How to scale down the pellet wag

For clued-up fish on pressured waters you need a little quiet, says Rob Wootton


by Angling Times |

The traditional way of fishing the pellet waggler is all about using big floats and big pellets to make as much commotion as possible, pulling carp into the area and up in the water with noise. The end result, if all goes well, is to feed, crash the float in on top and then see it bury within seconds!

On big waters like Boddington Reservoir I’d certainly agree with fishing that way, but on much smaller lakes, where the fish are highly pressured, this is the worst thing you can do. The carp have seen it all before on this kind of water and will back away from lots of noise rather than investigate what’s going on. Re-evaluating how you fish is therefore a must.

Here are the changes I make...

Make a small splash!

The fish have wised up to big floats crashing in, so using a pattern more like a classically shaped Middy Fat Boy is better. It makes a gentler ‘plop’ as it lands, sounding to the fish like a pellet landing.

Just enough weight

Fat Boys come ready-loaded, and size choice is down to how far you need to cast. I’d always go as light as possible. For a 20m chuck, 2g of loading is ample to keep the noise of impact down to a minimum.

Keep them separated

I fish a 1m-long hooklength. It lets me cover the swim’s depth, and keeps the float and bait apart so they create two splashes as they hit. This mimics the sound of a couple of 6mm pellets landing.

Be accurate

You have to be accurate on the cast, so a thin mainline is a must. I use Middy’s M-Tech in the 0.16mm (4.4lb) diameter, the thinner diameter passing through the rod guides with less drag for better accuracy.

Feed smaller pellets

With smaller casts comes the need to feed smaller pellets. I’m not only fishing shorter, I want to make less noise. I’ll feed 6mm pellets instead of 8mms, firing in six to eight baits twice on every cast.

Have change baits

Starting bait is a banded hard 6mm pellet. I’ll also use a 5mm Dynamite Baits Wowser or Washter for when the carp are right up in the water, and a 6mm Robin Red pellet for when they’re further down.

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