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Pellets are probably the cheapest and most widely available bait of them all. It will be difficult to cover every aspect of pellet fishing in detail within one article, so what I will try and do is talk through the basics of a few different ways of fishing the pellet with a view to returning to a few of them in more detail at a later date. I find the term Ďnatural baití a strange one, as to the majority of fish in Britainís commercial fisheries pellets willMirco Pellets be the most natural bait of all, as these are what they are reared on from birth in the fish farms. A lot of people look at a worm or a maggot and assume that this looks natural to a fish, when in actual fact a pellet may seem far more familiar. For this reason, there are very few times in the calendar year when pellets wonít work, with anglers who think that they are just a summer bait often losing out. Indeed, at venues such as Tunnel Barn Farm and Garbolino Lindholme Lakes, anglers catch on pellets even in the depths of winter. Being successful with the pellet is largely about confidence, and having the faith to fish with them when other anglers fish far more negative baits. I can remember Nick Speed winning his section in a Winter League at Hallcroft with 15lb of skimmers on the pellet on a day when the majority of anglers resorted to fishing bloodworm for small roach! Of course, as an angler you have to adapt your feeding and presentation to suit the quantity and type of fish you are looking to catch. As I mentioned last month, it is best to avoid the Ďone size fits allí mentality when it comes to rigs, there is no such thing as a dedicated pellet rig, donít be afraid to adapt you rig to suit the circumstances and the type of fish you are looking to catch.

Expander Pellets

This is probably the most common way in which pellet is fished, and one of the easiest for beginners to master. If you look on the shelves of your local tackle shop you will see a vast array of pellets of different colours, shapes and sizes. In all honesty these are more to catch anglers than fish, and are no better in my opinion than pellets that you can buy in the bag and soak yourself.

Van Den Eydne RS Elite Expander pellets are a good place to start, with 4mm being a nice size for all round commercial carp fishing. You really canít go wrong preparing these pellets for the hook, soak them in water for around an hour and they swell up to a perfect size. You can leave them in water once they have swollen, and it is often best to do this especially on a warm day.

When prepared in this way the pellets will float, but the weight of your hook will make them sink and they will fall appetizingly through the water.

Personally, I donít use expander pellets as feed pellets, but should you want to do this use a pellet pump to make the expanders sink, or let them swell up as as above and then squeeze the air out of them by hand. The times that you can do this are limited in the modern climate however, as the vast majority of commercial fisheries make you use there feed pellets.

The best way to prepare these for feeding is simply to soak them for a while on the bank side. I know a while may sound like a vague term, but it really does depend on the kind of pellets that the fishery is supplying. What you are looking for is a soft pellet which remain single and donít cling together. A good way of keeping them separate is dusting them with a fishmeal groundbait such as Ringers after they have been soaked, and this can also help create a fish attracting cloud as they drop through the water.

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