Pellet quantities fed....

whitty

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Right,last week I was talking to a guy on my local small river,he had just packed from one of the flyer barbel pegs,he had caught 3,a very poor session from the swim,but weather had cooled,cold water had passed through so sport would be expected to slow,however this angler said that he couldn't understand why he had caught so little,as he'd done his 'normal' and fed 3 kilos of 8mm halibut pellets,this statement stunned me,after fishing all my life,one thing that stands out,is there can be no normal,teed quantities have to be adjusted to response,not withstanding breakdown times and oil digestabilty in cold blooded fish need consideration,even in the height of summer,when very large catches of barbel were being made no more than a kilo of pellets(3 pints)were needed,why was there no consideration of micro pellets being fed in smaller amounts,carp pellets which are more digestible are an obvious feed bait,with the vast amount of flavours available,just to add,this 'river' is probably 8/10m wide tops,three and a half feet deep maximum....
 

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An interesting point, 3 kilos of pellets sounds like an awful lot to me. I don't use anything like that when I fish the Wye, and catch plenty.
A mate I fish with sometimes really likes to pile it in, but then he does spend most of his time fishing ponds for Carp and f1s.
 

Aknib

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I've never used three kilos of pellets a session in my life and that's on the Trent where I've probably got hundreds of Barbel within a couple of hundred yards either side of me.

I remember the early Steph Horak articles where he would feed and feed for some considerable time without putting a bait in the water and he made it work but I think things have since moved on and I honestly can't see where that amount of bait is going to increase your catch rate, quite the opposite in fact.

I appreciate things differ considerably from river to river given the varying dynamics and many of my best Barbel catches have been where I've introduced little if any feed whatsoever.

If there's one fish that I find you can catch in abundance for no other reason than you're fishing where they like to be it's the Barbel and probably underlines the reason for the banker swim.

Nevertheless it sounds to me as though this guy didn't react to the changing conditions with regards to the feed although I wonder if he also just went through the motions waiting for it to happen or actively rang the changes with presentations, methods etc?
 

dorsetsteve

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I mean it all depends on the situation, but yes that sounds excessive. You watch a lot of these videos on YouTube etc and the amount of bait added is pretty mad, these are often sponsored promotions though... take that as you will.
To my mind there’s two aims/approaches to this baiting approach. Either to;
Trigger a feeding pyramid, whereby you encourage small fish to feed and create an attraction. You want enough left so when Boris turns up there’s something left to preoccupy them.
The other is create a level of preoccupation that a take is inevitable, it’s incredible how much food they can snaffle in a short time frame and a big Bertie can send 1/4 of a pint of pellet out the swim with one swoop of its tail.
Personally if I was trying to achieve the former I’d opt for a variety of pellet sizes, the use of other particles such as hemp or maggot/caster all together. 9 pints to start with is more than I’d consider, probably start with a pint or two and continue to top up. The latter I’d be casting in regular small amounts, be it a feeder or small dropper.
I’d like to see any repeatable result that starting with 9 pints of pellet was any more successful than 4 or even 2 pints. All in my opinion of corse and il qualify that with the fact that I’m no Barbel maestro.
 

whitty

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There are loads of barbel in these swims and I mean loads,very,very large catches get caught daily through the warmer months and even through winter good catches are made,but my biggest catch this year was caught feeding one kilo(3pts),in lesser swims half that would be more than enough,feeding to response....
 

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Be interesting to fish those flyer swims with no gb at all and a variety of baits and see what happens...
 

whitty

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You would catch,but these fish are lined up under far bank vegetation at least 12' out from the far bank,so no feed ,they dont venture out without caution on their minds,in open water they flit through picking odd pellet up,but flying back to their haven,these fish are well fished...
 

Keith M

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I fish the same stretch of river which is more like a stream than a river (see pic showing the river/stream in question).


In this pic the river is fairly high after rains and starting to reduce in flow.

I’ve never used more than 2 kilos of feed pellets and never really needed to either, with only around a kilo being used on most trips during the warmer months; however I very rarely spend more than 3 to 5 hours in the late afternoon and evenings fishing there.

Often in colder conditions when the temperatures are dropping I will only use around half a kilo or less of feed pellets (and/or hemp) relying on soft Spicey paste wrapped around my bait to attract the Barbel from downstream up to my baited hook with only a small length of PVA stocking packed with small feed pellets attached to my half oz lead (not really lead).

Using 3 kilos or more of pellets does seem a bit over the top for this stretch of small stream/river even more so at this time of year; although I can see that spread throughout a long dawn to dusk period during a warm period (which could be approx 11 to 15 hours of fishing up until the end of September) it could arguably be warranted, or if you are fishing somewhere else where the Barbel are more thinly distributed and you need to attract and hold Barbel in your swim, but not on this stretch of stream/river where there are Barbel in nearly every swim throughout most of the year anyway.


This is more like the average flow when there hasn’t been a lot of rainfall.

Keith
 
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tigger

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Sounds like he's polluting the river.

