Middy's Craig Butterfield talks silver fish match rules, but are they more of a headache than a good way to stir up winter competition?
Earlier this week I got into a discussion about the amount of anglers
on the banks in winter. It’s pretty obvious that a vast majority of
anglers are what I’d call ‘fair weather fisherman’ resulting in most
matches on commercials this time of year having very poor attendances or
in some cases stopping completely as they can’t even get anglers to
Carp, very much like some match anglers, don’t like cold weather. It can make the fishing difficult and venues very peggy. This obviously results in a bad day’s fishing so anglers soon decide their time would be better spent at home in the warm.
While talking about how anglers could be encouraged to stay on the banks in winter the subject of silver fish matches came up. I think that these are fantastic matches for winter, anglers can fish for a fisheries silver fish population and due to the fact they are pretty much ignored for most of the year they are relatively easy to catch.
We mentioned a few fisheries that we knew that held silver fish matches and we began talking about the rules in these matches. It soon became pretty obvious that the rules are, there are no rules!
Every possible configuration of rules was mentioned. Carp don’t count but tench do… carp count as 1lb… carp under 5lb count as 1l, over 5lb count as 2lb… F1s count as what they weigh… F1s don’t count but crucians do… The list went on and on.
Confused? I was! I could suddenly see why despite the chance of some good silver fish sport anglers gave these matches a miss. It’s a giant headache and you need a degree in mathematics to decide what to fish for.
If the roach are two ounces and you catch eight that’s a pound, if they take half-an-hour to catch them in that time you might have caught a carp, which will count at 1lb. Although if it’s a big carp it’ll count as 2lb. But if I Don’t catch a carp that’ll put me 1lb behind the person that is fishing for roach. But then if I catch a tench they count as what they weigh and they average about 3lb so that’ll put me in front. With a big carp, a tench and a small carp that’ll be 6lb, that’s 3 hours roach fishing…
You get the idea! Suddenly a day at home getting nagged by the other half seems less stressful than a day’s fishing.
Don’t get me wrong I love silver fish matches but in my opinion they should be fished as such.
People always talk about the ‘golden rule’ in fishing, maybe it’s time someone looked into the silver rule!