England International, Des Shipp reveals his secrets to catching a net full of silvers on running water venues.
Lots of anglers shy away from fishing on rivers because they think it can be complicated and difficult, add this to a possible long walk to your peg and you can see why commercial fisheries are so popular.
The reality is that rivers can provide incredible sport and you don’t have to pick the peg furthest away from the car park for good sport. The fishing is very simple and by reading this bit of advice, you too could end up with a netful of silver fish.
Once you’ve set up your pole and your box, the most important part is to plumb up correctly. Along with every other type of fishing you do, this could be the difference between a bumper day or struggling for bites.
Use the heaviest plummet that you can find, this will help you to read the bottom easier than with a smaller plummet. You will also be fighting the flow of the water.
Spend time plumbing around the swim, look for obstructions on the bottom or changes in depth. You will be running your rig downstream and if the river shallows up your hookbait can catch on the bottom, decreasing the efficiency of your rig.
I’m fishing on a fairly deep river with slow flow today. I’ve opted for a 1.5g PT Series 7
float, this has a round body, allowing me to hold the float back slightly if I need to. It also has a wire stem to keep the float stable in the water.
Des favours a round bodied float pattern on rivers!
The olivette helps to get the rig down in the water. This avoids the attentions of small bleak and gets the hookbait down in the water where the bigger roach will be. The dropper shot allow the hookbait to fall the last 18 inches naturally.
My bait tray is extremely simple. I’ve brought a couple of pints of maggots, a couple of tins of Sonubaits Natural Hemp
and a pint of casters. My groundbait is 1 bag of Sonubaits Supercrumb Black
, 1 bag of Supercrumb Lake
and 1 bag of Supercrumb River
This is more than enough to see me through the day.
I’ll start by introducing 10 balls of groundbait laced with casters and some hemp. This will create a nice carpet of feed in the swim. It’s important to ball in your groundbait just downstream of where you are fishing. The roach like to sit just above the feed and can often be caught upstream of your main groundbait. A single red maggot hookbait is my starting choice. These roach love maggots! After placing the rig in I’ll feed some hemp and maggots via a catapult then slowly inch my rig through the swim.
It can sometimes pay to ring the changes with hookbaits. I’ve got the option to use some hemp, casters or even double maggot hookbaits.
How To Mix Groundbait
Step 1- Start by emptying a bag of Supercrumb River into a bucket
Step 2- Then add a bag of Lake and Black to the bucket
Step 3- Slowly add water, mixing thoroughly
Step 4- Once mixed, add your loose feed to the groundbait and mix evenly throughout
Let’s Go Fishing!
Today I’m on the Bristol Avon at Saltford. It’s a fairly deep stretch of river, but has a good head of silvers. I’ve only been fishing for a couple of hours, but already had a good number of fish.
I’ve been using a mixture of single and double maggot hookbaits to get bites. I’m only gently holding the float back in the flow, just enough to stop the hookbait snarling up on the bottom. By starting fishing upstream of my bait, I can often catch a fish before I even reach the spot where I ball in my bait!
If I start catching tiny roach, it can often pay to stick on a caster hookbait to pick out a bigger fish. This may just be the change that could win you the match.
I’ve caught over 10lb of roach today and lost a few to a rogue pike, but by visiting a venue that is extremely under-fished, I’ve enjoyed a fantastic day’s fishing.
Get out and give it a go and you too could end up with a net of silver’s like this!