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Slipper Limpet

A much-loved bait along the South of England Channel coast. So effective after a good SW ‘blow’, that’s it’s hardly worth using anything else when they are littering the beach. These ‘limpets’ are not the tough beasts found clinging to bare rock faces. They grow on sandy and mixed ground and form ‘banana-shaped’ colonies.

They are a most effective bait particularly for bass and flounders. A lot of anglers stand ankle deep in them after a Force 8 and above and spend £12 or so on ragworm, ignoring the free stuff on the beach!

Shucking and hooking them is a tricky business.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. I collect a bucketful in advance and spend an hour or so ‘shucking them using a blunt rounded knife. Break apart the bunches and run the knife around the yellow ring of muscle. With care the rest of the body will slip out whole. Flip the shelled limpets into a colander and allow them to drain.

  2. When you have a few handfuls of the critters, sprinkle with a little fine salt. Mix well in, but remember the limpets are quite soft and fragile. The salt drains water out of them and makes them just a little tougher. After an hour or so, pack into bank coin bags or similar. They can then be frozen for several months but remain effective.

Hooking Limpets

Well, this is one of those tricks an old guy shows you when you start fishing …. if you are lucky! 

A wide-gaped hook like Varivas Big Mouths is ideal. I use 2/0s for my surf bass fishing or tip off a worm match-bait on a 1 or 2. Take one limpet and insert the hook through the flesh, just inside the yellow band of muscle.

Now hold the limpet and twist it so that you can insert the hook again but through the other flat side of the limpet.

Now carefully thread the limpet up the shank. You need to repeat this for five or six limpets on a 2/0.

Cocktail baits can be very effectively tipped with limpet as well.

Here are some tasty examples and the proof of the pudding...

COPYRIGHT A Farley 2010


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