Thursday 12 May 2022

PB Bream, Walthamstow Reservoirs 2022.


 For many years the thought of a campaign for specimen Bream has always appealed, however the choice to go with it has never been taken. Finally, after plenty of deliberation the decision has been made, this spring my targets are going to be Bream and Eels. Not the pairing that many would feel comfortable with, nevertheless I don't mind and find targeting species like this very intriguing. A slime fest if you will.

 The thought of big Bream is one that I find exciting, I don't know how big they really go to in the reservoirs, because when they do come out it is often to disgruntled Carp anglers who tend to unhook them in the water, so there is no real detail on numbers and weights of the fish that get caught, this is where I hope to come in. Having decided to take on Walthamstow Reservoirs for my Bream campaign I hope to get amongst numbers of fish with the ultimate goals being: To thrash my personal best, B: Get a good idea on exactly what is knocking about and C: What other surprises there maybe, for example potentially put some meat on the bones of a British Record fish knocking about. How true that is, it's hard to tell but it all adds to the mystery and I quite like that.

 With a night available on the complex last weekend I decided to make the effort to get over there. I dug my gear out, made up a few rigs, loaded up the bucket with feed and made sure my camera batteries were charged! On Saturday morning I made my way leisurely up to E17 hoping that it wasn't too busy and to my surprise there was only ten on the gate for 0730, that I was surprised by, I thought given the fact its a great time of the year to target both Carp and Bream that it would be chocker. 

 With no barrow it was a long slog to the peg I had chosen, two journeys, carrying upwards of 100kg of gear isn't something I want to do too often and think it maybe time to bite the bullet and buy a barrow because it damn near killed me, not to mention rubbed my neck raw with the various handles turning on my skin, I just hoped it was all worth it! 

 The plan was simple, fishing two rods both with helicopter rigs. The setup I was using for this trip was the Korum all-rounder 1.5 TC rods, with Ultegra 5500's loaded with 12lb line ( Daiwa Hypersensor ), terminal gear was 10lb fox illusion flourocarbon, size 8 wide gape hook to a hair with 4 real grains of corn and 1 bouyant piece of corn to top it off. The feeder I used were cage feeder 80g loaded with Sensas 3000 brown crumb with corn, 4mm & 6mm pellet and broken scopex squid boilees to finish off. Plenty of sweetness, just what Bream like and with an hour of starting I did get the odd liner, so it was encouraging.

 For that first hour and a half I was on the phone to Brian and we had come to the end of our conversation when I was thinking about refilling the feeders and getting them back out, plus to also check that the rigs hadn't spun around the mainline. Within five minutes of hanging up my right hand rod bleeped a few times and the bobbin pulled up tight to the buzzer, without hesitation I picked up the rod and bent into the fish, hoping it was a Bream a fairly heavy fish immediately kited to my left and probably going a good 50 yards, not something I was expecting off of a Bream, the fish stayed down close to the bottom and occasionally skimming the bottom and releasing trails of gas from the bed of the reservoir, so I knew roughly where she was at times. After about four or five minutes the fish was coming in close, I took longer with this fish as I suspected it was a big Bream and it was my first fish of the trip so I didn't want to put any undue pressure on it and potentially lose it.

 I didn't expect to see a Bream this big though.....shocked was an understatement, I couldn't ship the net out fast enough! a new personal best had just slipped over the cord and I was in dreamland or Carp angler hell ;O)

 This is what greeted me when I got the fish out the water on to the mat!

I've never seen a Bream that big in the flesh.

 I was so pent up with excitement I nearly forgot to check the other rod that bleeped whilst I was attending to this fish, a couple of glances back at the other rod to see if would materialise, which it didn't so I continued with the lump in net. On the scales then a few photos were run off before I let her go back home.

Obscene, 14lb 6ozs, new PB, thank you!

 ***Click link here to watch YouTube video -------> Release video of PB Bream <--------***

 The sheer size of it had me wondering just how big is a twenty? which, one day will be a target as I hopefully inch my way through the Bream on this famous venue, I could not have asked for a better start at all and knew I had the best part of 22hrs to go. The stage was set.

