The Method


Fishing the Method

What is "The Method"? The Method is the name given to a type of fishing whereby a mixture of groundbait and particles is moulded around a special weight which is in the form of a cage allowing a bed of bait to be placed on the bottom in the middle of which lies your hookbait. It has accounted for some astounding catches of carp and is well worth giving it a try. Although often associated with catching smaller fish, it has been known to fool a few larger specimens as well and can certainly give a great days sport when the carp get feeding on it.

How the Method works

So, how does it work? The way I like to fish it is with a Ritchworth Method Feeder mounted as a sliding weight above a bead and swivel, and a fairly short hooklength. I tend to stick to a fairly small hook size, usually about a size 8 or 10, onto which I mount either one or two pieces of sweetcorn, or a small hair rigged boilie. I like to use a pop-up so that my hook bait sits just above the bed of groundbait. It works very much like an ordinary feeder except that the mix is moulded around the outside of the cage and so doesn't have to come out of the feeder. It dissolves on contact with the water, and the secret is in getting the mix just right so that it doesn't explode on impact but falls to the bottom and then starts to break up. Once the carp start feeding on it they will even attack it as soon as it lands on the bottom.

Get the Method mix right

If you get the mix right, you can add particles to it, which can include whatever you are using as hook bait, although some anglers prefer to use small particles and a slightly larger hookbait so that it stands out and is likely to be taken quicker. I usually press my hookbait in to the groundbait mix so that it is right in with it when it reaches the lake bed. This has the added advantage of leaving a bit of slack line between hook and weight, so that when the fish moves off with your bait, it feels no initial resistance, but is soon in contact with the lead, having a bolt rig effect

Sometimes it will take a few initial casts to get a bit of bait onto the bottom and for the carp to move in on it. Some specially prepared Method Mixes contain strong attractors and this will often bring the carp in fairly quickly. Of course other species are likely to move in as well, and you may want to use a slightly larger or harder hookbait if this happens. Usually though the activity of the smaller fish will merely attract the carp as they move in to see what all the fuss is about. Once the carp start to feed they will find the small particles in with it and begin hoovering up, stirring up the bottom as they do so. This can often result in some fairly frenzied activity as they begin competitive feeding, and the results can be spectacular. I have even known carp to be seen heading towards the swim as the bait hits the waters surface, and they know it's feeding time. If your bait is right in the middle of this, then expect some fun.


The best rig for the method has got to bevitalin round a fox feeder and a glugged asassin-8boilie. Snakebite hooklinks and a long length of tubing above the rig. Chuck this out with no freebies and you will catch. If you want extra attraction then pour a bit of asassin-8 dip on the vitalin. A carp in the net is guaranteed, 15 carp in 5 sessions says it all.

 Alan Kirk gives us another tip, his "choco-chip method"

what you do is put a ball of vitalin on your feeder (fox) then stick 5-6 pellets inside the method but all of the pellets sticking out. Then have a 22mm pellet as hook bait. I call it this because it looks like a fat chocolate chip cookie with all the 22mm pellets hanging out!!!