With wa­ter tem­per­a­tures down, there’s no bet­ter bag­ging tac­tic than bomb and pel­let

Angling Times (UK) - - TIPS & TACTICS -

AS THE weather cools, there is no bet­ter tac­tic than bomb and pel­let.

Mas­sive catches can be taken with this com­bi­na­tion at many wa­ters up and down the coun­try.

It’s al­most as if as soon as the carp start to feel the cold, they de­cide to have one last hard feed be­fore win­ter sets in.


There is no bet­ter bait than big hard pel­lets, in dif­fer­ent sizes. At big wa­ters like Bod­ding­ton, where the carp av­er­age 8lb, I’d use a min­i­mum of 8mm pel­lets, some­times go­ing up to 10mm pel­lets for feed­ing at a longer dis­tance.

If I was fish­ing a wa­ter with smaller carp I would ad­just the size of my pel­lets ac­cord­ingly.

Ev­ery day is dif­fer­ent but I al­ways take six pints of pel­lets with me. It’s rare I will feed that many, es­pe­cially when it’s cold. It’s all about ‘feel­ing your way in’. If there are a lot of carp present I will in­crease the feed but there’s no point lash­ing pel­lets in if you are get­ting no signs or bites.

So the mes­sage is to take plenty of pel­lets, but just be­cause you have them doesn’t mean you have to feed them all.


When deal­ing with big fish it’s im­por­tant to have the right rod for the job. I’ve spent quite a bit of time work­ing with Daiwa to de­sign the per­fect tool for dou­ble-fig­ure carp, and the re­sult is the Team Daiwa 11ft Power Method Feeder rod.

The rod has bags of power for both play­ing fish and cast­ing, and is fit­ted with the proper rings for the job. For bomb work I use the 2oz tip, which has over­sized eyes to cope with heavy main­lines.


My set-up for bomb fish­ing couldn’t be sim­pler. I use the neat and tan­gle-free Guru X-Safe bombs, which have the ben­e­fit of elas­tic to help pre­vent hook-pulls when play­ing big carp.

Bomb weight de­pends on how far out I want to fish, but at Bod­ding­ton and the like I will nor­mally opt for the 1.1oz ver­sion. Hook­length is 0.22mm Guru N-Gauge, which is strong enough to han­dle just about any carp you’re likely to hook!

I like to vary the length of my hook­length. If the fish­ing is hard,

“There is no bet­ter bait than big hard pel­lets, in dif­fer­ent sizes”

I will fish a long hook­length of 24ins or so in the hope that a carp might fol­low the hook­bait down as it falls slowly through the wa­ter.

How­ever, if the carp are feed­ing well I’ll shorten the hook­length right down to 12ins.

The rea­son a short hook­length makes the rig more pos­i­tive is that a carp has less room to move once it sucks the hook­bait in be­fore it feels the weight of the lead and the hook is pulled home.

If the fish are feed­ing hard on the pel­lets they will al­ready be on the bot­tom, grub­bing about for loose of­fer­ings, so a short hook­length makes per­fect sense in this sit­u­a­tion. My choice of hook for big pel­lets is a size 10 QM1.


On big wa­ters, al­ways feed as far out as you can. If you can fish that lit­tle bit fur­ther out than those around you you will al­ways have an ad­van­tage.

It’s al­most like cre­at­ing your own end peg!

I al­ways start off with the phi­los­o­phy that ‘you can feed more bait but you can’t take it out’, so I’ll al­ways err to­wards cau­tion at the start.

As a guide I’ll kick off feed­ing six to eight pel­lets ev­ery cou­ple of min­utes, just to see what happens.

If I start to get signs and catch a fish or two I’ll in­crease the feed slightly to see what re­sponse I get. If I then get more signs and bites, I’ll in­crease it even fur­ther.

The big­ger the carp, the big­ger their ap­petite! For dis­tance work, feed 10mm pel­lets. Size 10 QM1s for big pel­lets. Large rod rings are a must for long casts. One of Steve’s favourite hook­baits is a 12mm Robin Red pel­let.

Start on 6-8 pel­lets ev­ery two min­utes.

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