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Autumn Feeder Fishing For Silvers

Autumn Feeder Fishing For Silvers

Fishing for skimmer bream might not be everyone’s first choice but I love them and they can be life savers when the water temperature drops.

Open mind

Today I’ve come to a local club venue, one that regularly holds matches and where in the depth of winter bags of silvers can exceed 40lb, however anyone that has fished for skimmers will already know that they can be somewhat frustrating. One day they will be crawling up the rod, the next creating no pattern and registering the tiniest of bites. Knowing this is very important and you have to approach each session with an open mind as well as bringing along an array of baits if you want to get the best out of your peg.

Natural baits

The standard selection of hook bait I take when I know skimmers are the target consists of dead and live maggots, preferably reds, casters and worms. Pellets do pay a part in hookbait during the warmer months but once the water temperature drops I prefer natural baits, however I do add a few small pellets into the feeder along with chopped worms and a few dead maggots. The groundbait I tend to use early winter is Sonubaits Super Crush Green that I mix before leaving home with bottled water, before passing through a sieve a couple of times to make it light, fluffy and very fine.   

Timing casts 

At the start of each session I like to clip up and make half a dozen accurate casts simply to activate the swim. I then get into a routine of casting every three minutes and hope that the skimmers will turn up fairly quickly. When they do bites can come quicker than three minutes, however when the water is really clear and cold I may push each cast to a slightly longer period, yet with skimmers it’s more of when will they turn up than will they turn up so it pays to be positive. 

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Long and traditional

Bites can vary from steady pull rounds to the shyest of taps so I prefer to use a braided mainline and have loaded my Black Viper Compact reel with Cenex 0.08mm Sinking braid and have teamed this up with a 12’ Sphere Medium Feeder, the perfect rod for feeder fishing for skimmers. As for the rig it’s a simple running feeder set up with a few tweaks. Firstly I still feel that when skimmer fishing its best to have quite a long hook length and mine is a couple of feet of 0.16mm Cenex Hybrid Power down to a size 16 Classic hook which is the perfect size to allow me to alternate between worm, caster a double red dead maggot. Further up the line is a short twizzel boom and the free running feeder link comes to rest against a small Stotz shot that protects the knot to the twizzel boom. The feeder bead that runs on the braided mainline has a short length of stiff line from it down to a link swivel and both knots are protected with a short length of clear tubing. This acts as a boom and reduces tangles considerably and the swivel link allows me to swap from different sized feeders throughout the session. 

Peas in a pod

As expected today’s session has seen double red dead maggot produce most bites and as on many occasions the bites have been really shy but the braided mainline has exaggerated these allowing me to read the conditions and keep in touch with the fish. Unfortunately the stamp of skimmers has been quite small today and have been like peas in a pod, all around 6-8oz but once they got their heads down its been one a chuck letting me build a decent bag of fish.  

Tim Bruce

Tim’s Tackle

Sphere 12’ Medium Feeder Rod

Black Viper Compact Reel

0.08mm Cenex Sinking Braid

0.16mm Cenex Hybrid Power Mono

Size 16 Sphere Classic Hook

Xenos Jet Feeders


Tim’s Bait

Dead/Live Red Maggots



Micro Pellets 

Sonubaits Super Crush Green Groundbait

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Keep up to date with all our latest match news here.

Find out more about our team of anglers here.


Visit the Browning interactive product catalogue here.

Feeder fishing for silvers copy

New Video - Feeder Fishing for Skimmers

Look out for this new video over on the Browning Official YouTube channel (find it here).


This week Tim Bruce looks at how to catch skimmers on the feeder as we head into winter. These small bream can be relied upon to feed in even the coldest winter conditions, making them great weight builders in winter matches.

Keep up to date with all our latest match news here.

Find out more about our team of anglers here.


Visit the Browning interactive product catalogue here.

NEW VIDEO WATCH NOW - Tidefest Festival Live 2022

We join Colin Sheppard on the banks of the tidal Thames in London for the annual Tidefest match.


Click the play button below to watch now, or find this and hundreds more videos on the Browning YouTube channel.

