"Meat balls - cheaper than luncheon meat and yes, they do catch fish!"
Now I use the motor home for my fishing trips getting to a tackle shop or bait shop has become pretty difficult. Most fishing tackle shops are in town centre locations where access and parking is tricky, and trying to get a motor home (even my little 6m Elddis Accordo 120) close to a fishing supplies store to get some bait is pretty much impossible.
Sure, there are some fishing bait shops in out of town locations where getting a motor home close by isn’t difficult, but when I am out and about in places I have never been to before I have no idea what I am likely to encounter and I don’t to have the hassle and stress of finding a fishing tackle shop only to find traffic/parking etc. is a nightmare. I am, after all on vacation, and vacations should be stress free right? Because of my circumstances I am restricted on the fishing bait I can use, and I have to choose long life fish bait that is easy to store and also doesn’t smell too bad (I don’t want to stink out the motor home!), which basically means I have the choice of tinned foods or trout pellets.
Luncheon meat has is a well-known and popular fishing bait amongst anglers, and since most of my fishing adventures end up on lakes stocked with carp, tench and bream, or rivers where there are plenty of chub and the odd barbel to have a go at luncheon meat is a fishing bait I need to make sure I have with me. Well……………..
In preparation of an up and coming trip out in the motor home, which was going to involve a spot of fishing on the Welsh border, I thought I would buy a few tins of luncheon meat to have a crack at the chub and Barbel the campsite owner’s website said were swimming about in the river that runs through the campsite.
I haven’t bought luncheon meat for many, many years – I think the stuff looks disgusting, smells disgusting, feels disgusting and tastes foul so I don’t eat it, and have only bought it for a spot of carp fishing when I was a kid. When I looked at the cost of a tin of luncheon meat I was stunned and horrified that a tin of a reconstituted fatty meat substitute is so damn expensive. When I was a kid I used Princes branded luncheon meat, and it was less than 50p a tin, although I admit that this is going back some years now. The Princes luncheon meat I found in the local Co-op was £2.50 a tin, and the tin wasn’t even that big! I looked around on the shelves for a cheaper alternative and found other tinned meats, including Spam (I am not sure of the difference between this and luncheon meat – and really can’t be bothered to compare the ingredients or contents), but all of them were £2.30 - £2.50, and there was no way I was going to spend that much on such a small amount of fishing bait.
Needless to say I walked out of the Co-op empty handed and thought I would try one of the mainstream supermarkets to see if they had and own brand equivalent. Ideally, I would have left the mainstream supermarkets alone and used an Aldi or a Lidl but with time fast running out, and no opportunity to get to an Aldi or a Lidl a visit to see Mr Sainsbury was the only choice.
Sainsbury’s range of tinned luncheon meats is a lot better than Co-op and I also found a Sainsbury’s own brand pork luncheon meat for £1.70 for a 340g tin. I still think £1.70 is damn expensive for such a disgusting tin of food, but it is way cheaper than the £2.30 I refused to part with in Co-op.
A little way down from the luncheon meat I found some tinned meatballs, and whilst the premium branded ones were well over a pound (which is still cheaper than the own brand pork luncheon meat by the way) there was a tin of cheaper brand meatballs for 50p. Now this was more the price I was looking to buy for fishing bait. The cheapest tin of meatballs I found were made by Kingsfood and was a 400g tin of “meatballs in tomato sauce”.
Scouring the shelf for an even cheaper alternative (unfortunately this was the cheapest) I had several questions running through my head such as “would these catch fish? – I had never heard of anyone using meatballs as fishing bait”, “how do I get them on the hook?” “How long are they going to last on the hook?” “How many meatballs are in the tin?” Even though there were so many unanswered questions I though stuff it, grabbed two tins and put them in the shopping basket. At 50p per tin I thought the meatballs were well worth a punt, after all these could be the “secret” fishing bait that gives me the edge whenever I go fishing. Even if they don’t stay on the hook or catch fish it doesn’t matter because I still had the (expensive) tin of luncheon meat as a backup and any leftover meatballs I could cook as a dinner for the wife and I – Jeez I know how to treat a lady!