Here is a question Shaun Harrison received about silkweed which he thought would be of benefit to share…
Shaun, I’ve got a question about silkweed which I’d be very grateful if you could answer when you have a spare moment as I’m sure you’re a very busy man.
In your opinion how do you think silkweed lies on the lake bed? For instance, let’s say the silkweed is a foot long, do you think it lies fairly flat and sways around steadily depending on wind/tow etc or does would it stick up quite a bit?
I’ve placed extracted silkweed in the margins to see how this behaves but I don’t think it its anything like that out in the pond. I am trying to get a better understanding of it so I know which rig or tweaks I can make to a rig to be more effective.
Silkweed moves – presumably towards the sun like other plants and certainly whilst carp are near to it due to water movement from simply swimming and stopping.
It also appears to drop when the light levels drop. I have had experiences with perfectly clean areas being less so at differing times of the day, also hand placed baits being covered when I have retrieved them so these days when wading baits out I try and give a bit of space away from weed rather than using it to hide the end gear.
The water I served my main carp fishing apprenticeship on was totally covered in very thick silkweed and there was no such thing as clear areas other than the margins and under the pads. I am fortunate that this was the case as I learned a fair bit about fishing in it and soon realised that the carp are quite happy digging away in it for heavy baits. I remember in the 80’s going the opposite way to most and purposely making my baits as heavy as I could at the time and had a great period catching loads on them – I truly believe they get less hook link conscious when ripping baits from weed.
I find a lot more ‘natural food’ in silkweed than any other type of weed and I’m quite happy fishing in it rather than trying to land on the barren areas with no weed – there has to be a reason for the weed not growing in those seams so I would guess the carp aren’t naturally attracted to them. It is a bit like walking up your garden path looking for creepy crawlies (food). You won’t find much out in the clear in the daylight but look at the side of the path amongst the plants and grass and there will be plenty of life.
As regards to rigs and presentations in silkweed the only thing I insist upon is barbless hooks and a soft type hook link material. Now anyone knowing me will vouch for the fact that I am not a lover of barbless hooks but find them essential for efficient fishing in silk weed. A barbed hook gets stuck by the barb as a fish tries to take a bait where as a barbless hook releases from the weed effortlessly.
Ignore silkweed at your peril – the carp love to graze amongst it. Silkweed harbours so much food so is and attractive larder in its own right.