Top coach reveals how to catch more silver fish on the waggler now
The shoals will compete for a slowly-falling bait
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.