Returning Fisherman

Neil ofthe nene

Doing things differently.
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I think 3mm is a bit small to drill. If banding works for you then thats the way to go. The other thing that works well is that method with quick stops that you use with softer baits. Bound to be a video on the tube.
I agree, 3mm is feed as far as I am concerned. As has been said, 4, 6 & 8 tend to be the most popular. 6 mil would be my most common choice for carp. Band around 4 & 6 and I drill 8s with a 1.8mm drill bit. I have fashioned my own hook for pulling the band through from an old disgorger and a pin. You can also use the hook to pull the band through a grain of corn, push the hook through from the inside and pull the ban into the vcentre of the grain so it is hidden. It can make a difference doing this as opposed to straight hooking.

Knot Picker and hook 2.jpg


Like many baits, you need to have confidence in pellets to be able to fish them well. But once you have caught a few fish on them that confidence will grow. Just be patient and remember to keep feeding, particularly this time of year. 6-10 six mil pellets every 2-3 minutes.
 

haemogoblin

Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2022
Messages
10
I didn't know you could get 3mm to be honest. I've never used ones that small as a hook bait.
Hard pellets aren't fished as much on the waggler as a hook bait as they are on the pole or feeder/bomb I would say. I tend to use 4, 6 or 8mm which is pretty standard I guess.
You know you've got my doubting myself now, i'll have to go check what size it is :LOL:
Planning on spending the day pre-making some spade hooks, I have packets of 17-18 hooks in paper packets, with nylon line pre-attached. But I don't have any larger hooks. I find the one's with nylon less faff to rig up then just having the hook alone, so I figured I'd use some spare 6 / 8lb line and make up my own, ready for use on the day.
 

haemogoblin

Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2022
Messages
10
I agree, 3mm is feed as far as I am concerned. As has been said, 4, 6 & 8 tend to be the most popular. 6 mil would be my most common choice for carp. Band around 4 & 6 and I drill 8s with a 1.8mm drill bit. I have fashioned my own hook for pulling the band through from an old disgorger and a pin. You can also use the hook to pull the band through a grain of corn, push the hook through from the inside and pull the ban into the vcentre of the grain so it is hidden. It can make a difference doing this as opposed to straight hooking.

Knot Picker and hook 2.jpg


Like many baits, you need to have confidence in pellets to be able to fish them well. But once you have caught a few fish on them that confidence will grow. Just be patient and remember to keep feeding, particularly this time of year. 6-10 six mil pellets every 2-3 minutes.
As someone who hasn't used pellets until now, I'm probably going to ask some silly questions, so here goes.
Is the preference for the larger pellets related to visibility? The Carp see's a nice big plump pellet and thinks "Yum Yum"

I've had the most success with sweetcorn since I started up. My mate suggested I not bother with maggots, he's not used them for years and said if I had a tin of sweetcorn, I'd probably get by ok. Blimey maybe it's just my rusty memory, but I can't recall ever catching fish so regularly as I did on that first day. Lets just say after that experience I was a convert and was eager to learn about other baits. As others have already said, the advantage of storage, shelf life etc just make it way more preferable to a traditional pint of maggots.
 

satinet

Regular member
Joined
Aug 11, 2014
Messages
1,136
As someone who hasn't used pellets until now, I'm probably going to ask some silly questions, so here goes.
Is the preference for the larger pellets related to visibility? The Carp see's a nice big plump pellet and thinks "Yum Yum"

I've had the most success with sweetcorn since I started up. My mate suggested I not bother with maggots, he's not used them for years and said if I had a tin of sweetcorn, I'd probably get by ok. Blimey maybe it's just my rusty memory, but I can't recall ever catching fish so regularly as I did on that first day. Lets just say after that experience I was a convert and was eager to learn about other baits. As others have already said, the advantage of storage, shelf life etc just make it way more preferable to a traditional pint of maggots.
Maggots still catch fish well. The "problem" with them is that you tend to catch a lot of silvers, which people don't want if they're after carp. I would say you might get more bites on maggots than corn but maybe bigger fish on corn. Like you say though maggots need storing and not everywhere you fish will sell them. I'm not driving an hour round trip to get a pint these days, although one of local fisheries does sell them.

The thing about pellets though is that all the small fish are used to them now as well. You can catch silver fish on pellets quite easily. Expanders (soft pellets) are very good for silvers in my experience.

Pellet size - obviously fish size to a degree, you're not going to catch small fish on a great big donkey chokers. It's like anything in fishing, some days a big bait is going to work better than a small one, who knows why.
 

g1bbo71

Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2022
Messages
33
Hi and welcome back to fishing. Sorry to hear the obviously difficult period and loss you have experienced. Life can be testing at times.

