Need for speed Silverfish tactics
...and the pole to hand is one of the fastest tactics you can use
SPEED is of the essence when a big net of silvers is on the cards.
But picking the right tactic is vital if you want a bulging keepnet by the end of the day.
Shipping in and out on the pole can waste valuable time, with the longer distances and regular winding in on the waggler also hampering your bagging pace.
When a fish-a-chuck is on the agenda there’s no better option than the pole to hand – and current Veterans National champion Kevin Folwell is a master of the approach.
“When you want to put a big net of roach, perch and skimmers together it is very important that you get into a rhythm quickly or you won’t make the most of the your session,” explained Kevin.
“The pole to hand allows you to hook fish and get them in the keepnet within seconds.
“You need to keep repeating the process time and time again to maintain the pace of building a good weight.”
GET THE LENGTH RIGHT
The pole to hand effectively allows you to hook and have the fish on the bank in one motion without removing any sections.
In summer, silvers on commercials are ravenous as they compete with the F1s and carp for loosefeed and come close to the bank to get their fair share of bait.
With that in mind, a top kit and one extra section is all that’s needed to reach the shoals.
“The rig needs to be around a foot to 18ins short of the whole length of pole you are using. Then, when a fish is swung in and elastic is hanging out, the fish will still come to hand and not end up by your feet!
“To get the rig into place with ease a fairly heavy float is required, and a 0.4g Drennan AS3 is ample. Try and catch the fish as shallow as they will come, as that means there is less water for the hookbait to fall through.
“If you can catch them at half depth in 4ft of water that’s a lot of time saved and a lot more fish going into the net.”
A bulk shotting pattern set around 18ins from the hook with three small dropper shot below is ideal, with 0.13mm mainline to a 0.11mm hooklength and a fine-wire size 18 hook to cap the rig off.
LASH IN THE FEED
Commercial silvers can be easy to catch but you are in charge of whether or not they drop their guard. Swinging the rig into the target zone and sitting back in the hope that the float will instantly fly under will end in disappointment.
To whip them into a frenzy you need to keep the loosefeed going in every 30 seconds. Around 10 maggots are enough to get your swim boiling in no time.
“Everyone uses red maggots these days but I like to give them something different and I usually rely on bronze,” said Kevin.
“Every time I cast in I’ll feed a few maggots over the top. When you’re getting hundreds of bites in a day that’s a lot of feeding. But because you are only introducing small quantities at a time you don’t need gallons of bait. Two or three pints of maggots is usually ample.”
AVOID NUISANCE FISH
On some commercials there has been an explosion of tiny silvers, and coming back with one of these every drop-in will soon have you tearing your hair out.
But there are ways around this problem and you can almost guarantee that their bigger brothers and sisters will be lingering nearby.
Playing with the shotting pattern can help, placing the bulk slightly closer to the hooklength to get the hookbait through the upper layers where the tiddlers are usually sat.
Switching to casters can also provoke a response from quality redfins, skimmers and even bonus tench and carp.
Last but not least, casting to the left or right of where the main feed is can buy bites from slightly more cautious fish that are sat just off the main shoal.
There are hundreds of commercials where untouched silverfish shoals are waiting to be caught, and the pole to hand is the ideal tool to plunder them with this week.
Get into a rhythm and it’s a fish every put-in.
Kevin Folwell’s impressive day’s catch.