Category Archives: Alan Scotthorne

Alan Scotthorne Explains How To Turn Silvers Into Gold

Alan Scotthorne looks back at a recent match and explains a catch-everything approach that can turn an average peg into a money winner!


I have had some of the best mixed fishing in the last month than I can ever remember. That’s prob­ably down to our mild winter and the fact that Garbolino Lindholme Lakes is now stuffed full of good-sized silver fish. Winning a match is dif­fi­cult with this target-everything approach, but if you draw an average peg these extra sil­vers can lift your catch to a framing pos­i­tion if you attack it in the right manner.

On one match I drew Peg 76 on the now famous Bonsai Lake. This had been a poor area for carp and F1s but I adopted my silver fish approach to help me catch 81lb. About 40lb of that was sil­vers, including roach, skim­mers and eight small tench that may have gone 10lb between them. I fin­ished second overall with John Allerton win­ning with 85lb on the Method feeder. I was also on the golded peg that day, so John put paid to that pocket liner – much to fishery owner Neil Grantham’s amuse­ment. cheers John!

This approach really does make for a lovely day’s fishing. Being really active is the key and this is a great way to fish as you are building your weight con­stantly. With odd F1s also making an appear­ance on this short caster line, a bigger weight is always on the cards, as it warms up and these fish become more active. Let’s look at my approach to making this a framing or match win­ning option.


The Approach

I would never look to just catch sil­vers, as the weights are too big at Lindholme, so I will always start for carp and Fls on either a long-pole line on island pegs or a feeder or straight lead line on the wider pegs where you cannot reach the far bank with a pole.

Peg 76 was a swim I could reach with the pole, so I started to the island with pel­lets and caught 11 F1s in the first hour and a half – before the wheels fell off. It is always important to keep your eyes on the sur­rounding anglers and I knew that most of them were also strug­gling for bites. I there­fore knew I could start fishing for sil­vers while keeping my eye on other people’s catch rates. Steve Ringer is bril­liant at watching what’s going on like this and it’s some­thing I am trying to improve and use to help me make decisions during the match.

I had around 15lb in the net to build on but during this period I had been throwing caster to a line at about five metres out and at an 11 o’clock angle to where I had also cupped in half a 250ml Drennan pot full of chopped to worms, just to kick­start the swim.


Plumbing Up

Use a heavy plummet to locate the silt.

Use a heavy plummet to locate the silt.

When I plumbed this area I was right on the edge of where the silt starts on the bottom, just out of the full depth. This is the ideal place to fish but plumbing up is important as it is some­times much closer on other pegs. The way to determine this is to drop the plummet quickly and then lift slowly and watch the elastic to see if the plummet is stuck in the silt. If you can lift the plummet cleanly you are on the hard bottom and this is the best place to fish.

Incidentally, as temperature’s lift, sub­sti­tuting the chopped worms for luncheon meat or corn can work better, but I always want a holding bait for these bigger fish when feeding casters, as extra bonus fish can make all the dif­fer­ence at the end of the match.

Once I start fishing this line I still want to feed the longer lines peri­od­ic­ally in case I want to return to them if all starts going wrong. On this occa­sion, with the wind off my back I could ping a few 4mm pel­lets across with a cata­pult, just to help to keep these lines going.


Two Rigs

Alan has plenty of AS3 rigs assembled.

Alan has plenty of AS3 rigs assembled.

I always set up two rigs for this line: a 0.1g Drennan AS3 float for shallow and a 0.2g AS3 for on the bottom. With a depth of just 4ft, a 0.2g float is per­fect for on the deck and I would only go bigger if the wind was bad or if it was deeper, like it is on some pegs. Shotting is simple, with strung-out No12s on the lighter 0.1g float and a small bulk of four No10s on the 0.2g float plus two No10 dropper shots bellow the bulk. These floats have a slim body and a hollow plastic bristle with a carbon stem and really do work bril­liantly for caster fishing. The buoyant top helps you to ignore the small indic­a­tions and just striking at the proper bites res­ults in more fish in the net.

Alan used a size 20 Kamasan B911 F1 but will step up to a size 18 Silverfish Maggot when it warms up.