I too had a long break from fishing due to work, family, break ups etc etc, Got back into carp fishing a few years ago but decided to go back to day fishing this year and catching anything that swims.

I would say just watch a few vids on youtube for pellet fishing as these will give you an idea of bait, rigs, feeding etc. They definitely helped me. I dont even tie hooklinks anymore I just buy pre-tied (rubbish eyesight and dodgy fingers lol).

The main thing is to just enjoy it and the simpler the better is my mantra (we wont go into the damage on my wallet incase the missus ever found out)
 

Neil ofthe nene

Doing things differently.
Site Supporter
Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
25,521
As someone who hasn't used pellets until now, I'm probably going to ask some silly questions, so here goes.
Is the preference for the larger pellets related to visibility? The Carp see's a nice big plump pellet and thinks "Yum Yum"

I've had the most success with sweetcorn since I started up. My mate suggested I not bother with maggots, he's not used them for years and said if I had a tin of sweetcorn, I'd probably get by ok. Blimey maybe it's just my rusty memory, but I can't recall ever catching fish so regularly as I did on that first day. Lets just say after that experience I was a convert and was eager to learn about other baits. As others have already said, the advantage of storage, shelf life etc just make it way more preferable to a traditional pint of maggots.
OK, all farm bred fish will have been reared on pellets so they do recognise them as food. But fish being fish and trying anything that might be edible naturally bred fish have come to the same conclusion where pellets are regularly used such as a commercial fishery, club pool stocked with carp and other larger species or rivers where such fish as barbel are targeted. You have already identified the benefits to the angler of using pellets and the fish eat them, a great combination.

Maggots certainly have their place as do smaller pellets as hookbait. Many matches on carp dominated commercials are won fishing maggots and groundbait or micro pellets (2mm) in combination. The maggots will almost certainly be dead (normally killed by freezing) and the successful anglers will think nothing of feeding 4, 6 or 8 pints in 5-6 hours. Maggot is also an excellent Winter bait still when the fish just don't want large amounts of food or a large hookbait. Hence maggot & pinkie will be on my side tray from October onwards, but not in their Summer quantities. I have seen matches won by an angler feeding 10 micro pellets and two maggots to catch two carp before re-feeding.

Also on my Winter bait tray will be 2mm expander pellets, that these will get bites when a 4 mil expander is ignored is a marvel to me, but I cannot argue with experience and results. Ther fish just don't seem to want a large bait once it gets cold (under 10 degrees water temp.). Obviously the 2mm expander requires a fairly small hook, I use an 18.

I will also fish corn in Winter and this seems to be an exception to the small bait thing. But the difference for me often is that I will fish just the corn skin having squeezed the centre out before hooking. I think the lighter and thus more easily wafted bait is attractive to the fish. And as corn is 90% water it is not too filling for the fish, something I am sure they have worked out.

Luncheon meat can also be an effective Summer bait. Cut into 6 or 9mm cubes, like any change baits it can produce bites where other baits are ignored. It is banned on some fisheries and I find that iof the ones that allow it there are still some where it is outscored by pellet & corn.

Expander pellets. Normally fished on the pole because their soft nature can make them fly off the hook when cast on a waggler, but it is possible. Expanders are or were originally floating, as opposed to sinking, pond feed pellets. They float because of the air trapped inside. The air is removed by soaking the pellets and subjecting them to a vacuum. Either a dedicated "Pellet Pump" or somethign as simple as syringe is used to create the vacuum above the soaking pellets and this pulls air from the pellets. When the vacuum is released water takes the place of the extracted air and the pellets now being more dense will sink. You can get expanders that don't need pumping as well.

To sum up, my Summer hookbait bait selection will contain 4, 6 & 8mm hard pellets, possibly some expanders in 4 & 6mm plus corn and meat where allowed. In Winter that will become 4 & 6mil hard pellets, 2 & 4mil expanders, corn, maggot & pinkie.

For feed I will use 2mm, 4 & 6 hard pellets (soaked so they sink), corn & meat. I tend not to use too much in the way of maggot & groundbait simply because some of my regular venues ban groundbait.
 

haemogoblin

Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2022
Messages
10
Because of the places I fished and the size of the fish I was catching, the vast majority of my hooks are 17&18, hook on nylon. I mean it could just be my imagination, but the size of fish seems to be bigger now than it was when I was fishing back in early 2000. But that was mostly club ponds, not commercial ponds
 

satinet

Regular member
Joined
Aug 11, 2014
Messages
1,136
Because of the places I fished and the size of the fish I was catching, the vast majority of my hooks are 17&18, hook on nylon. I mean it could just be my imagination, but the size of fish seems to be bigger now than it was when I was fishing back in early 2000. But that was mostly club ponds, not commercial ponds
Fish are definitely bigger.
A mid double carp isn't something to write home about these days.
 
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