Pellet Power

For years now, pellets have played a huge part in my bait application. Quite often they are just an afterthought by anglers, perhaps a small addition to the mix, but really, using them as the bulk of your mix can be a real edge. Carp absolutely love them, as they are designed as feed for these fish.

They can get so much nutrition from eating them and once they are in the water for a short period of time they really soften up and become very easy for them to digest too. They can gorge on them for hours and a lot of the fish that we are fishing for nowadays have been reared on them, so it makes sense to use pellets a lot more as a loose feed.

I found myself using them almost exclusively at times last year. A lot of the lakes I fish have young carp in them, and as I have mentioned have been reared on pellets, so they almost see them as a natural food source. Not only that, the pellets themselves release a heap of attraction, and quickly too.

If you put some pellets in a bucket of water, you can see the leakage coming off them within minutes. In the past I have used bloodworm pellets a lot and to great success, but last year I went for a really fishy, krill mix that worked really well for me.

The idea was to knock a bucket of bait up that would be my loose feed as well as a bag mix. That way I could fish solid bags of the same mix that I was feeding out there. I start off by taking some of the 9mm Ellipse Pellets, which are super oily, and their shape is a lot different to a normal pellet shape.

I then add the Krill Pellets in 2.3mm and 4mm. The different sizes are there to firstly confuse the carp and get them feeding on various sizes. A 2.3mm pellet takes much less effort to inhale, compared to a 4mm or one of the larger Ellipse, which in turn I think helps you catch them. They also offer varied breakdown times; some will be mush within minutes while the others stay whole.

I then add some Salmon Oil, which is always a great addition, especially in the warmer months. Fish love oils and they go hand in hand with pellets. It also allows the next addition to stick to the pellets and that is Krill Powder, a great carp attractor and very pungent.

The powder will cling on to the pellets and when you Spomb it out, you are left with a huge carpet of small food items that will keep the carp grazing for hours. Even if they have eaten all the bait, that smell with still be lingering on the bottom and when you recast the bags to the spot, you always have pellets down there.

This mix will keep too, so I can have it in the back of the van and use it when I see fit too. It works brilliantly as a solid bag mix on its own, full of attraction and oils, but in the summer months, it comes in to its own as a straight spod mix.

A great addition to it if you want to bulk it out is hemp. There is no doubt what good quality hemp can do, carp absolutely love the stuff. It adds that crunch factor to the mix and the pellets take on that wonderful hemp juice, which carp are addicted to.

Not only is this a super-attractive mix, it’s also a cheaper alternative to using a lot of boilies. What’s more, those thousands of small food items on the bottom help hold the carp on the spot for longer periods of time. I want to create a competitive feeding response, and this is the best way of doing so in my opinion.

To get the bites quickly, I do like to use a brighter hook bait. This isn’t always the best way though, as the fish can become preoccupied on the smaller items. The bright ones will get my quick bites, but if they don’t, something like a Krill wafter will pick out the wary or sometimes bigger fish. They look like a larger pellet and the fish won’t become cautious of them.

The main thing that I am looking for with my hook bait though, is that element of buoyancy, which is why a small pop-up or wafter suits this. The hook bait will be sat on top of the bag mix, with the buoyancy allowing it to fight its way to the top.

That way, when the fish approach the bag the first thing they see is that, and the first thing that goes in their mouth is the hook bait. That buoyancy also allows the bait to behave like the freebies, which are very light and don’t take too much effort for the carp to suck in.