Biggin Lake silver fish only open

Sun 14 February 16


NAME – Lee Marlow
SPONSOR – Bag’em Matchbaits
VENUE – Biggin Lake, Nr Oundle, Northants
DATE – 14/2/16

Silver fish only matches have become more and more popular up and down the country over the last few years, as it give’s the anglers fishing for them a chance to get more bites and, having an enjoyable day instead of sitting for hours on end watching a motionless tip in the hope that it gets pulled round a few times by a carp. It’s only really been in the last couple of winters that 90% of my winter fishing has revolved around fishing for silvers and although there are lots of places to do this, I generally stick to 2 or 3 local venues, with Biggin lake being one of them.

Today’s match was all pegged on the golf side bank, which has an average depth of 3ft and about 12” – 18” shallower than the wood side bank. Knowing the lake as I do I needed to draw in the middle section of this bank as this is generally the better area for catching on the pole, the further into the corners you are the further out you need to fish, using the waggler or feeder tactics. At the draw I was happy to pull out peg 14 which was spot on, but as the lake was half frozen a few days before this match, sport was always going to be slow where ever you sat on the lake, so it would be a case of a waiting game for at least the first hour of the match anyway!.


My plan was to fish 4 lines, margin line to my right near the tree, 7m line in front of me, and two lines at 14.5m with a space about 4m between the two. As the depth on all these lines where the same rig choice was kept very simple and only 2 rigs were needed to be set up. First rig was a 4×10 Jamie Hughes slim fixed onto .10 reflo main line and .08 reflo hook length, hook was a size 20 kamazan F1, shotting pattern was a spead of no12s stotz on the middle 3rd of the rig with 2 no12s fixed on the hook length and just above the hook length knot. Second rig was a slightly heavier version of the first rig, 4×12 JH slim float, .10 main line, .09 hook length, size 18 Kamazan F1 hook. both these rigs could be used on all my lines.


Red maggots, Fluro Pinkies (live and dead), dendrabena worms, casters, hemp seed and one whole bag of Bag’em dark XP groundbait, mixed the night before.


At the start I fed a golf ball size of Bag’em XP dark with a few dead pinkies onto one of my 14.5m long lines, this is where I would start from after the other lines had been fed. The other long line was left without any feed, I wanted this to be a back up line to start from fresh if any carp became a problem, thankfully I didnt need to use this back up line during the match. Next was to feed chop worm and a few casters down my left margin, and lastly 20-30 casters and the same amount of hemp seed on my 7m line.

My first drop in on my long line was met with 10 mins of no signs at all, which I was’nt to bothered about, then suddenly my float shot under, nothing but a chewed maggot was my only result, after baiting up again with double red maggot I sat for what seemed like a year waiting for my next bite, eventually I started to get more and more indications mostly coming after a change to using double pinkie on the hook, this change was like flicking a light switch on, as I was now catching roach, they may only be small 1-2oz roach, but it’s some fish in the net. With just over 90 mins of the match gone the bites started to slow, so another small ball of Dark XP was cupped in, this time with more dead pinkies added, whilst I let this settle I had a quick look on the 7m line, using my light 4×10 rig and baited up with a single pinkie, another run of small roach with a few 6oz roach followed, at this point I was’nt sure if I should stay on this line or go back on my long line, I was catching some better fish at 7m but I felt taking to many fish from one area would only just spook the other fish.

After deciding to go back on my long line, it did’nt take long to get my next bite, this time somethink a bit bigger was on the other end! bream number one was carefully played to the net, with the 2nd bream coming 10mins after, both were a good 2lb each. After a top up with another small ball groundbait, I went back on my 7m line, only to find the next few minutes bite less, a quick look down the margin gave me 2 quick fish, a nice perch and roach, the pair pushing close to a pound in weight, by this time there was just under one hour of the match left, and as all my shorter lines didnt seem to get any stronger, I sat it out on the long line in the hope of one more bonus fish.

The quick change

Whilst having a bite a chuck on a single pinkie over my long line, the bites just stopped. Mmmmm!!, carp I thought, but there wasnt any of the tell tail signs in the peg such as loads of bubbles coming from the silt as a carp looked for food, so I quickly went out on my heavier 4×12 rig with double red maggot, as I slowly lowered my rig in the float tip sat nice, then within a second the float tip lifted before staying there, classic lift bite, and bream number 3 was in the net. Frame winning fish I hoped, but I knew it would be a close weigh-in as 2 other anglers had also had 3 bream, it just depended on how much bigger.

Thankfully I had just done enough for a match win.

1st – Lee Marlow (Bag’em Matchbaits) – 11lb 6oz
2nd – Beefy – 9lb 13oz
3rd – Pete Russ – 8lb 13oz
Tight Lines
Lee Marlow


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