fishing the Method
remember the exact history of it, but just a few years ago someone was fishing
for pasties (small carp) with a conventional open-end swimfeeder and couldnít
hit many bites. The trouble was, he was getting so many bites it was frustrating
the hell out of him. He tried everything; longer hooklengths, shorter
hooklengths, smaller hooks and smaller baits, bigger hooks and bigger baits. You
name it, he tried it, but nothing made any difference. So he decided that the
fish must be attacking the feeder rather than the hookbait, so what he did next
was cast in without a hookbait. The feeder was filled normally but the hook was
bare. Sure enough, the quiver-tip still rattled round like a good Ďun.
So what he did next was bait the hook and stick the hooklength inside the
feeder so that the hookbait was just, and only just, poking out of the end. He
thought that if the fish were so set on ridding out the contents of the feeder
then inside the feeder, almost, was the best place for the hookbait. It was, and
the rest is history.
The method became known as ĎThe Methodí. THE Method, because it went from strength to strength to become responsible for some really big match and pleasure catches, and those in the know kept it very quiet for quite some time.
Since the Method has become
widely known and very popular it has of course been greatly improved upon since
those early days when it was developed with a conventional open-end swimfeeder.
Today we have specially manufactured method feeders and the technique has been
developed into a fine art.
Setting it up is simple, for I use it as a safety bolt-rig. You thread
the main line through the feeder, thread a one inch silicon tube on the line and
then tie on a swivel. The silicon tube fits tightly onto the plastic tube at the
bottom of the feeder and also fits onto the swivel, holding the two together,
but able to release easily if the line should break with a fish attached
The strength of main line
you use obviously depends on the size of fish you expect to catch, with 6lb
being a minimum due to the heavy weight of the feeder when loaded. I generally
use 8lb for bream, smaller carp and tench and 10lb to 12lb when fishing for
bigger carp. Again, hooklength strength is according to size of fish. I use 6lb
to 8lb for bream, smaller carp and tench, and 10lb to 12lb for bigger carp. You
can use any kind of hooklength material you like, either braid or mono, but my
favourite for the Method is most definitely fluorocarbon mono. Apart from its
invisibility quality it is incredibly smooth and very slightly stiff, and I
think all those qualities are important when fishing the Method. The advantage
of invisibility is obvious. The advantage of smoothness is that it does less
than rougher lines to spook the fish during the initial pick-up, and the slight
stiffness helps the anti-eject effect.
The hooklength should be
much shorter than normal, 4 to 6 inches being about right, but when fishing for
big bream 6 to 9 inches is my preference.
When the hair is loaded with bait the groundbait is clamped round the feeder, tight enough to hold according to the effort needed to cast the distance being fished, but not too tight it will take too long to break up when in the water. Then the hook is pushed into the groundbait, leaving the bait on the outside. The idea is to make the hookbait part of the groundbait package, but one of the most easily accessible morsels. Popped-up baits do work, but sinkers are better, for you want the hookbait to stay with the groundbait, not to float above it when the hook comes free from the groundbait shortly after casting.
Cast fairly regularly, but as with all types of feeder fishing, be
accurate. You donít want dollops of groundbait dotted all over the place. The
idea, as always, is to attract the fish to one area and not spread them hither
and thither. Also, you need to cast regularly so that the groundbait package
upon which your hookbait sits is not broken down too much and covering too large
Finally, make sure you use a proper Method feeder groundbait mix. If itís
not then there is a danger that it wonít be sticky enough and will fall off
the feeder when in flight, or too soon after it hits the water. The groundbait
needs to stick to the feeder until it hits the bottom of the lake. The other
danger of a wrong mix is that it will be too sticky and clamped around the
feeder long after the cast and not making it easy for the fish to get at the
hookbait. Such a groundbait will also come away in solid lumps and tend to
overfeed the fish.
My favourite, obviously, is my own mix in the Mardenís Magic range, the
Method Mix, which is available from the Mr Wriggles stable. This was developed
this year and has accounted for some big catches of big bream, tench and carp.
It is a potent blend of quality fish meals, ground pellets, essential oils,
appetite stimulators, selected particles, all held together with an exclusive
binder. The price compares very favourably with higher profile but inferior
If you fancy trying it drop an e-mail to Dave Dowding at Mr Wriggles and heíll send you all the details of all the Marsdenís Magic range and his other range of quality baits and products.