Boilies, pellets or particles?
Three experts give their opinions...
Dave Ellyatt: Boilies
"There are lots of reasons why I prefer the boilie-based approach. Their undoubted effectiveness, the fact they benefit the carp, most rigs are designed with boilies in mind and of course convenience. You can’t beat having a freezer full of Freshwater Shrimp or Liver Specials!
"Also, the boilie approach suits my style of angling which is generally pre-baiting followed by short overnight sessions. I place huge amounts of faith in pre-baiting; I really think it can be one of the biggest short cuts. Of course particles and pellets are also ideal for this and I use these to try and ‘develop’ spots and get them cleaned off but in the lead up immediately prior to fishing I prefer to feed with the larger food items which get the fish moving between baits thereby feeding on the same items as the hookbait and improving hooking potential at the same time.
“One ‘edge’ which I think a lot of people neglect is glugging boilies. I’m talking freebies here, not so much hookbaits. I very rarely put in ‘dry’ bait, as I believe glugged bait just speeds up the attraction process. When I take a bag of bait out of the freezer I add a good slug of salmon oil and an equal amount of one of the liquid fish protein type liquids. Then I give the bag a good shake to coat all the baits.”
Gary Bayes: Pellets
“Pre-baiting with Nashbait’s Monster Carp Pellet is a wicked way of getting the fish into an area without the hassle from diving birds. The pellet turns to mush and the birds don’t get anything and lose interest but the fish keep coming back for days. I use the flavour pellet to match the boilie and usually add food dip to the pellet for pre-baiting and food and boilie dip blended 50/50 for fishing. The food and boilie dip pings flavours up through the layers and the pellet is the ideal carrier for it.
“Just last week I pre-baited an area heavily with pellet with the intention of moving onto it in the mid-morning but then had to leave the lake which was a shame as a lot of fish got on it, tails in the air and muddying the whole area. Someone moved onto it as I left and had an instant bite, this was in 18-inches of water near where the most troubling coot family lives. If I’d put boilies or particle in the coots would have been on it in a shot.
“Obviously, any method of fishing has its drawbacks. Roach, bream and rudd love pellets and sometimes you have to adopt a boilie-only approach but in shallow water, where the bigger nuisance fish are not present or wherever the conditions allow, they can be a winner."
Kev Hewitt: Particles
“Particle fishing is very much different to boilie fishing and with it comes a whole set of advantages. I find that once carp get on the particles they feed more aggressively, instigating other carp to feed which in turn creates competitive feeding. Once this situation occurs carp can be very easy to fool, as they will hoover up almost anything that you put in their path. It’s the same as getting them feeding on the surface with tiny floating pellets (4 to 6mm jobbies): they go mental for these and feed with so much more aggression compared to larger sized Chum Mixer.
“Short hooklengths and small hookbaits on the business end have always scored well for me over particles, so that’s what I’d recommend.
“Once carp begin to feed on particles they literally hoover up everything on the bottom and filter out the silt through their gills. This clouds the water up which in turn encourages other carp to feed and also helps to conceal your end tackle making it harder for the carp to suss your rigs.
"Heavy feeding over a sustained period of time can result in spots becoming cleaner, taking on the appearance of a nicely polished dinner plate. I have always found such spots to be areas that carp regularly re-visit for a feed. Get on the particles – they’re a truly awesome carp food.”