Keep It Simple For Commercial Silvers

River ace turned commercial silverfish master!

Silverfish on commercials have become a major target for Wayne Swinscoe lately. Here he explains the tackle and tactics he’s been using to great effect.

Commercial silverfish matches now play a big part in my winter and springtime fishing… and I love ’em! I’ve been concentrating on these types of venues the last three winters, mainly because my local river fishing is non existent and because they offer great sport.

Bonus fish like this tench add plenty of variety.

I mainly go to two venues. The first is Rycroft Fishery, which is situated between Nottingham and Derby. This is your typical commercial with several 20-30 peg lakes averaging 5-7ft deep. The other venue is Meadowlands Fishery just outside Coventry. This consists of two large lakes. Lambsdown is not your normal commercial lake as it is some 70 pegs in size and up to 15ft deep in places. Warren Pool has over 30 pegs and is very shallow, with  4ft being a deep peg.

What I’m trying to get at is the diversity of these venues. Importantly, they all offer great cold water sport, especially for roach and skimmers. There are other species that can figure in catches, like perch, chub, tench and ide, but on these venues I just treat them as bonuses.

Wayne is a big fan of Silverfish Maggot hooks and G-Tip 2 and 3 floats.

I try to keep things as simple as possible when it comes to floats, line, hooks, elastic and bait. Take floats for instance; there’s a million different patterns available but I’ve settled on three for almost everything. Two of these are Drennan G-Tips. Why both? Because they offer me great presentation in a number of conditions. l use them from 0.4g up to 2g. They are well made and have very visible tips, which is essential on these venues when bites are often very finicky.

When the wind is up and the lakes are towing I use the more bulbous G-Tip 2 as I can hold these still or gently edge them through with the tow, plus the slightly thicker tip is more visible in the ripple. In calmer conditions the G-Tip 3 is the ideal float as it is slightly slimmer and a touch more sensitive.

The other pattern I use is one that I put together myself. It has a wire stem, rugby ball body and a 1mm plastic tip and in sizes from 4×8 to 4×12 (0.1g to 0.25g) sizes. These floats are what I prefer for shallow fishing.

All my rigs are made up on on 0.12mm Supplex and my hooklengths are 0.08mm for fishing out in open water, 0.10mm for fishing to any cover down the edges for big perch etc.

Skimmers like this are plentiful and an important target species.

Hooks are always Silverfish Maggot in sizes 16 to 20. I love this pattern tied to Supplex Flourocarbon. Elastics are a personal choice but for this type of fishing I use solid Kamasan No4 and No5 in conjunction with a puller kit.

Wayne’s preferred groundbait mix.

On the bait front, quality casters are king along with worms, maggots and sometimes pellets if they are allowed. Groundbait is also key. I think fishmeal is the way to go, but not too strong for cold water fishing. I use a mix of Bait-Tech Super G Green and Pro Natural Dark, sometimes with some damp leam if I need to reduce the feed content even further and also give the mix some weight.

With simple tactics and modest amounts of bait you can catch quality bags of roach and skimmers right through the winter months. Now that spring has arrived the silverfish sport can be even better – so get out there and make the most of it!