Fish­ery of the Week Puddledock

Soft pel­lets have no place now at top Es­sex fish­ery

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

BOAST­ING four pretty, ma­ture day-ticket lakes – Snake, Road, Wood and Is­lands – Puddledock Farm of­fers 154 plea­sure and match pegs as well as a fine spec­i­men lake with fish close to 30lb.

This means there is some­thing for ev­ery­one here, mak­ing it one of the top com­mer­cials within a stone’s throw of the M25.

Re­cently, though, Puddledock has seen a sig­nif­i­cant change in the tac­tics adopted by match and plea­sure an­glers.

Pre­vi­ously in its near 20-year ex­is­tence, like many other wa­ters of its kind, Puddledock was a place where a soft pel­let hook­bait fished over pel­let loose­feed would see you pulling out carp af­ter carp.

Al­ter­na­tively, a large bunch of mag­gots, meat or worms fished in con­junc­tion with ground­bait down the mar­gins would see the last hour of your ses­sion come alive as the lumps moved in!

Now it’s all about hard pel­lets, says Preston In­no­va­tions-backed venue reg­u­lar Ja­son Collins.

“If you use an ex­pander pel­let on the hook, the sil­ver­fish will pester you all day,” he says.

“In the past, we would use pel­lets to get away from the sil­vers, but these days they have re­al­ized that it is an ‘eat or starve’ sit­u­a­tion.

“So, to get away from nui­sance species, an­glers are turn­ing to an ex­clu­sive hard pel­let ap­proach.”

The ad­van­tage of hard pel­lets in both 4mm and 6mm sizes is their ver­sa­til­ity.

“You can band them on the hook, you can ping them from a cat­a­pult, you can feed then through a pole cup and you can even colour and flavour them,” Ja­son adds.

“A great tip here is to match the hatch. If you’re feed­ing 4mms, fish a 4mm pel­let on the hook. I tend to fish 4mms into a max­i­mum depth of 3ft, swap­ping to 6mms in deeper swims.

“The larger pel­lets sink more quickly, so they get all the way to the bot­tom in this deeper water.”


As well as mak­ing the bait bill so much cheaper, swap­ping ki­los of ground­bait for a few hard pel­lets will bring div­i­dends in the way of fish as well.

Fish­ing both sides, Ja­son likes to plumb up so his rig is pre­sented around 6ins up the mar­ginal slope into around 3ft of water.

This means the hook­bait is kept out of the heav­ier silt.

He prefers to cup his pel­lets in when fish­ing into the wind,

while he throws them in when there’s a down­wind.

“Cup­ping en­sures ac­cu­racy,” he says. “Throw­ing gives me a slightly dif­fer­ent loose­feed pre­sen­ta­tion, which can make a big dif­fer­ence on its day.”

Ja­son usu­ally starts his ses­sions with around 20 to 30 pel­lets, feed­ing lit­tle and of­ten through­out the day.

This way he can slowly build up the swim, gaug­ing the loose­feed from the fish’s re­ac­tions.

As the day con­tin­ues, he will ide­ally end up loose­feed­ing two lots of 10 pel­lets ev­ery few min­utes to keep the fish on the deck and feed­ing pos­i­tively.

“Another edge I use is that when I hook a fish, I im­me­di­ately feed another two lots of 10 pel­lets to help stop the rest of the shoal spook­ing,” says the 26-year-old Es­sex an­gler.

“It might pay to be a ‘softie’ on some com­mer­cial still­wa­ters, but if you want to get among the carp at Puddledock, es­pe­cially on this lake – Snake – you’ll have to learn to be a ‘hard man’!

A net­ful of Pud­dle­duck lumps to Ja­son.

Fish the pole both across and in the mar­gins.

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