Catching big bream on the Pellet Method with Glen Greasley
Wed 10 July 13
With the increasing numbers of match anglers now looking for a brake from commercial fisheries, bream matches on big natural venues are making a noticeable comeback. One venue in particular that has been producing some excellent sport for the visiting match angler over the summer and autumn of 2013 is Ferry Meadows, run by the Peterborough & District Angling Association. This excellent venue is located on the Nene Country Park complex in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. The stand out tactic that has lead to some big winning weights over the past 6 months is the pellet method feeder. One angler in particular that has got this approach down to a fine art is Glen Greasley, the GURU/MARUKYU backed Barnsley based rod has built an impressive match win CV over the past year using his fine tuned Pellet method approach. So the UKMA team decided to give him a call and arrange a session out on the bank with this very impressive angler, to find out what his secrets are and how he approaches a venue when trying to build a big bream weight in a match angling situation. After 5 hours on the bank with Glen, UKMA learnt a thing or two that could potentially up any angler’s game when targeting bream, here’s what Glen gets up to.
Glen started his session by setting up two rods. His chosen weapons are the GREYS G-Tec11ft feeder rods. These rods offer him plenty of strength in the mid section which is needed to achieve the distance required to find the better stamp of bream that reside in this huge venue. Glen also chose the G-Tec rods because they have a mellow tip action to eliminate potential hook pulls when the fish are under the tip. As far as the reels go Glen uses the superb Shimano 5000XTA Baitrunner, yes they’ve been around for a few years now but you’ll do well to find a reel as good for this type of work. He loaded the spools on both reels with the very impressive GURU Drag-Line in 6lbs breaking strain for two very important reasons. Firstly this lines low diameter (0.25) allows optimum casting distance to be achieved, and the second important facture is the DRAG-Line offers reliable durability, which is a must when fishing a venue with large areas of weed, which can be a problem in certain areas of this venue. At the business end he uses either the new GURU HEAVY XTRA-SAFE method feeders or KOBRA small elasticated method feeder in green, dependent on the bottom colour he is fishing over. His chosen hook pattern is the GURU PELLET WAGGLER in size 16 and this is attached to a 5’ long hair rigged hooklength made from 6lbs (0.17dia) N-GAUGE high-tech mono.
Glen’s pellet method mix is made up of a mixed selection of pellets that includes 2mm, 3mm, 4mm and 6mm pellets, with a mixture of different colours to produce a feed with variable breakdown time which has proven to hold the fish in your swim for a much longer period of time. Glen then soaks the pellets by totally covering them in lake water and leaves them to soak for approximately 45 seconds before draining off all the excess water. This process leaves you with a damp pellet mix that is just wet enough to take on a coating of binding agent whilst still being leaving the pellets still solid enough to offer a Smorgasbord of food particles around your hookbait once cast into your swim
Glen then tipped the pellets into a groundbait bowl and generously dusted them with SENSAS P.V.1 binder and mixed it vigorously into the pellets for an even distribution of the P.V.1 to create a sticky, even coating on all of the pellets. Glen then takes a bag of the MARUKYU EFG131 groundbait and mixes this 1 part water to two parts groundbait and leaves it to stand for a few minutes. He then adds a splash of water and mixes this in to ensure all the particles contain enough moisture to ensure that the EFG131 work as an active ingredient to enable the method ball to break down as quickly as possible once cast out to his spot.
Once the EFG131 is of a perfect consistency, he then mixes this into the pre-soaked pellets and P. V.1 binder mix. Glen then mixes all the components together and leaves to stand for a further 5 minutes. Once he is totally happy that his pellet method mix will forms a moulded ball that will break down as quickly as possible once on the lake bed. To ensure he’s got exactly how he wants it, he imply try a loaded feeder in a bait box full of lake water, if it breaks down in around a minute, and he is confident that it can be moulded onto the method feeder and cast out without breaking up, he then prepares his stall ready for the session
Glen starts off by casting a 2.5oz lead out to find a spot that is clear of weed and as deep as possible (he was looking for depths of around eight feet). Once he had found a suitable weed free area to present his bait over, Glen then clipped up to ensure accuracy of casting and then loaded several small method feeders up with his pellet mix using a GURU X-Press small method feeder mould. He then cast out 10 method feeders to his spot to create a carpet of pellets to hold passing fish to potentially stimulate instant feeding. Glen then meticulously loaded his method feeder using a three faze process.
Firstly he attached a SONU BAITS OOZING Boilie his chosen hookbait for the session to his hooklength via a bayonet attached to the hair. Then he loaded the mould with enough pellet mix to cover the frame of the method feeder and squeezed this onto the feeder, to create a hard inner layer. The third faze saw this very clever angler add another thin layer of the pellet mix and his pre-baited hooklength into the mould and this was then squeezed to form the finished outer layer of the method feeder ready for casting. After preparing three of the loaded pellet method feeders, he was ready for the off!
With the lake looking like a fog covered mirror, conditions were far from being perfect for bream fishing but Glen stuck to his guns and cast out in hope that the wind would pick up and get the resident bream on the look out for a desirable place to eat. As per usual during a feature the conditions deteriorated from overcast and foggy to clear blue skies and still now wind, it was going to take a major change in conditions to prove that this was in fact a very productive bream catching method. After two hours of flat calm water and several casts with no joy, the angling gods decided to be generous and to cheers from Glen, the wind finally got up. Then as if by magic Glen’s tip indicated a solid knock and then banged round, fish on!!
At last the bream were moving and feeding and this was the start of a very productive period. Over the next 3 hours several skimmers of around 1lb mark and a steady run of proper bream up to 8lbs 8oz slid over the rim of Glen’s landing net. By continuously casting bait out to the spot and utilising the change in conditions to his full advantage, Glen managed to put near 50lbs of skimmers and bream in the net in less than 2 hours on a day that looked like potentially producing very little to this hard working angler, job done!
The session sumary
As sessions go this was to prove to be a very hard one but by showing self belief in his tactics, a lot of hard work and a very positive attitude, Glen produced the goods for the UKMA cameras on a day that looked like being an absolute angler’s nightmare. Once the conditions turned in Glen’s favour, he totally worked his socks off to keep the swim producing and he did just that. With other anglers including myself on the next peg finding the going very hard indeed (I only managed to scraped two bream during the session) Glen’s original twist on the Pellet Method Feeder well and truly re-wrote my personal thoughts on bait presentation when targeting bream on big natural venues.
With over £7000 of prize money in the bank this season alone and several big match frames under his belt, who am I as a mere angling mortal to argue that this Barnsley based rod has well and truly got his Pellet Method tactics are spot on and obviously fine tuned to a tee. I just goes to show that a little bit of imagination and creativity in the bait department can turn a basic method into a match winning tactic time and time again.
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