Watmore Farm is a venue full of silvers and one that I have fared very well in during the friendly matches held here. It’s not the easiest venue as in places it’s over 20ft deep, so finding the depth the fish want to feed can be difficult. It’s also full of carp that need to be avoided in the silver matches at all cost, so feeding is very important. It’s also a bit of a temperamental venue with the silvers preferring different baits on different days, something I’m sure is dictated simply by the size of fish and the species you find in front of you, so its paramount to keep your options open. Unfortunately today I’m not blessed with good catching conditions as we are going through a mini heat wave and temperatures are predicted to reach thirty degrees plus by lunchtime! 

Experiment with different lines

Finding exactly what bait and how the fish want to feed means experimenting with different lines from the start so my standard approach here is to fish three lines, one at ten metres down on the deck, and two using top three sections to hand, one to the left, one to the right and both targeting the fish up in the water. 

Three sections to hand

My tackle today consists of my Sphere Zero-G F1+ pole teamed up with 1.90mm Stretch 7 Hollow Elastic for all three lines. All three rigs are very similar being made up using Cenex 0.12mm Hybrid Power Mono to Cenex 0.13mm Fluoro Carbon hook lengths and either a size 16 or 14 Sphere CPF LS barbless hook depending on bait. At ten metres I’m using a 4×16 float shotted by a bulk and two small dropper shot. It’s going to be fished a couple of inches over depth using worm with skimmer’s in mind. To the left and fishing three sections to hand is going to be a line fished with sweetcorn aimed at bigger roach and to the right will be a maggot attack aimed at catching lots of small fish. Both these rigs are set up with .3g floats, with the difference being that the maggot rig has a size 16 hook attached and the corn a 14. These may seem slightly on the big size but these hooks are slightly under sized for their rating and really equate to a size 18 and 16. The shooting is also different with the maggot rig fished shirt-button style and the corn seeing a bulk and two small droppers as I want to get the bait through the tiny fish and hopefully nail a few larger samples deeper down. Fishing three sections to hand may also seem somewhat strange and I hear you ask, why not use a whip? The reason being if I hook a carp, which I will, I have a good chance of landing it on the top three, as opposed to being instantly smashed up on the whip.

My choice of elastic, Stretch 7 Hollow. 

Cenex lines team up perfectly.   

In goes the initial groundbait.

"I would be looking to catch 100 fish on the maggot line."

Champion’s Method Groundbait, made for every occasion.

Bait for today.

Swirling on the surface

At the start of every session I introduce three big balls of groundbait using a large pole cup, laced with chopped worm to the ten metre line. This is made up of a 50/50 mix of Champion’s Feeder Black Roach & Quick Skimmer and will be left for at least an hour before dropping in on. This is to allow the skimmers to move in and get confident feeding. On the corn line all I do is continuously introduce a few grains of corn on a little and often basis whilst starting on the right using maggot. A little tip is to leave the corn hookbaits out in the sun for a while as this dries them out and it stays on the hook far longer, withstanding the attention of small fish and saving time not having to re-bait after every bite. Again on this line I continuously introduce a few maggots by hand every few seconds, my aim being to get fish feeding confidently and swirling on the surface. I also like to hook my maggots in different ways as it can make a massive difference when fishing up in the water. Something else, when fishing up in the water, is to constantly alter the depth as the fish will prefer the bait at a certain depth in the swim. It’s just a case of finding out what bait and where they feel comfortable feeding.  

One hundred fish in an hour

In overcast conditions I would be looking at catching a hundred fish on the maggot line in the first hour and then from then on keep trying the corn line to see if there are any bigger fish to be had. If there are then I will concentrate here all the time they are feeding but still feed the maggot line. If both lines don’t produce, or just aren’t responding well enough then it’s time to try the ten metre line for skimmers or a bonus perch, both of which are great weight makers. 

As expected today it’s been tough. The maggot line has produced plenty of fish but far fewer than I would have hoped and many of these are tiny perch. The fish haven’t responded to the corn line which isn’t unexpected in these bright conditions and the worm line has been slow, yet it has produced a better stamp of fish with the odd skimmers, better roach and a bonus perch. In good conditions 8lb of silvers an hour would be an acceptable weight; however 8lb is about all I’ve been able to manage today in my three-hour session.


Colin Sheppard

The Sphere range of hooks, check them out.

Lots of small fish on the maggot.

A tray of winders all made up for Watmore Farm. 

Colin’s Tackle

Sphere Zero-G F1+

1.90mm Stretch 7 Hollow Elastic (rating 6+)

Cenex 0.13mm Fluoro Carbon (all lines)

Cenex 0.12mm Hybrid Power Mono (all lines)

4×16 Float (10 metres), .3g Float (top 3 to hand)

Sphere CPF LS size 16 &14 Barbless Hook (all lines)


Colin’s Bait




Champion’s Feeder Black Roach & Quick Skimmer Groundbait

8lb of fish, what I would expect in an hour!