It can be difficult to know where to start with pellets, as there really are many different ways to use them and different choices that can be made as to which kinds you should use. Having said that, it is definitely worthwhile learning about the ins and outs of pellet usage, because it is an integral aspect of carp fishing and a sound knowledge can set you up for many years of good catches, especially when on commercial fisheries, as the commercial carp will have been brought up to feed on pellets.
When using fishing pellets for carp you have a range of sizes to choose from. A pellet of 8mm or upwards for example will filter out smaller fish, as they will be unable to feed on such a big mass of food. The main thing to do though is adjust the size of the pellet accordingly to the size of the carp which you are going to be focusing on.
You would not want to use the smallest sized pellets for carp angling as far as hook baits are concerned, as they would actually be too small to hook properly. But these very small 1mm micro pellets can still be used to spread into the water loose. They will break down almost immediately on entry into the water and therefore create heavily scented cloud in the water, which will attract the carp towards your actual hook bait.
Regularly keeping the waters topped up with loose feed will help you have success in the top few feet of the water as the carp will be attracted to this top layer not only by the pellets themselves but by the noise they will make on entering the water.
Attaching your pellets
For pellets which are large enough to be used as hook bait for decent sized carp, you can connect to your hook using a bait band. Alternatively, you can use superglue to connect two pellets onto your hook by sticking them onto either side of a hair rig.
For very weighty carp, you will be best off using a large halibut pellet, which are secured as hook bait by firstly gently pushing a drill bit through the pellet without letting the pellet crack or break. Once it has gone through to the other side, you take the drill out carefully and feed a hair through using a baiting needle, then lock the pellet into place using a few bait stops.
Having said that halibut pellets are best suited for bigger carp because of their substantial size, it should be noted that this type of pellet is very high in oil content, usually around 15%. Though this is effective in warm conditions, at the beginning of the spring fishing season when the water is still yet to have been heated up, the oil can congeal. This means that less of the scent is released into the water as it in effect becomes trapped in the pellet. For this reason a hemp pellet for example which has a lower oil content of 6% or so may be more effective while the conditions are cooler.
Header image – Coppens Halibut Pellets 10mm available from Fishing Bait World