How to catch skimmers on big waters

Being positive with feed will unlock bream on big waters, says Ed Warren

How to catch skimmers on big waters

by Angling Times |

I love fishing large, natural lakes for silverfish, venues that allow you to really attack the way you feed and fish – but there is one small problem, and that’s the sheer size of the place!

Local venues to me in the West Midlands include Patshull Park, where I am today. It’s a huge, sprawling estate lake that’s popular with match, pleasure and big-fish anglers alike.

Skimmers are the dominant species here, but when you look at how much water’s in front of you, it does raise the question ‘how on Earth will I get them feeding in front of me to catch on the pole?’

The answer is to be very positive in how you feed. Here's how I do it...

You can amass a decent weight of skimmers at this time of year
You can amass a decent weight of skimmers at this time of year

Ball it in!

The fish could be anywhere, so you need to attract them quickly. I’ll throw in 10-12 large balls of groundbait at the start to pull the shoals in.

Ball it in!
Ball it in!

Add some leam

My groundbait mix is half Mainline Pro-Active and half damp leam. The leam adds weight for deep water and also helps create a cloud.

Add some leam
Add some leam

Fish positive rigs

Catching skimmers in 10ft of water needs a big rig – a 1g Garbolino SPM 43 pattern with an olivette and three No9 dropper shot is perfect.

Fish positive rigs
Fish positive rigs

Fish worm baits

Maggots would be my starting bait, but once the skimmers arrive, I’ll be quick to change over to worms on the hook. A dendra tail is a superb bait.

Fish worm baits
Fish worm baits

Top up regularly

Because the balls I’m feeding aren’t rich in feed, the fish can soon eat everything. Topping up is important and this is done to keep bites coming.

Top up regularly
Top up regularly

Balance your kit

I’d use a size 18 Garbolino Medium Match hook to an 0.10mm hooklength. If the fishing is good, I’ll change to a bigger hook, up to a size 14.

Balance your kit
Balance your kit
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