How and when to use groundbait on the Method Feeder

Ditch the micros in shallow water, says Ash Clements...

by Angling Times |

The arrival of the Hybrid feeder made the Method redundant on many fisheries. But while you can’t argue with the success of this newcomer, I haven’t ditched the ‘old faithful’ Method just yet.

In fact, where shallow water is concerned, it can be a much better option, especially when teamed up with another golden oldie that’s been waning in popularity – groundbait. Micro pellets may have become the go-to option for feeder work on commercials, perhaps mixed  with a little groundbait on the odd occasion, but when faced with a far bank to cast to or the margins, there’s won’t be a single pellet on my side tray.

There’s nothing wrong with micros but, for fishing in 2ft or less of water, I want my feed to give me the chance of a quick bite. It’s all to do with the footprint that the feed leaves as it breaks down off the feeder. Pellets group tightly when they break down, but groundbait fans out over a wider area, encouraging the fish to feed more aggressively. It also has a quicker breakdown, and this gets me faster bites than if I were just using pellets.

Here's how I do it...

Start small on the Method

I’d recommend feeling your way in at the start with bait, which means a small 20g Middy Gripper Method. If the peg is solid with fish and more feed is needed, I’d change to a large feeder to pile the bait in.

Mix the groundbait dry

When casting into shallow water, I want the groundbait to come off the feeder quickly, so mix it so that it just stays on the feeder when casting. Too damp, and the ball will remain intact, hiding the hookbait.

It has to be a mould

I like the Compacta Mould for making the Method ball – it saves time and lets me put more bait on the feeder. Double skinning lets me cram on two helpings of groundbait and ensures the ball doesn’t fly apart in mid-air.

Use a bait spike

For serious bagging, I use pre-tied KM-2 hooks in size 14, to a 4ins hooklength of 0.20mm Lo-Viz. These have a pellet band in the hair, but I like to change this for a bait spike for my wafter hookbait to make rebaiting faster.

Stop the rod being dragged in!

Carp bites can be savage, and that means using the right rod rest. With a Middy Quartix rest I know that there is very little change of the rod being pulled in. I’ll fish with a fairly slack quivertip too.

Change to the pellet feeder

If I need to fish in deeper water, I’ll change to a 30g Wedge Pellet Feeder, which goes straight to the bottom, keeping the pellets in place until it settles. This stops the fish coming up in the water.

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