Discover The Power Of Fishing With Belachan: Tried And Tested

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Belachan is a superb natural fishing bait and fish attractant. It has a salty, fishy taste and a pungent aroma with a unique flavour. Belachan can be used in many options for the angler. It’s a fantastic hook bait, paste, or as an additive to groundbait and spod mix. 

It has been a secret carp bait for many years and can attract and draw in fish when all other baits fail. It’s super easy to use and is a winner for all types of fish and situations.

Use it for carp, match angling, or general coarse fishing; you will be surprised at the results.

  • Read further to learn how to use belachan effectively and catch more fish!
  • Learn what the best fishing methods you can use with belachan.
  • Learn where you can buy belachan

What Is Belachan?

Belachan Molded for Hookbait
Belachan rolled into small balls of 6mm to 12mm makes a great bait for carp fishing.

Belachan is made from krill (tiny shrimp crustaceans) caught in the global seas, particularly in Southeast Asia and Antarctica. Once caught, the shrimps are washed in seawater and semi-dried on wooden racks. They are then mixed with salt and passed through a grinder before being dried again for about a week.

This process is repeated until it becomes a  paste as soft as clay. The clay is then fermented in pots and pressed into blocks of different shapes. The fermented krill is now known as shrimp paste.

Belachan can be found in Asian supermarkets all over Europe and the United States.

Belachan can easily be changed from a block form to a powder or a liquid sauce. This gives the angler many alternatives when fishing. Better-grade shrimp paste is generally milder in its aroma. Shrimp paste also varies in texture and saltiness.

When belachan is toasted or fried, it becomes hard and crumbly compared to when used from the packet. This is the preferred use when cooking dishes. 

Why Are Fish Attracted To Belachan? 

The high salt content and distinctive fishy aroma have a defining effect. As with most baits, fish love colour, smell, or movement. Fishing with the salty and strong-smelling belachan will attract fish and create more bites and more fish.

What Fish Can I Catch With Belachan? 

Most freshwater fish can be caught using belachan. Carp are the most popular fish known to be very partial to it. I have often caught bream, chub, barbel, tench, and roach with belachan. The other species which it attracts is the catfish. 

Where To Buy Belachan?

Belachan is easily available in any Asian grocery store. There are three main products:

  1. Block form, the most common
  2. Powder form
  3. Belachan Paste

Various bait manufacturers sell it in different forms. If you are starting out using belachan, I recommend the CC Moores mix pack, which has a bag mix, liquid, and wafters in an assortment box.

Alternatively, you can buy various manufacturers in the block version from Amazon.

How To Fish With Belachan?

Belachan is adaptable and has multiple uses as bait or attractant. Let’s take a deep dive into the options available. 

Using Belachan As A Paste – My Personal Favourite

Belachan can be moulded into a ball or pear shape of various sizes. Take a piece from the block and roll it in your fingers for a minute. Once pliable, it can be used on the hook like any other paste bait. Usually, a maximum of 12mm diameter is sufficient.

One method I always use is to mould it around a 4mm or 6mm pellet. There are several benefits to this. These are:

  1. A pellet is exposed as backup bait if smaller fish nibble away at the belachan.
  2. If the belachan does fall off when you cast, the pellet is still on your hook.
  3. Over time, the belachan will eventually dissolve, so having the pellet again acts as a backup.

In fact, any particle bait can be surrounded by the belachan paste.

Using Belachan As An Additive To Your Groundbait

Belachan, when soft, can be rubbed like a stock cube and crumbled into your groundbait as a great attractant. Just ensure it has mixed well. There is no need to buy expensive commercial groundbaits. A 10% ratio to dry crumb is a good amount. 

If the belachan is hard, grate it into your groundbait or spod mix. 

How To Use Belachan As Part Of Your Spod Mix

Belachan, when added to spod mixes, does not need to be finely grated. Small particles mixed with any fine dust are perfect. I add a couple of 8mm to 12mm size pieces in each mix as free offerings as hook bait size.  

