The boom in pellet fishing continues and there can be no other bait that has had such an impact as pellets on the world of coarse fishing as pellet has recently, they are universally popular with pleasure angler, match men and specimen hunter alike. Pellets come in many different sizes from tiny ones about 2 mm to great big donkey chokers around 28 mm, you can get them in high oil or low oil content and containing many different ingredients including fish meals (the most popular) to crushed hemp, bloodworm and corn steep liquor to name just three, there are hard and soft versions too. Originally manufactured as feed for fish farms it never took anglers long to see the potential of this food source for farmed fish for coarse angling

The most popular pellets are probably halibut pellets and trout and salmon fry pellets.

                      

 

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Halibut pellets, sometimes referred to as high betaine pellets are an oily pellet and are successful for most species of fish and are available in a large range of sizes making them suitable for hook bait or as loose feed, the usual method being to fish a larger size pellet over a bed of small pellets and on just about any method you can think of. Trout pellets are as the name suggests what farm reared trout are fed on, they are usually high in oil and was quite likely to have been the first pellet type used for angling, the size range is not so great as with halibut pellets usually from about 4 mm to about 10 mm depending on the manufacturer, as such they are of most use as loose feed and for making into a paste or grinding into a powder and making into a paste or boilie recipe. Salmon fry pellets, sometimes referred to salmon fry crumb are tiny pellets usually 2 mm or even less and are most suitable for making into a paste or as an addition to ground bait and in particular mixes for carp, deadly added to method mixes.

There are many other type of effective pellet including, bloodworm pellet, corn steep liquor (csl) pellet and many more including one that I have been using lately containing green lipped mussel extract, a proven fish attractor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This type of pellet tends to have a quicker breakdown time and is of most use for loose feed or for making into paste bait

 

There are also coloured pellets and soft pellets for use on the hook and pellets that are supplied pre drilled ready for mounting on a hair rig.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are many ways to fish with pellets, all the usual methods work. The only draw back with pellets, being hard in nature, is getting them on the hook, not so much of a problem with the soft hooker pellets but a bit trickier with the halibut and trout pellets.

The three main ways to use them as hook bait are to drill them or use a bait band or to glue them to a hair rig with superglue. To drill a pellet it’s best to use a nut drill or similar available from tackle shops, take your time with the drill though or you will split the pellet, even being careful it is inevitable that some will split, The drilled pellet is then best fished on a hair rig, make up the hair as normal and then pass it through the drilled hole and secure in place with a stop, a 5 mm piece of elastic band is good for this as you can pull this back into the hole to lock the pellet on the hair, this method is ok if you are going to stick with the same size pellet for the whole fishing session as the hair can be made to the correct dimensions for the size of pellet you are using, however, if you wish to change from say a 22 mm pellet down to a 10 mm pellet the bait might sit too low down on the hair, a very good solution to this problem is to use a bait band in conjunction with the hair rig. Tie up the hair as normal with a loop on the end with the base of the loop being where you would like the top of the pellet to finish in relation to the bend of the hook, I generally have it between 10 mm and 15 mm. pass a bait band through this hair loop, the Gardener ones are good, and then pass the band through itself and pull tight, what you have now is a hair rig with a bait band firmly fixed to it. With a baiting needle you pull the band through the drilled hole and place a boilie stop at the top and bottom of the band, this fixes the pellet in place and will accommodate a range of pellet sizes and they will all sit in the same place in relation to the bend in the hook. The second main method is to use a bait band around the pellet and just link the hook into it, not so good in my opinion but probably an easier method when using small pellets for the hook bait. The third main method is to superglue them to a hair rig, pretty simple to do, just break the pellet in half and place the hair in between them, glue the two halves back together again and that’s it, it lasts surprisingly well too but can get a bit messy. Overall I think I prefer the hair rig in conjunction with a bait band method.

Loose feeding pellets can be done in all the usual ways and the smaller pellets really lend themselves for inclusion to ground bait mixes, particularly for bigger fish, another very good method, and one that is getting more popular is the use of P.V.A bags or P.V.A mesh, just fill the bags or mesh with your chosen pellet size, attach to the hook length and cast the whole lot in, it guarantees the loose feed is in close proximity to the hook bait and is a very popular method with Carp and Barbel anglers.

Another popular loose feed method now is to make mixtures of pellets of different sizes and types, most of the bait companies offer these blends ready for use now and they can be deadly

 

By Chris Nicholls.

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Halibut Pellets

Trout Pellets

Salmon Fry Pellets

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CSL Pellets

Bloodworm Pellets

GLM Pellets

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Coloured Pellets

Soft hooker Pellets

Pre Drilled Pellets