Naturally yellow (or occasionally red) in colour, sweetcorn's brightness and uniform size makes it easy for fish to identify on the dark bed of the water.
Tinned sweetcorn can be found ubiquitously in supermarkets and at your local tackle shop. You can keep a tin of sweetcorn stored for years in your box, ready for the day when a change of bait will bring those bigger fish. However, many fisheries do not permit the bringing of tins onto the site. Regrettably a minority of anglers have been known to discard their tins in the water or in the hedge rather than taking them home. Frozen sweetcorn is also readily available.
Sweetcorn is more typically used during the summer months but can sometimes produce bites during the winter too.
Sweetcorn originates from North America and was almost certainly brought back to Europe by the 15th-century explorer Christopher Columbus. Quite when it first arrived on British soil is uncertain.
Its use as a fishing bait seems to have happened relatively recently though. It is not mentioned by Fletcher writing in the 1920s in his ‘Baits and Groundbaits for Match Fishing’ nor does it appear in ‘Baits and Groundbaits’ by Faddist (Edward Ensom) published in 1950, which lists more than 30 coarse fishing baits, excluding flies and lures.
It’s mentioned in Fred J Taylor’s writings in the 1970s as a good bait for tench, so we believe that it probably wasn’t in common usage as a fishing bait until the 1970s.
An unopened tin of corn will remain usable for many years. They have a long sell-by date and the contents are unlikely to go off for some years. If you keep your sweetcorn in a plastic bait box when fishing then pop it into the fridge once you get home. It will last a few days before going sour.
Last date edited: 14 December 2020