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The sloppy approach to catching ide

Ide are becoming a familiar sight on commercial venues, so we asked Amer Jawad to reveal his secret to catching these feisty silver fish.

A number of commercial fisheries around the country have stocked a breed of fish that looks a little like a roach at first glance, but when hooked, makes powerful runs like a chub. Ide are the ‘new kids on the block’.

Like F1s, ide feed well in the winter, which enables venues to provide year-round action when other species have switched off in the cold. In the summer, however, they are ferocious feeders, which, if you get a shoal in your peg, will keep the action coming, enabling you to build a big weight in quick time.

Yasi’s Lake at How End Fisheries, in Bedfordshire, is a snake-type pool and it holds a big head of ide, some to nearly 2lb. It’s where Daiwa-backed Amer Jawad had been enjoying recent success in a number of open matches, so we joined him to discover the tactics that enabled him to catch some big weights in the early part of the summer.

IMG 9911

Ide are feisty scrappers, so don’t be too hasty as it could result in hook-pulls.


“The first thing that I want to point out is that there isn’t a big head of carp in this lake, and along with the ide there are plenty of barbel and skimmers, so it’s a little different to a standard commercial,” Amer explained. “That being said, there may be a large population of ide, but they are not that easy to catch, as they don’t just feed at one or two levels in the water, and they are really shy-biting fish.

“It has taken me a few matches to come up with a method to catch a big weight. It’s a bit messy, but it has definitely enabled me to pull the fish in, and keep them feeding for long periods.”

Amer explained that he had worked out that the ide fed most confidently in the upper layers, and that they responded to a cloudy feed in the water, which then triggered them to feed. He explained that he had played around with several recipes early doors, but after a few visits to the lake he had come up with a dark, sloppy mix that resulted in an increased catch rate.

“It’s a dark, fine peat-based mix, to which I add molasses powder and black Tracix to darken it even more,” said Amer. “Once all of the ingredients have been mixed dry, I add plenty of water until I end up with a tacky slop, which I want to fall out of a small Toss Pot in a lump and then quickly form a cloud as it hits the water, to create an attractive dark column as it falls to the bottom.


Amer’s Super Sloppy Mix

1 Take a dry mix of fine peat, dried molasses and black Tracix.

2 Mix the ingredients well and then add plenty of water.

3 You are looking for a tacky slop that will disintegrate on contact with the water.


“The mix also has little food content, so for a bit of extra attraction I add a few finely chopped worms and a couple of casters to each ‘blob’ I feed.”

The dark slop only takes a few moments to prepare, and while he get his hands dirty Amer added that it is used when targeting fish feeding up in the water.

“I’ve also discovered that after a period of catching well shallow, the ide seem to either back off, or drop down and feed on the bottom,” he explained. “When this happens, you need a Plan B, and again, after a little trial and error, I have found that they respond to a big pot of maggots fed tight over towards the island.”

IMG 9935

Locate the Toss Pot close to the pole tip to aid accuracy when dropping the slop into the water.


Having pointed out that ide are shy biters, Amer then explained each of the three rigs that he had set up to enable him to catch fish at any level.

“The first rig is for catching off the bottom, about a metre away from the island in the deeper water.”

The float is a slim, 4x10 carbon stem-type with a hollow bristle, which is set on 0.13mm Power line, and shotted with a bulk of three No10s placed directly above a 4in, 0.10mm hook link, with a barbless size 18 Drennan Silverfish Match hook.

“I prefer to fish my short rigs with carbon-stemmed floats, as I find that a wire stem seems to ‘bounce’ more when you ship out or strike, which increases the chance of tangles,” he continued. “It is said that a carbon stem doesn’t cock as quickly as a wire type, but it’s not really an issue when the rig is so short.”

IMG 0021

With a puller option, any carp or barbel could be quickly tamed. 


Another look at the rig also revealed that Amer had pinched on a No12 half-Styl just above the float’s eye.

“I have found that by adding this, it sinks the line close to the bristle, which reduces the resistance when a fish takes the bait, and it also makes the rig more sensitive so it shows the shy plucks at the bait better,” he added.

