best hook baits for method feeder

7 Best Hook Baits For Method Feeder Fishing - (Full Guide On What Bait To Use In A Method Feeder)

Ever been to a huge buffet, but the food wasn't great?

How much did you eat?

Now apply the same principle when using a method feeder.

Get it right, and you'll be keeping guests at the party. Get it wrong, and you'll have the fish all making an 'Irish goodbye'.

In this article we will look at the best hook baits for method feeder fishing.

We are going to offer some key advice and also give you some great suggestions.

Best baits for method feeder fishing

What Size Bait Should I Use for Method Feeder Fishing?

This all depends on the frequency of bites and how many fish you are catching.

To start, you want something that isn't too daunting for the fish. Golf ball sized boilies aren't the answer (unless you are particularly fishing for specimens).

A hair rig with a moderately sized bait (no more than 15mm but ideally up to 12mm) will be good enough.

Once you've got the fish feeding, you might notice that you are getting the occasional 'knock' without hooking anything.

The reason for this is that the carp are too preoccupied with what is coming off your feeder and often bumping into the feeder itself to release the goodies faster.

In this instance, to encourage a bite, make sure you are matching your bait size to that of the freebies in the method mix.

Should I Hair Rig My Bait When Method Feeder Fishing?

A hair rig is always a good choice when carp fishing, and this also applies to method feeder fishing.

Method feeders leave a nice pile of bait strewn over the lakebed and due to the need to cast often, there can be a lot of bait in your swim.

When feeding, the carp swim over and 'graze', sucking in and out in a continuous rhythm.

A hair rigged bait will act more naturally and leaves the hook point fully exposed.

Also, when tied in the right way, via a knotless knot or with the use of some shrink tubing, you can create an anti-eject type setup when using a hair rig. 

This can really improve your hook hold as well as getting more takes generally.

You can find more information on the different types of carp rig and their uses in our best carp rig article.

inline method feeder rig

A typical inline feeder rig

What Ground Bait Should I Use for Method Feeder Fishing?

Ask a hundred fishermen, and you'll get a hundred different answers. You can make your own method feeder mix at home. Any cereal-based bait can be good.

Anglers use all sorts of weird concoctions, including bread crumbs, ground dog biscuits, crushed boilies and more.

Ideally, the best baits for method feeder fishing tend to have a bit of flavour. Fishmeal based baits, particularly, seem to act as a magnet to grazing carp.

These tend to be pre-made instead of homemade. With premade ground bait mixes you'll kill two birds with one stone.

You get a proven fish catcher and save the effort of having to make it too!

The following is one of our favourite method feeder mixes and one we thoroughly recommend…

Marine Halibut method Mix

Dynamite Baits Marine Halibut Method Mix

Dynamite Baits Marine Halibut Method Mix

What Size Hook Should I Use for My Method Feeder Fishing Bait?

This depends entirely on what you are using as a hook bait and the size of fish you are targeting. Ideally, you want to pair the hook with the bait.

The general range for method feeders sits somewhere between a size #8 for larger fish and baits and a size #16 if you are looking to use something smaller and targeting fish such as F1 carp.

You can often get hook lengths pre-tied, including a hair rig and band. These are great for saving time and are pretty great value considering the number you get in a pack.

For a full guide you can check out our article on the best carp fishing hooks. 

Checkout these pre-tied hooks that are great for method feeder fishing…

best method feeder hooks

Drennan Method Feeder Hooklengths

Drennan Method Feeder Hooklengths

best method feeder hooks

The Best Hook Baits for Method Feeder Fishing

Robin Red Carp pellets

12mm Pellets

12mm pellets sit right in the 'goldilocks' zone when choosing the best hook baits for method feeder fishing.

Neither too big nor too small.

Picking a real aromatic pellet always helps your success rate. 

Red works particularly well, especially in those hard fished venues where every man and his dog are using the same type of bait.

Quite often, pellets designed for the hook, come pre-drilled, meaning you can get them onto a hair rig without any drama.

The best pellets also come impregnated with a pungent flavour, perfect for piquing the interest of fish with their heads down.

