I have noticed that recently there has been a couple of videos put up on youtube about how F1s and carp feed so i have decided to put a few words down about it and i hope that you find them as beneficial to your fishing as i did .
When you begin feeding your peg either with a catty or through a kinder pot you start to attract the fish which are already in your swim this activity soon grabs the attention of any passing carp , the more feed that you put in makes the carp more competitive and they tend to pick up a mouth full of pellets before leaving the swim to digest them . F1s on the other hand are a lot more delicate turning up right to pick up a solitary pellet and virtually don’t move while they digest the bait , it is noticeable that when the initial feed of bait has been eaten the fish soon disappear looking for their next meal .
The fish get attracted into your peg at different times during your feeding cycle , when you first drop in your feed you get the odd inquisitive fish that’s already in your swim feeding before the carp+f1s start competing for the increasing amount of pellets but as soon as these greedy fish have demolished the bait they soon disappear looking for their next meal and this is when the shyer species turn up Tench-Crucians-Skimmers get in on the action ,these pick up any odd pellet that has been left plus any particles of crushed feed .
So if you begin getting bothered by the small species of fish when you have caught f1s+carp then you need to start re-feeding to draw them back into your peg or a better option would be to continue feeding so the bigger fish stay attracted to your swim .
When you begin loose feeding the F1s will dart about trying to grab the falling feed which is probably why when fishing shallow you can get them competing hard and they tend to hook themselves by pulling the elastic out but when feeding on the deck they move very slowly and precise in picking up the odd pellet while , hardly moving they turn up right to digest the food and this movement would barely register on the float unless you had a shot close to the hook , this could explain why when you move your rig to begin lift-dropping there is a fish already on the end of it .
F1s will usually watch the loose feed pellets fall through the water and either pick them up as they drop or when they have been on the deck for a few seconds , if the bait has been on the bottom for over a minute the F1s will tend to ignore it waiting for the next batch of pellets to fall through the water . This is why little and often feeding works so well for F1s and i also think that a falling bait catches their attention a lot more encouraging them to grab at the dropping pellet .
Loose feeding maggots is a great way of getting the fish competing shallow , large handfuls of bait draws them into your peg where they often start grubbing around on the bottom before they work up through the layers till they get to the source of the feed . When you have them feeding shallow you can begin to cut the amount of feed going in and this will help increase your catch rate because the fewer loose offerings the greater the chance of a fish picking up your hook bait but there’s a fine line between feeding , too little and the fish will drift out of your peg and too much will push them back to the bottom so you will be waiting longer for bites .
When using a normal method feeder the fish instantly attack the feeder knocking the ground-bait from the method , the carp then take a mouth full of the lake bed before turning up right to help them distinguish between what is feed and what is lake bed . It’s surprising how many times the fish pick up the hook bait without actually moving the feeder which shows the importance of having a very short hook length when you are fishing the method .
When you are using a cage feeder particles of ground-bait get washed out of it as it falls through the water ,when it reaches the bottom the fish attack the feeder knocking all the ground-bait out of it . I think that a longer hook length will allow your hook bait to fall naturally through the water among the particles being released from your dropping feeder , this allows you to catch fish on the drop and as the cage feeder doesn’t give you a tight area of feed like the method so a longer hook length wouldn’t be a hinderance to attracting a bite .
When cupping in a ball of feed as it falls a few particles come off it which attracts the fish from the upper layers towards the bottom , they then attack the ball as it reaches the deck creating large clouds of bait and therefore creating a bigger area to draw the fish into . As usual on heavy stocked commercials it only takes one carp to start nosing at the ball before it triggers the other fish into competing for the food and when you lower your rig over the top of the feeding fish they are that confident or pre-occupied that they will take the bait as it falls if they see it drop , but strangely even though they are competing hard a static bait fails to attract a bite so working your rig will usually get you an indication instantly so it just goes to show how important movement of your rig is and why maggots , worms with their natural wriggle will often get you more bites .
From watching these short videos it has given me an insight on how Carp-F1s feed and what interests me most is ;
1, by keeping a constant rain of feed going in will first attract the fish before keeping them competing in your swim , but as soon as you’re feeding stops they will disappear looking for their next meal .
2, F1s are really delicate feeders when fishing on the deck they just pick up single pellets and hardly move while they eat it , so your rig needs to be spot on for you to see the bites from them with either a short hook length or shot being close to your hook being beneficial .