Question 1) How do I deal with crosswinds when feeder fishing?
A) Using a braid mainline instead of mono is the first thing you should do. Braid is thinner than mono and cuts through the air with less resistance, meaning it is less likely to get blown off course.
You could also try increasing the weight of your feeder and cast with plenty of force otherwise your accuracy will suffer. Aiming at a stationary far-bank marker will also aid accuracy. It can be worth aiming slightly to the side from where the wind is blowing to allow for any mid-air drift.
Question 2) Does it make a difference what material is used for pole float stems and bristles?
A) It does indeed. Bristles tend to be made from wire, carbon or glassfibre and they all offer different benefits. Wire is heavy and gives you stability as well as helping to cock the float quickly, whereas carbon stems cock the float far more slowly, making them great for shallow water or when you want to catch on-the-drop on canals and lakes.
Glassfibre is tough and perfect for catching carp when there’s a chance of your rig getting dragged through lily pads and reeds by a hooked fish. Bristle type is arguably more important, however, as this is what shows up a bite. Thickness of the bristle, as well as the material it is made from is also worth considering.
Fibre tops are most common – they offer great sensitivity and are easy to see. Hollow plastic and cane are thicker and more buoyant, lending themselves to carp fishing with big baits. A good all-round silverfish float would have a wire stem and a fibre bristle, while for carp, that would change to a hollow plastic tip and glassfibre stem.
Question 3) What is the double-skimming method when fishing a feeder?
A) Double-skinning is a way of adding more bait to an already loaded Method feeder. It is a useful tactic when there are a lot of carp or F1s in the swim that want more feed than you can normally attach to a feeder. It enables you to use different feed or colours of pellets and lets you add more feed without using a larger and heavier feeder. It can also bury a bait a long way into the ball of feed which means fish have to work harder for their meal and often results in a more positive bite.
A) Locate a shallow, weedy bay and spend a few evenings raking out a swim to clear the bottom. Buy baits such as 4mm pellets, hemp and frozen sweetcorn in bulk. A 20kg bag of plain brown crumb and the same of Vitalin will make a sticky groundbait mix to hold lots of particles for piling into the swim. Introduce 20 balls every 2-3 days.