It was somewhat difficult to determine what the term would be used for fishing without Method or Packbait. Technically to fish a single is considered to fish with a solo bait without the addition of freebies, so if the title is a little misleading you’ll have to excuse my wording.
In the early 2000’s I was fishing very little (or at all.) This was due to pursuing my education and with that came the lack of money to pay for this sometimes costly interest. When arriving back on the carp fishing scene granted it was only a couple years later immediate differences in methods of fishing were very apparent. Oddly enough the main difference in technique and method was just that. Fishing the ‘Method.’ I’ll bypass details of this technique because I figure most reading this article are familiar to fishing packbaits and method mixes at this point, and if not I encourage you to scroll through the Big Carp News archives where you will find plenty of material on this style of fishing.
Suddenly my 2.5TC rods were not able to handle this new fishing, my preferred style of rigs were also not compatible with lobbing 6oz of breakfast food at range either. Fishing Pack/Method stuck with me for quite a long time, I began carp fishing either using the Float, or Quivertip with a cage feeder so the overall technique made sense to me. I was not alone in this technique, and it’s fairly safe to say that 100% of the other anglers I was doing sessions with had adopted this technique as well, I cannot recall a session where the banks were free of oats, grits, breadcrumb and miscellaneous additives during those couple of years. The sensationalism behind this technique made it seem as though carp could not be caught in US without Method on one occasion fishing with two others during a strong wind at our faces, and witnessing fish crashing 120-150 yards at range we had decided to still fish within 60 yards allowing us to fish with method. In the end I did get two rods out at the distance of the few crashing fish we witnessed and managed the only fish of the session.
In time I slowly reverted back to my old ways and was bringing less and less breakfast food down to the banks, I opted for stick mixes instead of the trusty pack that had consumed much of my fishing for years, and the results and freedoms of this switch has opened my eyes since, I feel its necessary to list the benefits as I see them.
Pinpoint Accuracy– One area I skipped over above is that rods and Big-Pit reels have come a long way and have made distance casting extremely easy, It’s hard to fathom that 100 yards was once a ‘Pro’s-Only’ distance. While many are deadly accurate with a method ball I think most would agree casting a bare lead allows for greater ease and accuracy of casting, and if your placement upon casting isn’t perfect it’s a breeze to bring it in and bang it out and get it right the 2nd time
Rig Freedom-With dozens of styles of leads on the market you are fairly limited to those which work best with a method or pack. Of course you can ball up method on a clip, or fish it on a helicopter rig, but even then there are still limitations. The idea that I can fish ANY style of rig without modifying it to fish method gives me the confidence to know I’m fishing the rig correctly.
PVA-When fishing method I use it as a method of baiting, as opposed to lying a carpet of freebies down and fishing method on top of it for attraction. PVA, especially PVA web material is extremely effective at delivering stimulants, flavors, and other attractants including oils which do not seem to fare so well in method and packs. Most of the stick mixes I am currently using would not bind whatsoever due to the amount of liquids I add to them. It’s far more effective to rely on PVA web in conjunction with a stick mix in order to attract the fish rather than trying to feed them.
What Hookbait?-With 3-10 ounces of additional feed surrounding your hookbait it is hard to say whether the fish singled out the particular hookbait you were using VS the glob of goodies that were surrounding it? Fishing a lone hookbait gives you the certainty that the fish singled out and preferred your hookbait rather than incidentally inhaling it among the massive pile you have presented.
Commotion-It’s debatable whether or not spods, and method balls scare fish, I think in many instances these splashing noises can be associated with the delivery of food, I know that many match anglers rely on the sound of the groundbait rather than its contents. Some waters and instances do not do well with too much disturbance. This is when casting a bare lead beyond the baited area and reeling it into position really comes into play