The magic of mi­cros! How to get the best from them now

An­gling Times’ bait ex­pert Paul Gar­ner ex­plains why tiny pel­lets make a dif­fer­ence

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

BRI­TAIN’S best-sell­ing pel­let, mi­cros of less than 3mm, have rev­o­lu­tionised the Method feeder, be­ing in­cred­i­bly easy to use and dev­as­tat­ingly ef­fec­tive.

Small pel­lets are ob­vi­ously de­signed for feed­ing tiny fish, which have dif­fer­ent nu­tri­tional re­quire­ments to their older brethren. Small fish need more pro­tein and en­ergy in their diet, so mi­cros tend to be richer than larger pel­lets. This makes them more at­trac­tive to all sizes of fish and nor­mally they do not re­quire any ad­di­tives to boost them.

Mi­cros also tend to have more bin­der in them, as they are more dif­fi­cult to ex­trude than a larger pel­let. This means that when damp­ened they will stick re­ally well to a feeder and can even be balled-up for feed­ing.

There is much more to mi­cros than their just be­ing small, though. These baits are of­ten quite spe­cialised and care needs to be taken when choos­ing the right one for the job. Get it right, how­ever, and big catches are on the cards.

PER­FECT FOR THE METHOD

I use the Method feeder a lot and it is sur­pris­ing how ef­fec­tive this sim­ple tac­tic is for a whole range of species. From spec­i­men roach and cru­cians to big carp, I have caught them all on the Method, and very of­ten it is the com­bi­na­tion of the feeder with tiny pel­lets that proves to be the win­ner.

That pile of pel­lets on the lakebed looks and smells so ap­peal­ing to any pass­ing fish, but be­cause each pel­let is so small they are quite dif­fi­cult to feed on.

The wash cre­ated by fish in the swim tends to spread them out and make the fish browse, rather than eat the whole lot in one go.

AD­JUST­ING THE BREAK­DOWN

Pre­par­ing mi­cros is rel­a­tively straight­for­ward. I treat them more like ground­bait than nor­mal pel­lets. In­stead of soak­ing, damp­en­ing them with a lit­tle wa­ter works re­ally well, al­low­ing you to con­trol just how sticky they be­come.

By grad­u­ally adding small amounts of wa­ter, and then damp­en­ing them again as they start to dry out, you can achieve the per­fect con­sis­tency every time. Be­cause the pel­lets haven’t been fully soaked they will also take on wa­ter quickly when cast out and break down in a mat­ter of sec­onds.

For deep wa­ter and long casts it is essen­tial that the mi­cros stick to­gether well so that they reach the bot­tom still on the feeder. For this job 1mm Sticky pel­lets are ideal, as they bind re­ally well.

For shorter casts and shal­lower wa­ter I swap to 2.3mm coarse pel­let mi­cros. These pel­lets are a lit­tle eas­ier for the fish to eat, hold­ing them in the swim for longer, but they don’t bind to­gether so well. This lim­its them to pegs less than 6ft deep.

For tricky days, or when tar­get­ing spec­i­men cru­cians, I swap to a mi­cro pel­let mix con­tain­ing a range of pel­lets and sal­mon fry crumb. This su­per-rich feed has max­i­mum pulling-power and will bring bites when nor­mal pel­lets fail.

HOOK­BAITS

Be­cause mi­cros are so small you are never go­ing to fish with them on the hook, so what can you use in­stead? If the fish are feed­ing con­fi­dently then a 6mm pel­let or

mini-boilie are likely to be sin­gled out and bites can be ex­pected within a cou­ple of min­utes. Most of the time, though, a more sub­tle ap­proach pays dividends.

A bunch of dead mag­gots is a su­perb hook­bait, be­ing al­most neu­trally buoy­ant, but it can at­tract too many sil­ver­fish on some venues. My favourite bait for sin­gling out larger fish is a rub­ber caster. I trim these down to just sink a size 16 hook, to give a bril­liant pre­sen­ta­tion.

As the fish suck up the mi­cros the hook­bait is picked up just as eas­ily, en­sur­ing great hookholds and plenty of bites.

If plas­tic baits are banned on your fishery, Dy­na­mite hook­able wafters are a great al­ter­na­tive and can be cut to size.

FEED­ING MI­CROS

Even a small Method feeder in­tro­duces a lot of pel­lets in just a few casts, but if you want to feed more than this there are a cou­ple of op­tions. First, try mak­ing a few quick casts with the feeder – lightly com­press­ing the pel­lets will en­sure they fall away quickly, mean­ing you can re­cast faster.

Al­ter­na­tively, use a 20mm Ball Maker to form per­fectly round balls of mi­cros. These can be fed ac­cu­rately us­ing a cat­a­pult with a semi-rigid cup.

Balls of mi­cro pel­lets are most ac­cu­rately fed with a cat­a­pult.

It pays to carry a range of hook­baits – you never know what’s in the swim.

A rub­ber caster is a top bal­anced hook­bait for a feeder loaded with mi­cro pel­lets.

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