Tench on the Method feeder
by Darren Davies
Nowadays, the Method feeder is often over looked as a tactic to target tench, most anglers choosing to adopt scaled down carp techniques, however the method feeder, fished correctly is still a devastating tactic and should not be dismissed as a small fish method as was proved on a recent session I had on an old estate lake.
The key to fishing the Method is accuracy, casting to the same spot every time to build up a regular supply of feed for the tench. Ideally you want to choose a venue that holds a good head of fish as getting the tench to start competing for food is vital when using the method feeder. At the start of the session is not uncommon to recast every 3-4 minutes, firstly to build up the loose feed and most important of all, these first few minutes when the feeder enters the water is when it is most attractive to the fish.
I have long stopped using regular groundbait on the feeder for a couple of reasons, the first is convenience, today several companies produce Method Ready Pellets which can be used direct from the tub, no need for mixing groundbait, trying to find the right consistency when you arrive at your venue. Secondly, when these pellets fall off the feeder they stay in the swim a lot longer, unless they are eaten unlike regular groundbait that tends to disperse a lot quicker.
Over the years I have used numerous hook baits for the tench which have ranged from small snails, sweetcorn, soft hookable pellets and of course maggots, however quite often to increase your chances of catching the bigger specimens and to avoid the smaller “nuisance” fish you will have to adopt a harder hookbait that will withstand the constant pulling and mouthing by the silvers and I would quite happily hair rig a 12mm fruit flavoured boilie or pellet on a short rig often no more than 6 inches.
I recently had a very memorable session, in fact it resulted in a double figure haul, after recasting the feeder regularly, the fish soon moved in and I enjoyed a string of tench to over 4lb, at one point having two fish in the net as I rested one before recasting only for the tip to bang around as soon it hit the deck. The method feeder is a very active way of fishing and if you get it right you can be in for a real red-letter day.