Many anglers now use pellets exclusively for their carp fishing. It’s not surprising given their effectiveness. Even the use of pellets as a particle bait while fishing boilies over the top was once a massive edge, fooling the fish into picking up baits that were dissolving and not dissolving at the same time.
These days it is common on many waters to know carp are ravenously clearing up your free chum bait pellets while your hook baits get ignored. The use of trout pellets, salmon pellets and now the infamous halibut pellets is just down to angling fashions changing as they always do. Even though halibut pellets are hugely convenient and available today, they do not represent an edge over all the other anglers on your water who are also using them!
Where many ready made boilies fail is in the fact that they are less soluble and less digestible than halibut pellets for example and indeed many types of trout and salmon pellet too. Not only this but their nutritional profiles may be weaker in terms of attraction also. Fish meals and shellfish meals have very much going for them with essential amino acids, omega oils, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and so on all doing their stuff to pull in the fish.
Having said that, boilies made from halibut pellet powder are very effective and more resilient than pellets themselves. Pellets can often be wasted because so many other fish species love them. Their effectiveness can be limited literally to the amount you can keep introducing into your swim over time as all kinds of species eat them and it might take far more bait than you are prepared to pay for to create a desired carp feeding frenzy!
On some waters it appears at first sight as if all the carp are interested in is eating halibut pellets making it tricky to get takes on other baits, but this is easily solved!
Boilies made as pellets or alternative shapes can actually be easier and far less time consuming to produce and far more effective than round boilies anyway. Not that many anglers think of combining a boilie and pellet on the hook. Permutations to avoid copying baits and methods of your fellow anglers are easy to find and work so well. How many anglers use a floating pellet with a sinking pellet on the hook rig? Bait density and buoyancy are vital things to consider when achieving an edge when avoiding the standard way of doing things.
There are thousands of different types of pellets now available. When used in combination with added soaks and mixed together, and used with a ground bait as an added dimension, they really give the carp much lower chances of avoiding the hook!
Pellets do not even have to be fish or shellfish meal based. Many now are cereal based with very innovative extracts and meals added. Many are flavoured to match the boilies you are using. In fact so many are absolutely ideal for use as fish pulling and triggering attractor carriers. The old ‘sheep nuts’ or corn steep liquor pellets are highly soluble and take on soaks well.
They variety of pellets is endless as producers strive for a different product. They are ideal for building up feeding fish in your swim without filling them up and holding fish with there dissolved goodies in the water. Many many types can pull fish from long distances too.
For some strange reason, many carp anglers seem to avoid achieving a edge and often use what their mates are using even if their mates do not catch many more fish than they do because everyone is all using the same bait. The increased use of bloodworm pellets and the popularity of pineapple flavours got me scratching my head on this one.
The relative effectiveness of one type of pellet to another is an interesting one and prone to personal experiences on different waters, opinions and even second opinions of adverts! Used efficiently together, pellets, particles and boilies are incredibly effective. But how many angler even think of fishing over chopped fish, chopped ‘seasoned’ squid or luncheon meat any more. Using these in a ground bait with particles and samples of the currently most popular pellets and boilies in your lake is extremely effective.
Even sprinkling betaine and liquidized liver or green lip mussel extract and seaweed powder in solution and solution over your pellets, gives you an attractive different bait to the usual. How many anglers have tried the juices from canned vegetables like sweetcorn, fruits like pineapple or papaya or oils from various tinned fish like salmon or tuna, as alternative attractive soaks?
Anyway, give it a thought; the pellet world’s your oyster!
The author has many more fishing and bait ‘edges’ up his sleeve. Every single one can have a huge impact on catches. (Warning: This article is protected by copyright. )
By Tim Richardson.
Tim Richardson is a carp and catfish bait-making expert, and a highly successful big fish angler. His bait making and bait enhancing books / ebooks:
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