Darrell Peck gives a simple guide to on of the most effective yet underused tactics in carp fishing.
The Method feeder is one of those tactics that seems to have fallen out of fashion. There is no doubting how effective it can be, though. Not only that, it’s super easy to use.
The process is very simple and once you have your mix prepared, the fishing side of things can’t get much easier. If you struggle to tie solid bags then the Method is as close as you’ll get, and it’s not even the slightest bit fiddly. If you’re just looking for something quick, cheap and easy, or if introducing loads of attraction is your thing, then the Method will serve you well.
The most important part is that you get your mix right – the consistency of the groundbait is key to ensuring that the bait grips the feeder. The bait needs to be sticky enough to grab the feeder, but light and fluffy at the same time, so that it breaks down quickly once the feeder reaches the bottom.
Killer Kit Of The Pros
These Bait-Up feeders are weighted on one fin to ensure they land the same way on every cast. This allows Darrell to position his hook bait in the mix so that it's always on the top when it all lands. Perfect!
If the mix is a little too wet then it can become extremely tacky, almost like a paste, and this will grab the feeder well but won’t break down properly once it reaches the lake bed. If your mix is a little too dry, then although it might appear to grab the feeder well, it will either fall off during the cast or upon impact with the water.
I’m sure you’ll agree, an empty feeder kind of defeats the object of using them, and if you’re ever struggling with the consistency of your mix, I’d rather mine were too sticky and broke down really slowly than too dry and fall off on impact with the water.
A good sign that you have the mix right is that when you squeeze it in your hand it form a solid ball, but when you apply pressure with your thumb, the mix should crumble and fall away.
When choosing your ingredients, there are no hard and fast rules. I would simply advise that you use things that are highly attractive. I often use the High Impact groundbait and Essential Cell stick mix, which is a nice fruit and fish combo that always seems to work really well. On top of this I add lots of liquid attraction because when you’re aiming to flood the water column with attraction and flavours, there’s no better way to do it than with liquids. Due to the solubility of the Winterberry Goo and the Essential Cell syrup that I have combined recently, I am in no doubt that as soon as the Method feeder enters the water there will be huge amounts of attraction released. The more attraction that you can squeeze into the mix the better and this can include food items like broken boilies, pellets or sweetcorn.
Crushed boilies and pellets can be added to the mix!
There are two ways in which you can fish the hook link. One is with it trailing the Method ball, and the other is to have the hook bait moulded onto the side of the ball of mix itself. It’s up to you how you decide to set the rig up, but as a general rule I would say that if the bottom is leafy or there’s weed about, I’d have the hook bait tuck into the bait, but if the ground is perfectly clean then I’d have it trailing.
On a recent trip for this feature, I was fishing towards an overhanging tree, which protruded from a large island in front of me. There was all sorts of leaf litter and chod about so I opted to play it safe and mask the hook with food, rather than leaves.
The Bait-Up Method feeders that I use have a very clever design in the way that they are weighted. When tucking your hook bait into the feeder, it is absolutely crucial that once the feeder lands, the hook bait is not trapped beneath and out of sight. These feeders have been designed so that they land the same way up every single time it is cast out. So no matter what happens, your hook bait will be in plain sight of the carp and should get snaffled up in no time.
Your hook bait can be whatever you like; all that I would say is that a bright one is definitely worth a try. If you use a hi-viz hook bait, it acts almost as a cherry on top of the cake. The Method ball will draw the fish in to feed and the hook bait is then spotted almost straightaway. Once they’ve laid eyes on it, it’s a matter of time before it’s all over and a carp makes its mistake.
When choosing a hook link, it is vital that if you’re going to be moulding the hook bait onto the feeder, the hook link must be supple and have no memory. A coated braid, for example, will become extremely kinked and messy within no time, whereas something like the Dark Matter braid that I’m using will always retain its soft and supple nature. You will be pushing the hook link inside the bait, scrunching the rig up and all sorts, so think carefully when choosing your braid. If on the other hand, you decide to leave the rig trailing from the base of the Method feeder, you have much more in the way of options when choosing your hook link. There’s no need for the rig to be scrunched up or moulded onto the feeder, so you can use a coated braid or even a monofilament hook link if you like.
Once I have my rig attached and the bait securely moulded around the feeder, I like to give it one last piece of attention, and that involves a little squirt of Goo. I use the thicker, Power Smoke Goos for this, rather than the thin Supremes that I use when creating the mix itself. The thicker Goos are designed to be squirted on just before the cast and the Tutti Frutti is a cracker. The more attraction there is, the quicker the carp will find it.
I’m fishing up to an island, so before I mould and bait around the feeder I am clipping the rod. I want to be relatively tight to the trees, so the line clip helps prevent a cast going up into the branches. Using a quick-change swivel at the base of the feeder I am also able to clip the rig off while clipping up. Clipping the rod up with the rig still attached will do your hook no favours at all.
With the Method feeders cast into position, it’s time to sit back and await the action. One thing that you might notice is the amount of bleeps and knocks you’ll get. These are caused by fish bumping into the feeder as they sample the food. It won’t always be carp because all species will like to gorge themselves on the Method mix, but the carp will cause plenty of disturbance once they arrive. I often think that once you have started getting the bleeps and twitches, if they stop all of a sudden then there’s a good chance that the food attached to the feeder has been eaten, and in this instance, I would wait 10 minutes or so and then recast.
The new Method feeders, and the tactics I’ve discussed work an absolute treat more often than not. As well as being really easy to use, the Method is a lot of fun, especially on well-stocked waters where you can get the carp competing with one another for the food items. Be warned though, because double takes can be a regular occurrence, so only fish as many rods as you can handle!
More proof that the Method works!