Casters will do a lot of damage for silverfish on commercials. Get on them and watch the size of fish you catch double!
WHEN you’re after roach, be prepared to alter the depth you’re fishing at because, even in winter, they’ll happily come off bottom on milder days. A simple rule is that if you’re not catching quality fish at one depth, then come shallower until you do find them, moving the float down the line by a few inches at a time.
Keep floats light
Casters sink slowly, and fish will watch them fall through the water, which is why so many bites on the pole come just as the float cocks and the bait settles on the bottom – the float you use needs to let this happen. We’re talking a light, slim-bodied pattern taking 4x12 or 4x14, shotted with a strung pattern of No10s or No11s an inch apart in the bottom half of the rig to give the casters a slow fall through the water.
Using casters alone isn’t always the best approach, especially if skimmers are about. Combining them with groundbait gives you a much better chance of catching these bigger fish alongside roach and perch. How many casters to put in each ball is down to how prolific you think the fishing will be and how big the fish are. A smattering is enough on cold days, but while the weather stays mild and appetites high, you can really pile the casters in.
There’s a lot of debate about the best colour of caster to use, and the answer is that there’s no right and wrong choice! Anything from a light golden bronze to a dark burgundy colour can catch, so experimenting is the key. A starting point would be a darker-coloured bait, but feel free to slip a pale, almost white, caster on the hook if you aren’t getting the right results with a dark brown one.
Try a double
BY AND large, a single caster will get you more bites, but as with maggots, trying a double bait now and then can be brilliant.
Doing this can catch bigger skimmers, perch or even F1s and carp, and it’s worth trying if the swim suddenly goes quiet, suggesting a big fish has moved in, or if the size of roach you’re catching is too small for your liking.