Pellets: If I could choose only one bait!

November 24, 2012

I guess I’ve always known that fish pellets of all descriptions are awesome fish catchers. I suppose it’s logical as these products were developed for fish farmers and therefore formulated to offer optimal growth and nutrition for fish. It’s hardly a surprise then that fish of all species love them. I myself have been using them in PVA bags and in method feeder mixes for over ten years, but it is more recently that I’ve come to regard pellets in the same way as boilies… just awesome fish catchers

The first time I realized just how effective pellets could be, when used as ground bait and hook baits, was a few years back on my first trip to Spain on the River Ebro. I travelled down with my son William to meet my, sadly departed, mate Big Ron Woodard for a week on the river after the giant catfish.

Instead of the live baits that I’d always associated with predator fishing the guys in Spain were ladling kilos of large halibut pellets into the river. Hook baits were drilled out 25mm pellets fished hair rig style. The effectiveness of this set up was nothing short of stunning and on the two trips I made to the Ebro I saw a large number of 100lb fish banked using this technique.

Move forward in time to this year, and I’ve been using pellets more and more for targeting several species of fish, from tench and bream to barbel and carp.  In fact I’ve caught all four species to specimen size on these baits this year.

For me though the most spectacular demonstration of the pulling & catching power of the pellet is the numbers of barbel it has allowed me to catch in this the first season of targeting the species. In fact with the terrible weather we’ve had in 2012 I’ve really only had a three months to really get the most out of my local rivers.

What I find really great with pellets is the total versatility of the bait. You can drill it and mount it on a hair rig, and as it comes in so many sizes you can target a whole variety of fish.
You can hook them on a bait band, in the smaller sizes, or scald it down to make a paste to wrap around a boilie or a pellet. Ground into power it makes an awesome feeder mix, which can be of the cage feeder type for rivers or method feeder type for still waters.

While I still use boilies widely and have also used corn, frolic dog biscuits and artificials this year, the pellet, be it trout, halibut or carp has been by far the biggest fish catcher of them all. It is absolutely incredible to see how fish react. This summer simply dropping a handful of ground up pellet ground bait into the margins of the rivers saw it swarming with small chub and dace.  The same effect was noted on a cast feeder as it inevitably shed some of the ground bait on impact.
Then on many occasions the feeding activity in the swim was nothing short of astounding when compared to other ground baits used by my French fishing mates. Several of them have switched from a classic crumb mix and maggot to pellet mix and pellet hook bait and seen their catch rates rocket. In fact during one session in August on the local river Aisne, I managed 7 barbel to 6lb on the pellet while my mate next to me had only one lost fish on cheese and crumb ground bait. To say he was impressed was an understatement.

So if I had only one bait to choose from it would most definitely be the pellet.



One comment

  1. I think every bait can work as long as it gives out a strong odor. I have heard that rotting cheese works magics for example.

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