Caster conundrum

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Troydog
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Re: Caster conundrum

Post by Troydog » Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:21 am

Yes Gary I don't buy casters. I either turn my own or get given them by some of the Winter League boys at the end of the match. So I freeze them dry in 100 / 150 gm small plastic bags (Lidl). On defrosting I tip the bag into a pail of water to skim off the floaters. I then put those into my ground bait mix of soil, hemp and breadcrumb. I then use the sinkers for hook bait; on the river I prefer to use a dropper rather than loose feed, because I don't necessarily want the fish (roach) coming up into mid water to intercept slow sinking sinkers - if you get what I mean.....
Trouble is, the fish just don't read the books......
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Match Aerial
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Re: Caster conundrum

Post by Match Aerial » Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:25 pm

Next time I have some left over I will give your method a try.
When I have done it in the past I froze them in a bottle of water.
They were ok when first defrosted but over night went black and mushy.

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Duckett
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Re: Caster conundrum

Post by Duckett » Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:11 pm

Troydog wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 5:03 pm
With a couple of pints of maggots in the bottom of my garage fridge I know that it would be a high-risk strategy to smuggle them into the caravan before we set off for France this weekend.
I have always restricted my holiday baits to things like hemp, tares and sweetcorn which have a sound behavioural track record.
So, these last few days I’ve been turning the bait into 100 gram bags of casters which will stay in the freezer until we are back in August. Before use I will drop them into a pail of water to skim off the floaters.
Point is that because the bait is now dead, sinkers should stay as sinkers on the river bank. So why don’t we always freeze casters to stop them turning during use?
Have you ever tried putting live but cold maggots from the fridge into plastic bags, gently squeezing out as much air as possible, sealing the bags and placing them in a chiller bag with a few freezer blocks? The go dormant and my experience is that they will last 48+ hours like that. At the other end of the journey, open the bags and put the maggots in a wide bowl and most of them will wake up. Box them and put them in a fridge.

I used to have to buy maggots mail order and this was how they were transported from maggot farm to me during the summer months.
From "... the wilds of the Wirral, whose wayward people both God and good men have quite given up on ...".

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Slumption
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Re: Caster conundrum

Post by Slumption » Sat Jul 07, 2018 4:20 pm

I freeze them but then they are added to ground bait and balled in all within half hour of coming out the freezer. Bream love them, I do the same with wheat, corn or any small bits. Gives them something to graze on. Casters are a bit of a black art, there is a fine line between a great bait and an off one. A good shop that put time into turning them is the the only place I'd buy them from.

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Troydog
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Re: Caster conundrum

Post by Troydog » Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:38 pm

Thank you gentlemen - some great tips here.
Trouble is, the fish just don't read the books......
John Harding

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Re: Caster conundrum

Post by Troydog » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:51 pm

Sorry for the delay Gary. Yes I put the casters in plastic bag batches of about 150 grams, perfectly dry. When I want to fish I defrost naturally and pop them into a small pail of water. I skim off the floaters and mix them in my soil, hemp, red worm ground bait to ensure that the floaters sink. The sinkers I use as hook bait and they work just the same as freshly turned casters.
All the bets for now,
Tim
Trouble is, the fish just don't read the books......
John Harding

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Rod
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Re: Caster conundrum

Post by Rod » Mon Jan 28, 2019 4:11 pm

I have a completely different way of freezing my casters, and it works a treat for me.
Where I live the only place to get live bait closed down, so I get my maggots and casters online, when they arrive I separate out what I will need for the coming week, then the rest I freeze, as follows,
Maggots get riddled, then bagged in just the amount to fill a margarine pot, which equates to about a pint, these then go straight into the freezer as is.
Casters, about a pint are put into a two pint bait container and flushed with running cold water, then allowed to stand for a minute, allowing the floaters and bits of feather to rise to the top, these are then scooped off using a tea strainer, not the one used in the kitchen. I then rinse them again and strain the water off, then place them in a ClipLoc food box, which is usually about two thirds full, then cover them with FILTERED water, so they are just covered, and into the freezer. Don't ask why filtered, as I don't know, the person that showed me said that was the way to do it, but I have no problems with my casters even after a few months of freezing, you will get a few more floaters when defrosted but not many, the colouring is unchanged, they hook just as well as fresh, and there is no real change in catch rate.
Rod :Hat:
An old man, who's only pleasure left in life, is sitting by some water, fiddling with his maggots?

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Troydog
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Re: Caster conundrum

Post by Troydog » Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:14 pm

Thank you Rod - more great ideas. Amazing that you can’t get live bait in Basingstoke - I thought that town was right near to the Kennet and other popular waters........
Trouble is, the fish just don't read the books......
John Harding

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Old Man River
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Re: Caster conundrum

Post by Old Man River » Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:46 pm

Troydog, interesting topic, and quite informative. I am familiar with keeping maggots in airtight bags in a very cold fridge, been doing that for many years... but I have a ....

Quick question, the floating casters that you mix with the groundbait, after freezing do you leave them whole,or do you squash them into the mix when mixing in the groundbait ?
I only ask as I would have thought if you mix them with the groundbait, when it hits the water and seperates, either on the bottom or as a cloud, dont the floating casters just float up to the top, or get snaffled by the fish as they rise in the water ?

OMR
Hurrumph....... whatever happened to Handlines ?

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SeanM
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Re: Caster conundrum

Post by SeanM » Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:17 pm

Here's what I do with casters:

When I get home I put any remaining casters in a freezer bag. I then add about tablespoon of a flavour to the bag, trap a bit of air in the bag and give it a good shake to coat the casters, squeeze the air out, tie the top and place in the freezer. I found that if frozen dry some of the casters split and I had to spend a bit of time sorting them to use on a hook. Adding a flavour seems to prevent this and also slow down the "going black". Pretty much any flavour that you can buy in a tackle shop will do, but don't use the expensive boilie ones as it becomes a bit costly. Thai fish sauce that you can buy in supermarkets works well, as do the Sensas flavours and The Source. When I next go fishing I just take the casters out the night before and put in a cool bag. I then just use as fresh casters.


Maggots will keep really well as follows:

Riddle off any maize or sawdust, place the maggots in a freezer bag and squeeze out as much air as you can. Pop the bag in the fridge or in a cool box with some ice packs. Every 24 hours open the freezer bag and give the maggots a good shake then leave the bag open for about 10 minutes before squeezing out the air sealing and placing back in the cold. I've kept them for over a week like this, even in hot weather.

I freeze any left over maggots when I get home. Generally I use the method recommended by Archie Braddock which is to riddle off any maize or sawdust, place in a freezer bag with a glug of flavour, shake the bag to coat the maggots, squeeze out any air, seal and freeze.

Hope that helps!
Quot homines, tot sententiae. (And now we are 6!)

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