Cosgrove Caster's - Method Feeder Tactics
Sunday, 3 September 2017 @ 20:26
Today's blog is about getting the best from a truly devastating technique that many years ago anglers named 'The Method'.
A lot of anglers have
recently been asking me about the ‘Method Feeder’ tactics that I use for most
of my pleasure fishing and indeed in the matches as it is so effective.
As far as hardware is
concerned depending on the distance I’m fishing at I use either a 11’ or 13’
medium weight feeder rod with a heavy quiver tip as to be quite honest the
bites using this style of feeder fishing are usually proper bites in the form
of big pull rounds, a Shimano baitrunner reel, 'minimum' and I mean minimum of 8lb
mainline and a flat method feeder, my favourite being the Guru elasticated X-safe
My favourite Guru X-Safe method feeders
Basically there are so
many variations in method feeder groundbaits and pellet varieties and
combinations that I can’t possibly mention them all here, but my favourite mix for
carp, bream and tench is a 50/50 sticky fishmeal method groundbait of which
there are loads in combo with micro 2 or 4mm carp feed pellets. In cooler
conditions I may cut out the pellets all together but in warm summer conditions
I may use just the pellets that depending on depth of the swim I may add some ‘Sticky
Pellet’ as you need the bait to get to the bottom intact to be fully effective.
There are also so many different hookbait combinations but my favourites are
drilled pellets, match sized boilies particularly the latest ‘wafter’ type, sweetcorn and a section of ‘Pepperami’ meat, these baits are all hair rigged but another favourite dead red maggots are hooked on in the normal way usually in 3 and 4's.
Once you have all the required
gear the tactic is fairly simple to use especially for carp, bream and tench, but
there are one or two tips that I can pass on to help you get more from this
devastating ‘Method’. The first one is the length of hooklink. A lot of anglers
make the mistake of fishing a hooklink that is too long as is often the case
using a more conventional feeder rig. For the method to be really effective it
needs to be kept really short at about 4” long! The principal idea of the
method feeder is that the fish attacks the ball of bait on the feeder and the
hook bait is buried in this feed, when the fish takes the bait, using a really
short hooklink creates a ‘bolt’ effect on the fish that runs off giving the
classic rod pull round bite.
The method mould is filled with groundbait - the hookbait placed in and the feeder is then pressed upside down into the mould!
The feeder ready to be pressed out of the mould
Another question that is often asked is whether
the bait should be buried or left hanging out of the feeder on the cast. I
nearly always bury the hookbait, as I feel there are so many advantages. On
casting everything is tucked out of the way and cannot tangle, especially
useful if you are casting to an island with the potential of catching
overhanging trees or the undergrowth. As I have said the rig cannot tangle and
of course the bait is presented right in the middle of the pile of feed.
A perfect 'package' of bait ready to cast - note how the hookbait is buried within the groundbait/pellet ball
I personally like to use a method mould to
create my ‘method balls’ as it’s just so convenient and easy to use. When using
a mould, a lot of writers speak about putting the hookbait in the bottom of the
mould first before filling the mould with feed. In theory when the feed is
pressed out of the mould the bait is sitting on top of the ball. This look
great, but in practice when the ‘method’ ball hits the water’s surface a little
bait comes off taking the hookbait with it, making it less effective. I have
much better results by filling the mould about 3/4 full before tucking the
hookbait in then completely fill the mould. When the bait is pressed out it is
presented deep inside the method ball. It stays together during the cast and
when it hits the water it stays intact until it’s on the bottom when the feed
ball breaks down presenting the bait right in the middle of the ball of feed - absolutely devastating.
Mick Wilson with a cracking Mallard lake bream taken on 'The Method'
For me accuracy in
casting the method is crucial and even though I have a good casting technique I
maintain tight accuracy by 'clipping up'. Once I have my chosen swim and in particular ‘the’ spot within that swim. I usually like to fish to a
feature whether it be an island, a weedbed, or a line of marginal rushes. I firstly cast out to my
chosen spot using just a plain lead or ledger weight of the same size as my
feeder. I may be able to get the right distance first cast or it might take me
a few casts but whatever its worth getting just right. Once happy I've cast to
the correct spot I leave the lead in place and peel a few more metres of line
off the reel so I'm holding my rod in a vertical position. I then put the main
line in the reel’s line clip. If I’m feeling really OCD, at this point I'll
measure the distance of my cast using my distance sticks to measure how many
wraps the cast is!
I'm now ready to cast out
with my actual feeder. I always use a drop from rod tip to feeder of about 1m.
Cast to the required spot and just before the cast hits the line clip I make
sure that I lift my rod into the same vertical position, not only does this
cushion the end of the cast but when reeling up this slack line it gives me
extra turns of line on my reel just in case a good carp takes the bait and
roars off against the reels clutch. Even then a few times a year I have to
unclip as a particularly big or hard fighting carp needs to take even more
line...... (very scary!)
A nice Canada Lake mirror carp taken on using the tips and tricks talked about above
I hope this blog has
given you a few new ideas to turn this tactic into the truly devastating
technique that it is!
Tight Lines - Gary