Alan used a size 20 Kamasan B911 F1 but will step up to a size 18 Silverfish Maggot when it warms up.

Both rigs are on 0.15mm Drennan Supplex main line. I have being fishing very light recently with just a size 20 Kamasan B911 F1 hook to a 15cm hook­length of 0.93mm Supplex. This line is very supple and good for fishing on the drop but cap­able of landing bonus fish. Using No6 Preston Slip elastic through two full sec­tions of my Acolyte pole to a Drennan Pull Bung to aid landing the bigger fish com­pletes my setup. I will prob­ably change to a Drennan Silverfish Maggot hook to a 0.117mm hook­length as it warms up and the fish start to wake up in the warmer water.


The Key

Experimentation with the amount and frequency of bait is vital.

Experimentation with the amount and fre­quency of bait is vital.

Feeding is without doubt the key to catching well on this line and I have tried all sorts of dif­ferent ways of feeding the casters into the swim. On this match it was best to just throw casters when I had hooked a fish and with 30lb of roach in my catch you can see how I got through three pints of shells! Throwing bait on my float res­ulted in too many line bites off shallow fish, so feeding when the float was out of the swim was miles better.

Since this match I have tried this again but found it better to throw about 30 casters and fish for two or three fish before feeding again. The moral of this is to exper­i­ment with bait but keep bait going in, as there is no shortage of fish to keep in the swim.

When I felt I had a spell with no bigger fish I also intro­duced a small amount of chopped worm to try to draw odd bonus fish into the area. It became apparent that each time I caught a tench or F1 it would be during a quiet spell of catching roach, so be patient when sport slows as often a bigger fish is present.

On this match I never went back across as I was catching so well close in that I knew I was on for a good weight. I also man­aged another eight F1s to add to the 11 I caught across. These samples were much bigger on the caster line as this is prob­ably were they feel safer as we are all get­ting drawn to fish across in the colder weather. Food for thought?

So, next time you draw a not so fan­cied peg, try this approach, as 40lb of sil­vers and 41lb of F1s is a great day’s fishing in my book!

Posted in Alan Scotthorne, Match Fishing, Reports, Techniques | Comments Off

New Series For Alan Scotthorne

Alan Scotthorne begins an exciting new question-and-answer series in Pole Fishing magazine from the May issue!

Alan Scotthorne

Alan Scotthorne will soon begin an all-new series in Pole Fishing magazine!

So, if you have a burning ques­tion about any­thing related to pole fishing that you would love to ask the best angler in the world, look no fur­ther. Each month, Pole Fishing will select the best ques­tion sub­mitted to them and get out on the bank with the five-time World Champion to help solve it.

The problem you want Alan’s advice on can be any­thing from methods and tac­tics to bait and rig pre­par­a­tion. Obviously, the more inter­esting the ques­tion the better the chance you have of it being chosen.

Better still, every month there will be £100 worth of Drennan goodies to give away for the  lucky readers who get their ques­tions answered!

This fant­astic series begins in the May edi­tion of Pole Fishing – so get sending in your ques­tions now to be the first in line!

Send your best ques­tions to:

Ask Alan
Pole Fishing
1 Whittle Close
Drayton Fields
NN11 8RQ

Alternatively, you can e-mail ques­tions to:


Posted in Alan Scotthorne, Competitions and Giveaways, Match Fishing | Comments Off

Scotthorne’s Slow-Sink Tactics

Now is the per­fect time of year for the wag­gler and that’s why Alan Scotthorne explains his latest float tac­tics in this week’s Angling Times. 


His illu­min­ating art­icle reveals a deadly slow-sinking approach that’s just as good for roach, rudd and skim­mers as it is for carp and F1s.

Drennan gear also scores highly in this week’s Angler’s Mail with the new Team Drennan Match Luggage get­ting a massive thumbs up from Churchgate Angling, near Wickford, Essex, who had this to say:

“You can’t fault Drennan gear, it’s not over­priced either. And they’re stocked for their dur­ab­ility, quality and the fact that they sell well.”

Check out the March 11th issues of the Angling Times and the Angler’s Mail – out now!



Posted in Alan Scotthorne, Match Fishing, Techniques | Comments Off