I prefer to make my own spod mix from ingredients from the supermarket and add them to my other particles. Adding it to your supermarket spod mix is a great additive and one that I find always works well when fishing for carp.

How To Use Belachan As Part Of Your Method Mix

When used as part of your method mix, the belachan should be the same size as your original mix. Otherwise, placing the mix in the mould and creating the egg-shaped ball becomes difficult and tends to break apart easily. 

I do not recommend using the belachan as a hookbait whilst using method mixes. The reason is that the mix tends to have the same look and feel as the belachan paste. The fish may not be able to see the bait clearly.   

You can read more on method feeder fishing for carp to learn about the feeder types, how to load them, and the right setups.

Using Belachan In PVA Bags

Using belachan as part of a PVA bag mix is simple. Just add the belachan as you would any other particles or bait. The size of the pieces should be small; this ensures your hook bait stands out.

Belachan is PVA-friendly, so using a liquid Belachan is also an option.

I also do not recommend using it as a hookbait whilst using PVA bags. The reason is that the PVA bag takes a few minutes to dissolve, and the belachan hookbait may break down too much before it is exposed to the fish. 

Using Belachan In Liquid Form

Liquid belachan works well due to the soluble attractive properties it contains. The liquid can be the basis of a very good “glug” or “Dip”. Soaking pellets and boilies in belachan liquid is also a perfect way of using belachan.

Personally, I do not buy any liquid versions. It’s easier and cheaper to make your own. Mix crumbled pieces into a little warm water to form the liquid. This also allows you to experiment with the “strength” of your liquid.

Using Belachan Flavoured Pellets Or Wafters

Soaking standard fishing pellets for 24 hours in the belachan liquid will create an alternative to your usual pellet. If you have to use pellets bought from the fishery, you can add the liquid to the bag to create an infused version.

Using Belachan As Part Of Your Boilie Ingredients

This is probably one of the so-called “secret Carp baits” for carp anglers. If you are a serious boilie user or, better still, make your own boilies, then I am sure you have used belachan in your ingredients.

The best method is by adding the belachan powder form or in a grated form into the liquid egg and then leaving it for 15 minutes before mixing up and then rolling. I would recommend using only around a 5% ratio to the other dry ingredients.

Pro Tip: I suggest using belachan in only a couple of bait forms each time you go fishing. For example, don’t put it in your groundbait, boilie mix, or spod mix simultaneously. Using too much can harm your catch rate.

How To Store Belachan?

When you buy belachan, it is sealed inside a foil package. The foil keeps the light from drying the block into a hardened state.  

If the foil package is unopened, it can be kept in your food cupboard and out of direct sunlight. Don’t worry; there is no smell if it’s still sealed.

Once you open the foil package, keep the belachan out of direct sunlight to stop it from getting too hard. Once opened, it is best stored in the fridge, where it will last six months from its opening date. I recommend you keep it in your bait fridge; otherwise, the smell may upset your better half! 

Can I Use Sambal Belachan For Fishing? 

I left this section to last, relating to belachan from a fishing perspective. Sambal belachan is made by pounding chillies, lime juice, and belachan together. This mix creates a wet paste mixture used in South East Asian cooking. 

In this form, it can be used effectively to add to groundbait or spod mixes; however, ensure that you only use one teaspoon per 1kg of bait. It is highly spicy and, when overused, will turn off the fish entirely. 

You can read more on which spices can be used when fishing, along with all the tips and the types of fish they are best used for.

Final Thoughts

Using belachan can make a very rewarding fishing trip. The multiple options available make it an adaptable bait, which has proven itself for many years. It is also relatively cheap!

Yes, it has a potent and stinky aroma, but that is why fish love it, and it works! Don’t overuse it; I assure you you will have some great catches, as I have done over the years.

Go and try some and experiment a little with your fishing baits! You can achieve excellent results using garlic added to your bait and anise oils to attract and catch more fish.

Steve Fitzjohn