In September 2021 Garbolino star Simon Fry won one of the matches of his life! After qualifying for the Maver Match This final at Hayfield Lakes, he drew a rather unfancied area of the lake. Undeterred he got to his peg and noticed that there were quite a lot of carp showing themselves up in the water. His thoughts immediately turned to pellet waggler. As the match started it was obvious that the fish were not particularly bothered about feeding. However, as is often the situation, every now and again there were odd bites to be had. Si kept his cool, and his concentration fishing the pellet waggler for virtually all of the 5 hours. He knew that every bite would be crucial in such a tight match, and with constant but minimal feeding of 8mm fishery pellets in a tight area he was able to tempt an odd fish to feed every now and again, right up until the last 50 minutes where he had a run of 5 carp to secure his name on this fantastic trophy, as well as the matter of a cool £60,000 cheque to go with it! His 8 carp weighed 23kg 450g, and as they say, 'the rest is history!'
It is on days like this that you need to pull every trick to get those extra few bites. Here Si shares some key points which have helped him catch many thousands of carp on pellet waggler tactics over the years: -
- Use the lightest waggler you can get away with to reach the distance required, however be prepared to increase the weight if the wind picks up.
- Use a heavier waggler in windy conditions to avoid the dreaded bow! Any bow in the line will drag the float off course, making the bait look unnatural, and makes any bites you do get much harder to hit.
- Be prepared to vary depths during session. Even if you can see fish swirling, you may still need to fish 2-3’ deep, giving the bait a “fall” to catch them.
- In much deeper water don’t be afraid to have a half depth or even deeper waggler set up. A longer scud type float is better for this. You can also sink the line and “fish” the float which can be deadly if windy. My biggest fish in the 2021 MMT Final came on this method!
- Always feed a few pellets just before casting and try to cast into the ripple created by the feed pellets.
- Trap the line with your finger, or hit a clip just before the float hits the water. This will straighten the line giving a direct contact to the float making bites easier to hit. It also throws the hooklength away from the float giving a better “bait fall” and minimises the risk of tangles.
- Vary feeding patterns until you find the most effective combination, ie… times between feeds, and numbers of pellets in each feed.
- Don’t feed beyond your casting range. You can always flick the rig shorter with a couple of sharp turns of the handle. This will often get you a bite after the initial cast.
- If fish are responding well to feed and competing, don’t forget to feed while playing fish. This can be essential to stop them drifting off to your competitors!
- Strike at any indication on float. Some of the biggest carp I have caught have been well hooked from the tiniest dip of the float!