Pellet quantities fed....

theartist

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2010
Messages
3,866
Reaction score
1,340
Location
On another planet
I was on the river yesterday started on maggot feeding well, the river was pretty clear despite the rains, so used a matchstick again. chub were on it but hard work but managed to get them feeding, a few nice roach to 1lb feeding too (the big roach may have dropped down as didn't see it at all). Thought the barbel had dropped down to the winter hotposts until I introduced 4mm with a few 6mm pellet, a couple came out from the overhang they were feeding but a bit slower than usual as it was pretty chilly. Kept introducing 4mm trying to get them up in the water and had one around 6lb so went back to maggot for fun with the chub and roach. In the meantime there was now around a dozen barbel feeding on the freebies on the bottom. I stopped feeding pellet when going back to maggot and they dissappeared again after clearing the bottom save for the odd one who went looking every now and the. I've had this scenario on other rivers often when after roach. Whilst chub don't go as mad for pellet, it sorts out the bigger roach but barbel go bonkers for it. I would go as far as saying it's a wonder bait for barbel in summer, it really blows other baits away, there is a reason after all for it's popularity, on a few rivers I've tried the little and often with hemp corn and meat cutting the latter into 4mm cubes and feeding with hemp, at the time I thought both worked until I tried pellet afterwards in the same spot. The results were remarkable, only on pellet rivers though, they need to know it to love it and fast rivers aslo seem best

Feeding too much pellet at one time will lead to them stirring up the bottom like carp do on pellets on commies, even on clean gravel barbel will twist and turn over each other and get right in there when in a frenzy, turnig stones, moving small rocks even, this will lead to liners and they seem to dislike hitting heavy line more than anything else, I see this when dad is on the lead. It takes a surprisingly long time for a barbel to hook it'self when there is a lot of bait down even when it's feeding well, things get messy when you add more barbel to the equation. The little and often approach sees them taking up in the water when its warm but they also really work the bottom dropping to the tail working up through the swim and before repeating time and time again. In shallow water you can see the eagerness and the barbules doing their thing feeling for the pellets and the fish sucking up them up. You can't overfeed them this way, no chance even half a dozen will feed all day if bait is going in steadily. When floatfishing on deeper rivers where you cant see them you can tell if they are on the bottom feeding well or taking midwater by the bites. Also if you bump any when they are on the bottom, many a time when after roach I've known the barbel are down there feeding, and stopping to take a break has seen them either take all the feed or move upstream as the anglers in the swims above have suddenly started catching as the shoal has moved up looking for food. I've let lead guys drop in my swim after been feeding pellet all day and they've had the best evening of their lives, this has happened too many times on The Severn and I really must take a 2nd rod and alternate a static bait one day. If lead anglers could find a way of dropping feed on a regular basis in a compact area they would smash it almost every time. It has to be compact though as if the feed is spread like in a catapult over distance it doesn't have the same effect, on larger rivers it works best when wading out for that reason as the feed can be compact, the fish don't care about you wading and often end up under the rod tip feeding which is magical. The fish will usually be in the bite 'zone' but you can catch them anywhere when they are working the swim yet if the feed is spread too much they don't seem to compete as much and feed less vigorously. Smaller pellets work best as feed and I wouldn't go larger than a 6mm hookbait maybe 8mm at a push, I find on pressured waters they are understandibly wary of donkey chokers after the first few weeks have passed, maybe they slipped up in the barbel anglers equivalent of duffers fortnight and don't see a huge pellet as natural, not that smaller ones are but when (if you are a fish) you are rooting around in gravel it would feel natural.

Nothing wrong with pellets or the quantities it's more a case of how they are fed and when. As a summer bait it is a revelation, a groundbreaker, more effective than hemp, who would have thought that could happen when hemp was the hypnotical wonder bait, it still is of course but we're living in a time when a bait has come along blown the doors off. There must be a reason why there are several aisles of it in each tackle shop across the land after all, It works like a dream.
 

whitty

Well-known member
Joined
May 11, 2017
Messages
7,757
Reaction score
3,304
Location
Luton Bedfordshire.
Rob,each venue presents it's problems(as you well know),some,if you want to catch quality fish need 8mm,possibly even 11mm pellets to be fed and fished,watch Steve Ringer videos,quantities of fish present,of all species,not just the target species,have a big bearing on feed quantities,as do temperatures,especially with pellet,if you go to the Trent a fair few barbel anglers still feed halibut pellets in winter,they dont even let their brains work to consider low oil carp pellets,in smaller quantities and sizes,as for your findings with the barbel with maggot compared to pellet at the moment,give it a week or two,it will change,also as you only take a small amount of 4mm pellet with you,you are forced to be frugal,yes fish love pellet,in fact,i think they still love them in winter too,digest them no,so the times fish are feeding for becomes less,so catching opportunities are fewer.... Anglers like you and I(most on FM)are continually questioning what we do,ruling out failures to get a better picture,anglers that feed 3 kilos of pellet on the venue in question whatever the weather have no idea of response,just success or failure. One more thing,I wonder if you fed say half a pint of hemp instead of pellet,the barbel would respond well,different baits,different feeding patterns required and all that,lol....
 

theartist

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2010
Messages
3,866
Reaction score
1,340
Location
On another planet
I'm well aware it will be maggot season soon Alan, in fact I love it, there's something about having a pint of maggots in your pouch and knowing every fish will be a good one as those hordes of tiddlers switch off, it happens on every river in the land it seems, roll on those sub zero temps for some winter barbel action too, even with the barbel the bigger ones feed better, I've had all my doubles in winter and all my pbs have come on a single red/size 18 and that's not just cos the Ivel was too weedy back in summer in those old days lol. If the barbel don't show the old chub will make up for it. I'll still laud pellets as a summer bait though and I know there is no actual season for maggots but maybe there is for pellet

The hemp point is a good one as it compliments maggots whereas pellet definitely doesn't, as for the guy in the OP maybe he didn't get it right for the time of year but there's plenty who's catches diminish come the frosts because they are fishing summer baits/tactics/gear in winter.

