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The Method Feeder and pellets has been very effective for me when natural baits are attracting too many nuisance fish. It’s late spring and I went from using worms and maggots to adopting an all pellet approach to land some cracking fish from a new venue. You can view my Tench Fishing with the Method Feeder video below.

Alternatively you can view a full video of this session on my YouTube channel – please click here and subscribe to follow more of my angling adventures.

In early March 2020, I could see the lockdown coming. I thought it was going to stop us fishing and it was almost certainly going to interfere with our Tench season. So I tried to get some Tench fishing in early, right at the start of March. On reflection, it probably was a little bit too early. The Tench hadn’t really woken up properly. I was catching carp, but I wasn’t getting any Tench. Lockdown arrived and stopped us fishing at the end of March and in April. In May we were allowed out fishing again, and the first thing I wanted to do was to carry on where I’d left off and try and get that Tench! So, I started float fishing the same lake again with maggots and worms under a float, and I did get a few. But whilst that was a lot of fun, and nice to get my first Tench of the year, I really wanted to get a better stamp of fish, a slightly larger one. And so, I’ve got a club ticket that now gives me access to the famous Yateley complex and one particular lake that had hit my radar! 

Small Tench caught on worms under a float from a local club lake

Now, of course, Yateley is steeped in carp fishing history. It really was quite special and nostalgic to walk around the lakes there. I walked around the Match Lake, the Copse, the Nursery Lake, South Lake. I’ve got access to all of those in this ticket. Maybe at some point, I will wet line in one of those.

However, there is another lake on the complex that doesn’t get quite as much attention, Summer Pit. Now, Summer Pit has got its own little slice of history. In the early 2000s, the crucian carp record was broken here a couple of times. I think it’s fair to say that those crucian carp are long gone now, but it has developed into is quite a nice little Tench water.

Tench Fishing Method Feeder
Summer Pit on the Yateley Complex

I was only fishing short sessions, but my first couple of trips, I came away fruitless. I didn’t catch anything. I’d been approaching it wrong. This is my third trip, I’ve started to put the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together and things are now falling into place.

Tench Summer Pit
Things are starting to fall into place!

I decided to fish with a flatbed feeder with pellets, short hook length, and then a drilled pellet on the hair, one or two of those. I’m casting the rods out, and then I’m moving them every 45 minutes. So a bit like how I solid bag fish for Carp, where I’m almost trying to locate the fish.

Tench Method Feeder Fishing
The Preston In-Line Dura Flat Method Feeder and a short hooklength

Every now and then, the fish are giving away their location. They’re doing that through bubblers, big patches of fizzies appearing around the lake. Now, if I see that, my rod’s coming in, and it’s being recast at the bubblers. Sure enough, it was after one of these recasts that resulted in my first one from this new venue. A really lovely dark Tench that definitely made up for the early start! 

Tench Summer Pit

The Preston In-Line Dura Flat Method Feeder and a short hooklength

Having struggled at first, we’ve definitely found a method that works. The rod was recast and I settled back into my chair to enjoy the early morning sun.

Tench Fishing Rods
Behind the Rods

I should say, the rods are the Korum Opportunist 2.2lb TC, 10fters. Axis 4000 size reels, amounted with 10lb line. These are great for all kinds of fishing, however, I feel a better option would be the Korum Trilogy rods, which have a softer tip. I’ll be using those for my Tench fishing going forward. 

I’ve not been sat in my chair long before the same rod is away again. I’ve obviously found a spot that they are happy to feed in. 

Big Tench Fishing Yateley
The most beautifully shaped Tench, glowing in the early morning sunshine.

As mentioned before, the first two trips didn’t produce fish. I had been using the Korum Heli Kits, which are really an excellent bit tackle, while putting out ground bait in the feeder with red maggots on the hook. But they were absolutely mullered by nuisance fish. I was also fishing worm on the hair but experienced the same problem. I think it’s a method that probably would work in March or early April, but we’re well into May now. The silver fish are too active, and maggots and worms clearly wasn’t going to work.

Tench Fishing with the Method Feeder has transformed by sessions. I’m going in purely with pellets. I’ve started to use the Sonubait’s Pellet O’s on the hair, which are pre-drilled pellets. I switched from a helicopter rig to a flatbed feeder, as mentioned before.

Here is a breakdown of my rig:-

  • 10lb  main line
  • Inline method feeder (Preston Innovations)
  • Quick change swivel
  • A short 8lb hook length (Korum Smokescreen) 
  • Size 10 Korum Power Hook
  • Double Pellet O’s by Sonubait on the hair
Sonubaits Pellet Os
Pellet O’s by Sonubait

On the feeder, I’m just using scalded pellets. The night before, I’d have poured boiling hot water onto the pellets, drained that off after a few minutes, and then just left them in the car. By the time I want to use them this morning, they’re just the right softness to actually hold onto the method feeder really nicely.

Pellet Fishing for Tench
Scalded Pellets

I’m not actually putting the hook bait amongst that in the feeder. Some people do. I’ve just left it trailing, because it’s such a short hook length. That seems to be doing all right.

Flat bed feeder fishing
Scalded pellets being pressed onto the Flatbed Feeder

I’m pleased what I’ve caught on this session. I’ve caught a couple of really nice Tench but it’s mid morning and it’s time to head home.

It’s now a few days later I’m back! I made the journey around the M25 again and got to the lake for about 4.30am. I’m using the same tactics. The session has started quietly but all of a sudden my rod is away! 

Tench on Pellets

Another stunning Tench but we’re having to really work for these now. I suspect they might be thinking about spawning, because I think the lake can be a bit more prolific than this. What I would like to do is come back in about a month, once they’ve got spawning out the way, and see how my catches compare then. 

I’ve only just slipped that one back and the rod is in action again, that’s two fish in fairly quick succession! Stunning. I decide not to hold this one up for the camera, we’ve had a couple now this size, and so I’ll put him back and see if we can get that larger fish.

Spring Tench Fishing
Such a beautiful fish, stunning colours

About 45mins has gone by since that fish and suddenly a massive sheet of bubblers has appeared over to my right. I’ve recast the rod but it’s come up just short. Rather than risk spooking the fish with a recast I decided to leave it where it’s landed. Ten minute later and I’m bent into what feels like a very good fish. A very heavy hard fighting Tench nearly takes me into a bush on the near bank, but after some quick thinking and a lot of swearing we have the biggest Tench of this little campaign in the net! 

Big Tench Fishing
A very thick set Tench, that very nearly avoided having it’s picture taken with me!

This one weighed just over 7lb and was caught on the pellets again. It looks spawn bound and so I’m going to return it to the lake quite quickly. 

So, those were my Tench sessions on Summer Pit. They were only short sessions, so I was quite pleased to get amongst a few fish. I would love to have stayed on and caught a few more but the river season will start in June, as it always does, and so I’ll probably be on the river fishing for Carp, Barbel and Chub. Maybe I’ll come back next year. Thanks for reading my article on Tench Fishing with the Method Feeder 🙂

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