The ‘Robin Red’ pellets are handsdown our favourite to use as hookbaits and works really well with the method feeder tactic.



Sweetcorn is a classic fishing bait that has been used for many years.

The reason for this is that it is a proven fish catcher.

Sometimes the old favourites are the best and we always ensure we carry a tin or two on every fishing trip.

To mix it up a bit you could try flavoured sweetcorn. This particular product we have had a lot of success with when method feeder fishing so well worth a go.



Maggots have always been a firm favourite among anglers.

Do you know why?

They work.

3 or 4, red and white maggots on a size 14 hook are particularly deadly. 

At a few pounds a pint, you get enough bait to easily last you the day.

Live baits often work really well when method feeder fishing as the extra movement of the bait can draw a carp’s eye, especially if the fish are competing for food.

best hook bait for method feeder -12mm balanced wafters

12mm Balanced Wafters

Sometimes, method feeder hook baits that sit a little too proud can put the fish off.

Want to know the answer?


These can often be the best choice of method feeder hook baits with a boilie-like appearance and a less pronounced buoyancy

Wafters are designed to look and behave naturally.

This is a particular benefit when method feeder fishing as quite often there is a lot of fish movement generated in the swim that moves all the loose offerings around.

These wafters are a great option, made by the reputable Mainline Baits, and a method feeder hook bait we have had a lot of success with.

luncheon meat

Punched Luncheon Meat

For the best hook baits for method feeder fishing, luncheon meat comes high up on the list.

As it sits in the water, it releases a steady trail of aromatic oils that lead carp right to your doorstep.

But, it can be tricky to keep on the hook.

best method feeder hookbaits

Tiger Nuts

Tiger nuts are a little bit of a new entrant on the carp fishing scene, and if you can't beat them, join them.

It's well worth checking your venue to see if these are permitted, and if they are, go for gold.

Tiger nuts can be absolutely deadly when used in the method feeder.

The beauty of tiger nuts is that they are super durable as a hook bait but can also be ground up into your method feeder mix to get the fish switched on!

You'll need to drill them and put them on a hair rig to fish them most effectively. A decent bait drill will suffice for this job.

These readily prepared Tiger Nuts come highly recommended by a lot of anglers.

Plastic Baits

Plastic Baits

There's plenty of reasons to give imitation baits a go. It's that word again. Variety.

Imitation baits such as artificial sweetcorn can be great to encourage a bite when the 'old favourites' are falling a little flat.

By choosing synthetic sweetcorn for carp fishing, you gain several advantages.

First, it has an infinite shelf life, get a few packs or a mixed box, and you'll be good to go whenever.

Second, it is less messing about in general. No dealing with sticky tin openers, waiting for your bag of frozen to defrost, and certainly no pesky Canada geese sniffing around every two minutes! 

With a range of colours, you stand a great chance of showing the fish something they've never seen before.

Synthetic baits tend to be more buoyant than their natural counterpart, making it better for pop up style rigs.

The same can be said for synthetic maggots. If you haven't got the time to freeze them (or your Mrs doesn't appreciate a pint of maggots next to last week's beef stew), synthetic maggots could be the answer.

They are naturally more buoyant too. This allows you to add a degree of consistency to your hook bait behaviour.

Finally, let's also touch on the sticky issue of tiger nuts. While they are great bait in terms of catch rate, not all venues allow them to be used.

Ethical concerns are surrounding their use, but we have a way around it. Go synthetic! You'll get all the looks, infinite shelf life, and if the carp remember them from the past, it will be super effective!

The following mixed box of synthetic baits is a great choice to give you loads of options if you need them...

Final Thoughts

Choosing the best hook baits for method feeder fishing requires you to tick a few boxes.

You need a choice, the ability to attach and cast them easily, and above all, the fish have to like eating them! (easier said than done, we know).

Feeder fishing can be challenging at first, and you want to make sure you are doing it right. We've got a great article here offering loads of tips on feeder fishing.

Give some of the above a try and you should start to see positive results in your method feeder fishing.

Tight Lines!

All of the fishing tackle featured in this article can be found at one of the following online shops...

Total fishing tackle

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