If you follow my angling adventures on a regular basis, then I’m sure you know that my favourite fish is the perch. What you may not realise though, and I don’t think I’ve ever stated it, is that my second favourite is bream. What I’m referring to though is once it leaves the skimmer stage behind and takes on a deep bronze colour and develops the physique that I find so attractive. Well, from a fish point of view anyway.
I decided to do a series of overnight sessions on a large Shropshire venue that I have fished before but for other species. I had no knowledge of the quality of bream that were likely to be caught and in many ways that was an attraction. Whilst I do understand anglers who want spoon-feeding as far as information is concerned (and I don’t say that in a sarcastic way), there’s nothing like finding out for yourself.
My thoughts prior to beginning the sessions were that I’d catch a few medium-sized fish along the way and that I’d have to wade through them to catch something really special. If indeed I would, after all, even if they are in there there’s no guarantee I’ll catch them in just a few outings. The first one produced a couple of bream but I did notice that fish were topping a little further out, so the next visit I baited and fished 10 metres on. It seemed to do the trick as I banked a number of bream (and hybrids).
In fact, one of the hybrids was so roach-like that as it came to the net I actually uttered the word ‘wow’ as I thought I was about to bank a monster redfin. I have had a fish around the 2lb mark from there before though, so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that the venue contains fish of that calibre. Of course, it’s finding the time to target them. Even for someone like me, who fishes a lot, I still can’t do everything I want. Anyway, with my bream head still intact, I returned for a third and final time this week.
It was a beautiful, still summer’s evening as I set up, however by the time I broke camp in the morning I was in torrential rain and thunderstorm. I heard it coming, and as I wanted to be off early anyway, I quickly began to pack away. The weather beat me though and by the time I got back to the car I was absolutely drenched. No worries though, it’s all part of the game. And it certainly doesn’t bother the fish, they’re wet already.
I only caught one bream on the final session, banked at dusk. Thinking the fish had moved in to the baited area I was expecting a few more to follow, however nothing else put in an appearance. I guess that’s angling for you. Regarding the venue, will I return and see if I can land a really big fish? Well, yes, if time allows. My wish-list is bigger than my capacity to work through it at the moment. A nice problem to have.
Finally, as you will have seen from the embedded tweet above, today is the 11th birthday of my angling blog. I believe it’s the longest running, regularly updated angling blog in the world. There may well have been someone somewhere who started one earlier, but has it been updated every single week? Anyway, if you do know of one, let me know. (Published July 5 2014)