Feeder fishing – hook bait and feed together

Feeder fishing has become very popular in recent years, and the Method feeder has to be the most popular. The Method has been a revolution, but it is primarily a Carp catching system.


Long before the Method was invented, swim feeders were a revolution in the match fishing scene. Swim feeders literally changed the way anglers fished. A ledgered static bait presented with feed, proved to be much better at catching bags of Bream and Roach than the float, much to the disgust of the traditional float anglers.


Table of contents

Feeder fishing

The best way to attract and hold fish in your swim, is to give them some food. Throwing or catapulting loose feed works well on a lake up to about twenty yards. But the further out you fish, the more difficult it is to use. Feeding distance can be doubled by using loose feed bound in ground bait. But there is a limit as to how far a ball of ground bait can be thrown accurately.

A river presents a different set of problems, the worst of which is knowing exactly where the feed has landed on the river bed. In a strong flow, light baits such as maggots, can be swept a long way downstream before they touch bottom, if at all.

With a swim feeder, feed will always land next to the hook bait, even at distance or in a flow. The whole idea behind a feeder is to efficiently and accurately deposit feed along with the hook bait, whatever the circumstances. [Top…]

Types of feed

Feeders can carry ground bait, particles, pellets, maggots or a combination of feed. The quantity of feed introduced on each cast is simply controlled by the size of the feeder. The rate of feed released can be regulated by either the design of the feeder, or the type of feed.

fishing method feeder

Feeder weight

There is one simple rule for choosing the weight of a feeder; just enough to do the job. On a lake the cast may be the important consideration, but on a river the strength of flow must also be considered. [Top…]

Balanced tackle

A large fully loaded feeder can weigh several ounces, strong line and a powerful rod will be needed to cast such a feeder. At the other end of the scale, small light feeders are paired with light rods and tackle. For best results, the rod, reel and line should balance and work with the weight of the feeder. [Top…]

Self hooking and traditional

There are two distinct feeder systems, self hooking and traditionally ledgered. Self hooking designs, like the Method, Hybrid and pellet feeders are generally used for Carp and Tench on a still water. Whereas the traditional swim feeders are used with running or paternoster rigs, and are made for catching Roach, Bream and Chub in running water. There is some cross over, but that is to be expected in fishing.

Self hooking designs, as the term suggests, hook the fish for you. As a fish takes the bait, a short hook length tightens against the weight of the feeder causing the hook to prick the fishes mouth. When the fish feels the hook prick, it will bolt producing a very positive bite and setting the hook.

Traditional feeder rigs allow the fish to naturally take the hook and bait into it’s mouth. Then as the fish moves away it pulls on the line causing a bite. The angler then sets the hook by smartly lifting the rod in a strike, pulling the hook into the fishes mouth.

You may wonder, why not use a self hooking rig all the time and never miss a fish. Quite simply, self hooking rigs do not work well with all species, and don’t work well with smaller fish. The skill of the angler will be required and is better on many occasions. [Top…]


Bait presentation, is as important in feeder fishing as it is in other forms of fishing. A short hook length used with a traditional swim feeder, will present the bait hard on the bottom close to the feeder. This is best when the fish are hungry and feeding confidently.

If the fish are being cautious and bites are hard to come by. A long hook length can feel more natural and give the fish confidence. Bream for example, are well know to respond better to a long hook length.

A longer hook length can also be used to fish “on the drop”. It takes time for a long hook length to sink, encouraging the fish to intercept the bait on it’s way down.

My local rivers are mostly food rich, weedy, lowland rivers. Full of countless Roach, Chub and in places shoals of Bream. Float fishing seems the obvious choice, but traditional ledgering methods combined with a swim feeder are often a better approach. Float fishing works well, especially for the smaller fish, but a static bait presentation along with small amounts of feed will often produce better fish. [Top…]


Although feeder fishing may not have the visual or perhaps the romantic appeal of float fishing. It is an effective method and well worth getting to grips with.

Feeders conveniently deposit ground bait, or loose feed, or both along with the hook bait.

The hook length plays an important part in both the presentation and the effectiveness of self hooking rigs.

As with all ledgering, only use as much weight as is need to get the job done. Consider the flow of a river, or the distance to cast, or how much weight is needed to self hook.

Over the next year [2019] I will be adding more articles on feeder and quiver tip fishing, so please do subscribe to receive alerts as I add new articles. [Top…]

Best of luck.

Method feeder fishing for carp – learn how

Feeder fishing rivers – learn how

Cage feeder fishing for Tench