Get a bite a chuck all summer – Lee Kerry
England international Lee Kerry reveals how you can bag up on reservoir silvers
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