Pellet wagglers may be one of the main tools in the summer armoury of commercial matchmen, but specimen carpers could soon be including them in their tackle boxes if one man’s recent results are anything to go by. Tony Runnalls, manager of Churchgate Lakes in Essex, has been using a tactic largely overlooked by big-fish anglers to tame a string of huge carp.
In one action-packed afternoon last week, Tony targeted the Middle Lake at Churchgate ¬ the complex’s specimen water ¬ and tamed a staggering 12 big carp to 27lb.
He told AT how he first stumbled upon the idea of using pellet wagglers for his specimen fishing.
“I’d noticed that a lot of big bags in matches were coming out to up-in-the-water tactics via a slow-sinking pellet under a loaded waggler, so I decided to have a go myself late last summer.
“The results were immediate and I started banging them out of the match waters on the complex. I then decided to have a go on the Middle Lake, which holds the big fish. After feeding for 20 minutes, I saw the first signs of fish moving just under the surface, so cast to the spot, only to nearly have the rod dragged in by a glorious mid-twenty mirror!” said Tony, who used an 8mm pellet banded to the back of a size 12 Animal barbless hook.
“Last week I had my best session yet. I started by taking a 27lb mirror and proceeded to catch 12 carp over 15lb, with seven of them going 20lb-plus! I have also caught crucians, bream and even catfish on the method, outfishing everybody around me simply because I tried something a little different.”
One man who knows all about the big-carp potential of pellet wagglers is world champion Will Raison.
“You’ll often catch the bigger carp in a fishery on the pellet waggler. They’re the same fish you catch down the edge later on and seem to spend the day cruising around in the upper layers, occasionally coming to investigate the splash of a waggler and pellets. We regularly see 20lb carp caught on this technique in the matches at Gold Valley.”