Tuesday 9 April 2024

What A Start!


 Since the river season ended I've taken a 3 week hiatus from fishing, work as usual the excuse! Storm Kathleen however was predicted to bring in some stiff mild conditions, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to get my 2024/25 season started. There was only one species in my mind, Bream.

 For the beginning of the season before casting out a rod I had set myself a few targets, some are probably going to pie in the sky, but you never know what the fishing gods have in store as the season progresses. I'll add one element of that list of targets here because it does have a relevance to what occurred over the weekend. That being a 15lb+ Bream.

 As the week ticked by on site I was keeping an eye on the forecast and twice said to myself I'm going to cancel, then convinced myself to still make the effort and go. In hindsight it was a brilliant decision.

 Winds of 45mph were shifting across the 25 acre pit I am targeting with only a few trees to break the constant barrage up, however that was for me to worry about in the night when the stronger gusts were predicted. On Saturday morning I could see the 17-20mph wind was blowing from the top end straight down the pit and I opted to fish off the back of the wind where I hoped the bottom wasn't as unsettled as I know at times it can cause issues with presentation and not knowing what the Bream like here I had to stick it out and stick to what I know.

 After setting up my basecamp around 9am I got to spodding a mix of 2mm and 6mm pellet to around 40 yards where I found a clear areas about the size of snooker table, to begin with I put around 15 spods out and would top it up if I caught a fish. It was however very slow and didn't get an enquiry until around 1830 when I had a steady drop back which is a very typical Bream bite and there was no hesitation to strike, or so my brother tells me, I happened to be dropping the proverbials off at the pool! Luckily Rich was there so I could leave my rods out, and I was only gone ten minutes, so when I arrived back he'd only just netted it.

Super start.

 A good start, 11lb 13ozs and first Bream of the spring for me ( Yes, of course I'm counting it! ). After that I watched a procession of Bream (some very big fish too) roll and frolic on the surface at varying ranges for a good hour or two as the light failed, this ordinarily would have filled me with enormous amount of confidence, however I have had this experience before and doesn't normally translate to bites and so it would seem this time around too. 

 For the next few hours Rich and I chewed the fat and had a great catch-up, ate some lovely food and as we neared bed time (around midnight) I got the first indication of what would turn out to be a frustrating hour or so, numerous gentle pick-ups not resulting in a hook-ups was not filling me with confidence at all, then in the early hours of the morning one finally committed and I had a steady bite that I did manage to hit, a dull nodding out in the choppy water had my mind wandering as to how big the Bream was, I know they get big in this pit which is why I'm on it. I forgot to get my headtorch so had to net it in the dark, thankfully it all went to plan and a big slab lay up in the net! 

 Without faffing around I unhooked the fish gently, loaded up the feeder and got it back out on the spot hoping for a quick bite with the fresh bait, as I popped that rod on the rest I had a bite on my other rod, the bobbin pulled up tight then dropped back, obviously standing over the rod I didn't wait for anything else to happen, I picked up the rod and away I was again! This fish even at distance felt heavy but with a dour fight the Bream inched closer to the net where I got my first glimpse and my god, what a fish it was too!

 I had a big fish in the net already and this Bream made it look small! I knew I had something special, I had surely smashed my personal best. The adrenaline coursing through me is such a buzz, what a feeling.

 Once I got myself together I weighed both fish and opted to pop them in the retainer and waited for sunrise to get some pics which were kindly taken by my mate and fellow Drennan man, Chris. We were all in awe, my brother was shocked, as was I. 

Bream no:2 - 13lb 7ozs.

 I got the smaller one on the scales first when I had caught them and she weighed 13lb 7ozs which would have made anyones trip, however the fish I popped on the scales next had me dreaming and my target for the spring ( 15lb+ specimen ) was beaten and achieved. 

My new personal best, 15lb 10ozs!

 Don't look at the hair, just look at that slab, its a fish I've wanted to get my hands on for a couple of years now, first go this spring, jobs a good'en. Still time to get some more hopefully before they get their rocks off. The rest of the trip dripped by without another touch and the intense winds continued to a point I decided to pack up. 

 With 15lb+ Bream being as uncommon as they are, I thought this target was one of those pie in the sky targets. Just goes to show on the right waters it is possible.

Now also own a barrow...😕😂


  1. That sis quite a slab.... nicely done

    1. Super chuffed with them! See if I can better that on Thursday!

  2. Nice fish - and hairstyle - bream fishing with Ace Ventura!!

    1. The hair is a shambles in that wind and had only been awake an hour... but what a fish that 15 was, bloody big!

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks mate! Still looking at the pic, it's a fish I've wanted to catch for sometime!

  4. Not sure about claiming a fish landed by another James, apart from that a great catch.

    1. Thankfully the two biggest were with me present and not on the john! If I was to discount a fish it would be that one, but it was a joint effort, albeit a short one given the lacklustre fights Bream give! The 15lb barrier is something I've wanted to break for sometime!

      16lb bracket next :)

  5. Bloody hell, a right old slab that one, nice one James !!

    1. A new PB, something that doesn't happen very often anymore! So it's a great feeling when it does.


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