Sunday, 20 November 2016

Cold water pellet fishing by Frank Donachie

I am having had a fair bit of success with my pellet fishing over the last couple of years  so I thought I'd put together a small piece on my winter pellet rigs and methods.



To start with all  my winter pole rigs are tied to Colmic's durable , and I believe invisible 0.15 F1 Spider line. The reason is I like to put my shot on tight so that they don't get moved too much when unhooking fish in the landing net, and the slightly heavier line somehow has a more natural slower fall through the water. Hook length is always 4 inches of Colmic Stream 0.08 to 0.10. to be honest I've landed some proper big carp on this line and could have bullied more should I have needed to. Bigger carp tend not to fight so hard in the colder water, so hard runs are not the norm.

Floats at the moment for most of my deep water fishing are Phil Reynolds or John Walker wire Diamonds. 0.2 to 0.4. When I get them made I ask the maker to leave a little more wire on them so they take less shot, brilliant for fishing through the water.


Hard pellet is always lassoed and soft pellet is always Dynamites 4mm and 6mm. A little trick with the 6mms is the cut them in half so they are more like a disk, then hook um like a maggot. hook for soft pellet is Tubitini T175 smallest size N1



hard pellet is lassoed to Guru's MWG smallest size is 20. these hooks are a little positive but, I believe if you hook it, land it, this is the only hook I have confidence in at the moment. If just F1's are the target then Kamazan B911 size 20 is my choice.

A lot of F1's only just lipped hooked.  Light elastics are critical.  Hence the 1.5mm Colmic Hollow

No need to use heavier than Colmic 1.5mm or 1.8mm hollow elastic through a stripper kit as it powers up nicely. set the light elastic a little pingy so that you have no need to keep re-tightening after playing fish. positive strike is key when fishing these rigs.
Shotting for the hard pellet is normally 3 to 5 number 11 shot, not stotz. strung out from just below half way and right up to the 4 inch hook length. no need to put a shot on the hook length.
Soft pellet shotting is slightly different. I will use the Taper bulk style shotting where from just under half of the way down the rig. start about 10 mm apart and double the distance to the next shot as you work towards the hook so the the space increases until the last shot is about 4 inches from the hook. Again shot not stotz. stotz look too much like a 2 mm pellet and you'll get phantom bites or liners.

The F1 carp are beautiful at Manor Farm Leisure.

At the all in I always go for a bit of a throw away line where I will pot in 150 damp micros at about 13 meters' then a shorter line at wherever the first drop off is, this is usually shorter the 7 meters.
On the long line fish with a small toss pot, 15 or so dry 4mm pellets. Just before shipping out dip the pot in the water to quickly wet them, they'll stay in the pot better and guarantee they'll sink. When you get to the feed area leave the pot pointing skywards and give the pole a little tap so that some pellets fall out, lift the rig and lay it in the water when you think the pellets have reached near the bottom. In six foot of water I may give it just 5  to 10 seconds. lay the rig in almost flat on the water and hold the pole float as still as you can. Most bites are just as the rig touches down. If no bite then lift the rig about 18 inches and trip it across the baited area. Be sure to be just a couple of inches over depth. I've found fishing dead depth makes F1 bites much harder to hit. don't forget, strike at everything. you'll get used to hitting really quick shy bites that you may otherwise have left.

You should get a few taps on the pole pot, I normally get to about 4 then start pinging 4mms over the top, only 2 or 3 at a time.

When bites dry up start a new line a few feet away and begin the process. it's rare to catch on the same line through the session.

I fish the expander or soft pellet much the same way but, the lifts are much less as I would be expecting the majority of the fish to be caught on or very near the bottom. one of my favourite tricks is to just lift the rig so that the hook bait just about comes of the deck then drop it quickly, often the float keeps going under and your in.


You can ping very slightly damp 4mms over the top but, try and be disciplined and use to toss pot.

Hope you have enjoyed the read.  Tight lines baggers

Hard pellets for the "big uns" and expanders for "small uns"


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