If you look out over your chosen venue and a series of swirls appear out of pole fishing range, it’s time to pick up the pellet waggler.
Warming waters and more hours of sunshine are leading to large numbers of carp basking on the surface and this month we reveal the top 10 tips to making the most of the deadly approach that is capable of outscoring everything else this month!
1. LIGHT MAINLINE
The pellet waggler is a great tactic for catching carp well into double figures, but heavy mainline plays no part in this method. Fishing heavy mainline will make casting more difficult and 4lb Maxima is more than strong enough to beat even the biggest fish in your chosen water. Set your clutch so that fish can strip line when they make a sudden surge and you’ll never suffer a mainline breakage.
2. LOADED FLOATS
You can expect to catch fish in the top couple of feet of water now that the water has warmed up, but your hookbait needs to look natural if the carp are going to intercept it as it falls. Use a loaded pellet waggler that is locked in place by float stops so that you don’t have to put any shot on the line, enabling the hookbait to drop through the layers at a very slow pace. If your loaded float doesn’t quite sit as you want it, wrap a little solder wire around the base to address the balance.
3. DON'T FEED PAST YOUR FLOAT
Spraying in bait with a catapult at regular intervals is vital if you want to get the carp competing, but where the loosefeed enters the water is important. Make sure all of your pellets land just short of the float. If they go beyond it, you will push the fish out and be forced to cast further to get back in touch with the shoal.
4. FEED DRY PELLETS
Dampening your pellets is one of the first things that a lot of anglers do, however, they are much more effective used straight from the bag. Dry and untreated pellets will sink at a much slower rate which is important when you are trying to catch shallow.
5. USE A SOFT ROD
Hook a fish just a couple of feet deep and it will instantly charge off, testing your tackle from the very first second of the battle. In order to prevent hook-pulls, a soft-tipped rod is crucial. An 11ft version is ample for fishing commercials where you don’t need to cast any further than 30-40 yards.
6. FIND THE DEPTH
If you are fishing a water that is 8ft deep, the fish could be sat anywhere in the column. A good starting depth at this time of year is 2ft, but this should be adjusted by a foot every 10 minutes until you start getting bites. If you begin to miss bites, shallow up as the fish are sat above your hookbait.
7. BAIT BANDS
There are two ways in which you can use a bait band – both directly on the hook or on a hair rig. Hooking the bait bands means that it is tight to the hook itself but make sure that the point is fully visible or you will lose fish. A hair rig is best when fish are slightly cagey and you are just trying to catch a few carp as opposed to 100lb.
8. GET INTO A ROUTINE
A pellet waggler is at its most effective seconds after it has landed because it is the splash that attracts the fish into the swim. If the float doesn’t shoot under within 15 seconds, twitch it by turning the reel once and wait another 15 seconds. If you don’t get a reaction, reel in and repeat the process.
9. WIDE GAPE HOOKS
Narrow gaped hooks tend to lead to a lot of bumped fish when using the pellet waggler and a wide gape version will lead to a much better return because the point will penentrate the mouth much easier. A size 14 or 16 Guru Pellet Waggler or Preston Innovations PR36 will complement your rig perfectly.
10. QUICK CHANGES
If conditions change you may need to make rig changes and certain adaptors will enable you to do that in seconds without tackling down. A Preston Innovations Waggler Adaptor will enable you to change the float quickly, while a Cralusso Match Quick Swivel will make changing hooklengths a simple process.