Fish short for silvers
Unlike carp, silverfish will feed at relatively short range, so there’s no need to be shipping in and out to 13m each time. Plumb up to find a point just past the bottom of the near slope – typically 5m or 6m out – and base your attack here, in the deepest water on a flat bottom.
Try to avoid the spot just at the base of the shelf, because this can attract too much debris and mask the hookbait and feed.
Make some noise
Casters aren’t a cheap bait, but you don’t always need lots of them. Two pints are ample for winter, feeding half-a-dozen at a time, only upping this if small fish are a problem or bites are coming thick and fast. Casters also make a good bit of noise when hitting the water, which helps to pull fish into the swim and get them hunting around.
Double it up
Start on a single maggot, but look to try a caster as soon as you can. One or two put-ins will be enough to let you know if it’s going to work. Once you start catching on single caster, you can then step up to a double for quality fish. A single will get bites early on, but when you want to catch something a bit better, or are only getting little fish on a single, change to a double, always picking a dark-coloured caster for the hook.
Land those bonus fish!
You can hook a carp fishing this way and if your elastic is too light, it’ll break you! A light hollow elastic (something like Blue or Orange F1 Hydrolastic) is ideal, being soft enough for roach and skimmers but with enough power for carp or bigger F1s and barbel. Match this to a light, but very sharp size 18 or 16 hook, a keen point being important to prevent the bait bursting when you hook it.
Always use a light float
A light float is needed to let the hookbait fall slowly in amid the loosefeed, so we’re talking a 4x10 or 4x10 slim pencil-type pattern using a strung bulk of shot in the bottom half of the rig. This shotting can then be tightened up to a standard bulk and two dropper shot if you’re being bitted out by little fish and need to bomb the bait past them to the bottom.