. This will help to vary the breakdown times of the bag, with the shards of paste kicking off instant attraction while the pellets release food signals at a slower rate.
Belachan is one of those products that has a place in the armoury, its cost effective price and size means that it is a neat, handy product to have in the bag to add that extra edge to your fishing this summer.
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