This is one of our tried and very tested techniques that is a must-try at so many venues.
The method feeder is used to present bait in a unique way so that fish, particularly carp, tench and bream, feel confident enough to feed on it time and time again.
I’m not one to name drop makes or models unless I believe they are one of the best, as to be honest so many of them are effective. What you are looking for in a feeder is firstly the ability for the bait to hold well, which does have a lot to do with how you prepare the bait, but more on that later. Secondly, the feeder needs to have enough weight behind it to cast the distance you’re looking for; you’ll find that 28g or more can give you the cast you want – it also makes the cast easier to control in the air. In-line versions are my recommendation but play around with different types if you feel the need, which you won’t. What do I use? Guru 28g in-line if you’re looking to go for it straight away.
I have tried every single hook length possible and have come to one simple conclusion, make it very short: 2.5 inches. I have picked up more fish with more aggressive bites at this hook-length compared to any other… and that’s testing with identical set-ups casting to within 30cm of each other, at the same time. That’s how I test everything, under the same exact conditions, repeatedly or there is no point.
Get something sharp of course, and change it the moment it’s not. Play around with hook size, but don’t go bigger than a 10. If you are targeting double-figure carp, yes you could catch them on a size 20, but let’s get real and match the fish. I always put a little bit of silicone tube on my hook, it helps it turn over into the fish’s mouth. Again this has been tested rigorously.
You can use groundbait of many descriptions and it may depend on the venue. I’m a pellet fan, and will usually use 4mm pellets. I personally soak the pellets in the lake water for 3mins 45secs, drain off and then mix in some groundbait to get it sticky. Play around with it and you’ll know how much to add. If you add too much groundbait to the pellet, then just add some lake water to counteract it, and vice versa. Know your venue: if the carp are reared on pellets then it’s a no-brainer as to what you should be using.
White boilie 10mm on the hair, this has cleaned up at so many venues. You can play with the options though, sweetcorn is always reliable. Now it’s up to you, but I always bury the boilie in the pellets. That’s why I use the Guru feeder, it gives you perfect presentation due to its design. The fish get very confident feeding on the pellets and I believe that half the time they just scoop the boilie without even knowing it, until it’s too late and the weight of the feeder turns the hook into the lip.
I use the drennam series 7 specialist avon quiver. Find a good one and ask around. You could use the “forum” on here, that’s what it’s for. Just do yourself a favour and don’t move so much as 1m from your rod when method feeding. If you do, just make sure your rod is a good swimmer.
This method is ideal on shallow waters where carp move in to feed as the water warms. Obviously ideal in the late spring and summer months. If you have features or islands, cast it pretty much as tight to them as you can; the carp will swim up and down the margins and move in on your feeder. You need to ‘clip-up’ when casting using this technique to ensure you are as accurate as possible.
Don’t sit behind your rod for ages… I will always recast after 10 minutes at the most. You’ve got to get the bait going in.