Paul Gar­ner’s bait tips for the Method

Soft or hard? Both work on the day

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

VIS­IT­ING a cou­ple of my lo­cal com­mer­cial fish­eries the other day it was ob­vi­ous that one tac­tic still ruled the roost.

The Method feeder may lack fi­nesse, but the right hook­bait can of­ten save the day.

I learnt this les­son while fish­ing for shy-bit­ing cru­cians, which proved very easy to catch with a Method feeder loaded with ground­bait. A small dark-coloured hook­bait def­i­nitely caught me the most, a 4mm or 6mm Sonubaits S-pel­let be­ing my first choice.

Even­tu­ally I switched to a cut-down En­ter­prise Tackle ar­ti­fi­cial caster, which per­fectly coun­ter­bal­anced my size 16 hook.

Swap­ping the hook­bait to a grain of corn brought more bites, but these were in­vari­ably from tench, which pounced on the brightly coloured baits be­fore the more ten­ta­tive cru­cians could get a look-in.

From that day on­ward I have ex­per­i­mented with my hook­baits, and def­i­nite pat­terns have emerged that can make a big dif­fer­ence to your re­sults.

Here are some of the most im­por­tant things to con­sider when choos­ing a Method hook­bait.

TEX­TURE

Softer baits def­i­nitely catch more fish, but this can be a prob­lem when fish­ing the Method.

Even though the hook­bait is par­tially buried on the top of the pay­load, the im­pact of the feeder hit­ting the wa­ter can dis­lodge a

soft bait.

Bury­ing the hook­bait pro­tects it, but squash­ing the bait in the feeder mould can dam­age it too. So there is al­ways a trade-off to be made.

Jelly pel­lets are a great soft bait, that can be made tough enough to stay on the hair dur­ing the cast. Some of the newer ar­ti­fi­cial baits are very soft too, such as Maruyku Cre­dence corn. Dead mag­gots are an­other soft al­ter­na­tive.

Go­ing soft is not al­ways the best op­tion though, es­pe­cially if sil­ver­fish are ac­tive.

If the bait keeps get­ting swiped by roach, then swap­ping to a hard 10mm boilie or dumb­ell can en­sure the bait lasts long enough for a carp to find it.

CRIT­I­CAL BAL­ANCE

One of the best ways of in­creas­ing your catch rate when fish­ing a Method feeder is to use a slowsink­ing bait.

I think there are two rea­sons why a crit­i­cally bal­anced bait works so well. First, it is easy for a fish to suck it into its mouth. This is es­pe­cially so when you are load­ing the feeder with ground­bait, which is al­most weight­less. A heavy bait, plus the weight of the hook, can mean that the hook­bait is missed. A bal­anced hook­bait ends up fur­ther back in the mouth, which im­proves hookholds.

Some baits are nat­u­rally quite buoy­ant. Lun­cheon meat and polony, Peperami and bread are all slow-sink­ing.

Wafter boilies and pel­lets are also slow-sink­ing, and ar­ti­fi­cial baits are of­ten buoy­ant enough to coun­ter­act the weight of the hook.

Slow-sink­ing wafter pel­lets and boilies of­ten give bet­ter hookholds.

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