Belachan is a superb natural fishing bait and fish attractant. It has a salty, fishy taste and a pungent aroma with a strong, 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 are the best fishing methods you can use with Belachan
Learn where you can buy belachan
What Is Belachan?
Belachan is made from Krill (tiny shrimp crustaceans) caught in the global seas, particularly in South East Asia and Antarctica. Once caught, the shrimps are washed in seawater and then 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 is easily 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 the aroma. Shrimp paste also varies in texture and saltiness.
When Belachan is toasted or fried, it becomes harder than using from the packet. When cooking dishes, this is the preferred use.
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 belachan. I have often caught bream, chub, barbel, tench, and roach with belachan. The other species which loves belachan is the Catfish.
Where To Buy Belachan?
Belachan is easily available in any Asian grocery store. There are three main products:
Block form, the most common
Various bait manufacturers sell it in different forms. If you are starting out using belachan, I would recommend the CC Moores mix pack, which has a bag mix, Liquid, and Wafters in a nice box.
Alternatively, you can also buy the block version from Amazon here!
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 Bait – My Personal Favourite
Belachan can be moulded into a ball or pear shape of various sizes. Take a piece from the block and massage it for a minute. Once pliable, it can be used on the hook just 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:
A pellet is exposed as backup bait if smaller fish nibble away at the Belachan.
If you did not take enough care when casting out, bait is still on your hook.
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 already hard, you can grate it into your groundbait or spod mix.
Using 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 belachan to your supermarket spod mix is a great additive and one that I find always works well for carp fishing.
Using 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 it 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 be the same look and feel as the Belachan paste. The fish may not be able to see the bait clearly.
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 the Belachan 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. Just simply add crumbled Belachan into a little warm water and mix it together.
Using Belachan Flavoured Pellets Or Wafters
Soaking any 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 Belachan 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 grated Belachan into the liquid egg and then being left for 15 minutes before mixing up and then rolling. I would recommend only around 5% of 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 have a negative impact on 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 Catch Fish Using Sambal Belachan?
I left this section to last, as it relates 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.
Sambal belachan 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.