Get a bite a chuck all sum­mer – Lee Kerry

Eng­land in­ter­na­tional Lee Kerry re­veals how you can bag up on reser­voir sil­vers

Improve Your Coarse Fishing (UK) - - Contents - Words & Pho­tog­ra­phy Tony Grig­or­jevs

THERE’S no mid­dle ground when it comes to bream fish­ing – it re­ally is boom or bust. Be­ing a shoal species, you are ei­ther go­ing to get a bite ev­ery chuck and ac­cu­mu­late a bulging net, or watch a mo­tion­less rod tip. Sadly, at this time of year the lat­ter is more likely to oc­cur. Sti­fling tem­per­a­tures can re­sult in bream wait­ing un­til the mer­cury drops a lit­tle overnight. And by that time you’re prob­a­bly tucked up in bed! Most avid bream an­glers have come to ac­cept blanks as part and par­cel of tar­get­ing the species. Not Lee Kerry. He be­lieves a change of mind­set can turn a very dull day into a much more ex­cit­ing event. The Pre­ston In­no­va­tions and Sonubaits­backed star has spent hours on end fish­ing for the moody species in re­cent years and has a back-up plan to keep things in­ter­est­ing when they refuse to play ball. “All of the reser­voirs that are home to bream are stuffed with sil­ver fish. These roach, skim­mers, perch and hy­brids can be caught ev­ery chuck on the feeder,” ex­plained Lee. “If you tweak your tac­tics you can put lots of fish in the net on a day when you would end up empty-handed on the bream front.”

Keep the bait go­ing in

If there is one habit that many bream an­glers have de­vel­oped it is lazi­ness. Out goes the feeder, the rod goes on the rests and then it is a mat­ter of only re­peat­ing that process three or four times an hour un­less bites are com­ing thick and fast. But there’s no room for such a lethar­gic ap­proach when us­ing the feeder for sil­vers. A much quicker pace is called for. “If you were fish­ing for sil­vers on the pole you would be reg­u­larly feed­ing with a cat­a­pult and work­ing the rig to keep the hook­bait ac­tive. You need to mimic that to an ex­tent on the feeder. To keep bait go­ing through the wa­ter col­umn I re­cast ev­ery three min­utes.” Lee starts the day by mak­ing three casts with a large feeder to put down a small car­pet of feed.

He then switches to a much smaller Pre­ston In­no­va­tions Plug It Feeder for the re­main­der of the ses­sion. You might be tempted to cram it with ground­bait and just a few morsels of loose­feed, but do­ing the op­po­site is more ben­e­fi­cial. “You wouldn’t chuck in a small ball of ground­bait ev­ery time when float fish­ing be­cause the fish com­pete more ag­gres­sively for the loose­feed. I place a nugget of finely-chopped worms, dead mag­gots and a cou­ple of grains of corn in the feeder and only use ground­bait to cap the ends.” An even blend of Sonubaits F1 Dark Sweet Fish­meal and Mag­got Fish­meal is ideal. This is a con­coc­tion with an el­e­ment of fish­meal that has the po­ten­tial to draw in bonus fish but isn’t too sat­u­rated in it which would other­wise de­ter the roach and perch you’re after.

Break the golden rule

Light tackle is al­ways go­ing to rule supreme when it comes to fill­ing your net with sil­vers but the Eng­land in­ter­na­tional as­sured us that there is no need to go over the top. Lee’s reel is filled with 0.12mm Pre­ston In­no­va­tions Ab­so­lute Feeder Braid with a 7m, 8lb Sink­ing Feeder mono shock­leader lead­ing to an 0.11mm hook­length that is just shy of 2ft in length. A medium wire size 16 hook com­pletes the rig. “Braid has so many ad­van­tages for this style of fish­ing. Its lack of stretch means ev­ery bite, no mat­ter how del­i­cate, is reg­is­tered on the rod tip and the fish even hook them­selves on it against the feeder. “I use the 0.12mm di­am­e­ter braid as it rarely tan­gles and that gives me one less thing to worry about dur­ing the day,” he added.

Al­though the rig is im­por­tant, it is what you do once it has en­tered the wa­ter that is even more cru­cial to your re­sults. We have had it drummed into us over the years that you should im­me­di­ately place the rod on the rest once you have cast so that you don’t dis­lodge the feeder. But, as Lee ex­plained, he com­pletely ig­nores this rule when fish­ing in this man­ner with a long hook­length. “The feeder will hit the bot­tom and then the hook­length will flut­ter down and end up in a heap on top of it. If you put the rod straight on the rest a fish could pick up the hook­bait and you wouldn’t know be­cause of the slack in the hook­length. “To pre­vent this hap­pen­ing I cast out, wait 10 sec­onds for ev­ery­thing to set­tle and then drag the feeder a foot or so to straighten the hook­length out along the bot­tom. “If you do this after ev­ery cast you’ll be amazed at how many more bites you spot.”

Line of at­tack

When faced with an open wa­ter swim it can be tricky to gauge how far out to fish. Roach, perch and hy­brids will come close to the bank at this time of year but you also want to give your­self a chance of catch­ing a bonus bream or tench should any show up. “You don’t want to cast so far out that you are wast­ing time wind­ing in sil­vers from range all the time. But at the same time you need to en­sure your rig is in an area that the big­ger fish may pa­trol. “Cast­ing 30m is ideal al­though on re­ally hot days when I have no re­al­is­tic chance of a bream or tench then I may even come as close as 20m,” ad­vised Lee. Big bream aren’t the only res­i­dents of your favourite reser­voir and it can pay div­i­dends to pay at­ten­tion to the hun­gry sil­vers when weather is against you.

A large feeder is used to put down an ini­tial bed of feed

A small feeder filled with loose­feed will keep the fish ag­gres­sively com­pet­ing

An even mix of Mag­got Fish­meal and F1 Dark Sweet Fish­meal will at­tract a wide range of species

Small sil­ver­fish pro­vide great sport on reser­voirs

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