Great Muscle Bait Tip

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Great Muscle Bait Tip

Post by allthegearnoidea on Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:48 am




Mussels are a very much underrated bait, which is strange as they'll catch a wide variety of fish... Bass, Cod, Wrasse & whiting to name a few.
It's free if you know where to find them, easy to collect and simple to prepare in advance......

Here's the method I use to open and prepare mussels for bait.
I know people advocate the easier method of pouring boiling water over the mussels until they open, then dunk them in cold water to stop them cooking further....but I feel this method presents them in their most natural state.

Tools for the job

Essential.....DON'T USE A SHARP KNIFE!!
I use a cut down 'butter' knife, you can find them on car boots or at the back of your mum's cutlery drawer. I find these good to use because the metal of the blade is thinner than modern cutlery, so it's easier to slide into the mussel shell.
The blade of the knife was quite long so for ease, I've cut it shorter and rounded off the end. Basically, any blunt ended knife will do the trick....



So if you look at the mussel in this picture, you open it on the right hand side (the flat side), where the "beard" of the mussel comes out of the shell. This is the natural weak spot, as it has to allow the strands of the beard between the two halves of the shell to attach itself to whatever........



So that's where you slide your knife. There's no need for brute force, wiggle the knife edge around and apply gentle pressure and you'll feel the blade slide between the two halves....





Once in, slide the blade up towards the rounded end of the mussel.........



This is where the 'muscle' of the mussel is situated. Once you've cut through this, the shell comes apart easily. It's the round white bit next to the knife......



So, you then use the rounded end of your knife to clean the flesh out of the shell or if you prefer, use the rounded end of another shell to remove the flesh . Don't worry if it comes out in the odd bits, as long as you try and keep it as intact as you can, you'll get better with practice!


Next, get a skewer, I use a BBQ metal one but a wooden one or even a knitting needle would do. Slide the meat of the mussels onto the skewer like so.....



Next you get your trusty elasticated thread, I prefer 'Ghost cocoon' thread, the thin stuff.....and WHIP IT TO AN INCH OF IT'S LIFE!! .....



Give it a good going over with the thread, backwards and forwards loads, catching all the dangly bits and consolidate the whole thing into a 'sausage', so that it stays in one piece when you slide it off the skewer...



And you should end up with this.....

When you use it, you can cut it into suitable size pieces, but I ALWAYS use extra thread to whip it onto your hooks

The more mussels you shell, the easier it becomes....practice makes perfect!
Also, I believe freezing the mussels & defrosting in their shells prior to preparing them makes them easier to open or that they even open naturally.

Bang your mussel 'sausage' in the freezer for those unexpected trips, the elastic holds up well but I always use extra as a safeguard!
If you've got good quality frozen black lug, peeler crab, squid and mussel in your freezer I reckon you've got all the bases covered for a cracking, last minute decision, cod session......


Tip supplied by Rushy
www.MorecambeDinghyAnglingClub.co.uk

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Re: Great Muscle Bait Tip

Post by Guest on Wed Oct 29, 2008 3:19 pm

Great tip
im very often down lincs or norfolk coast so can get a few for course baits & freeze them
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