How To Fish Silverside, Tips And Tricks

How To Fish Silverside

The silverside, habitat and morphology

The fish called pejerrey is one of the most revered for the fishermen in South America, whether in Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, Peru among other countries. This fish also receives other names such as cauque, matungo or silver arrow , and its habitat develops mainly in the area of the Mar del Plata basin . Without a doubt it is a very fast and elusive fish, which makes fishing a challenge for the most experienced sport fishermen. Its body is fusiform, silver and a pair of dark side lines and two strong dorsal fins. They usually have a relatively fast growth, their maximum size can reach up to 60 cm in length and weigh around 3 kg. Normally they usually have an average size of 40 cm and 800 gr of weight . At the culinary level it has a high value and for sport fishing it is a great example in different areas of South America and Spain. It feeds mainly on plankton when it is in the juvenile stage , when it is an adult specimen that eats almost everything, there have even been cases of cannibalism among its species. The breeding season occurs in seasons of heat, the females put on each occasion up to 40,000 eggs per kilogram of body weight.

Scientific name: Odontesthes bonariensis
Family : Atherinopsidae
Order : Atheriniformes
Class : Actinopterygii
Max weight: 3 kg
Max length: 60cm

The pejerrey fishing, which equipment is the best to fish it?
Here we propose a series of points to consider when we are about to go fishing this big fish, from the choice of the rod and all its peculiarities, techniques and fishing styles to practice and the best tricks and advice from specialists fishermen who know this species 100%.

The choice of fishing rod for the silverside
Adult pejerrey fishThe choice of the rod is very personal , we must bear in mind that during the fishing day it should be like an extension of our arm, for which we should feel totally comfortable with it. Going to the fishing house with the intention of buying a rod is something beautiful and exciting if you really feel the passion for sport fishing. Once in the store we find a very important variety of products, brands and prices , and the doubt that inevitably arises is what I buy? To achieve a good purchase we must be clear about the following:

That normally we do not buy it every day, and it will last us for several years depending on the good treatment we provide. Therefore it is essential to analyze all available options well and invest as much as our budget allows.

We must know very well what kind of fishing is going to be used. You have to be very clear that a single rod is not enough to fish silverside . Just as there are different types of fly cast rods, according to their power, action, length, therefore we must choose it according to the objective we have, the same happens with those of pejerrey. We can not use the same rod to fish large-scale pejerreyes on the Río de la Plata , at great distances and with large buoys, than to make smaller pejerreyes , with more delicate gear, in small areas.

Buying a fishing rod of higher quality does not mean that we fish more, but surely the sensation of itching will be much greater and we will be more comfortable; since it is not the same to fish with a heavy fiberglass rod than to do it with a light carbon fiber. None of us will ensure better fishing, but among the large varieties of canes we have available in the market, we will surely find one with certain virtues, which will make it ideal for a specific area.

To begin we should divide the pejerrey canes in at least 3 main categories:

Canes of moderate action or "slugs": In general they are reeds that do not exceed 4 meters in length. They are ideal for fishing in places where we do not need to throw great distances, the bearings are not very important and we use delicate gear. Its delicacy allows us to maximize the sensation of the pique and fight of small specimens. Recommended for those fishermen who enjoy a subtle fishing , in calm waters. For example, the Costanera del Río de la Plata or the Salado river basin, if we are in Argentina.

Quick action rods : The rods of this category are the first we should get, since it is the intermediate category, and although there is no ideal rod for all fishing, we can use it to cover many of them. They are made with fiberglass and also with carbon , which makes them much lighter. They usually measure between 4 and 4.20 meters , they have a considerable power that allows us to launch medium-sized gear at interesting distances, to concretize the nailed from those distances and enjoy the fight of medium-sized fish up. An example of this is fishing in the great majority of Buenos Aires lagoons.

Extra-fast action rods: Almost in their majority made with materials like carbon and kevlar , which give them incredible rigidity and lightness. Ideal for nailing at great distances, since they have an immediate response, which increases even more if we use a multifilament.

How to catch pejerreyes in the seaIn general they go from 4 to 4.50 meters ; These last ones are very used in the Rio de la Plata since their length allows us to use long lines, ideal for hauling (navigating downstream, being carried away by the current and the wind). Obviously its speed facilitates the nailed at important distances, but its power takes away a little pleasure if the pieces are not of great size. It is also advisable to use them in lagoons where the catches can surprise us, as in the Argentine zones of Salada Grande de Madariaga or Chasicó , among others.

Regarding materials, we recommend carbon fiber or the combination of this with kevlar . This noble material provides us with low weight rods, and great resistance. Of course, remember that the reeds of this material are fragile to the blows, so they should be carefully stored . We recommend using PVC tubes for the transfer of them.

The handle of the cane
It is a fundamental part of the rod, since it is where we will have the connection with it during the whole fishing day. The most advisable thing is to use cork handle , since in addition to giving us a great adherence to the stick does not increase too much the weight of it, especially for fishing in river , since in sea, saltpeter can deteriorate the cork if not it is washed with fresh water after its use. To achieve a good grip the reel seat is very important , since the reel or reel must be firmly attached to it. Usually the necessary firmness is not achieved but we ensure the same with an elastic band . Another option to reduce the equipment is to remove the reel seat that comes from the factory and make a layer withrubber band on the rod , where we will hold the reel.

The pasahilos
Currently the rods come with pasahilos of the following materials: aluminum oxide, SIC, titanium . Those manufactured with these materials are suitable for use with multifilament yarns , due to their great resistance, although the most advisable are those of titanium . Fundamentally, the quality of these is not only measured by the material, but also the weight of the same, since a heavy thread will radically change the action and balance of the rod.

