Why a PVA bag is the perfect summer tactic – Matt Godfrey
Guru’s explains how to combine the best of two approaches to boost your catch-rate on commercials
THE Method feeder and bomb will guarantee bites on any commercial fishery but both have shortcomings. There are serious limitations to which baits can be moulded around the Method, with micro pellets and groundbait the only options available. Switch to the bomb and you can use more of your side tray’s contents but all the feeding is done via a catapult. This reduces how tight you can group it and spreads the fish around the peg. Wouldn’t it be brilliant if you could combine the best bits of both? Well, according to Guru’s Matt Godfrey you can. The match ace has the ideal solution to weave the two tactics together. “I love the accuracy of the Method feeder but there are days when other tactics are more effective,” explained Matt. “When fishing the bomb in a traditional manner the bait is sprayed around a much larger area and on some days it pays to keep it much tighter. The answer is to use PVA bags filled with bait on the bomb,” he revealed.
Much in favour of PVA
Micro pellets and groundbait both work extremely well but there are times when alternative baits will produce better results. “A lot of commercials have huge stocks of small silver fish and at this time of year they are very active and can become a nuisance, pecking away at these small baits. They can even eat a large proportion of the bait before the big target fish turn up. “The beauty of a PVA bag is you can put in a wide range of baits. Hard pellets in 6mm or 8mm are ideal as big carp love them and small
fish struggle to eat them. Whenever the carp turn up they will find every morsel of bait you have introduced,” said Matt. A PVA bag will contain a mouthful of bait and as it is presented directly alongside your hookbait, the fish will engulf the lot in one. A split second later the rod tip will hammer round. How big that mouthful is depends on the stamp of fish you expect to catch. Matt has come up with a clever, yet very simple, way of moderating how much he feeds each cast. “Small pole cups enable me to accurately measure how much I put into each PVA bag. I then simply tip that bait into the PVA and then each time I recast I know I am creating an identically-sized pile.” Matt uses three different sizes of pole cup and, as a simple rule of thumb, uses the smallest measurement when F1s are the predominant species, the medium size for carp averaging between 3lb and 8lb and the biggest for bigger carp into double figures.
PVA bags have caught Matt stacks of fish over the years during the heat of summer but attach them to your rig incorrectly and it won’t take long for a disaster to unfold. “If you are going to fish at a range of less than 30m and a gentle cast is all that is required, it is simply a matter hooking the bag and then putting the hookpoint through the PVA again to secure it in place. “But when you are fishing further out you need to put a little more force through the cast and that can lead to the hook cutting through the mesh, sending the bag flying well away from where your rig lands.” The answer to the problem is to remove your hooklength – which is best attached via a quick-change bead – and thread on the PVA bag with a baiting needle. Simply pierce the bag with the needle, hook the needle on to the hooklength loop and slide the bag down so it sits on top of the hook. As the bag is gripped to the line as opposed to the point of the hook, it can withstand a lot more muscle on the cast which is ideal on bigger waters that may require big chucks.
At this time of year when waters temperatures are high the PVA mesh will have dissolved within a minute of your bag hitting the bottom. The contents are then left in a tight pile for the fish to attack. Your hookbait will be right among the stash and there are two options as to what to use in the trap. “On venues that are heavily pressured it pays to use a hookbait that blends in. So if you are using 6mm pellets in the bag, use a 6mm as hookbait. “But there are other fisheries where the opposite works better and using something bright and easily visible such as a wafter is more effective. It really is a case of trial and error on the day to find which of them works at your choice of venue.”
For casts of less than 30m, simply knick on the bag like this