Success with spring silvers

When the silverfish back off, Russell Shipton has a way to keep on catching

Success with spring silvers

by Angling Times |

Silverfish are a reliable target on commercials while we’re waiting for the carp to wake up properly from their winter slumber. But silvers like roach, skimmers and rudd can present their own unique set of challenges.

The biggest of these is their liking for backing away from the feed after a good start. Pop in a few balls of groundbait and an instant flurry of bites gets you thinking that you’re sorted for the rest of the session, only for the fish to disappear almost as quickly as they arrived.

Here's how I keep catching them...

Silvers like roach, skimmers and rudd can present their own unique set of challenges
Silvers like roach, skimmers and rudd can present their own unique set of challenges

Dot the float down

These days, especially for skimmers, I’ll dot the tip right down and fish much smaller floats – in 6ft of water, I’ll use a 4x14 Middy F1 Wire pattern.

Dot the float down
Dot the float down

Use light elastic

For skimmers and roach I favour a solid Hi-Viz 3-4 grade in green, matched to a size 18 6313 hook and an 0.10mm hooklength of Lo-Viz.

Use light elastic
Use light elastic

Fishmeal all the way

A mix I’ve had a lot of success with is Adrenaline Baits’ Betaine Green with a helping of added F1 Noir to darken it and add a bit more attraction.

Fishmeal all the way
Fishmeal all the way

Think depth

For shallow water, feed a loose dampened mix that spreads out a little near the bottom. In deeper water, a firmer, harder ball will be required.

Think depth
Think depth

Go easy on topping up

Unless I wish to re-feed and move to another line, I’ll change to a Grip-Flex pot to pop in just a small nugget or a helping of loose groundbait.

Go easy on topping up
Go easy on topping up

Vary your hookbaits

Change baits could be a worm head, a small grain of corn or (one that I’ve found to be really effective) one red maggot and one fluoro pinkie.

Vary your hookbaits
Vary your hookbaits
Silvers fill the gap nicely before the carp come on song
Silvers fill the gap nicely before the carp come on song
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