First Published in English. 


I’m in my element catching silvers on the float and if I can catch these on running line then all the better. Today I’m at Southend Farm Fishery, close to Waltham Abbey in Essex. It’s one of the most consistent and fair silver fish venue I know where winter silver fish matches are usually won with well over 40lb of fish. It’s also a great carp venue, however these need to be avoided at all cost as they take up valuable fishing time trying to land them so feeding is crucial as if you over do it, you risk attracting these.

The main Match Lake is relatively deep, I’ve got just over 10ft in front at around twenty yards which is perfect for feeding little and often through a catapult, attracting the roach and getting then competing high in the water. The lake also contains lots of skimmers, bream and perch which also feed up in the water so you can see how easy it is to put a big weight together.

Cereal based groundbait

To get the bream into my swim I introduce six balls of groundbait, three being off a dry consistency as I want to create lots of cloud as they descend in the water and three mixed heavier with a little added black leam to add weight and get them to the bottom before breaking down. My groundbait mix is made up of half a bag of Champion’s Choice Black Magic to one bag of Gardon, both being cereal based along with some dead bronze maggots. Before adding water to the mix I will riddle it dry, removing any large particles then slowly add water and whisk two or three times to get the right consistency. There is a reason for using a cereal based groundbait and that is that it doesn’t attract too many carp into the swim like a fishmeal based mix would. Introducing groundbait into the swim at the start might sound strange, especially as I will be targeting silvers up in the water but I need to get the bigger skimmers and bream into my swim first before feeding in a way that will draw then up of the deck and feeding mid water. 

Cereal based groundbait will attract the silvers and keep the carp away, hopefully! 

A dozen or more casters will follow straight after each cast.

Keep casting to keep catching.

Today my swim is full of skimmers. 

"I am in my element today, it is a bite a chuck."

The Sphere 13’ Match rod, an anglers dream.  

Plenty of skimmers today.  

Feeding is the key to unlocking a swim.  

A brilliant team

My tackle for this type of fishing consists of the amazing Sphere 13’ Match rod teamed up with a Sphere MgTi 940 reel loaded with 0.12mm Cenex Classic Mono. The rod is extremely light and the reel silky smooth, a brilliant team when you will be casting every minute or less for the duration of a six hour match or practice session. At the business end I have a 0.08mm Cenex Classic Mono hook length with a fine wire barbless size 18 hook attached and my float, a 2g Insert Peacock Waggler that is attached to a float adapter trapped between a couple of Xitan Super Oval Stoppers. As for shotting this is simply a string of no9 shot, placed shirt button style with the gap slowly increasing as they get closer to the hook as this creates a much more natural drop of the hookbait that will be a single caster. 

Unlocking the swim

Having introduced the groundbait at the start it’s left to do its business whilst I set up and I can already see a few bubbles on the surface, a sure sign that there are skimmers and hopefully a few bigger bream feeding. It’s time to cast out and I’m starting quite deep initially, around six feet as it will take time to get the bigger fish high in the water. A normal session will see small roach caught but catapulting around a dozen casters on a little-and-often basis will attract bigger fish; it’s just a case of wading through these small fish at the start. As I feel my way into the session I will be slowly fishing closer to the surface and at the end of the session quite often will be picking bigger roach to over a pound, skimmers even bream just two feet down! Feeding really is the key to unlocking the swim and I will be casting first before catapulting a dozen casters over the top, it’s all about getting into a rhythm and working the swim all the time.  

Today’s been a typical session where an abundance of small roach slowly were replaced with a few net roach, more skimmers than usual along with the odd slightly better bream. My best match weight here is 55lb, a day when I found quality net roach in front of me from the start, yet today it’s been harder but with a good twenty plus pound of silvers for my efforts, I’m not complaining.


Paul Hyde

Casting to the clip then two turns of the handle puts me in the feeding zone. 

Cenex Classic Mono, strong and fine, great for this style of fishing.

Xitan Super Stoppers are ideal for locking float onto the mainline.

Casters and hemp with maggot as a backup.  

Paul’s Tackle

Sphere 13’ Match Rod 

Sphere MgTi 940 Reel

Cenex 0.12mm Classic Mono

Cenex 0.08mm Classic Mono

Size 18 fine wire barbless hook

2g insert peacock waggler

Xitan Super Stoppers

Paul’s Bait

Champion’s Choice Black Magic Groundbait

Champion’s Choice Gardon Groundbait




A cracking net of fish all caught up in the water.