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Big fish tactics with Darrell Peck!
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Big fish tactics with Darrell Peck! Posted by ,

Big fish angler Darrell Peck reveals his go to tactics for the early part of the season!

During the first four months of the year I very rarely fish over much bait, and what this means is the actual hookbait/presentation has to be exactly right. Obviously, location is THE most important bit, but once located its often a case of helping them find and accept what we put in front of them. I'm afraid I don't have anything too revolutionary but I'll cover a couple of my preferred tactics that I like to employ during these early months of the year.

A spring capture where using the right hookbait presentation was vital
A spring capture where using the right hookbait presentation was vital

In cold clear water often, my initial go-to method is a well-placed pop-up. Yellow is generally a great starting point with Pineapple Juice, Essential IB and Essential Cell pop-ups all having scored extremely well for me. It may sound too obvious, or old hat but when they aren't really feeding they can often still be tempted into picking something up if its placed underneath them or directly in their path. The key to this methods timeless success is its constant visibility. Just standing there constantly available. With no free offerings though I would suggest a single pop-up is really at its best during daylight hours. When its possible to introduce feed discreetly without spooking the fish I find just a handful of 10mm baits or sweetcorn is enough to help them find the hookbait during darkness or just to help spark a reaction

Three in your face pop-ups ready to go
Three in your face pop-ups ready to go
When the hookbait is highly visible it can be all the bait you need
When the hookbait is highly visible it can be all the bait you need
Yellow hookbaits such as Essential Cell pop-ups are a great starting point
Yellow hookbaits such as Essential Cell pop-ups are a great starting point

Another favourite of mine is the PVA Stick. I find this method much more effective than bright pop-ups when the water has colour to it. Take away a pop-ups visibility and they just don't have that same pulling power of crumbed-up boilies. I have always found boilie crumb the best ingredient for these with a small matching wafter being absolutely deadly. In the situation where I think the fish can be coaxed into feeding then the key is not to not fill them up. Essential Cell and Sweetcorn mixed 50/50 then put through a blender is a great base feed. I really like to add the matching Stick Mix Liquid to this to boost the attraction further, and where permitted you'll not go wrong mixing in a few maggots or casters.

Stick Mix Liquid boost the attraction of PVA Sticks further
Stick Mix Liquid boost the attraction of PVA Sticks further
High attract wafters can work well with Sticks
High attract wafters can work well with Sticks
I think if the fish can be coaxed into feeding then the key is not to not fill them up
I think if the fish can be coaxed into feeding then the key is not to not fill them up

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