No prizes for guessing the species featuring in this weeks blog. I make no apologies for the lack of variety recently. Put simply; I am really enjoying fishing for bream at the moment. As well as a new found love for the species and style of fishing, the water I am targeting is growing on me too. A water I have fished many times in the past but one I have often overlooked. One of crystal clear water, lush green, reed lined margins and a myriad of colourful insects and birds. I remember joining the club controlling it when I was eleven. My dad had been a member for many years previous and had many tales to tell me of his adventures. At the time I had been learning the all important basics on the local canal, but after a year or two, wanted to go further afield. It was like stepping into a different world. The inviting, but cold, stone lined banking was gone. The water made grey by towering bridges replaced by ones where if you were still enough, actual fish could be spotted. For a kid that grew up in the city it was pure escapism. I used to love fishing the waggler at the venue in question. Usually shallow and spraying maggots. Rudd after rudd would line up to be caught, of course the bigger specimens were far too wily for that. Thankfully the big bream that live here are not as shy once grazing over a bed of bait. They still need to be caught though.
As I have done in previous weeks, I arrived at the water and looked for signs of fish; bubbling, rolling and such. In all honesty there was a lot of fish activity all over but it seemed a little more confined where I chose to fish. A quick lead around revealed a clear and flat area around 30 metres out and with that the line was clipped up. To avoid any mishaps, unlike last week, I stuck a little electrical tape over the line clip. There was now no way any stray line could become tangled behind and spoil my cast. Learning from my mistakes, you see. Lead replaced with a feeder, twenty casts were made to the spot and a mixture of sweet fishmeal groundbait, pellets and corn was laid down. I tied up two hooklengths, a short and long version, giving the swim time to settle in the process. Fake corn fished on a hair would be my hookbait, popped up ever so slightly so the bait would sit above the silkweed present in the swim. Then it was time for a cup of tea before casting out. In the distance, menacing dark blue clouds gathered and thunder rumbled.
Also present in this venue are some very large tench and when taking a few moments to take in the surroundings with a drink, these fish always creep into my mind. I suppose I secretly hope that one time the tip might fly around and instead of the breams infamous plod, I might find myself hanging on as raw, green power does its best to escape. As I baited the hair for the first time I savoured the moment. I love the first cast of a session. Even if I have cast into that same water many times before, there’s something about it I can’t quite put my finger on. Maybe it encapsulates what fishing is about. The unknown. Even if you have an idea what species are present, you are never sure how big they will be on the day, how long you will have to wait for them and if they are going to bite at all. Then again maybe its the focus of it. Yes, I think thats what I like. Anything else on my mind is guaranteed to quickly filter away. A rig is cast, a short period of concentration observed, then re-bait or re-feed and repeat the process. Times ten or fifty. It’s perfect. There’s no time for other matters and the only time this is interrupted is when the fish decide to introduce themselves.
Which on todays session turned out to be quite quickly, in fact it was on only my second cast. I didn’t know if this was a good or a bad thing. Surely the fish wouldn’t be feeding so confidently to not notice a rather substantial part of their shoal disappearing. With the fish returned, I cast out and it seemed that they had, indeed, noticed. For the next hour I had no bites or liners. In the distance the thunder still rumbled but seemed less threatening now, which was a relief. Out of the blue the tip pulled around as another bream found the bait irresistible. Disaster came a few seconds later when the hook pulled. A lost fish in the ‘feeding zone’ is certainly a terrible thing to happen. Especially with bream. And so the fishing came to reflect this idea as another hour slipped by without any more success. I took the opportunity to top up the feed and quickly deposited another fifteen feeders full of bait. Within ten minutes I began to receive line bites. Another ten minutes later I was into a bream, a smaller stamp than the first at around five pound. The next cast produced another seven pound fish. All of them having a liking for the balanced fake corn hookbait.
After that flurry of action it was time for a well deserved tea. I was in the process of pouring said tea when the tip dropped back once again. On auto-pilot the flask was put down and the rod picked up. Second nature? It seemed that way. The fish on the other end however was much more reluctant to do as the others had and it kited strongly to my left. For a few seconds I wondered if the fish was a bream at all. A head shake and a lunge confirmed it. Definitely a bream. I had the feeling that it might be a bigger fish so I took my time, particularly when guiding the fish over the huge weed bed in front of me. Out in the depths a brassy bronze bream turned on its side, making its guidance a lot easier, edging ever closer to the waiting net that I had stretched out as far as I could.
It was certainly a big bream and set a new personal best for me. What a classic looking bream it was too. A looker, if you can say that about bream, a well as large. It was a real privilege to hold and release a fish like this. I wonder how old it was? Watching it swim back down through the depths in such clear water was fantastic. That tea I poured sure tasted sweet, if a little cold now, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
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Until Next time tight lines