Top coach re­veals how to catch more sil­ver fish on the wag­gler now

The shoals will com­pete for a slowly-fall­ing bait

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

IT’S one thing to un­earth a fish­ery that has stacks of sil­ver fish that have hardly ever been fished for, but an­other thing al­to­gether to take a bulging net­ful of the blighters!

Th­ese fish are likely to feed in a com­pletely dif­fer­ent way to the roach, bream and perch in nat­u­ral waters, and your tac­tics will need to re­flect that if you are to cap­i­talise on the sit­u­a­tion.

For­mer Fish O’Ma­nia cham­pion Andy May makes no se­cret of his love for bag­ging up on sil­ver fish and reg­u­larly makes them his sole fo­cus on com­mer­cials where an­glers rarely trou­ble them.

“When it comes to fish­ing for sil­vers on com­mer­cials you can’t beat the wag­gler,” ex­plained Andy.

“The pole line is where the carp come in to feed be­cause this is where the ma­jor­ity of the bait is piled in – so the other species back off to an area where they can’t be bul­lied out, and are forced to look for other food sources.”


The heavy tackle that is com­mon­place on com­mer­cials has no place when smaller fish come to the fore, with light rigs that act in a cer­tain way the key to suc­cess.

“Light ter­mi­nal tackle is re­ally im­por­tant for sil­ver fish as they shy away from thick lines and hooks. It is also im­por­tant to have a very slow fall of the hook­bait as the fish are likely to be sat at var­i­ous depths,” Andy said.

“I al­ways use a loaded float at this time of year and a 1.75g Dren­nan Loaded Insert wag­gler is a good start­ing point. This means that I don’t have to have any shot down the line, al­low­ing the hook­bait to fall in­cred­i­bly slowly. This gives the fish the op­por­tu­nity to take the hook­bait no mat­ter what depth they are sat at.”

Main­line is 4lb MAP Op­ti­mum to an 0.12mm Power Op­tex hook­length and a size 18 Ka­masan B610 hook.


Now that the leaves have taken on

their au­tum­nal colours, an­glers in­stantly see this as a sign to rein in the feed. But while this is a wise move in most sce­nar­ios, it isn’t the way for­ward where wag­gler fish­ing for sil­ver fish is con­cerned.

“The carp have started to slow down the rate at which they feed, but roach and skim­mers will con­tinue to com­pete for bait through­out the cold months,” Andy ex­plained. “So you need to keep in­tro­duc­ing small quan­ti­ties of bait on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. This makes sure that some­thing is al­ways trick­ling through the wa­ter col­umn, en­cour­ag­ing the fish to feed and draw­ing in other shoals that are cu­ri­ous what the com­mo­tion is.”

Mag­gots are Andy’s favourite bait by a mile at this time of year and while he will look to cat­a­pult bait in ev­ery minute or so, two or three pints will last a whole day.

“You only need to feed around 15 mag­gots each time. More, and it takes longer for the fish to pick out the hook­bait,” he said.

Feed­ing a foot short of where you are fish­ing is also worth try­ing as the big­ger sil­ver­fish of­ten sit just off the main bed of bait.


Nail­ing a bait to the bot­tom and leav­ing it mo­tion­less is a recipe for disas­ter when af­ter sil­ver fish. Roach, perch, ide and chub all pre­fer to at­tack a bait that is on the move, and that re­quires you to keep busy at all times.

“If I haven’t had a bite within 30 sec­onds I will fire out a few more mag­gots, then twitch the hook­bait to lift it off the bot­tom and hope­fully pro­voke a re­sponse. If that doesn’t work I will reel in and chuck out again. Al­most ev­ery bite you get when fish­ing for sil­vers will come within a minute or the rig go­ing in so I see no rea­son to leave it in the wa­ter any longer,” re­vealed Andy.

Au­tumn doesn’t have to when you put bag­ging up to the back of your mind. Switch to sil­vers and keep that red-hot streak you’ve been en­joy­ing alive and kick­ing!

Lighter tackle is the or­der of the day.

A nice stillwater chub for Andy May.

Feed lit­tle and of­ten to keep fish in­ter­ested.

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