Oh I never question what I do, just why I do it ;)
 

whitty

Well-known member
Joined
May 11, 2017
Messages
7,757
Reaction score
3,304
Location
Luton Bedfordshire.
Another point the peg you fished,because of flow and depth maggots seem to drift downstream quite quickly,reaching the overhang of rushes(barbel homes) below quickly,pellet and hemp hit the deck well up and hold,those barbel are quite astute and realise we cant present a bait under there,so station themselves with napkins on awaiting lunch,cant do that with your pellet.
 

Andydj

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 9, 2021
Messages
69
Reaction score
39
Location
Dorset
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....
I wonder how good or to put it another way how bad pellets really are for Barbel. None of them are designed for Barbel. Could we literally be poisoning our Barbel by feeding them all this high protein food? It may not happen immediately maybe over a series of generations? Could this be a contributing factor in the decline in some of our Barbel rivers?
Personally I use them very sparingly and go for home made hnv boilies. But you could put forward the same argument for any of these artificial food sources.
Just a thought.
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....
 

nottskev

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 3, 2016
Messages
3,281
Reaction score
1,631
I read with disbelief that someone feeds a small river swim with 3 kilos of pellets. I read it several times to make sure. An absurd amount
bordering on a noxious discharge :)
Surely the thing about being on a well-known barbel swim on a river that size is that your location problem is solved. and you don't need the pile of feed/attractant people dump in the bigger stretches of the Trent, which might be 10' deep and 70yds wide, to pull in fish or hold fish you can never see and which are roaming in a huge volume of water? I don't know how many 8mm pellets in a kilo, but if you chuck 3kg in a small space followed by the pellet on your hook, what's the odd's against yours being picked up?

Even a kilo in a session seems no small amount to me, although I wouldn't presume what's needed on someone else's river. But 3 kilo's or even a kilo of pellets last me ages and numerous sessions, and I'm fishing a big river. Like most people, I go to swims where barbel live just now, and I doubt I've used more than 1/2 pint of pellets in total in 3 visits with no shortage of barbel to 12lb 4oz, all on the float. Another poster on here has caught a shocking amount of barbel this season, and seems to have used less feed than me. If the barbel are in front of you, putting your bait to them in the way they'll accept, and maybe, fishing at the right times, are key.

Excuse me getting a bit righteous. I've always had a horror of people filling waters in with feed, since, as kid on the local cut, I was traumatised by anglers from out of the area who'd come trying to catch the bream and fill in the canal with groundbait. It always killed the fishing on the big - enough for a dozen anglers - canal basin. 50 years later, I still cringe when someone's feeder goes in like a brick or the angler next to you starts raining boilies into his peg. Use no more bait then necessary. I'd say.
 

Andydj

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 9, 2021
Messages
69
Reaction score
39
Location
Dorset
I read with disbelief that someone feeds a small river swim with 3 kilos of pellets. I read it several times to make sure. An absurd amount
bordering on a noxious discharge :)
Surely the thing about being on a well-known barbel swim on a river that size is that your location problem is solved. and you don't need the pile of feed/attractant people dump in the bigger stretches of the Trent, which might be 10' deep and 70yds wide, to pull in fish or hold fish you can never see and which are roaming in a huge volume of water? I don't know how many 8mm pellets in a kilo, but if you chuck 3kg in a small space followed by the pellet on your hook, what's the odd's against yours being picked up?

Even a kilo in a session seems no small amount to me, although I wouldn't presume what's needed on someone else's river. But 3 kilo's or even a kilo of pellets last me ages and numerous sessions, and I'm fishing a big river. Like most people, I go to swims where barbel live just now, and I doubt I've used more than 1/2 pint of pellets in total in 3 visits with no shortage of barbel to 12lb 4oz, all on the float. Another poster on here has caught a shocking amount of barbel this season, and seems to have used less feed than me. If the barbel are in front of you, putting your bait to them in the way they'll accept, and maybe, fishing at the right times, are key.

Excuse me getting a bit righteous. I've always had a horror of people filling waters in with feed, since, as kid on the local cut, I was traumatised by anglers from out of the area who'd come trying to catch the bream and fill in the canal with groundbait. It always killed the fishing on the big - enough for a dozen anglers - canal basin. 50 years later, I still cringe when someone's feeder goes in like a brick or the angler next to you starts raining boilies into his peg. Use no more bait then necessary. I'd say.
I completely agree. All this kilos of bait mullarkey has come about from bait companies and sponsored anglers chucking in mountains of bait to promote sales me thinks.
 

whitty

Well-known member
Joined
May 11, 2017
Messages
7,757
Reaction score
3,304
Location
Luton Bedfordshire.
The last time I fished on the stream I fished a lesser peg and caught what most would consider a brilliant catch,feeding around a pint of pellet,on the D.Stour I would be hard pushed to feed a pint a session...
 
Top