As we enter spring, one of the most reliable species for keeping bites coming and bumping up your catch are skimmers. They’re one of my favourite fish to target because they have loads of ways to fool you and aren’t always the easiest to get in the net. Here's how I do it...
Go easy on fishmeal
In warmer weather, fishmeal features strongly in my skimmer groundbait, but we’re not there yet! Instead, use a weak fishmeal mix, made up mainly of a sweet groundbait with just a trace of fishmeal.
Scrimp on particles
Add a smattering of maggots to the groundbait, just enough to hold fish in the swim but not get them preoccupied. The idea is to have them hunting around and finding your hookbait with ease.
Fish light gear
It’s not a fish race, even when there are lots of fish in the peg, so terminal tackle is kept on the light side. This ensures you can land everything you hook without bumping skimmers and spooking them.
Groundbait is a must
This is used as an attractor, feeding just one big ball at the start. Have some mixed dry and some wet. The dry is used at the start for maximum attraction, then switch to the wet when you’re catching.
Switch to the feeder
The pole is the No1 way to catch skimmers, but switch to the feeder in high winds. Feeding is much the same, relying on more groundbait and fewer maggots.
Take your time!
Accuracy is everything, so don’t be in a rush with your feeding or in getting the bait back out. Make sure every fish you hook is landed, and that every cast is accurate.