Angling Times (UK)
RINGER TO THE RESCUE Steve’s key points to help a reader bag up on the bomb in summer
Pete Walters, Guildford
“The secret to the bomb is to fish in the right spot at the right time”
WITH bomb and pellet it’s relatively easy to get fish into the area, but catching them can be another matter entirely.
The bomb isn’t like the feeder, where a small pile of feed is placed next to or on top of the hookbait. That means it can be hard to get carp and F1s exactly where you want them! There are lots of different ways to fish a bomb but, if allowed, I like to use a Guru X-Safe bomb on a short stem with black elastic running through it. Normally the bomb will be two-thirds of an ounce or 1oz maximum – just heavy enough to reach the required distance.
I wouldn’t go any lighter because I still want a bit of a bolt rig effect when a carp sucks in the hookbait. The bombs I use are extremely simple to set up and allow me to switch to a Hybrid feeder should I want to.
Sometimes a large 28g Hybrid can be better, because the carp home on it far quicker due to its increased attraction. But when carp are preoccupied with loosefed pellets, a bomb is the only option.
End tackled explained
I like to start on an 18ins hooklength, but will vary the length depending on the session. If bites come quickly I’ll stay with 18ins, because it suggests the carp are following the hookbait down before sucking it in. But if I feel the carp are hard on the bottom, or I’m getting the odd bite that isn’t developing properly, I’ll try shortening the hooklength to 12ins to increase the bolt effect. It’s basically all about adjusting the length to take into account how the carp are feeding on the day.
My hooklength is 0.19mm or 0.22mm N-Gauge. I don’t think there’s any benefit in going any lighter than that – if you can’t get bites on 0.19mm line then you won’t get them by dropping down to 0.15mm! Hooks are a size 10 or 12 QM1. I reckon carp find a bigger hook harder to deal with, so I hook more fish.
Get your feeding right
For bomb fishing there are two pellet sizes, 8mm or 11mm. If the carp are 2lb-4lb then 11mm pellets are a bit too big and 8mms would be a better bet. If the carp average 7lb-10lb and I’m fishing and feeding at range, 11mms come into their own.
I like to kick off feeding six to eight pellets every 45 to 60 seconds. The plan at the start of the session is to draw fish
into the swim. When they start to arrive, I may have to adjust my feeding to get them where I want them – on the deck!
Sometimes, feeding just six to eight pellets at a time isn’t enough to keep the carp on the deck. If so, I’ll increase the amount I’m feeding but decrease the frequency to just once every two minutes.
If the carp won’t go down in the water, feed two big pouchfuls of pellets, cast right on top and leave things alone. This approach pushes the carp down, thanks to the number of pellets fed in one hit.
For the hook I like to start off by matching the hatch, using the same pellet that I’m feeding, but if there are carp there and I’m not catching them I will mix things up.
Two 8mm Robin Reds make a great alternative hookbait, as quite often two pellets seem to work better than one. I think the carp home in on the bigger hookbait a little more readily.
Another hookbait option that works really well if the carp are reluctant to feed on the bottom is one hard 8mm pellet and a Pellet Wafter. The wafter is semi-buoyant and sinks rather more slowly so, in effect, I’m creating a slow-falling hookbait that at times carp find impossible to resist.
Search the area
Last but not least is where to cast. This may sound obvious, but the secret is to fish in the right spot at the right time. I like to kick off fishing at the back of the feed, where the carp seem to arrive first. Once they settle, I’ll drop on to the feed to take advantage of this.
The way I know that they’ve settled and are feeding on the bait is through line bites. If I’m fishing off the back of the feed, any carp on the bait will give me indications. If there are no indications I won’t waste time fishing on the feed, preferring to fish past or off to the side, where carp might be sitting out of the way. Carp often come to the noise of loosefeed, but won’t settle on them.