There are a lot of different techniques to catch fish, the traditional method people think of when they hear “course fishing” is the image of an angler sitting watching a float bobbing up and down in the water. But there are other methods which are often more deadly, swim feeder fishing is one of them, this post is part of my feeder fishing tips posts, please read and make a comment below.

What is a swim feeder?

What is feeder fishing? A swim feeder is most commonly a cylindrical shaped container which has holes in the side which is filled with bait and attached to your main reel line. There are two traditional types of feeder, block end feeders and open end feeders. However in recent years there has also been a 3rd type of feeder developed which is arguably the most deadly, the method feeder. All swim feeders for fishing are designed to place your bate on the deck, at the bottom where the fish are feeding.

Feeders come in various different sizes and weights, depending on how far you want to cast and how much bait you want to deposit on the bottom of the lake, river or canal.

Detecting bites when fishing a swim feeder is different in that you don’t use a float, instead you use a specialist rod with a “quiver” tip. Read on to see how to detect a bite whilst feeder fishing.

Here are some examples of the three types of swim feeders for fishing:

Swim Feeders

Why Use A Feeder?

Feeders are ideal if you wish to fish on the bottom, if the fish are feeding on the deck then the swim feeder offers a highly effective and accurate way of getting your bait and hook bait nicely presented on the bottom of the water. Swim feeders for fishing are commonly used with ground bait, if you were to throw ground bait in by hand it can be difficult to land it in exactly the same spot, or quite often it will break up or be swept away on moving waters, the feeder helps you get around these problems.

With a little practice you will be able to cast the feeder to exactly the same spot in your chosen swim, baiting a very small targeted area and producing a carpet of bait which will be irresistible to fish.

When the ground bait breaks down, it releases an attractive cloud of bait which helps to attract fish into the area, with the added bonus of your hook bait being in close proximity.

The Open End Feeder.

Open End Feeders
This is the most common type of feeder in my opinion (I suppose it would depend on where you live). Open end feeders come in two main designs, the plastic type and the cage feeder.

As you can see the design of these two types of feeder is very similar, the main difference is that the cage feeder has bigger holes which helps the bait leave the feeder quicker.

The plastic open end feeders are ideal for fishing in deeper waters, the feeder will hold the bait until it hits the bottom, the cage type of open ended feeder is designed for shallower waters as the bait will leave the cage much faster.

How you fill the feeder is important, here is a great guide on how to fill your open ended swim feeders.

Block End Feeder

Block End FeederThe block end feeder is perfect for fishing flowing waters as the bait will stay in the block end feeder a lot longer. This type of feeder is perfect if you are using particle baits such as hemp, maggot, caster, corn, pellets etc… If you were to try feeding particle baits with an open end feeder it would be very difficult to fill as the bait will fall out the end, unless you plug each end of the open end feeder with ground bait.

Rivers are an ideal place to use the block end feeder, the flowing water will wash all the bait away too quickly if you used a different feeder design.

As with all feeders, the block end feeders come in all different weights, shapes and sizes.

Here is a great post on how to fish the block end feeder.

The Method Feeder

Method FeederThe method feeder is becoming more and more common, simply because it is very very effective. I personally favor the Method Feeder over open ended feeders every time. The Method Feeder looks totally different to the other two designs, it is primarily used for ground bait, but can also be used with soft or damp pellets. With the Method Feeder you basically form a ball of ground bait around the feeder itself, either burying your hook bait within the ball or leaving it separate (depending on how fussy the fish are on the day).

Here is a great post on how to add your bait to a method feeder and how to fish the method feeder.

Identifying Bites With A Feeder

Quiver TipsFeeder fishing requires a specialist fishing rod fitted with a “quiver tip”. This tip if very flexible and will bend really easily, this is the key to identifying bites when feeder fishing.

When the feeder is in the water and at the bottom, the main line should be tightened up to the feeder, you will feel some resistance on the rod before the feeder starts to move in the water, the key is tightening the line to put a slight bend in the quiver tip. This will prime the tip for indicating bites.

When a fish picks up your hook bait, you will see the rod tip “quiver” or bend even further, this is how you spot a bite. However there is also something called “line bites” which can prevent the novice angler from catching fish.

A line bite looks similar to a proper bite but is caused by the fish rubbing against the main line as it runs tight through the water up to the feeder. It is important to ignore these line bites and wait for the real deal. Usually a proper bite will whip the quiver tip round at an almost 90 degree angle, a very aggressive movement. This can be termed the “rap around”.

Here is a great video example of a quiver tip bite:

Lessons from the master.. Matt Hayes.

And finally I would recommend you watch the following video by Matt Hayes on how to fish the feeder. I have found this video on YouTube however it would be much better to purchase the DVD.


Thanks for reading, check back for more feeder fishing tips, if you enjoyed the post please make a comment, if you have anything to add, any more advice for my readers please comment below.

If you would like to see some feeder fishing videos please click here.

Tight lines.