Method feeder fishing uses one of the cornerstone principals in catching fish, it presents a baited hook in amongst some fish food. The Hybrid method feeder carries fish food and the hook bait out to the fish in one neat parcel. This type of Method feeder is ideal for beginners. It is easy to lean, easy to use and catches lots of Carp.
The Hybrid feeder
The Hybrid feeder consists of a flat weight with an open bait compartment on top. The bait compartment, or bowl. Is used to carry some fish food, together with the baited hook, out to the fish.
Hybrid Method feeders are designed to always land on the lake bed the right way up, with the bowl of food uppermost. This offers the fish a portion of feed with a baited hook right in the middle.
Method feeder fishing
The Hybrid feeder I often use is a basic Guru 28g model. Attached to a general purpose feeder fishing line that has an 8lb breaking strain. Together with ready tied 4 inch, 7lb breaking strain hook links, to a size 14 wide gape hook with hair rig and bait band, made especially for method feeder fishing.
I always ensure that the breaking strain of the hook link is less than that of the main line. This guarantees the hook link will break before the main line if put under great strain, leaving only a small piece of line in the water.
Assemble the feeder fishing rig
Thread your fishing line through the feeder and tie the swivel onto the end using a Uni knot. Attach the hook link to the other side of the swivel by passing the loop through the eye and then the hook through the loop.
Slide the feeder down the line and push the swivel into the rubber bush in the front. The swivel needs to be a snug fit, but not so tight that the feeder cannot drop off if the main line is broken or cut while playing a fish.
Dampen 2mm pellets
Carp pellets are the fish food of choice with a Hybrid, both in the feeder and on the hook. To get dry hard pellets to stay in the bowl of the feeder, they need to be dampened first.
Place some 2 or 3mm pellets into a bait tub and cover in pond water. Soak them for 1 minute, then drain off all the remaining water and leave them to stand for a further 15 minutes.
While the pellets are soaking and before I attach the hook link to the feeder, I decide where in the lake I am going to fish.
I cast the empty feeder several times until it lands where I want it. To ensure the feeder always lands at the same distance, I put the line under the line clip on the reel. Now whenever I cast the feeder, the line clip will stop it at the right distance. To help prevent the line breaking against the clip, use the rod to absorb the shock by holding it vertical as the clip is reached.
To measure the casting distance, put two bank sticks 3m apart along the bank and count how many times you can wrap the line around them before reaching the line clip. If for any reason you have to unclip, you already know the casting distance.
No doubt you have realised that you can’t put a hard pellet straight on the hook. Instead the pellet is held next to the hook inside the elastic bait band.
With a little fiddling, it is possible stretch the bait band around the bait with your fingers, although a pellet banding tool is much easier. For our Hybrid feeder set up with a size 14 hook, I use an 8mm hard pellet as bait.
Load the feeder
Fill the bowl of the feeder level with the damp 2mm pellets and squash them down quite hard. Lay the hook and bait on top and add another layer of dampened 2mm pellets on top. Squeeze them down to hold everything in place. There is now a mouth full of feed in the bowl with the hook hidden inside. But how does the Method actually work ?
How it works – self hooking
When the feeder settles on the lake bed, the pellets inside expand spilling over the edge and exposing the hook bait. After 10 minutes the hook bait is completely exposed and surrounded by a halo of attractive fish food.
When a fish comes across the feed, it will dip down and suck it all up along with the baited hook. Then as the fish lifts it’s head or moves away. The hook link will tighten against the feeder and the weight of the feeder pulling on the hook link, will cause the hook to prick the inside of the fishes mouth. At this point the fish will know it has been hooked, and will bolt.
Method feeder fishing
With the feeder ready to go, I cast out to my chosen spot. I sink the line between me and the feeder, by holding the end of the rod below the water and slowly pulling the line under. It is important not to disturb the feeder at any time. If the feeder moves, it will almost certainly roll over or pull into mud. I place my rod on it’s rests and tighten the line to the feeder until a slight bend is put into the tip of the rod.
Feeder fishing rods are made with a flexible tip section that will bend when a fish pulls on the line. Ignore any small knocks and pulls on the tip. These are caused by fish brushing against the line and small fish bustling around the feeder.
When to Reload the feeder
The quivering of the rod tip tells me that there are fish taking interest in the feed. Their presence helps me to decide how long I should leave the feeder in the water. I already know the pellets will fully expand in 10 minutes, and that small fish are eating them. There is little point in leaving the feeder in for too long, so after 10 minutes I bring the feeder in.
I continue to bring in and reload the feeder every 10 minutes until I get a proper bite.
A proper bite
A proper bite is unmistakable. Instead of the little knocks and pulls which are ignored. The rod is pulled round hard as the fish hooks itself and bolts. It is then just a matter of playing and landing the fish.
My local fishing club Hassocks Angling.