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Specimen Bream on the Feeder

Specimen Bream on the Feeder  

Sometimes it’s really refreshing to get away from the carp dominated commercial match scene and head somewhere new, especially when the venue contains some very big bream and potentially a personal best is on the cards. So recently I headed off for a session in search of specimen bream on the feeder.

Homework pays off

Having never fished the venue before I’ve done a little homework and found out that the bream average around seven pounds with the occasional bigger fish into double figures possible. Although these fish have grown big on a feast of pellets and boilies introduced by the carp anglers it’s still quite early in the year and I’ve been advised to fish maggot on a rig I’ve never tried before, the Helicopter Rig. A little searching on YouTube goes a long way and although I’m somewhat apprehensive just how effective this rig is, it would be nice to get an early fish to boost my confidence.

Decision time

Unfortunately two hours into the session and no so much as a tremor of the tip has come my way and I’m just beginning to think I’ve made a fundamental error when I notice some disturbance on the far bank and on closer inspection find the bream have gone into their mating ritual somewhat earlier than expected. Its decision time, do I stay put in hope or head to the smaller lake next door, one I have know little about apart from it does contain bream?

gravel pit fishing

Mature gravel pits make an interesting change from commercial fisheries.

sphere bomb rod

The Sphere 10’ Bomb +10%, a true all-rounder and will cope with a wide range of bomb and light feeder fishing.

cenex method mono

Cenex Method Mono is an incredibly tough, fast sinking, line that I use for a lot of my bomb and feeder fishing.

Personal best

Half an hour later and after casting a dozen feeders out containing a good quality fishmeal groundbait laced with maggots the decision to move to the smaller lake has paid off as I’m into my first fish and by the feel of it, it’s a big bream. As the fish nears the net the weight increases and I have to admit that I’m getting nervous, please, please don’t fall out hook! In the net she goes and straight away I know it’s a personal best weighing over 7lb, happy you could say that! Fifteen minutes later and with two more big bream in the net the swim dies, time for another six feeders cast and retrieved quickly to hopefully get those fish back in a feeding mood. 

Simple but effective

The tackle I’m using consists of a Sphere 10’ Bomb +10% Power Rod teamed up with a Sphere MgTi 930 Reel loaded with Cenex 0.20mm Method Mono. The rig itself consists of a size 10 swivel trapped tightly between two float stops and the hooklink which is created from Cenex 0.16mm Hybrid Power is attached to this. This hooklink has a size 16 barbless Sphere Beast hook attached along with a tapered sleeve threaded onto it which pushes up and covers the swivel creating an anti-tangle boom and tied directly onto the mainline is 20g Big Pit Standard Feeder. At first you would look at the rig and think, that won’t work but believe me it’s really is effective and has opened my eyes to modern day bream fishing and I’ve been told works equally as well for big tench!  

helicopter feeder rig

A simple Helicopter Feeder Rig is easy to make and very tangle-free. Ideal for bream and tench fishing on still waters.

XENOS feeder 2

A Big Pit Feeder is the ideal choice for the Helicopter Rig. Choose the size and weight based upon the amount of bait you want to feed and the distance.

helicopter rig stops

Use two Rig Stops to semi-fix the short hook length in place about 20cm above the feeder.

"After half an hour I'm into my first fish, and it feels like a big bream..."

Attention to detail 

Although this rig is devastating, to get the very best from it you do need to pay attention to bait and bait application and accuracy is very important, especially early in the year. Before casting out and with the use of marker sticks I clip the mainline in the reels line clip at a distance of forty yards which just happened to be in line with the edge of an island in front. Bream love plenty of bait, especially a fishmeal groundbait so I decided to be positive and attack the swim by casting out the feeder twelve times, hitting the reels line clip firmly before waiting a few seconds for the bait to be released then sweeping the rod back and winding in. 

Top up time

Fortunately by topping the swim up with a further six feeder loads has worked and the bream are back resulting in a five more to 7lb 15oz, what a session. I just wished I’d not spent those early hours on the big lake, but then again if I hadn’t have moved I could have well blanked. It really is all about making the right decisions, being positive, having confidence in what you are doing and some days like today it all pays off.

