A couple of articles ago when I wrote about rigs, I mentioned that I am always looking to see them evolve. And that’s exactly what happened in the meantime! One of the things that I do when fishing (and even when I am not) is try to picture what goes on underneath the surface of the water once I have cast out.
After all, my bait could be out there for well in excess of twelve hours, so it is vital that everything is as it should be. Just like the good racing car mechanic is always messing with the vehicle, never satisfied with where it is at, so the thinking angler will always be trying to improve.
Hence, as the photograph shows, I have made a slight change to the bait end of the rig. Instead of the two or three artificial corn pieces, I have retained one that is at the top, and then added a piece of yellow rig foam beneath it. The foam is far more buoyant than the corn and I was concerned that the pop-up wasn’t sitting exactly as I wanted it to.
Although the gravel pit is relatively clear on the bottom, there are odd patches of weed beginning to come through. The problem is that these patches can be anywhere, and when you cast out you don’t know if you have put the bait over one or not. Hence, if the buoyancy is not what it should be, then presentation will suffer. So the slight adjustments gave me that extra edge of confidence. And although I am referring to weed coming through, it is still only minimal at the moment. In hairdressing speak we are talking about grade four and no more.
After a spell of two-night sessions, this week saw me do just a single overnighter. Apart from the travel to and from the venue, it is actually more beneficial from an angling point of view to do two separate nights rather than one longer session. Although fish can be caught during the day, the majority of the bream will certainly come out during the hours of darkness, and at the very best dusk or dawn. So arriving at the water’s edge with the sun beginning to drop in the sky, the timing was just right.
The weather was hot, in fact it was a scorcher and more reminiscent of late July than the middle of April. I arrived in shorts and short sleeves, and it was only as the sun set that I decided to put my Sundridge fleece suit on, and even then I started to sweat and so went back to the minimum amount of clothing after a while. Mind you, I do have a bit of a reputation for dressing light. On the Lower Severn syndicate I am in, I was fishing in shorts till well into last winter. Some of the other guys didn’t quite know what to make of me!
After a busy day of work, I soon fell asleep as the sun set, only to be woken at 10.30 pm by the right indicator that had suddenly come alive. Well, I say alive, but that’s all relative when you are talking bream. Let’s just say that the words ‘screaming’ and ‘run’ are not exactly at the top of the list when writing about bream fishing. But lifting into the fish I could feel a decent one at the end of the line. The thrill of catching big bream is not in the fight that is for sure, but I am just as excited when the fish slips into the net as if it were a hard fighting barbel or carp.
The third bream of the campaign, it was definitely nice to know that the two from the previous session were not flukes. And as if to endorse the way I was thinking, within the hour I was again netting another, although this one was a couple of pounds smaller in weight than the first of the night. It was still nice to get two fish under my belt though, particularly as I was there for just an overnighter.
The rest of the night proved very quiet, other than the oystercatchers on the pit that are very vocal at all times. It doesn’t disturb me though, as I have grown quite fond of them. More so than the resident rat, although let’s not talk about that, shall we!
(Originally published April 2007)