Margin fishing can become a bit predictable at times, hoofing in half a dozen cups of groundbait half way through the match with a nice standout hookbait over the top. Fish are so used seeing this every single day it’s hardly surprising that it is no where near as effective as it used to be! Often you will end up with a peg full of fish, but this is where groundbait has it’s issues, the fish can become preoccupied, the float is dancing all over the place, tales wafting around but no proper bites and those which you do hook are often not in the mouth! The result is a frustrating last hour of the match with not a lot of weight being added to the net.
It was with this in mind that Dan White invited the Spotted Fin cameras down to the awesome Viaduct fishery, home of some rather large carp, to show off a tactic that he had christened ‘mushy pellets’…
“I’ll be honest here and say that I discovered this method by accident, I had been fishing in torrential rain all day and my tub of 6mm pellets had turned into a bit of a mush! Being that I hadn’t brought any more with me it was a case of making do, so on my first go down the edge, I cupped in a bit of this mush and lowered my rig over the top. A couple of small indications and then the float buried, before long a decent carp was in the net. This carried on for the rest of the match and a good last hour put me well in the money. I chatted to a few other anglers after the match and as usual most people had a fair share of foul hookers down the edge, but other than one fish, which I had got a bit excited on the strike, every other fish was hooked perfectly.
This led me to having a bit more of a play with the ‘mushy pellets’ and after a bit of trial and error, I believe in most situations, this will be far more effective than the traditional methods of big potting groundbait!
Preparing the mushy pellets is as simple as opening a bag of 6mm Catalyst pellets and covering them in water, just as you would do with micros, then set them to one side. After half an hour or so, they will have soaked in all of that water and the mushy mess you are left with will be perfect!
The soft outer will kick off a cloud of attraction the moment it hits the water, but the majority of the mix is still larger food items to prevent the fish getting preoccupied like they would with groundbait or micros.
How you feed the line is quite important, I use a combination of potting in the mush and pinging hard pellets over the top, we all know how important noise is in attracting fish so you can use this to your advantage to get fish into the peg.
I like to kick-start the peg about half way through the match with a big pot of the pellet mush, more often than not this will be the only time I get the big pot out. I will then ping half a dozen hard pellets every 10 minuets whilst fishing another line to keep drawing fish into the peg.
Once you have done that for an hour or so, if you are going to do a decent weight, then your peg should have plenty of fish in, so now is the point to become a lot more regimented in your feeding.
Start off by pinging half a dozen hard pellets in twice, this is to ring the dinner bell so to speak. Then you can load your tosspot, I like to put in three or four hard pellets first, followed by a small dollop of the mush, the hard pellets just prevent it all from sticking in the pot. Ship out, drop in the mush and lower in your rig, you want it to fall to the deck in a clump with the fish following it down and hopefully before long you will be getting a nice clean bite.
Once you hook the fish, I like to leave the peg to settle down whilst I focus on landing the fish and as soon as I get him in the landing net, I ping the same amount of pellets to draw the fish back in. Top your pot up with mush and repeat the process.
This process of catching a fish, resting the line, pinging to draw the fish back in with noise and feeding the slop to draw them down works perfectly, especially for those big carp which have seen it all before. It is all a lot more controlled than having a peg full of 10lbers, hooking them in the tail and trashing a load of rigs!
The gear you use is also important, I don’t like to go too heavy even with big fish. For the feature I’ve used 0.20mm mainline to a 0.16mm hook length and most importantly a nice soft elastic in the shape of the Garbo Fighter Elastic in a 10-12 rating. You can gently guide the fish out the peg in a controlled fashion which helps to prevent spooking any other carp in the area.”
Dan put his theory into practice during the session at Viaduct, after building up the edge for a couple of hours, he put his regimented feeding pattern into practice and was steadily catching decent fish for the remainder of the day. Certainly food for thought next time you draw a decent margin peg!
Dan White Uses…
Catalyst Pellets£5.99 – £16.99