The ‘Method’ feeder or otherwise known as the Flatbed Feeder has revolutionised feeder fishing on commercials over the past few years. Hook lengths seem to be getting shorter and shorter with some anglers dropping this down to just an inch or so in order to get a quick bite and capitalize on the aggressive feeding nature of the fish found in many of these heavily stocked venues.

Orchard Place Farm Fishery in Kent has twelve lakes in total, three of which are classified as general/match lakes and today I’ve come to the biggest, Lake 6 which is heavily stocked with a mix of species, yet my target today are F1’s. F1’s are great fun, feeding all year round and can be very obliging on far from ideal conditions like today when other species simply refuse to feed. 

Activate the swim

My preferred method here is the feeder and I’ve picked a swim which features an island, as I’m sure the fish will be doing their best to avoid this bright sunshine and heading for some cover. Regular casting to activate the swim, especially at the start of a session, is essential, as is accuracy so after a few practice cast so that the feeder lands just inches from the bank, it’s time to clip up and get fishing. 

f1's on the method feeder 2
f1 method feeder 3

Sucking up the entire contents

Bait today is simple, a single red maggot on the hook and a 50/50 mix of Champion’s Method Mussel Green and Formula Fish groundbait. This was mixed on arrival with lake water and allowed to draw in the moisture for a few minutes, before dampening down again, waiting a few more minutes before mixing using a groundbait whisk. An addition to this is a good scattering of dampened down micros and when the mix can be compressed in the palm of my hand and on releasing expand without breaking up, I know I have the right consistency that will cling to the feeder. I have also bought along some 6mm hard pellets, just in case I need a switch but I’m guessing these won’t come into play as F1’s love maggots. It might sound strange using a groundbait mix with pellets in and then maggot on the hook but I think that the feeder delivers just enough bait for a fish to suck up the whole contents including the maggot. Speed is of the essence here and maggots offer just that without being detrimental to the time it takes to get a bite. No bait bands or fiddling around re-baiting and quite often the maggot is good for more than one fish.    

Creating a safe bolt rig

The tackle I’m using today consists of a rod that I just cannot fault, the Sphere Bomb +10% and I’ve teamed this up with a Sphere MgTi 930 loaded with Black Magic Gold 0.21mm (8lb) mono. This style of fishing punishes a mainline repeatedly but this multi-purpose reliable line is really abrasion resistant and simply deals with everything thrown at it. On the business end I’m using a 20g Black Magic Method feeder but instead of tying the mainline direct to the swivel I’ve threaded the feeder onto my mainline, through the swivel and then back through the feeder before tying a figure of eight overhand knot to secure. This doubling over of line simply gives me the security that the line won’t weaken near to the feeder and although the feeder can pass easily over the knot above, it does produce some resistance and in turn, a safe bolt rig. My hooklink which attaches to the feeder swivel is short, around two-inches, contains a barbless size 16 Sphere CPF LS Hook and is made from 0.16mm (6.6lb) Cenex Hybrid Power Mono. All in all a robust set up that’s easily capable of withstanding and dealing with the big weights of fish we get from here.  

method feeder hooks
f1 catch picture

Struggling to hit bottom

Having no other anglers targeting the island I wasn’t surprised that on the first cast, and moments after the feeder landing, a few liners revealed that a fish, or a few fish are active. After waiting a further sixty seconds it’s time to wind in and repeat. Four casts in and after a couple of indications, probably caused by a fish sucking in the contents of the feeder, the tip pulls round and the first F1’s comes to the net. More follow and after just thirty minutes the feeder is struggling to hit bottom before the tip pulls round and another F1’s gets hooked. This continues in the same manor for the next four hours before its time to call it a day and with upwards of 150lb of fish netted, it proves the point that the ‘Method’ is a tactic you simply can’t ignore.


Dean Tennant

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