BREAM, AWARDS NIGHT AND SICM SEVENS – (Blog entry 668)

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I do enjoy bream fishing and by that I’m not referring to the small skimmers that can be caught in a variety of places. In fact I get more than my fair share when I’m on the canal after perch. Not that I’m complaining, after all I often say that there’s no such thing as a nuisance fish in my book, it’s just that they are very different from the bigger specimens. They’re almost like different species, especially the way that they behave. The smaller ones fight more for a start. A 1lb bream has more life in it than a 10lb fish.

This blog entry is about overnighters and my opening one saw me killing two birds with one stone. I was at The New Saints in the day and along with me went my fishing tackle. Obviously where you park is crucial, after all an unguarded car full of gear may as well have a ‘Help yourself’ sign on it. However, I can park in such a place that there are no issues, or at least minimal ones. After all you are never 100% secure. If you look at it like that, everything we do has some sort of risk attached to it.

The pit through the budding leaves
The pit through the budding leaves

I got to the pit late afternoon with the sun still shining. Although it was a nice day though, the temperature was forecast to drop overnight. This is the air that I’m talking about however, not the water. That’s the all-important reading that really counts. The video that accompanies the blog kicks off as I’m about to cast out so you can check out my bait approach via that. I always give that side of my sessions particular thought.

There are many important ingredients that go into the mix and bait is definitely up there with the rest. It’s the business end as far as connecting with the fish is concerned. You can have top rods, quality eels, ultra-sharp hooks and a fashionable bivvy, but if your bait is the weak link then you’ll really struggle. Casting out, I put the rods on the pod as the waiting game began. That’s why it’s important to know your baits are in the right place; once I’ve cast out and I’m happy, they stay there.

My bait approach this week
My bait approach this week

I had the first indication on my bite alarm about 2.00 a.m. but it was just a single, and very short, bleep. The hanger itself didn’t even move. I put it down to a ‘liner’ or even a piece of weed that had drifted into the line. Anyway, I had the same but at periods of maybe every twenty minutes or so. Brief bleep and no movement. Eventually, experience told me I could well have a bream on the end. Lifting the rod, that’s exactly what I was connected to.

It was the usual carrier-bag-full-of-water experience as I brought it in. The thrill of big bream is definitely not in the fight but rather the capture itself. They’re not numerous either so, as the heading suggests, this week’s blog entry is all about quality rather than quantity. On the big bream waters that I fish, which aren’t many anyway, the target is just to catch one per session. Any more and we’re in bonus territory.

Just the one bream but a decent fish
Just the one bream but a decent enough fish

I enjoyed my opening session so much I couldn’t wait to get back on the same venue again. Following a busy day, I took full advantage of the hours of darkness in retreat at the moment by arriving early evening. That’s one of the positives about this time of the year, you can fit in more overnighters than you can in winter if you have limited time. With just one pleasure angler on the pit I wasn’t struggling for swims either.

My favourite spot – where I had fished the previous session – was free but this time I decided to pitch up somewhere else. On this particular place the bream are very focused as far their patrol routes are concerned and there are still anglers who don’t think they’re even in there as they have never caught one. I have fished very close to where I have netted several – and blanked because I wasn’t in the exact spot.

On the stage at the TNS awards event
On the stage at the TNS awards event

This is where watercraft is important, you begin to work out what’s going on beneath the surface. It’s not as easy as asking people where the best swims are, but not only is it more rewarding to work things out for yourself, it’s also better for the long-term in enhancing your own understanding of all things piscatorial. The principles that you learn on one venue will help your overall angling, not only when you’re on that one place.

Anyway, this time round I blanked. It’s too early to say whether it’s not a ‘bream swim’, I’ll definitely be giving it another go in the future. As the sun set, although the fish didn’t go on the munch the common pipistrelle and noctule bats did and it was great to watch them feeding right in front of me. They were out in force.Talking of being out in numbers, last weekend was the annual TNS awards night and as you can see from the photograph above, I was on the stage.

A bit of posing never did anyone any harm
A bit of posing never did anyone any harm

From the pre-Academy right through to the first-team, there were awards galore and it was a very busy evening at Park Hall. It’s been another incredible season for The New Saints, with the Welsh Premier League and Welsh League Cup already in the bag. This weekend (Monday May 2) is the Welsh Cup final and if we win that it’s historic back-to-back trebles. Regardless of where you play your football, that’s an incredible achievement. I’ll be back in my more familiar football clobber to present TNS Radio but for the awards night I stepped out in an Yves Saint Laurent suit, a Jaeger shirt and Converses.

The presentation shot from the evening was taken by TNS official photographer, Brian Jones. From the players on the pitch right through to those behind the scenes, there’s a wealth of talent at Park Hall. I’ve been involved since August 2014, therefore I’m coming to the end of my second complete season. If you’re not aware, the players are all full-time professionals at The New Saints and to find out more, take a look at the TNS website HERE.

Interested in getting involved? Get in touch
Interested in getting involved? Get in touch

Continuing with the football theme, do you live in the Black Country? Enjoy the beautiful game? Then why not get involved in a seven-a-side league that I organise at Coseley Leisure Centre on Monday evenings? With my wife I run a registered charity that works in Africa and we use the league as a fund-raiser, so after we’ve paid referees and pitch hire the remainder goes into the charity. If you want more information click HERE to check out the link on the charity’s website. As well as entering a team I also need individual players for mine. We’ve got some friendlies lined up over the summer, so get in touch.

My Twitter and Facebook page can be found elsewhere on this page. In addition I’ve also got a personal Facebook account and you can check that out HERE. Feel free to add me. Finally, as you can see this week my blog has moved beyond the world of fishing. My internet presence is continually evolving and I’m often trying something different, this time it’s just broadening my horizons. I guess it’s more of a personal blog this week as opposed to exclusively angling. Anyway, whatever happens, it will always be full of fishing but variety is the spice of life as they say. (Published April 30 2016)