I wonder why anglers down there are so obsessed with using boilies and pellets for barbel?
Maybe they're carpers turned to carballers?
 

whitty

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Its not a venue where maggot catches loads of barbel during the warmer months,smaller fish,particularly chublets destroy any amount of maggot on the hook,pellet is very effective on the venue during this time,other venues I know even pellet is a small fish draw,sometimes 2 15mm boilies are needed to stop roach,horses for courses,having blinkers on to believe that feeding 3 kilos each time is going to work is naive at best,irresponsible imo..
 

tigger

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Its not a venue where maggot catches loads of barbel during the warmer months,smaller fish,particularly chublets destroy any amount of maggot on the hook,pellet is very effective on the venue during this time,other venues I know even pellet is a small fish draw,sometimes 2 15mm boilies are needed to stop roach,horses for courses,having blinkers on to believe that feeding 3 kilos each time is going to work is naive at best,irresponsible imo..


Alan, do you think the barbel in there have seen so many pellets that they have become accustomed to eating them?
I mean if people are feeding them so much in a small river that may well be the biggest part of their diet?

All the rivers I fish it's better to use maggots and/or corn when float fishing. I have often used pellets when legering and have done ok with them. I think they are less likely to drop into gaps in rocks so easily as corn etc on a rocky river bed, so easier for the fish to get to.
Regarding smaller fish attacking maggots, they do up here also, especially during the summer months. Winter time is a different story, as most of the silver fish migrate to the tidal stretches to over winter and even the minows seem to vanish.
 

whitty

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These barbel will and do eat everything put in front of them,pellet sorts out the barbel however,not all anglers throw three kilos,other fish are eating them,you can see roach grazing over them,you get a few,but not like you can on tares or maggot,when it suits,the pellet has all the dinner bell ringing qualities for barbel,the noise being a major one,I tend to loose feed for this reason,they shoot out like chub on maggot and casters,on this venue 8 maggots on a hook quickly becomes a bare hook and you would need more than a gallon to fish it in summer for barbel maybe two...as I said previously,every venue fishes differently for its barbel,if you fished for barbel on the tidal Stour with maggot you would truly be wasting money,yet years ago that was the way to fish,nothing stays the same in angling,or many things don't...
 
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tigger

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I honestly think I could catch those barbel with maggots and corn. I do have a few little tricks to get through the smaler stuff, I have to because we also have minows, little chub, dace etc which are often like piranha fish when maggots are available lol.
 

whitty

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In a while maggot will be the only bait I use there,but who wants to catch 4/8oz barbel and chub when you can be catching 3/7lbers on pellet(if your fishing for the better fish)without any problem,feeding pellet isn't an issue to me,three kilos however seems very excessive...
 
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theartist

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It's not so much the quantity fed there Alan but the size of the pellets - to feed three pints of 8mm is pretty daft as they are big pellets, had he fed 3 or 4mm with an 8mm hookbait over the top he would have had a great day, as we both know, every single pellet would be gone in a few hours no problem even in a swim with a handful of barbel, due to all the other species mopping it up

If Barbel anglers in general knew how quickly that feed goes with all the roach dace chub and gudgeon on it they would actually feed more but smaller pellets, when I'm trotting I get through a pint of 4mm in an average five hour session if after barbel, there's next to nothing left on the deck when I finish, mind you I never get those flyers until it's maggot time which like you say is soon, those frosts are coming and it's bye bye pellets.
 

tigger

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It is strange how the rivers down south produce barbel on trotted baits through the winter months, and yet round these parts catching barbel on trotted baits is a rare occassion.
Infact, even catching barbel on static baits slows down dramatically during the winter months.
 

whitty

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Our rivers Ian,not counting the little stream,are generally heavily weeded through the summer,trotting isn't really an option,many years ago it was different,but I think nitrates and modern farming practice has done for that,rivers like the Ivel were hardly fishable on the lead until mid-November,many parts of the Ouse similar,also our rivers don't get the flow until winter due to abstraction most likely,every river is different,barbel do feed well after Christmas,getting conditions right however are not always a gimme...I don't know because I haven't fished them,but Northern spate rivers must be very hard to get right for more than a day or two in the winter,so catching the buggers gets more difficult...
 

whitty

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It's not so much the quantity fed there Alan but the size of the pellets - to feed three pints of 8mm is pretty daft as they are big pellets, had he fed 3 or 4mm with an 8mm hookbait over the top he would have had a great day, as we both know, every single pellet would be gone in a few hours no problem even in a swim with a handful of barbel, due to all the other species mopping it up

If Barbel anglers in general knew how quickly that feed goes with all the roach dace chub and gudgeon on it they would actually feed more but smaller pellets, when I'm trotting I get through a pint of 4mm in an average five hour session if after barbel, there's next to nothing left on the deck when I finish, mind you I never get those flyers until it's maggot time which like you say is soon, those frosts are coming and it's bye bye pellets.


THREE KILOS Rob,three pints I can understand,i've carried three kilos down the river,one of 4mm,one of 6mm and one of 8mm,never with the intention of feeding them all,just in case I wanted to vary it a bit...
ALso,dont forget the minnows,it's amazing to me,i've never caught one there,but i've watched small shoals down the side,giving the pellet a good rogering.... :)
 
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