Slowly-sinking meat sorts them!
Pellets are the normal bait for the pellet waggler, but when carp are swimming and feeding just inches under the surface, a pellet is too heavy and sinks too fast. A cube of meat is a very different proposition, because it falls twice as slowly as a pellet. This means that when fish are right up in the water, and if your venue has a limit on how shallow you can fish, the bait will sink slowly enough in that first foot of water to get a bite.
To catch really shallow, big pellet wagglers are no good because they dive deeply and take a few seconds to sit up ready to show a bite – by which time your chances may have gone. ‘Mugging’ wagglers are short foam floats that sit up immediately upon landing and are also relatively unobtrusive, making little noise and allowing the bait to fall naturally as soon as it hits the water.
Start a foot deep
Because meat is best for catching fish in the first foot or so of the swim, you shouldn’t be fishing any deeper than this. Set the float at 1ft deep and begin at this depth, only going a little deeper if not much is happening. Even a change in depth of just 6ins can trigger a response!
The whole point of using meat as opposed to pellets is to get a bite in that first foot of the swim, so it goes without saying that a take should come within 10 seconds of the float landing. If you don’t get one, wind in and cast again. On very warm days, when the fish may be cruising, it can pay to cast to the fish – just like dobbing on the pole, seeing a carp and casting the float just in front of it. This is what’s known as ‘mugging’.
When casting to a fish, feed isn’t needed. But at times firing the odd pellet or piece of meat in can help. Meat is brilliant if you think that the fish are very close to the surface and that a slowly-sinking feed will get more of a response. Amounts aren’t excessive, just two or three baits at a time.