Worms - The Key to Unlocking Commercial Silvers

One of my favourite baits, especially in spring when the water is beginning to warm up is worm as it’s a bait that almost every fish will readily eat and on those occasions when all else fails will often get a response.

It’s not all about carp

Today I’ve come to a typical commercial fishery, Frant Lakes on the Kent/Surrey boarder, a complex of eight lakes, where most anglers target the large numbers of carp. However these lakes aren’t just about carp as they also contain a good head of slivers namely bream, roach and perch which have been caught to over 4lb.

Recipe for success

Bait for today’s session is going to be worm fished over regularly introduced helpings of chopped worm, casters and maggots. This has in the past been a recipe for success with bags of perch exceeding 30lb, many being over 2lb along with the occasional three.

Wash those worms

At the start of the session I simply feed a line down each edge along with one around ten metres out where the lake drops off into slightly deeper water. If the perch don’t show on the longer line then normally by alternating the inside line will produce. Each line is kicked off with a big Pole Cup full of chopped worms, maggots and casters and then every fifteen minutes or so these will be topped up with the same mix using a small Mini Cup. A little tip is to place a few big handfuls of worms in a fine mesh landing net and wash of all the soil they come in as this isn’t something I want to be depositing in my swim and if you lose feed here all that will happen is the carp will respond to this and potentially ruin a good perch swim.

commercial silvers worms 2

Bait consists of worms, casters, red maggots and pinkies.    

commercial silvers 3

Large Pole Cups kick start each line and the Mini Cups top them up.

commercial silvers 4

You just can’t beat the head of a worm as bait.

Plan B

The session hasn’t gone to plan as starting on the Waterfall Lake in perfect overcast perch conditions all I’ve been able to catch has been skimmers and after forcing the feeding a bit too aggressively dragged in the carp resulting in at least six doubles. Time to move and after three hours on the previous lake I’m now set up on the Car Park Lake which is much deeper, the only problem is high pressure has drifted in and the earlier overcast skies have disappeared leaving a bright blue sky and an ever growing chilly north east wind. 

Spread bulk or olivette

The pole I’m using today is my trusted Sphere Zero-G F1+, a fantastic all-rounder that will not just cope with bagging big weights of carp but is equally as good when things need to be fined down for silvers. Top-kits are the Sphere two-piece ones, all with pulla systems and Xitan Microbore Lime Green 1.30mm elastic running through which has a of 3-5 rating. The rigs I’m using are all very similar created from Cenex Hybrid Power 0.14mm and 0.12mm Mono and wire stem rugby ball shaped floats which combat any tow. The only difference being on the Waterfall Lake the rigs were cocked using a spread bulk of shot along with two No10 droppers down to a size 16 Sphere Beast barbless hook as opposed to an olivette bulk and two droppers on the deeper Car Park Lake.

sphere f1 plus pole

he Sphere Zero-G F1+ a great all-rounder.


A nice gate crasher, but I don’t want to catch too many of these as they can scare off the perch.

sphere beast hooks

Beast hooks will deal with anything but still regain some finesse.

Against the odds

Amazingly, even in such bright conditions the move has paid off as after around thirty minutes the leak of from the chopped worm and all their amino acids have drawn in some fish, not perch but skimmers, odd bream and roach. These have all come on my two longer ten metre lines in around nine feet of water, one being worm head hookbait fished over chopped worm, casters and maggots the other, that did produce a few fish for a while, being corn fished over groundbait, always worth a try as a backup line when skimmers and bream are around. The odd occasion I did try the inside marginal lines produced, yes you’ve guessed it, more double figured carp so these have been neglected relatively quickly as carp aren’t what I was looking for.  

It’s been a frustrating but rewarding day as I really was looking for a bag of big perch but for some reason they just didn’t show, yet making the effort to move not just swim but lake has made the session so worthwhile as around 30lb of silvers have graced my net. Just a shame those perch didn’t show! 

John Pantrey

roach and bream

John’s Tackle

Sphere Zero-G F1+ 

Sphere 2-piece top kits

Xitan Microbore Lime Green 1.30mm elastic 

Cenex 0.14mm and 0.12mm Hydro Power Mono 

Sphere Beast Barbless size 16 Hook 

John’s Bait






microbore elastic

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