 The thought of more fish that size coming to the net excited me so much and even the look of disdain from carp anglers who I spoke with about my desires on the Bream front didn't wain. Who could honestly not find that impressive, even if I say so myself. The rods were back out and I sat back patiently waiting for the next bite.

 Unbeknownst to me and is so common in angling, the wait would be a lot longer than I thought it would be and to cut a 20hr story short that fish was actually my last bite, the liners stopped not long after that fish was landed and spods of bait were launched out to keep the swim rocking but one of two things were clear to me, either there was only a couple of fish were in the area feeding, or it was simply me catching the end of their feeding spell and I got lucky, which I am leaning toward.
 I spent the evening, night and early morning ringing the changes to try and eek out another bite but it simply didn't come along and as the sun rose I could see Bream just under the surface cruising around, might they have just not been feeding at all? I don't really know, but what I do know is on my first outing I smashed my PB by nearly 2lbs, that is a right result in my book and will look to get down soon for another go! 

Sunset on a great day.


  1. I also have the same feeling for Bream, I don't know why people don't like them. I think a big one looks awesome (I have never seen anything over 5lb in the flesh), my target up here is about 8lb. I do hope to venture south for a really big one at some point. Awesome fish! Congrats on the pb.

    1. When they reach that magical 10lb mark they take on a whole different shape and therefore an altogether different fish, yes the scraps can be dour but doesn't detract what super fish they are at that size, I had never seen a Bream in the flesh that size before!

      When that time comes to head south just let me know if I can help I will!

    2. Thanks, will let you know. Is on the target list for this year!

  2. @Keith.J said: Congratulations James and great write up. Thoroughly enjoyed reading that!

  3. Fantastic start James. Well done on the pb. Look forward to seeing how high you can push the bar...

    1. Thanks Sean! I think this season I had started my Bream fishing a bit late for some real bigs as they are no doubt looking to spawn imminently, so I will leave them until June 1st, then I will get back on them. That is unless the eyes on the ressys suggest they aren't spawning and time becomes available I might get back on but highly doubtful at the moment! Next spring I will start earlier and hope to find a real big one and give it plenty of time.

  4. Wow, what a lump. Getting a fish of that size first time out? You are either gifted or have balls of pure gold. Either way, well done and congratulations.
    Being a fan of Peter Stone, I rarely add feed over feeding bream other than what's in a feeder or pva bag. Let them find a carpet, not a shower. My pb is about half of yours but, it may be an edge in your pursuit of that 20.
    I have bemoaned bream invasion when carping but, if I was bream fishing, I'd feel the same about carp. And I would never be anything other than delighted with a double figure bream, truly one of fishing's hardest targets.

    1. Balls of pure gold I think is the general consensus. Although, it seems to happen quite often, got to be some skill involved?? As for the feeding, to be fair I do usually add more feed until i've had five fish off the area, but thought with all the liners I'd been cleaned out but wasn't the case upon reflection, I think I caught the back end of the feeding spell when I arrived and got lucky with the one fish I did catch as it does do smaller fish.

  5. Hi mate ,I could be wrong but looks like the lower .I love it over there .
    Big bream fishing is my passion in life .
    And Walthamstow is the only place that gives me a real chance of a proper slab.
    Because of renovation works indoors my trips will be limited this year.
    Good luck for the future.

    1. Hi mate, It certainly is the lower, a very good Bream water with the added bonus of big Carp. I didn't get any numbers this time around but got lucky with the size of the Bream I did manage, the Lower does have a vast head of good Bream with the average between 9 and 12lbs which is crazy, the 2/3 has the biggest fish in though, I've seen upper doubles spawning at the bottom of 3 on the willow roots and some of them were 16-18lbs and not just 1 or 2 !

      Anyone serious about Bream in London should target Stow, it really is a crazy place when you do get it spot on!

      Good Luck when you do get out, I feel your pain on the time front.....not enough of it!

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  7. Replies
    1. An epic fish, I really hope to come across more of them and will make a concerted effort this spring to catch a few more.


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