If you haven’t tried the helicopter rig yet and have a lake close by with some big bream within then I can honestly say you need to give the Helicopter Rig a go.


Ethan Etherington

Ethan’s Tackle

Sphere 10’ Bomb +10% Power Rod

Sphere MgTi 930 Reel

Cenex 0.20mm Method Mono Mainline

Cenex 0.16mm Hybrid Power Mono Hook Length

Sphere Beast Barbless size 16 hook

Big Pit 20g Standard Feeder

Sixe 10 Swivel, Two Float Stops, Tapered Sleeve 


Ethan’s Bait

Sonubaits Super Feeder Fishmeal Groundbait

Red and white maggots

bream catch

Keep up to date with all our latest match news here.

Find out more about our team of anglers here.


Visit the Browning interactive product catalogue here.

Bob Nudd skimmers

Bob Nudd - Spring Skimmers on the Pole

We join Bob Nudd for a lovely session at Lawn Farm in search of the abundant stocks of skimmers and roach on the pole. Bob puts the new Browning Silverlite Plus pole through its paces.


Click the play button below to watch now or find it on the Browning YouTube channel.


Find out more about the brilliant new Silverlite Plus pole here – https://tackle-box.eu/en/p/10240130

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Silverlite Ghost Net

Silverlite Ghost Net

The Silverlite Ghost Net is the ultimate silver fish net as it’s so light it can be easily moved not only to the fish even when using the longest landing net handles but also when the nets in the water due to the mesh being quite large.  

The distinctive Ghost mesh is less likely to scare fish when speed fishing and another huge advantage of the 6x6mm mesh is it makes netting fish on a canal or river that much easier especially if there’s a flow or a strong crosswind. 

The moulded spreader and frame are also lightweight but extremely rigid and strong so easily capable of being able to land a bonus fish if it comes along. 

Available in two sizes –

Medium W40cm x H35cm x D25cm

Large W48cm x H28cm x D28cm 

John Pantry

silverlite ghost net 2

Silverlite Ghost Nets are available in two sizes, the medium is perfect for roach, whilst the large is ideal if bonus bream and big perch are on the cards.

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The Ghost Mesh has a fine fish-friendly weave and is very light, making this net very easy to move through the water.

Keep up to date with all our latest match news here.

Find out more about our team of anglers here.


Visit the Browning interactive product catalogue here.

Stillwater bream feeder

Stillwater Bream on the Feeder

I love feeder fishing and throughout the colder month’s bream, a reliable winter species, become my main target on stillwaters. Today I’ve come to Northlands Park, a shallow day ticket venue in Basildon, Essex, and will be fishing the Café Lake which is a mixed fishery but more importantly it contains a good head of silvers and regularly produces bumper bags of Stillwater bream on the feeder. 

Stillwater bream love the deeps

When it’s really cold I instantly head for the deeper area of the lake, which is around 6ft deep, as this is where the bream will be held up and if there’s a brisk south west wind blowing even better. Ideally I would prefer to have this wind in my face, however today it’s just too cold and strong, so I have decided to fish of the back of it, with the aim of casting into the main body of the lake. 

Little bream feeder fishing edges = big advantages

Tackle for today consists of my trusted 11’ Sphere Feeder Rod, a brilliant rod for this and coming in two sections means that I can have it made up and ready to go straight away. I’ve teamed this up with a Black Viper NK FD reel, a big reel some would say for this type of fishing but as I’m only using a small feeder the benefit of its large spool is it allows me to cast a long way effortlessly. This is loaded with Cenex 0.18 (6lb) Feeder Mono, a line that has a really smooth surface, which once again aids casting, is off medium-stretch; sink’s well, is supple and highly abrasion resistant, perfect for feeder fishing and the punishment it will go through from regular casting. The reason for using a small feeder is it make minimal disturbance when entering the water, something I think is really important on shallow lakes and one that gives me a big advantage over other anglers. On the business end I’m using what’s known as a Twizzle Boom set up, two loops one of which has been twisted along with a further smaller standard loop tied to the end of my mainline. Above these two loops is a short boom that comes to rest against an Oval Super Stopper. This short boom contains an Easy Snap Swivel onto which the feeder is attached. Twizzle Booms reduce tangles and can be bought already made, such as Browning Feeder-Rig II, as well as the Feeder Boom Link. Hook lengths, attached to the lower loop, are made from Cenex Fluoro Carbon Hook Line in either a 0.13mm or 0.15mm diameter, are on average eighteen inches in length and have either a size 16 or 18 barbless Sphere CPF hook attached. These hooks are extremely sharp and are perfect for baits such as maggots, casters, pinkies and worms.  

