Com­mer­cial bream on the feeder

There’s more to carp lakes than big weights of mir­rors and com­mons says Guru’s Adam Rooney, who shows how to bag-up on ne­glected bream shoals

Improve Your Coarse Fishing (UK) - - Con­tents - Words & Pho­tog­ra­phy Mark Parker

WITH the pop­u­lar­ity of carp fish­ing on the rise, many com­mer­cial com­plexes have a ded­i­cated ‘spec­i­men’ wa­ter. But as well as be­ing home to big carp, like all wa­ters these pools of­ten have loads of sil­ver­fish you can tar­get. Fre­quently ig­nored by fish­er­men, they are grow­ing mas­sive on the scraps over­looked by carp and there­fore of­fer some truly great an­gling op­por­tu­ni­ties for the ded­i­cated seat­box an­gler. This is why Adam Rooney, for­mer Eng­land Feeder Team mem­ber, can of­ten be found setup on the banks of carp-filled wa­ters en­joy­ing a spot of light tackle feeder fish­ing. It was at Lake One on the Makins’ com­plex, with his seat­box placed be­tween the bivvies, that we joined the Guru brand man­ager. “This is typ­i­cal of the type of spec­i­men lake that abounds on many com­mer­cial match fish­eries. And what’s even bet­ter is that it is a wa­ter brim­ming with slab-sided bream and mil­lions of skim­mers and roach to back up these big fel­las!”

The beauty of carp lakes

Of­ten the big­gest lakes on the com­plex so the carp have plenty of room to grow, this is some­thing that also plays well into the hands of the bream shoals. As most an­glers are look­ing to ac­tively avoid sil­ver­fish, they loose­feed piles of boilies, pel­lets and sweet­corn, all baits that are adored by big bream. So, if the carp are not fully on the feed, the shoals of slabs home in for a free meal. This does two things. First, they grow enor­mous on carper’s scraps and, sec­ondly, be­cause they are very rarely, if ever, fished for, they are not at all hook-shy. “It is easy to take large bags of pris­tine sil­ver­fish with lit­tle ef­fort. I can never un­der­stand why more match-style an­glers don’t fish on here,” said Adam.

Pitch­ing up

Makin’s Lake One is quite atyp­i­cal for a com­mer­cial pool. Around five acres in size, it is fish­able from both sides but, un­like most com­mer­cials, it has a num­ber of un­der­wa­ter fea­tures sim­i­lar to a gravel pit. The bank op­po­site the café is deeper, drop­ping into a 15-foot trough, while as you travel across the lake it rises to a plateau at around 30 me­tres be­fore very grad­u­ally

deep­en­ing off to­wards the op­po­site bank. “I like to fish deeper wa­ter be­cause it gives me more op­tions,” Adam told us. “I can fish into the real depths or cast a lit­tle fur­ther on to the plateau in the mid­dle.” Cast­ing around half­way across is a good place to start be­cause it is the fur­thest bream can get away from ei­ther bank. Even on a wa­ter as pro­lific as this, early sea­son you still need to find the fish and go to them rather than wait­ing for them to come to you. For this rea­son Adam plans to slowly build the swim through­out the ses­sion rather than bait­ing heav­ily like he would in the height of sum­mer. “The other as­pect re­gard­ing lo­ca­tion is to ob­serve where the more pop­u­lar carp swims are,” he con­tin­ued. “These ar­eas reg­u­larly see lots of loose­feed, so bream won’t be far away.”

A tra­di­tional ap­proach

Fish­ing at range and be­ing an ex­pert in the tac­tic, the 36-year-old looks no fur­ther than tra­di­tional feeder tac­tics. A quiv­er­tip rod is matched with 5lb Guru Pulse main­line. This is per­haps a lit­tle on the light side, but to take the sting out of the cast and to help keep his ter­mi­nal tackle pinned to the lakebed, he at­taches a 4ft length of 0.25mm (7lb) Guru Pure fluoro­car­bon to the end. “Fluoro­car­bon is very heavy as well as be­ing al­most in­vis­i­ble in wa­ter,” ad­vised Adam. “Skim­mers and bream can be eas­ily spooked if their fins touch the main­line and, be­ing shoal fish, if one or two mooch off, they all fol­low. I like to twist the last few inches to cre­ate a length of dou­bled-up line. This makes a stiff sec­tion which pre­vents tan­gles on the cast.”

The medium cage feeder he used to start the day was set-up to fish freerun­ning on a clip swivel, al­low­ing for quick and easy changes. Adam’s hook­link was also Pure fluoro­car­bon, a 50cm length of 0.14mm (3lb 4oz) to a size 16 Su­per LWG hook. “This sounds a lit­tle heavy for tra­di­tional bream fi­fish­ing, but there is al­ways the chance of a bonus carp, and I fifind that baits such as dead mag­got present bet­ter on a slightly larger hook, than the more time-hon­oured size 20 and 22s.”

Give ’em some grub!

Even early sea­son, with the wa­ter still rel­a­tively cool, bream can still eat a mas­sive amount of loose­feed. For the base of his feed, Adam uses the new Dy­na­mite Baits’ Sil­ver X Skim­mer mix, a be­spoke ground­bait to­tally de­void of fi­fish­meal, offf­fer­ing skim­mers and bream a much more tra­di­tional sweet crumb. Adam reck­ons this helps de­ter the carp. But, to al­most con­tra­dict him­self, he likes to mix this 50:50 with Dy­na­mite Baits’ Swim Stim Milled Ex­pander. This adds a fa­mil­iar fish­meal scent with­out adding any sig­nif­i­cant food value. He then adds par­ti­cles as he goes along rather than sim­ply adding a pint of mag­gots and/or a tin of sweet­corn right at the start. “The prob­lem with mix­ing all your par­ti­cles and ground­bait to­gether at the start of the

ses­sion is that once it’s mixed, it’s mixed. The way I do it means I can tai­lor ev­ery feed­er­ful to con­tain ex­actly what I think the bream pre­fer on the day. One in­gre­di­ent I al­ways add is 2mm or 3mm hard pel­lets to give the shoal some­thing more sub­stan­tial to graze over.” Rather than kick­start­ing the ses­sion with 10 to a dozen casts, Adam prefers to cast ev­ery two to three min­utes for the first 45 min­utes at this time of year, prim­ing the swim with­out pil­ing in too much. Once the bites be­gin, the cast­ing regime will self-reg­u­late but, on a slow day, he will still re-cast ev­ery five min­utes. The only dif­fer­ence be­ing that he will re­duce feeder size. On the day we joined him, he started well, hav­ing a carp well into dou­ble fig­ures. But af­ter this, the bream turned up and it was then pretty much a fish ev­ery chuck! Catch­ing steadily, he amassed around 40lb of big slabs and skim­mers. Not bad from a ‘carp’ wa­ter!

Fin-per­fect bream like this de­liver fan­tas­tic sport in many ‘carp’ wa­ters

Adam’s bumper bream catch in­cluded bonus carp

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