I was at a loose end so decided to go down to local canal to try for the silver bream, not had one of that species that I’ve weighed so that is one of the targets this year. Left home at 1:30pm so obviously it was not going to be a long session, but I could relaxed and take it as it comes. I would be using my normal tackle for this light fish type of species, roach, crucian and those sort, 14ft Drennan Ultralight rod, with a size 20 hook to 1.5lb hook link. Single red maggot and loose feed a few of these into the swim every 10 minutes or so. I had a little of my mixed pellet and hemp left from the previous day on the Derwent so I used it as a light feed, not too much of that though.
My first fish had me going for a moment but it proved to be a bronze bream of less than 2lb, the next time the float dipped I hit something bigger – a lot bigger! My mind went through the various options, pike, zander, sizable tench, but that soon was left behind as this fish was too big. All the time the obvious species was carp, the canals have lots of them and they do grow to a very large size. Fifteen minutes later I was still in contact with the unseen monster but he was in charge. Over the next fifteen minutes he lead me a merry chase going all over except directly in front of me. Slowly I could see that the little pressure I was putting on him was beginning to tell, I saw the float for the first time and then I could keep the float above the surface of the water for most of the time. I got him in front of my position and he just went round and round in a circle, but then he came within the netting distance and he was mine.
That tested the tackle to the limit!
Lifting him clear of the water I could only think I was destined to catch him, I had left the usual small pan net in the van and was using my 32 inch chub net, and that 1.5lb hook link had held since he made no long runs. Merv came along and the scales showed a brilliant 20lb-12oz, my first English twenty for many years, but then I don’t fish for them. It started to rain so we packed up early, the silver bream will wait for another day.