Location the key to enjoying bream success
Location, location, location – plus correct swim choice and feed – are keys to big lake bream
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!