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Find the right spot and be accurate

Before fishing the first thing I do is to have a lead around to find out what lies in front of me. I use a Sphere Bomb Rod to do this and simply attach a small lead, cast out and feel what the rod transmits back through it. Feeling the lead down will give me an indication of the depth and this light, sensitive rod will tell me what the lake bed is made up off. Ideally I’m looking for an area of relatively firm silt as this will not only hold natural food like bloodworm in the winter but also give me good presentation of rig and hookbait. Once I have found the spot I will be targeting I simply use Marker Sticks to find the same distance on my feeder rod, before clipping the line in the reel seat so I can constantly hit the same area throughout the session. 

sphere match hooks

Light, sharp hooks are essential as the bream are quite timid at this time of the year.

Cenex fluorocarbon line

I use Cenex Fluorocarbon for my hooklength, which is normally around 18 inches (45cm) in length.

bream feeder rig

Easy Swap Swivel for quick feeder change.  

A stillwater bream feeder fishing banquet

Bait today consists of a live and dead maggots (hook bait), pinkies (for when the going gets tough), casters (mainly for feed in the feeder), 2mm pellets (which are added to the groundbait) and corn (to pick out bigger fish). Groundbait is the ever reliable Champion’s Feeder Quick Bream with around 25% Black Roach added which darkens the mix down. 

"Tackle for today consists of my trusty Sphere feeder rod."

Lay the table for stillwater bream on the feeder

Having found the area to target and clipped my feeder rod to the desired distance, today its around 30m, the next job is to ‘lay-the-table’ and get some feed into the swim in order for the bream to home in on. Using the feeder rod I simply add a larger capacity feeder, plug one end with groundbait before adding some dead/live maggots before plugging the other end. This is cast to the desired spot, left for a few seconds to empty before repeating a further five times. Once done it’s simply a case of attaching a smaller feeder and the hooklink, baiting with a couple of red maggots and casting out. Sometimes you will have to wait for the fish to arrive, on others bites will come straight away and on other occasions a switch of hookbait or altering the hook length will work, it’s simply a case of working out how and what they want as quickly as possible. One thing that is important is regular casting, even if bites aren’t forth coming, probably every three or four minutes, as this keeps the swim topped up. If the bream are really on the bait it’s a good idea, from time to time throughout the session, to switch to a Streamline Window Feeder as this introduces lots of particles and will keep the bream grubbing around, but don’t overdo it, a couple of casts then its back on the cage feeder.  Another small tip is if the swim slows up its worth unclipping, pulling a couple of feet of line of the reel before clipping up again. This little trick has worked wonders for me and often keeps the bream coming.

If you have a shallow lake, like Northlands Park near you, why not get the feeder rod out and give my approach a go, I’m sure you will be rewarded.


Keep up to date with all our latest match news here.

Find out more about our team of anglers here.


Visit the Browning poles website here.

browning black viper line clip

Always use the line clip on your reel to maintain the same distance every cast.

streamlined window feeder

Streamlined Window Feeders are great for introducing only a small amount of bait very accurately.

winter bream

Bream will feed right through the winter and are a great target on many still waters.

Filipe’s Stillwater bream feeder tackle

Sphere 11’ Feeder Rod

Black Viper MK FD Reel

0.18mm Cenex Feeder Mono Mainline

0.13mm or 0.15mm Cenex Fluoro Carbon Hook Length

Sphere CPF LS Barbless size 16 or 18 Hook

Big Pit Mini 15g Feeder

Streamline Window Feeder

Filipe’s Stillwater bream feeder bait

Champion’s Feeder Mix Quick Skimmer

Champion’s Feeder Mix Black Roach

2mm Coarse Pellets

Live/Dead Maggots