by Alan Gallagher


Pellet fishing is a method that is not exactly break through cutting edge stuff but when done well can be hard to compete with. Other methods such as paste , the method , particles over ground bait and such all have an element of pellet fishing to them as if you are not using them directly pellets are probably still an ingredient in your other baits.

I keep my pellet fishing as simple as possible, from a match point of view they offer instant response when fed however you choose to but I keep to a simple approach that is based on what I consider to be their greatest fish catching proprieties. Firstly their acceptance as a safe bait from almost all species means that you never too far away from your next bite, carp, skimmers ,bream and tench to name a few love 'em which means that they can be very versatile feed and hook bait in a number of methods. Secondly is noise, pellets make a great plop on the water when fired from a catty or potted long or short and its this sound that I base a lot of faith in.



To try and demonstrate this I have sorted my kit out and come to Frasers fishery to demonstrate the power of the humble pellet. I have that much confidence in them that pellet is all I have brought with me, I have a variety of sizes and two textures in hard and soft but all are fishmeal based , low in oil and cheap. I would estimate that my side tray contents is costing me no more than a fiver today and I expect to take a lot of it home. I have with me 2, 4 and 6 m hard pellets as well as a handy ringers product of 8 and 6 m expanders ready done. The 2 m will be soaked and used as feed only as they are to small for most else. As they will be potted I simply get them wet then leave them, this makes the surface area of them greater as the break down slightly giving them a stronger smell, it all so means they bind which is very important to my way of fishing them.

When your fishing a commercial in the warmer months it is inevitable that the fish will eventually come shallow and because of this I have changed the way I feed the pellets. To get them to the bottom at the beginning of the session I put the heavier 4 and 6m hard pellets in the pot loose and gently squeeze the micros together hard enough so they reach the bottom intact. When potting I do it on the surface so there is minimal sound when they enter the water. Today the bottom rig is 6 foot deep so I squeeze them as hard as I can to make sure they get there.



My rigs for on the deck and shallow both reflect the hook baits movement, I don't think that fish are ever swimming around with their belly's scraping the bottom and most are spending time mid water. The movement of the pellets fall to me is what brings the fish in to feed and if its your hook bait all the better. The bottom rig concentrates on catching the fish as close to the lake bed as possible, the components I use are a wide gape pellet hook in 18 for a 6m expander or 16 for a 8 m. The main line I use is Drennan 7 series as it is quite stiff and will aid in lifting and dropping the pellet in a neat straight line, I couple this with a 6 inch Preston hook length as it is supple and give freedom to the pellet as it falls through the most productive part as I expect to get bites as the pellet touches the deck at dead depth. The float is as light as the conditions and depth will allow and a slim profile. I have a bulk and two droppers. The droppers are very deliberate and can clearly be seen to register as the pellet falls. Like this you can use the float literally as an indicator to what is going underwater, while lifting and dropping the rig look for signs to tell what the fish are doing and then present the hook bait like they want it. The bulk gets you into the bite zone and the rig being set at dead depth makes it sensitive so if your droppers don't register then your hook bait has been taken on the drop. Having the two droppers lets you determine the exact depth of the fish when the take the pellet by what registers on the float. If both droppers register and you have to wait for a bite you can try moving the droppers up towards the bulk and prolong the enticing fall. Thinking and changing the rig and presentation can keep brining the fish to the net and this rig gives me control and confidence. The bites are generally sharp dips of the float and I lift into all these movements and if I am not connected I simple use it as an opportunity to work the rig.

If you are getting indications and no bites than its likely the fish have come shallow and are above your bulk, if this happens I come shallow. With this change I pick up the catty and swap for 6m hard pellets and feeding 3 – 4 pellets all the time. The rig I use is a pea type float that's self waited which leaves the pellet to fall at the same rate as the feed. I use as short a line from float to pole as allowed by fishery rules and use the pole tip as a hook setting bolt rig. Feeding the pellets all the time can get the fish into a frenzy as they are generally very confident by now. The sound of the pellets hitting the water draws the passing carp into the swim and it gets stronger all the time. I am feeding even when playing a fish and by the time the rig goes back in the next carp hooks its self desperate to get the pellet before its shoal mate and I am quickly amassing a weight.



After 5 hours it's time to call it a day and a great day it has been, the carp came shallow after a couple of hours and stayed there. The tackle has been tested today and I have well over the ton for a fiver in bait.

All the best




Alan Gallagher is sponsored by Miracle Baits.


Design & All Content ©2007-2014
No Content May Be Used Without Express Prior Written Consent