How to feed with a pole pot

Steve Ringer explains how to get your feeding right when pole fishing

How to feed with a pole pot

by Angling Times |

It’s amazing how many anglers fish the right rig in the right place in the swim, and with the right baits – but then ruin it all by getting their feeding wrong.

Watch a match on a commercial fishery in winter and you’ll see every pole with a small pot fixed on to the end, which lets the angler feed accurately and frugally to wring every bite out of the swim. Too many people, however, see this as something that takes up too much fishing time and isn’t needed, or they start off using a pot, but then abandon it once they start catching.

Feeding with a pot is a good habit to get into and is, in many ways, the whole reason why we wield 13m of pole – precision.

Being able to lower a bait right on top of where I’ve potted in a few pellets or pieces of corn automatically gives me more chance of a bite than haphazardly throwing bait in by hand or firing it in with a catapult.

However, there’s a bit of a minefield to get through. Big pole cups, tiny pots that take just a few maggots, using or not using lids, how full to make the pot, it’s not just a case of filling it up and emptying it out!

Feeding with a pot is a good habit to get into
Feeding with a pot is a good habit to get into

Use a big pot

Usually for summer, large pole cups still play a part in cold weather for carp. I’ll feed a small helping of corn and pellets on to a line that I leave alone for a few hours. For bream and skimmers with groundbait, it’s used for balling in accurately.

Use a big pot
Use a big pot

Ensure accuracy

It’s important to always fix a small pot at the very end of your pole’s top kit. Sit it six inches back and your feed will end up ‘inside’ the spot that you lower your bait on to. Total accuracy is the point of using a pot, so why ruin it?

Ensure accuracy
Ensure accuracy

Put a lid on it!

Many anglers bin their pot lids because they slow down how much they can feed, but that’s a mistake. When the water’s cold and clear and carp feed on sight, being able to drip in two or three maggots at a time becomes a deadly tactic.

Put a lid on it!
Put a lid on it!

Don’t fill it up

I’ll often ship out with my pot a quarter full. This prevents bait bouncing out. Generally, I’ll use a small pot, but if I’m going to be waiting a long time, a bigger pot lets me put more bait in and get several feeds into the swim without having to ship in.

Don’t fill it up
Don’t fill it up
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