How To Use Pellets to Catch Carp!

Author: CC Moore
Categories: Tactics

A Guide To Using Pellets- What You Should Know…

Pellets tend to feature in most angler’s armoury at some point during their fishing throughout the year; here at CC Moore we stock a variety of pellets ranging from tiny Salmon Micro feed which is less than 1mm in size to a 14mm HNV pellet, and everything in between! Choosing the right pellet for the right situation is critical, so we have put together some basic guidelines to follow when it comes to making the most from this fantastic bait! 

Pre baiting with Pellets – Small is Best 

If you’re wanting to bait spots on a regular basis, then pellets can be the perfect food item for keeping areas cleaned off and visited by the carp frequently. Using small pellets in these situations will serve a few purposes; the smaller pellet creates more food items for the carp to hunt for, in return making them spend a lot longer sifting over the spot, looking for any small items they may have missed. 

Because the carp will be present on the baited area for a lot longer, this also means they will clean the area off quicker, that is of course if there is any weed or debris present on the spot.  Small pellets can often make the perfect mix for cleaning off areas of dense weed, whereas with boilies or other larger food items it may take weeks to do, as the fish are not feeding hard close to the lakebed.

With the fish spending a lot more time on the spot searching out all those small food items it also means you don’t have to put as much in, with bigger baits you may have to put kilos and kilos in to hold them in the area for as long as possible, but with smaller pellets sometimes just a couple of handfuls is ample. 

Creating a Spod Mix with Pellets

Pellets can put a whole new twist into a spod mix, extremely crisp and crunchy when first introduced but then slowly softening over time, leaking out lots of attractors. When adding pellet into a mix you need to think about what you want to achieve with it, if you’re adding it to other small food items like boilie crumb/small particles then using 4-6mm pellet will be your winner, but if you’re using a lot of larger food items such as whole boilies/ tiger nuts etc then maybe consider using 6-8mm pellet to compliment the mix and the size of the free offerings present.

Using larger pellets will often make the fish move around the spot a lot more, as they don’t have to spend as much time sifting through the area searching out any tiny food items. In return, this can often make them easier to catch; a moving carp is more catchable than a carp feeding in one place, so think carefully about the feeding situation you would want to create.

If you’re planning on adding pellet to a wet/damp mix, for example a bucket of pigeon conditioner then it would be recommended to do so just before you start spodding, adding it in beforehand will mean the moisture will get to the pellet and turn it to mush before it has even entered the lake, where as if you add it just before you spod, it will keep it nice and fresh and still have that wonderful crunch once in the swim. 

Pellet Baiting

Baiting with pellets can be done in a number of different ways, from close range baiting in the margins to baiting at range with a spomb. One of the best ways to bait with pellets is by creating scalded ground bait pellet balls. This simple tactic is achieved by dampening your chosen pellet with warm water, allowing the to settle and go slightly soft on the outside, before balling them together into the required size pellet balls.

Another aspect to consider when baiting with pellets using a catapult is to ensure that you bait with pellets of a similar size and weight, to make sure that you're baiting is accurate. If you want to bait with varying sized pellets using a catapult, simply bait with each size one at a time, adjusting your catapulting technique as you go to achieve the best possible level of accuracy!

Perfect for stalking 

Pellets can be wonderful for stalking carp of all sizes; you can introduce them onto as many areas as you like and keep an eye on them, allowing them to do their work and draw fish in while you spend time watching and walking the lake. Most pellets are dark in colour which makes it tricky on the eye to know if they’ve been eaten it or not, but you will often stumble across the carp still working the area if you keep your eyes peeled. 

The pellets leak off their attraction staining the bottom with their flavour which will keep the carp returning for more. If you’re after something visual that you can see on those edge spots our Live System pellet is sandy in colour and very vivid on the lakebed, you could either bait with these on their own or add a handful into a mix in case you do not want as much visual attraction on the spot. 

With smaller pellet being quite light you can often introduce it onto spots where carp are already present without spooking them, or if you want to semi spook them off the area so you can position a rig, throwing a pinch of small pellet onto the spot can often move them off without too much alert. 

PVA Bag fishing with Pellets

Pellets in solid bags is often the best way ensure they are effective; you really can get them rock hard and aerodynamic when using the correct pellet. The key to tying up the perfect bag is to have as minimal air in the bag as possible, therefore a micro pellet is a must as it sits tighter together ensuring there are no big gaps like there would be with larger pellet.

A pre- mixed pellet is perfect for solid PVA bag fishing, such as out dedicated Mini Ultramix or Oily Bag Mix, as these contain a mixture of small pellets from 1-4mm in size, ensuring that all gaps are filled when constructing the bags! Remember, that when using solid PVA bags, to match the size of your hook bait to the free offerings; a small NS1 Mini 8mm hook bait is optimum in this situation!

The Method Pellet

Method feeders, certainly the dedicated carp fishing flatbed feeders have become more popular in recent years, especially on the higher stocked waters where regular casting and baiting can create a hit of fish. Method mixes are good, but many anglers prefer to use small pellets which have been dampened down to create a mix which bonds well to the feeder. Our dedicated boilie 2mm pellets, especially the Pacific Tuna ones are perfect for this type of fishing; creating a hugely attractive method mix that can be put together very quickly with simply a bag of pellets and some lake water. 

What pellet to use year-round? 

Pellets come with varying oil levels; some have a very high oil content and others not so much. If you want to use one pellet all year round it is recommended you use one with a low oil content, such as our dedicated boilie pellets, then if you want to increase the oil levels you can do so by adding your oil of choice. 

Pellets that generally have a high oil content are the likes of Halibut & Trout pellets, created from by fishmeal type products aimed at being fed for growth during the warmer months. These pellets are excellent for attraction from sporing time onwards, but during the cooler parts of the year, they are not as effective and hinder the release of attractors. During the colder months, a basic coarse type pellet or pellet mix with low- levels of oil is more suitable. 

Pellet Hookbaits

Pellets are often used as hook baits throughout the commercial match scene, but very rarely used on the bigger carp waters. Using them for short periods of time say 2-3 hours is fine, you can get them straight out the bag, drill them out and mount them directly onto the hair, but when it comes to using them for a prolonged period, you certainly need to plan your approach with them the correct way because they will break down if not used correctly. 

Pellets that contains a high oil content like a halibut pellet would be better suited for hookbaits as it will take a lot longer to break down, the warmer the water the quicker the breakdown time… If you’re worried about the pellet breaking down you can always use a pair of tights or arma mesh to wrap the hookbait up, this will hold it together for much longer, however it still wouldn’t be recommended to leave a pellet hookbait in the water for over 12hrs.

Matching your boilies 

If you’re using a select boilie it’s nice to keep all the flavours and attractors along the same line so using a pellet that is the identical to your boilie can be a real winner, at CCMoore we offer a dedicated pellet to each of the boilie ranges, Live System, Pacific Tuna and Odyssey XXX, these are available in both 3mm & 6mm sizes so whether you want to make a spod mix or use them in a solid bag the options are both there. Not only do they match the flavour and smell of the boilies you’re using but they also come in a matching colour, so everything can be kept as discreet as possible, meaning even the most wary of carp won’t be put on edge when it approaches your baited area.

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