Skimmer fishing

As i am not getting on to the bank much recently due to the weather and being ill , i have decided to put down a few words on skimmer fishing because although i don’t do a great deal of it in matches , it is one of my favourite tactics when pleasure fishing .


Lots of commercials are full of quality silvers particularly bream+skimmers , these grow big on a diet of pellets and neglect because 90 percent of anglers will only attack the carp on these venues , it is a reliable alternative in matches to catching carp in winter and you will always be kept busy .

There is two main ways that you can feed your swim for bream+skimmers ;

Balling it in 

At the start of the session you will have to decide on your expected target weight before filling the bait in because it can make or break your day .Around here on the venues i fish you usually only need to start with three balls of feed as they are not that prolific , so pick a far bank marker before cupping in the bait because this allows you to be ultra accurate with your rig and allows you to lay a bed of bait for the skimmers to graze other . This initial bombardment of ground-bait rings the dinner bell and concentrate the fish in front of you but it is important to leave it for at least an hour for the bream+skimmers to settle on it , when your catch rate slows the fish are often still there but need a re introduction to spur them back into feeding .


Feeding two lines

This works particularly well round here and you plumb up two lines one at ten o’clock the other at two o’clock , feed modest amounts of bait at the start to get them interested and then feed little amounts regularly to maintain the fish in your swim . On a good day you can catch a couple from one swim before re feeding and then going on to the other , this gives you time for the fish to settle because small skimmers tend to be more cautious and are easily spooked .

Make sure you drop the hook bait right on top of the feed and if bites slow work your rig around the edges of your feed because skimmers+bream may not always settle on top of the feed and you need to search around to find out where they have settled .



On waters that see lots of pellets you wont go far wrong by feeding a 50/50 mix of f1 dark and green swim stim ground-bait which has a high fish meal content and by mixing it inert it will lay on the bottom and give a bed for the skimmers to graze over . Micro pellets are a great holding bait especially when used with the ground-bait because skimmers spend all year eating pellets , but fish don’t always want lots of particles in the mix so take it easy and let the fish tell you how much they want .


Waters that don’t allow ground-bait like widdows fishery then chopped worm works a treat but add micros instead of casters because this keeps them routing on the bottom where they are easier to catch and to put a good weight together your better to fish hard on the deck because bream+skimmers can be awkward to catch on the drop .

Skimmers become wary after you have caught most of the shoal so a change of hook bait can usually keep them coming and i have found on Beacon view that dead maggots will produce a bigger stamp of fish compared too expanders , if small fish become a problem try a banded hard pellet because it can often pick out the bigger fish in the shoal .


There is two main rigs for skimmer+bream fishing and they both revolve around using a long bristled float which allows you to see small indications and lift bites . You also need an elastic soft enough to avoid the fish splashing on the surface which could disrupt the feeding shoal especially if you lose one on the way in .

I always start with your standard pole rig with a bulk and two droppers , when most of the bites turn in to lifters by the fish holding up the bulk . I then change to the more unusual double bulk rig this involves having a bulk 18 inch from the hook which is far enough away from the large flanked skimmers+bream to brush into which would give a false indication .

The second much smaller bulk is just above the short 4 inch hook length and correct plumbing is needed because it has to be just off the deck to work properly , a clip on plummet is handy .When the skimmers+bream takes the bait the float will either slide away or lift up and a firm strike will see you connect with the bite , this rig works extremely well when the fish are really in a feeding mood , with the float popping out of the water showing all the bristle and staying their and it also makes missing bites nearly impossible .



There is one or two good waters that i fish around here that have a high head of skimmers+bream and if you get the three main things right ,


set the first trap and work out how best to re feed before changing the hook bait to hopefully keep them coming all day .


They tend to gather in open water so look for the widest areas of the lake , with a ripple on the water .


Start on a normal bulk-dropper rig before changing to a double bulk when the fish are really having a go .

That is all you need for hopefully a very good days fishing for skimmers+bream .


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