A balanced team
The equipment must be correctly balanced; not only weight, but the balance of it. A lightweight, poorly balanced team is more uncomfortable than a heavier but well balanced team. When it comes to achieving balance, the fishing reel plays a fundamental factor . Not only its weight, but the location of it in the cane. Sometimes simply modifying the location of the carrier a few centimeters can significantly improve the balance. Another option to balance the cane is to add weight to the back of it.

Tip: Many times the first cane rails are very close to the reel, which makes the multifilament output difficult, so it is convenient to remove it and make it floating in the next section.


On stormy days be very careful, since carbon is an excellent conductor of electrical energy , for this reason it is advisable to carry a fiberglass rod for when these unforeseen climatic events arise. We hope that this note will be useful when choosing your next pejerrey cane , or to modify any of the ones you already have, to improve your equipment.

The pejerrey fishing to spinning, decoys and technique
I have carried out an analysis of the predator condition presented by the silverside and based on valuable data provided by Argentine fishermen, I would like to present a paper that shows probabilities of catching this species with artificial lures that comprise the range of feeding of this fish. The most interesting is that of the lures shown below, there are in size appropriate to the specific size of the silverside in its different environments, the specific recital being not very large , but that can be perfectly worked with spinning equipment with strings of 6 to 8 pounds of tension, there are ranges of weights between 3 to 9 grams average and 3 centimeters to 7 average, this makes them fully adaptable for the species according to their specific habitat.

Lures for pejerrey fishing in the sea
The lures presented have characteristics of organisms with which this species feeds, they include ranges of depth and technique of use.

The spoons and their hybrid variants
Lures Terezhes PejerreyThe oscillating and rotating French-type teaspoons represent interesting exponents for the probable capture of this species and there are of the appropriate size for the pejerrey from the number 0, 1, 2 in general . The oscillating teaspoon shows an undulating effect in its displacement caused by the flow of water that surrounds it in the applied movement.

Presents, irregular movement side by side, color, light reflection, wave effect and faint sound caused by the rubbing of water and the elements of the same spoon, metal rings and hook. It emulates very well to a prey that has problems with the swimming bladder or damages in the fins and therefore its swim is very irregular. It can be considered a decoy type lure .

In a very interesting variant, a hybrid of teaspoon with soft plastic or rigid artificial can be presented, making the artificial one even more attractive. To make these hybrids can be with brand lures created for this purpose or by placing a split ring on the spoon for the incorporation of artificial elements soft or rigid type fish.
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Working these lures in the water:
If you work in contact with surface water at a fast constant speed, the lure moves in the surface layer of the water, allowing you to explore those moments when the silverside is very active.
If you work at half speed you can work the medium water layer, either by a continuous recovery or with small pulls to make it more attractive in the eyes of the predator.
If you let it fall to the depth you can work slowly the bottom area to invite those fish that are at that level.

The small fish-like vinyls

Fishing lures for pejerrey spinningThe soft plastic type minnow are actually lures that emulate very well the prey of predators , have adequate sizes and a very natural presence that imitates very well the nature of the fish plus swimming and flashing effects that really deceive the predator, more the condition of texture that is very natural when the fish bites it.

They can be worked at variable speeds as well as the spoons plus two additional conditions: in the system of vertical ups and downs ( jigging ) and with pause and movement to give them an effect of wounded fish with swimming problems.

Rigid lures
Rigid lures in their various variants and in the right size for the pejerreyes are one of the very interesting options since there are different conditions in them:

Lipless Floats: They are lures to be worked on the surface layer of the water with controlled side-by-side movement effects known as walking the dog.

The floating with lip: They are designed to have flotation lures, when they are given movement they generate depth and a very attractive side to side effect for the fish.

The non-floating ones with lip of low level of fall that allow to be worked to a level of controlled depth
The non-floating ones with controlled fall level lip, known as "countdown" countdown effect.
The non-floating ones without sardine lip that can be worked at different depth levels.
Jigs with soft plastics
They are hooks with leaded head to which a soft plastic is added to generate the attraction effect, they can be worked at different speeds for different depths and in the techniques of ups and downs. They have a great advantage and they are available in the most diverse sizes, shapes and colors, being an additional option for the fishing of a predator like the silverside.

Each of the introduced lures has a very high probability range for the species and the fundamental idea is to show that they are artificial, whose potential is high at the various depth levels where they are shown.

Regarding the colors, it is possible to suggest that the rule of contrast is used, which is clear water, light colors, turbid waters, dark and striking colors. In the writing I have presented colors that resemble the various mojarritas and pececillos grass of the pejerreyes. I hope that fishing will be very profitable with exploration possibilities and ample probabilities of capture.

10 Final points to consider for the pejerrey fishing in the sea
In general, when the waters are more alive, the pejerrey stings more in surface areas.
It is possible to use nylon or multifilament yarn, if we opt for nylon we will have to use corks.
In the line you have to change periodically the nylon of the snoods, but not the one of the mother where the buoys go.
If we fish a buoy, the pointer of the rod should be light since the line "sails" evenly and not above the buoys.
Use canes between 4 and 4.20 meters, always opting for lightweight and resistant materials such as carbon fiber.
When you have a pit and a silverside is stuck, when picking up you must calculate the distance between the fish and us so that when you lift it comes towards our hand.
The length of the fishing line that does not exceed the distance from the tip of the rod to the grip of our reel.
The best days to go fishing are windy and cold. The water is agitated and therefore very oxygenated, this will make the silverside much more active.
It is important that the hooks are tied in a loop, because in the water they acquire more movement and the bait looks more natural.
Use low memory wires to assemble our rigs.