How the bomb, bag, and cone will help you bag up on still­wa­ters.

Paul Gar­ner’s clear-water tac­tics that will beat the Method hands down

Angling Times (UK) - - NEWS -

HAVE you no­ticed whether the water in your lo­cal fish­eries is start­ing to clear yet?

Lower water tem­per­a­tures will see the fish less ac­tive, and within a few days the water clar­ity will be­gin to im­prove.

As this hap­pens, fish can be­come wary of the Method feeder, and you’ll find the number of bites you get drop­ping off. This is the time to switch to a straight lead, with ei­ther a small PVA stick or a cone of pel­lets at­tached to the hook.

Both tac­tics work re­ally well, but it is im­por­tant to recog­nise the pros and cons of each.

JUST A PINCH

Just a mouth­ful of pel­lets is of­ten enough to get you a bite when the water starts to clear. This could mean us­ing a small Method feeder, but more of­ten than not I pre­fer a small PVA stick filled

with soft­ened pel­lets. I make up the sticks at home – each one is around an inch in di­am­e­ter, giv­ing the fish a nugget of bait each cast.

Be sure to check how long it takes for the PVA to melt. At this time of year you should see the stick gone in un­der a minute.

I al­ways hook the stick on side­ways, so the hook is as far away from the knots as pos­si­ble. This stops any PVA residue from clump­ing around the hook.

You can use hard pel­lets straight from the bag with a PVA stick, and with a wide range of flavoured pel­lets avail­able this is a good

op­tion, but I will still of­ten flavour my own by briefly soak­ing them, or ‘top coat­ing’ them in flavour.

To do this I sim­ply spray a small amount of di­lute liq­uid flavour on to the pel­lets in a bait box and give them a good shake. Af­ter 10 min­utes the liq­uid will have soaked into the sur­face of the baits and won’t then melt the PVA.

When I am pre­par­ing pel­lets for PVA sticks I like them to be fairly dry, and I don’t worry if they are not soft all the way through. You can use what­ever size pel­let you pre­fer, but this tac­tic best lends it­self to larger 6mm-plus baits, which are more dif­fi­cult to pre­pare and won’t stick to­gether in a cone.

GO BOLD

When film­ing tench and bream this sum­mer it was im­me­di­ately ob­vi­ous that the fish would home in on a brightly-coloured hookbait from sev­eral feet away.

As com­mer­cials be­gin to clear I am sure that colour will start to play more of a role here too, with some colours stand­ing out bet­ter than oth­ers. Pink is a par­tic­u­lar favourite, as it prac­ti­cally glows un­der­wa­ter. Bright yel­low and white are well worth pack­ing too.

Nor­mally my hookbait will be a 10mm boilie. Not only is this a re­ally ro­bust of­fer­ing (you can of­ten catch sev­eral fish on the same bait), but such baits also have a re­ally vi­brant colour.

The hard tex­ture of a boilie can work against you, though, on some days, so it’s also worth hav­ing some tough hooker pel­lets with you too. I fish these on a Quick­stop hair rig, nor­mally opt­ing for an 8mm hookbait.

Hook a PVA stick side­ways to stop residue gath­er­ing around the hook.

Car­ry­ing a mix­ture of dif­fer­ent coloured hook­baits can bring more bites.

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