The Pellet Waggler is certainly a method through the warm summer months, when the carp are up in the water that wins more than its fair share of matches and its one that I’m keen to perfect this summer. Unfortunately the venues around me where this method can be used are limited, so today I’ve headed down to Essex to a venue where the pellet waggler scores highly, Churchgate Lakes. 

Conditions are perfect, hot and still and there’s plenty of carp cruising around, all I need to do is get some feed going in and I should be able to get a few competing in the swim. Patience is needed, especially here as this venue is deeper than most and its best to target the odd cruiser before taking a fish from the main feeding zone as being inpatient can do more damage than good. The key in activating a swim is to keep the feed going through the water columns on a little and often basis. Feeding too heavily can drag the fish down on the bottom; feed too little and attracting fish into the swim and getting them competing won’t be achieved. Every day and venue is different so it really does pay to feel your way into each session and be prepared to practice as much as possible in order to suss the place out. I’m feeding 8mm pellets and catapulting five or six every couple of minutes, however the fish aren’t responding as positively as I would like and there are a few bubbles starting to appear which means some of the pellets are reaching the bottom. This behaviour is probably down to the venue being extremely busy, many are still furloughed and it’s the summer holiday, looks like everyone has taken up fishing this year! A little tip is if a, or a group of carp cruise into the swim, up the feed as this often stops them in their tracks, gets them feeding and in turn attracts others. This is exactly what I’ve just done and it’s bought me my first carp of the session. Something else you will find is when the carp are really on the feed bites can be brutal, the three foot twitch so to speak, but on other days bites can be very finical and you need to strike hard and fast at them. This method isn’t for the lazy angler, the more you work the swim, then usually the more you will catch, so remember feed cast, feed cast, feed cast every couple of minutes at the most!

Make sure you set the clutch.

Constant casting is key to this method.

It is quality not quantity today.

"Conditions are perfect, hot and still and there’s plenty of carp cruising around"

The tackle I’m using is quite robust as continuously casting and on occasions playing fish after fish will take its toll. The rod I’m using is the 11’ Sphere Pellet Waggler. I’ve teamed my rod up with a Sphere MgTi 930 loaded with 0.16mm Cenex Hybrid Power Mono, a great all-round line. On the business end I’m keeping things nice and simple with a loaded 6g float locked in position using three medium Xitan Oval Super Stoppers. I use one Stopper above the float and two below, the two being used so they don’t move on the strike. I also leave a gap of around half an inch between so the float can lay down when casting, it simply makes casting easier. Although the Stoppers lock into position, they can be moved under finger force which allows me to alter the depth I’m fishing, something that is critical and needs to be done throughout every session to find where the fish are most comfortable intercepting the slow sinking bait. A rule of thumb is most fish will come deep at the start but as competing for the pellets increases they will rise in the water and can be taken really shallow. As for the hooklink I’m using a pre-tied Feeder Method barbless size 16 hook-to-nylon with a pellet band into which an 8mm pellet is placed quickly and efficiently using  Band Aid Forceps. 

Although the fish aren’t coming fast and furious, I’m keeping up with others around me and seem to get little bursts where two or three carp will be landed before a period of quietness. Fortunately the fish I’m catching are of a good stamp, a couple haven’t been far of double figures so today’s it quality not quantity. I can take that!

Garry Cooper


Simple, but effective tackle.

Simple banded pellet.

Band Aid Forceps makes bait fixing easy.

You need balanced tackle to land big carp.

Garry’s Tackle

Sphere 11’ Pellet Waggler

Sphere MgTi930 Reel

Cenex 0.16mm Hybrid Power Mono

Feeder Method 0.18mm size 16 hook-to-nylon with pellet band

6g Pellet Waggler Float

Xitan Super Stopper Oval (medium)

Garry’s Bait

8mm Low oil Pellets

A sample of the quality fish on offer here.