The river close season used to mean the end of fishing for three months, now I can continue to enjoy my sport but only on allowable still waters. I have been trying to catch a large perch of one such venue and although I caught to well over the 3lb mark as mentioned in the last blog I still await the 4lb fish I hope is swimming around there.
A 3lb perch that still holds spawn.
As we move into April my thoughts change to the tench and bream potential and with very little change in the rigs I cast further out and hope for a large bream to show. The main problem with bream is their nomadic nature on most venues, you may see them rolling but that only tells you where there are at that moment not where they will be or where they will feed.
Over the many years that I’ve fished for the bream I imagine I’ve tried every known method and bait in their pursuit, the only conclusion I’ve come to is when they are prepared to feed they can be easy and caught on almost any method. The other side of that coin is that most of the time they are very difficult, if not next door to impossible.
This early in the season I had decided on a very frugal approach and just rely on maggot loaded swimfeeders and a double hook rig with the maggots on the hook nearest the feeder, then an artificial corn/maggot combination on the top hook. This is not going to going to make a big catch of fish but so far this year just three bream have been caught, all singly with this suggesting they were not shoaled up.
Pull the small hook into the corn and job done.
With the overnight rain I expected the water temperature to have dropped and with the east wind blowing it was not with the highest of expectations that I set out for an afternoon –evening session. Rods are already set up and it was just a cast of casting for the horizon and sit back and wait. I recast every hour but it was more a case of hoping a fish would come across the feeder offering and pick up the hookbait. In the words of the famous saying ‘nothing kept happening all the time,’ but that had been the case on my previous visits for the bream so no surprise there.
It was well into the afternoon when one of the bobbins dropped slightly and then gave a little giggle. It was not the usual bream bite that hits the deck in one movement and I was quite surprised to hit into heavy resistance on the strike. Playing the fish to the bank I discussed the possible culprit with the lad who had come along from the next swim. Not a perch, no bangs typical of their fight, possibly a tench or maybe a jack pike since they have been picking up maggot baits, not a bream though since it was too good a fight. Fifteen yards out it flashed on the surface and to our surprise it was the bream I had hoped for, when the scales showed it weighed in at 13lb-8oz it was a very nice welcome to a new water venture for the bream. The fish had taken the artificial bait proving yet again their worth in the angler's armory.
First of the year.