Lo­ca­tion the key to en­joy­ing bream suc­cess

Lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion – plus cor­rect swim choice and feed – are keys to big lake bream

Angling Times (UK) - - TIPS & TACTICS -

HE long­est day has come T and gone and the dog days of sum­mer are not far away.

The coun­try­side has an air of lethargy as the pace of life is put on hold for a while. With no rush of spring blooms or a press­ing need to gather in the au­tumn har­vest, this is a time to re­lax.

An­gler and fish alike can now fall prey to in­do­lence, the one loung­ing on a bed­chair, the other bask­ing in the sur­face lay­ers.

How­ever, much as I en­joy high sum­mer the hunt­ing in­stinct never goes away, and I can­not abide blank­ing.

So af­ter I had failed on my first day and night a move to the other side of the pit, where I had seen my quarry roll at day­break, was in­evitable – even though it would mean an hour of hard work.

Long be­fore drag­on­flies pre­pared for a day on the wing, the few bream pre­sent showed their hand, if only for five min­utes.

It was easy to pick them out from the splash­ing tench as they gen­tly por­poised, show­ing off their bronze backs.

It would have been all too easy to ig­nore them and en­joy a pleas­ant day in the sun, but I was acres of wa­ter away from catch­ing. So the pack-up be­gan, made eas­ier as I had cho­sen to fish un­der a brolly and not in­side a bivvy.

I never bur­den my­self with lux­ury camp­ing items ei­ther, and soon the bar­row was full and on its way to the new swim.

I was grate­ful that thick over­head leaf cover kept much of my jour­ney in the shade as I nav­i­gated the track, mak­ing the task far less sweaty than I’d feared.

Once there, I used a marker float to lo­cate a 6ft-deep, weed-free gully with a firm bot­tom. Bream avoid any cover that can break their bond with the shoal. They are so­cial crea­tures, happy to gather in groups in open wa­ter.

Twelve feet ei­ther side of the bright or­ange marker I spread 20 Spomb loads of small blood­worm and trout pel­lets with a few crushed boilies added for good mea­sure. If tench had been my quarry the bait would have been mag­gots, but while these are un­beat­able dur­ing the day, at night they seem to lose their ap­peal. Bream are by and large noc­tur­nal, which ex­plained my choice of feed. Know­ing the habits and be­hav­iour pat­terns of your tar­get fish can be very use­ful!

With the bot­tom well and truly laced with bait that was leach­ing out oil, I baited up my rigs. These were 12lb Syn­cro XT main­line to a 3oz in­line lead. I’d only choose this type of weight to fish over a solid bot­tom, for pre­sen­ta­tion would be ru­ined if it sank into

the silt. In the cor­rect sit­u­a­tion, though, the bolt ef­fect is greatly in­creased, es­pe­cially with a 4ins hook­link. Mine was 15lb E-S-P Sink Link braid to a size 10 Curve Shanx hook.

Bait on the knot­less-knot­ted hair was half a Sticky Blood­worm Wafter that would sit crit­i­cally bal­anced, ready to be sucked in. Each rod would also carry a PVA mesh bag of blood­worm pel­lets.

To spice these up I filled a bait box with these and added a splash of Cap oil. This fish-based liq­uid con­tains chilli ex­tract that fish adore. Once the box is shaken up to coat the pel­lets evenly I add a lit­tle blood­worm pow­der, which sticks to skin of the pel­lets for fur­ther at­trac­tion.

Three rods were rigged up in an iden­ti­cal man­ner and I set­tled down to await the out­come.

The rest of the day was a tran­quil af­fair, but by late af­ter­noon I was im­pa­tient for dark­ness to fall. At 7pm I cast out fresh baits and PVA mesh bags, and in­evitably my din­ner was in­ter­rupted by a long, steady draw on the bob­bin as the main­line mo­men­tar­ily brushed the back of a bin-lid bream.

I now knew they were still in the area, and that my swim prepa­ra­tion hadn’t spooked the shoal. Im­pa­tience gave way to an­tic­i­pa­tion as I pre­pared for bed.

I knew that the night was short, and so was the win­dow of op­por­tu­nity for a big bream.

I tossed and turned in the bag, and when sleep did fi­nally come it was soon in­ter­rupted by an alarm call!

To my surprise, light lev­els were al­ready im­prov­ing and I could clearly see my 12ft rod out­lined against the sky­line as I struck.

A fish was head­ing in my di­rec­tion, and I had no doubt that it was a bream. The chal­lenge with these is all about fool­ing them – the fight is unim­pres­sive – but I still guarded against a hook-pull and held my breath as the fish twisted and turned in front of me.

As it neared the land­ing net I could clearly see it was a dou­ble, and I was one happy an­gler.

Sleep was no longer on the agenda and nor were the bream, but tench came to the res­cue. I had two eight-pounders and a nine! Lots of sweat and pre­cious lit­tle sleep had added an­other pic­ture to the photo al­bum.

A dou­ble-fig­ure bream and some fine tench – not a bad haul at all!

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