Mark Bartlett reveals how he approaches the increasing number of fisheries that restrict anglers to boilies and pellets only…

The huge increase in the number of big carp across the UK these days is good news for both anglers and the venues they visit, and it’s a bounty that many fisheries are keen to share in. So, fishery owners want their fish to grow, obviously, but in a healthy and sustainable fashion and there’s no better way to do this than to encourage the use of nutritionally advantageous baits. Boilies and pellets are the prime examples and there are so many good ones available these days too. This has led to more and more fisheries insisting that these are the only baits allowed on their waters… get the anglers to feed the fish for you, being their mantra. It’s a good one too, and I have absolutely no problem with it whatsoever. More and more venues are restricting all baits other than boilies and pellets.

For the angler, however, fishing these venues requires them to go back to an almost old-school approach, switching from particles, naturals and other baits to these more traditional ones.

I’ve been to several such venues in the last 12 months, including the excellent Old Mill Lakes in Lincolnshire where we enjoyed a recent consultants get together. The water has an outstanding stock of big fish, all of which grow fat and healthy with their boilie and pellet diet. 

There are so many high quality baits available these days.

But what about my tactics on waters such as this one and the many like it? Well, as I touched upon, it’s almost like turning back the clock to when we tended to use these baits over most others and before the many modern alternatives became fashionable. I actually really enjoy it and I have to say that it’s actually far easier and less complicated in terms of preparation and application. It’s far quicker, for example, to get a bag of boilies from the freezer the night before a session than it is to start knocking up particle and spod mixes. Boilies and pellets also require less attention in terms of keeping them useable throughout a session, unless you’re away for a week abroad, for example. Mark selects a bait straight from the bag to use on his bottom-bait rig. Boilie fishing is simple, clean and effective.