1. Boilie-crumb sticks
If Pecky’s after a quick bite, then you’ll often see him grinding down the boilies that he’s using into a fine crumb and using that to make small PVA sticks. Increasing the surface area of the bait, by crumbing it, allows the fish-feeding stimulants to leak out MUCH quicker, even in cold water, drawing fish down to your hook bait. Of course, the fact that small bags help prevent tangles on the cast, and present that hook bait perfectly, even over light debris, make this ruse even more worthwhile.
2. White wafters
Washed-out wafters have been ever-present in Darrell’s tackle bag for donkey’s. He used to make his own, but now carries ready-made versions. When he’s fishing over light-coloured boilies like Cell and wants his hook bait to look ‘safe’, he bolts one of these on, which are dead-ringers for Cell that’s been in the drink for a few days!
They have presentation benefits too, allowing his supple hook links to settle out straight(ish), something that simply wouldn’t happen with a heavier hook bait, like a Cell straight out of the bag. The neutral buoyancy of the wafters makes them move like they’re not attached to a rig too, so not only do they look safe, they ‘move safe’ too!
3. Wide gape hooks
Since he first bought a pack of Wide Gapes from Yateley Angling Centre, while hunting Heather and her mates, Darrell’s hook choice has been rather… cough… boring! Now, we’re not saying you have to copy the exact pattern, but we are saying that once you’ve got confidence in a big-fish pattern that won’t let you down, don’t change onto the latest fad hook. Pecky’s been using Wide Gapes for 17 years now… 17 YEARS… just think of all the hook patterns that have come and gone in that time!
4. Simple rigs
Darrell’s rig ethos revolves around the maxim, “The less complex a rig is; the less there is to go wrong!” He’s caught an eye-watering number of big fish on a Wide Gape, knotless-knotted to a supple braid, when fishing over boilies. Bear in mind that his rigs were under the scrutiny of some of the most pressured fish that have ever swum in the UK and you begin to see that Pecky might be onto something here…
5. Lead system
Just like his rigs themselves, Darrell rarely messes about with his lead systems. Helicopters come into play when he fishes the naked chod, but for everything else, the humble lead clip has been all that our man has used… for YEARS! They never tangle, even with braid, and they relentlessly perform exactly how he wants them to; dumping the lead when needed, or keeping it on when not! Ask yourself, are you overcomplicating your angling? We know for sure that Pecky isn’t!