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Silverfish Heaven!

New blogger, Ian Chadburn, reveals his latest lessons for stillwater silvers...




For several years I have been visiting Bankend Fishery near Finningley. I usually fish here during the winter months because the silver-fish fishing, in my opinion, is some of the best bloodworm fishing in the country. A typical five-hour session can see me catching between 20 and 30lb of roach and skimmers. The method that I usually use is the pole.


The Plan

I had Adam Harrison fishing with me. We decided to have a little head-to-head where one of us would use bloodworm and joker and the other maggots, casters and pinkies. Thankfully I won the toss for which baits we were going to use and decided to use bloodworm and joker, while Adam was happy to use maggots and casters. He had first choice of peg and decided to fish Peg 3, which left me on Peg Two. The pegs are situated on a fairly flat grass bank, which makes shipping poles in and out easier. We were also out of the wind and for most of the day we had a fairly flat-calm pond to fish in.


Groundbait Mixes

My mix revolved around Sensas Special Anglaise. I used a kilo of this and added half a kilo each of Sensas Gros Gardons and Sensas Lake. I slightly over wetted my mix and after about an hour, when all the particles had absorbed all the water, I add 2kg of damp leam. Finally I pushed all of my mix through a maggot riddle to take all the big lumps out. If I feel that my mix won't hold together in the deep water I will add a small amount of grey leam to act as a binder.

Adam’s mix was Sensas Gros Gardons, Sensas Canal Black and brown crumb mixed in equal parts. He also overwetted his mix so that he could then add a good helping of molehill soil. He also riddled his mix to remove the big lumps.


Swim Choice And Rigs

Generally at Bankend there are two places to fish. The first is at 13 metres in the deepest part of water. Here it is anything from 10 to 12 feet deep and rigs to cover this area are generally anything from 0.8g to 1.5g. My rigs for my 13m line were made up on 0.12 Sensas Feeling Classic New main line and 0.08 hooklengths using the same line. The two floats I used were a 1.5g Sensas Jeff 2 and a 0.8g Sensas Lombardia. On the Jeff float I used a No6 elastic and a size 16 Gama Black hook, while on the Lombardia float I used a No4 elastic and a size 22 Gama Green hook.

On my 9m line I used a Sensas Lombardia float in 0.6g. This rig was tied on 0.12 Sensas Feeling Classic New line and the hooklength was again 0.08 in the same material. Elastic choice for this line was Sensas coloured No5.

Meanwhile, Adam had elected to fish just one line at nine metres. His float choice was one of the new Rive World Champion 5 series. He used them in 0.8g and 1.5g. His line was Sensas Feeling Classic New in 0.12 to a 0.08 hooklength. Hook choice was Gama Greens in size 20.

Shotting patterns were standard bulks with a couple of droppers. We both use shot for rigs up to and including 1g. Anything over that and we use an olivette and a couple of droppers.


Initial Feeding

To my 4kg mix I added 0.25kg of joker. I then made up 25 balls. I threw 10 in at 13 metres and 15 at nine metres. The idea behind throwing so much bait in was simple. I wanted to create a large area of feed for the fish to graze over for a long period of time and I didn't want to have to re-feed for the duration of our four-hour session.

Adam added a small amount of dead pinkies and a good handful of casters to his mix and accurately cupped 10 balls in at nine metres.


Waiting Game

It took an hour for me to get my first bite – and the first fish of our session – and it was worth the wait because it was a roach of around 6oz caught at 13 metres.

I went straight back out with a single bloodworm on the hook on my light 0.8g rig and had to wait for around five minutes for another bite.

Adam had to wait a further 20 minutes for his first bite. His first fish was again a roach of around 10oz. It took him a further 10 minutes to connect with his second fish.

As the session progressed our swims became stronger and stronger, with fish coming at fairly regular intervals. Adam topped his swim up about every half an hour and had to wait for five minutes for it to settle down, while I didn't have to top up at 13 metres at all. I enjoyed a good two hours of catching a fish a chuck. I even swapped to my bagging rig and started swinging 6oz roach every drop-in.

While we were fishing I wanted to try my 9m line to see if the fish were there too. I left it well alone for two hours and when I went on it the line was solid with roach of all sizes. I had an hour of catching a roach every drop-in. I then topped up with a one-handed ball of groundbait and went straight back on it. I caught a 10oz fish straightaway and then I was back into the 6oz-stamp fish.

For the final hour I decided to try topping up regularly (after every fourth fish) to see if this increased the stamp of fish I was catching. Sure enough it did because I had a run of 10oz fish to end my session with well in excess of 15lb of roach.

Adam had been catching sporadically on pinkies. He tried caster and caught the same stamp of fish but at a much slower rate. For the final hour he nicked some bloodworm off me (the cheeky sod) to see if he could catch more regularly. It worked a treat and he was swinging a chunky roach in every drop-in.


Final Catches And Conclusions

Adam and I fished our pegs very differently and had very similar outcomes in that we both caught fish. I think a bloodworm-and-joker approach was better because I caught fish more regularly. However, Adam did have some better-stamp fish. I think fishing one line for the duration of our session is alright when pleasure fishing because we had the fish all to ourselves. However, in a match I think it's best to have two lines and start on a longer one and come in closer later in the day.

In terms of weight, I had around 18lb and Adam 15lb. Our weights were made up almost exclusively of roach, with both of us having a single perch. When you consider that we fished for four hours and didn’t have a bite for at least an hour, we had a great day’s fishing.


Tight lines Ian C

Other titlesmf magfeedermatch livepf plusthink fishing