Andy Bennett's Pellet-Fishing Tip!

Here's your latest tactical gem, this time from newly crowned matchman of the year, Andy Bennett...

"In my opinion, there are two key things to success in fishing, presentation and feeding. Get your feeding right an the fish will happily feed confidently but get your presentation wrong and you won’t catch them, even though they’re feeding. Get them both right though and you’re onto a winner. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Well, that’s because it is.

Recently I’ve managed to win money in 22 out of 25 matches, including 11 wins, two second places and two third places. This is all down to a simple soft-pellet approach. Now the fish are waking up they’re looking for that extra food content so the maggots go out of the window and pellet becomes the ‘in’ bait so the fish can get their fill. I’ve had people saying things like, “You must be using a special rig?” or “What are you putting on your pellets?” The truth is, I don’t put anything on my pellets; pellets have there own natural flavours and scents so they have more than enough attractants in them to draw fish in. The next thing is the rig. There are no special rigs or shotting patterns, I use just two shotting patterns, one for deep water and one for shallower water.

The shallow-water rig is a simple spread bulk; this is spread over two or three inches, starting five inches away from the hook. This bulk consists of nothing smaller than no10 shots, but I mainly use number no9s for all my pellet fishing with an odd trimming shot to get the float sitting how I want it. For the deeper rig I have one pattern and that’s a simple bulk of no9s and one no9 dropper; this will again be five inches away from the hook with the bulk another five inches above that. This is very positive, but with pellets, the main thing is to keep the rig as steady as possible otherwise it can lead to foul-hooked fish. The other parts of the rig are also important. Firstly, float choice. I always opt for a slim pattern like the Wilky F1 slims; they’re very stable with the wire stem, but also cut through the water on the strike, stopping your pellet from coming off at long range. The slimness of the float is also great for lowering the rig in and lifting and dropping to entice bites.

Next thing is the line, I always fish a nice robust main line. In fact, 0.15mm N-Gauge is my first choice. This keeps the rig from tangling as much when fishing short lines because 0.15mm is a lot stiffer than 0.13mm, which would be most people’s first choice when using lighter hook lengths. This brings me onto the hook length, which is the same as the main line but in the 0.11mm version. Finally, to complete the rig I use size-20 LWGs. These are the perfect all-round hooks for any bait but particularly good for pellets, as they have a nice round bend which the pellet sits on perfectly. I like to bury as much of the hook as possible, but once the weather warms up and the fish start really chomping then don’t hesitate to step up to the size-18.

So, they are my tips for a simple approach to soft-pellet fishing. If you stick to the basics its not as complicated as most people would have you believe, in fact, it’s probably the easiest yet most effective way of fishing!"