Paul Garner’s bait tips for the Method
Soft or hard? Both work on the day
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.
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
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.
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.