Top Tips to Get More From Your Carp Fishing Pellets!

Author: Team CCM
Categories: Tactics

Pellets have been around in the carp scene for as long as I can remember, but I still feel they aren’t used as much for ‘specimen sized carp.’ Whereas over on the match side of things they are probably one of the most popular baits used. I have always been a lover of pellets, but with them slowly getting more recognition, I like to take them to the next level with the addition of extra added attraction. 

When is the best time of year to incorporate pellets into your mix?

Now although pellets can be a fantastic feed option all throughout the year, it’s incredibly important to use a pellet suited for that specific time period. Generally, most pellets have quite a high oil content, so they are much more effective in warmer temperatures, our Halibut Ultramix I will use when the water temperatures reach 10 degrees C and higher.

This enables the oils in the pellet to break down in the water a lot faster, whereas if you use them in cold water the oils will congeal and it will fill the fish up a lot faster, resulting in a lot less pick-ups. So, when the water is cold, I will opt for a low oil pellet like our Live system range, this is more of a ‘coarse’ pellet over the oily ‘halibut/trout’ pellets meaning the cold water doesn’t affect the break down time. 

Create the perfect pellet margin mix for carp...

Now carp absolutely love a pellet, and now the water temperatures are warm, you’ll often find fish visiting the margins, an area a lot of people still neglect even to this day. I will always prime some edge spots with my pellet mix, as it gives me something to keep an eye on throughout my session, you will often find them clouding up in the edge once they stumble over the mix due to all the different breakdown times and also the different sizes of bait, because of this they can’t regulate their suction when taking in the baits because every food item weighs different to the next, in return they will generally feed a lot more aggressively.

I have also witnessed first-hand, fish spooking off of areas in the edge that have been baited with boilies or brighter coloured baits like sweetcorn, whereas with pellets, they are a lot less obtrusive and aren’t massively visual when sitting on the lakebed, so even the wariest of carp won’t treat them with caution. 

Competing with the fishery ‘House Pellet’ 

With lots of new fisheries opening and most lakes being stocked on a regular basis with young fighting fit carp, that have been hand reared on a pellet-based diet, it comes as no surprise that fisheries are beginning to introduce a ‘house pellet’ that you can purchase on site. Due to this those types of fisheries can often be pellet dominated so you need something to make yours stand out from the crowd, and I will achieve this with the inclusion of liquids and powders.

Although pellets are extremely hard to the touch, they actually act like sponges when you apply the right ‘viscosity’ liquids to them, so you can really pack them full of extra flavour and attraction making them work and emit food signals much longer than a standard pellet would. Using a powdered feed stimulant will also increase the pulling power, due to it fizzing away on the lake bed, odd particles of food rising up through the column can often stop a passing fish in its tracks.

A subtle matching hookbait 

Choosing a hookbait to use over a pellet-based mix can often be tricky, there isn’t really anything out there to replicate one… until now! CC Moore have recently brang out a Halibut Pellet Wafter which not only contains ground pellet to ensure it mimics your loose feed, but they also come in the same shape and colour as what the Halibut Ultramix does. They come in wafter form so they will behave like your pellets that you’re choosing to feed because the semi buoyant hookbait will negate the weight of your chosen hook pattern, meaning when the carp feed on your spot, the chances are that rig will be flying up into the fishes mouth every time. 

Ensuring your pellets are working to the max!

With the water temperature creeping up to its highest point, the warm sunny days are also among us, the fish can often spend vast amounts of time up off the lakebed, in those surface layers, or generally just high in the water. It’s good in some respects because you can spot them easily and get your location right, but it’s no good if your bait is positioned on the bottom. With that being said, I find using oils massively increases my chances of getting bites all throughout the day, as they are constantly working the water column, letting off slicks and bringing those flavours up through the water.

You need to give the fish a reason to drop down throughout those warmer parts of the day, and what better way to do so than by having lots of flavour coming up off of your area. The other positive about using an oil, is you generally know when the fish are feeding on your spot as there will be flat spots sent up to the surface, you will notice these more so if there is a ripple on the water. 

The way I like to keep the areas working for longer is by combining the two liquids together, the liquid food is heavier so will stay down on the lakebed, whereas oil floats, so using a mixture of the two keeps the bait popping off all that wonderful liquid attraction for a long period of time.  When the fish drop on it to feed, they will be wafting the bait around the swim with their fins, meaning all those bits of liquid that are submerged under the pellet get released which restarts the attraction levels once again. 

Pellets really are my go-to throughout the warmer months, the fish can’t seem to get enough of them, they’re versatile so can be used in the edge for priming stalking opportunities, or for using in open water, but by taking them to the next level with an added boost, I have certainly found has nicked me extra bites when the going gets tough. 

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