Method feeder and feeder fishing in general, is an extremely popular method for catching carp and other coarse species on commercial fishing venues.
This method of fishing gives you the opportunity to cast handfuls of loose carp-attracting baits such as ground baits and micro-pellets and present your hook bait neatly on top of the small bundle.
It is great for baiting up swims to attract carp to feed in your swim and pick up your larger hook bait amongst the free bait.
I have already written posts on how to mix the perfect method feeder mix, but one question I see asked a lot is: how often should you cast a method feeder?
In this post, that is what I’m going to cover.
So, how often should you cast a method feeder?
How Often Should You Cast a Method Feeder?
Fishing a method feeder can be seen as quite an active method of fishing.
Generally speaking in the first hour, you’re going to be wanting to cast regularly even as much as every 5 minutes in order to bait up your swim effectively and get a good bed of bait down to bring hungry carp into your swim.
One thing that is essential in casting the method feeder is accuracy.
If you’re regularly casting with a freshly packed method feeder but are failing to get the feeder within the same area consistently, then you’re massively reducing the effectiveness of this method.
You should be consistently casting to the same area to hold the fish in a tight area so every time your feeder settles in the swim, it should hopefully already be holding feeding fish.
If you have been constantly casting to the same swim for an hour and haven’t registered a line bite or hooked into a fish, then you might want to think about trying a new swim.
Although it may seem like a hassle to consistently cast to another swim and bait this area up, it may be the difference between fish and no fish.
After casting regularly, your swim should be effectively baited after the first hour, and there should hopefully be a good few fish feeding.
You can now start to cast less frequently to avoid spooking the fish from the swim every time you cast.
Some anglers prefer to leave their feeder for between 15 minutes to 30 minutes, but some will even leave it for as long as an hour or two depending on the venue they’re fishing and what hook bait they’re using.
If you’re fishing in a commercial venue with high stocks of other coarse fish and are fishing a soft bait such as sweetcorn or pellets, then it can be beneficial to cast more regularly every 15-20 minutes to check your hook bait is still intact.
Small silver fish will pick away at small baits, and they may pluck them from your hook or hair rig without many indications anything has happened.
On the other hand, if you’re fishing a harder bait such as a boilie or pop-up and can be sure the smaller fish are not going to pluck it from the hook, then you can afford to leave longer before re-casting.
The time of year you’re fishing may also impact how regularly you are re-baiting and casting your method feeder.
Throughout spring, summer and autumn, the water temperatures should be high enough for the carp to be fully active and on the feed often.
However, in the winter, when water temperatures are low and the carp’s metabolism slows considerably, they may only feed once or twice per day, and they won’t be eating as much as they usually are.
So, during the winter, it’s best to massively reduce the casting you will be doing with the method feeder.
In winter, fishing will be far more difficult, and you must find the fish as they won’t be actively moving around the venue looking for food.
It can pay to cast your feeder to a new location on the water every cast before leaving it for around half an hour and watching closely for any line bites.
If you find a swim that holds fish and you’re registering line bites or hooking into a fish, then you should constantly cast back to this swim until the bites and line bites run dry.
Typically, the fish will often move to deeper waters on large venues, so it can pay to cast deep and increase the distance of your cast into deeper water after every cast.
How often you cast a method feeder is not an exact science, and you can benefit from altering your approach depending on the venue you’re fishing, how well-stocked it is, and what time of year you’re fishing.
In the warmer months, casting in quick succession to the same swim for an hour to bait the swim can be the best approach.
If no line bites or fish and caught, then you should choose another potential fish-holding swim and start the process again.
In the winter, your approach should be different, and you should be casting your method feeder less often (around every 20 – 30 minutes) and to different areas of the lake every cast until you find the fish.