An identical rig to the first had been set up to enable Amer to fish tight over to the island. However, he had plumbed that up so that he could fish a bait on the bottom – up the far shelf, where the water shallowed up. The rig also had a long length of line between the pole tip and float, as the water was not as coloured as you would expect on a typical commercial, due to the low density of carp in the lake, so he wanted to avoid spooking the fish by waving a pole over their heads.

Amer pointed out that if the ide really started to compete, they would come right to the surface, and so if he started to see swirls on the top he would use his third rig, which consisted of a small ‘blob’ float that had a single No10 shot fixed directly below it, so that it sat low in the water to offer less resistance. The blob was set on 0.13mm Power, to which he had attached a 6in, 0.10mm hook link with a size 18 Silverfish Match hook.

All three rig were attached to top kits that had doubled-up No4 solid elastics on a puller setup, which would put the brakes on the feisty ide as they bolted off, and also offered plenty in backup to tame a carp or barbel should one crash the party!

The session started with Amer fishing about a metre off the island, where he had set his rig to fish four inches off the deck. He explained that he planned to catch fish early in the deeper water, and try to draw the up in the water, so that after a period, he could catch on his ‘blob’ rig.

Yasi’s Pool also has a lot of small silvers, so to avoid being pestered too much, Amer started on a 1in section of worm, which had been the best option in the recent matches he had fished. This was then shipped out, and once the slop was fed, he lifted the rig out and slowly dropped the hook bait through the dark cloud.

“Bites might not come immediately, as you often have to wait for the ide to turn up,” he explained. “If I don’t get a bite within 60 seconds, then I ship out with another load of slop and keep repeating the process until I start to get bites.”

It took about 20 minutes before he hooked his first ide, and then Amer had a string of fish before he started to get line bites regularly, which prompted him to shallow up by another two inches.

“I did get pestered by small fish at first,” he commented. “Now the ide have turned up in numbers, they will dominate the upper layers, so I don’t expect to catch many more small fish. If they do become a problem, it will probably be because the ide have backed off, which is an indication that I will have to switch to my Plan B.”

Amer had put a good run of quality fish together in the early part of session, which included a number of 1lb-plus specimens. At one point he even had a few fish boiling on the surface, which prompted him to reach for the ‘blob’ rig. However, the fish didn’t seem too happy to take a bait that shallow, preferring instead to follow the worm down and then take it in mid water, although when he did catch a fish ‘off the top’ it was a better stamp.

Then, as the session continued, the frequency of the bites slowed, and Amer started to catch smaller ide. He surmised that, as has happened before, when he fished matches on the venue, the fish had started to back away from the shallow line. He had also started to catch more small silver fish, another clue that he would have to make a change. So, reaching for his cupping kit, he proceeded to pot in a big helping of maggots over to the island, away from and to the right of his shallow line, and which he would allow to settle before dropping a bait over the top.

Five minutes more on the worm and slop was enough time to confirm that the fish had moved, so Amer had his first look on the deck with red maggot on the hook. The result was a few small roach. The ide hadn’t moved in yet, but with the small silvers feeding on the grubs, he explained that if he just left the line and waited for the fish to arrive, the feed would be mopped up, so to ensure there was plenty for the ide to find, Amer topped up the line with three-quarters of a pot of maggots, and allowed it to settle again.

The ploy worked, as when he next shipped out to the island, he started to catch again. To ensure he kept the fish interested until the end of the session, he topped up regularly with more maggots when the bites slowed.

Amer estimated that he had well over 50lb, as he pulled his net out at the end of the three-hour session. It was an awesome catch, so if you do have a local venue that boasts a stock of ide, the secret’s out – get on the worm and slop!

IMG 0035

Over 50lb in less than three hours. Top bagging!


The Venue

How End Fisheries

Location: How End Road, Houghton Conquest, Bedford MK45 3JT

Contact: Phil Stone on 07753 743802

Website: www.howendfisheries.co.uk


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