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

Improve Your Coarse Fishing (UK) - - Contents - Words & Pho­tog­ra­phy Tony Grig­or­jevs

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.

Per­fect pre­sen­ta­tion

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.

Hook­bait dilemma

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

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