Fishing the Long Pole and Groundbait
Lee Werrett takes a look at one of the key methods for bagging silver fish and shows how working and feeding different lines can make a real difference to results.
Today you find me using my favourite method - long pole and groundbait for silver fish. This is a great way of feeding as it lends itself perfectly to using a multitude of hook baits over the top.
The weather is very mild for the time of the year and because it’s so mild I feel that I can afford to attack the swim today so I’m going to use Bait-Tech’s Kult Sweet Fishmeal and I’m going to add some Special ‘G’ Gold for an added fishy kick. If it was colder I would cut this out altogether and also darken the mix with some black dye.
I have had some incredible results using this mix and the ratio I use is 2 parts Kult to 1 part Gold, it mixes very easily and produces a mix that can carry a lot of loose feed if need be yet still breaks down very quickly.
Today I am going to be using maggot and caster as hook baits but I’ve also have had great results using pellet as hook bait with micro pellet in the groundbait, this can be particularly good if the venue sees a lot of pellets.
Rigs for this method are a little different to your standard bulk and two droppers and I’m using a double bulked rig. For today’s session I’m using a 4x18 rig mounted on 0.12mm mainline to 0.10mm hook length and a size 18 hook fine gauge hook.
The rig is shotted with a normal bulk 18 inches from the hook and another small bulk of no. 10 shot 4 inches from the hook. This is set just off bottom and the theory behind using the rig is that when a skimmer drops its head to pick the bait up it eats the bait then lifts its head to right itself; this, in turn, lifts the smaller bulk causing the float to lift - it will also, on occasion, go under conventionally so it’s a very positive method.
I’m going to start off the session by feeding my swims; when I plumbed up earlier I found that the two long pole swims that I’ve chosen are the same depth, it is important to have two or even more swims on the go as not to bleed dry the swims that you are fishing. What you will usually find is that one swim will be more dominant than the other as the session progresses.
I’m going to start the session by introducing groundbait into the two long pole swims and I have placed these in the 10 o’clock – 2 o’clock positions for comfort and to give them space so they don’t interfere with each other.
To the groundbait I am going to add some casters as well as a pinch of dead maggot but I’m not going to put all my eggs in one basket and put the same amount of bait on the two lines; as the old saying goes you can’t take out what you have put in and this is very true. On one line I’m going to put in just one ball of groundbait but on the other line I’m going to put three balls in. In a match situation you would be leaving these lines to settle and encourage the fish to come over this bait therefore I’ve set an identical rig on a 5m line and introduce a ball of groundbait on this line in the hope that I can put some fish in the net whilst those long pole lines are settling.
To start the session I slip two dead maggots on the hook and ship out to the 5m line all the while looking out for signs of fish on the long pole lines. As I’ve glanced back at my float it’s vanished at speed and I know straight away that this is not one of my intended quarry - five or six minutes elapse and a lovely common carp of about 8lb pops up in front of me and is duly netted. Not the start I was looking for and with so much disturbance I decide to re-feed the 5m line with a small nugget of groundbait.
I ship out and wait and the next bite sees the whole bristle rise slowly out of the water and a gentle lift sees 4ft of no5 elastic pouring out of the pole. Gently easing the pole back a lovely three pound bream pops up, that’s more like it! Over the next twenty minutes or so I take another four or five just like the first one. The swim dries up but before I move out to the longer lines I re-feed the short line again in hope of revisiting it later.
Moving out to the negatively fed line sees me into fish immediately and within seconds of lowering the float into the water the bristle is rising back out as another beautiful bronze shape makes its bid for freedom. Not wanting to overfish this line I re-feed it with another ball of groundbait and move onto the heavily fed line where I expect the fish to be lined up judging by how they have responded in my other swims.
Instantly this line starts giving up some lovely fish up to 3lb and it’s evident that the line that received more groundbait at the start is stronger than the negative one. You don’t know that when you feed at the start and a cautious approach often pays dividends. You can always turn a negative swim into a positive one but not the other way around!
I kept swapping between the three lines, all the time feeding then moving and it’s been relatively easy to keep bites coming even when you have a cameraman stood 2ft from your float! They certainly enjoyed what I had fed them!
I hope that the methods and feeding regime that I have shown you will help you put more silver fish in your net. Today I’ve finished with a lovely bag of skimmers for the camera when bites start to fade don’t be afraid to feed again, be positive and always keep your lines fed so you have somewhere to go!