So it’s fair to say this winters efforts have been a bit of a disaster. Normally I have a plan of what i’m going to target and where i’m going to fish but on this occasion my head had fallen off. I had no plan B. In my head I was going to target the Zander and go in search of my first double and although I had a few trips I only managed one solitary decent fish on Christmas Day. In fact I was glad to see the back of the river season so I could start planning for the year ahead. Now i’m full of vim and vigour because I know what i’m doing, well at least I think I do.
The weather had been Spring like for most of the week so I thought what better opportunity to do a spot of Bream fishing. I enjoyed the small amount of time I spent targeting them last year and I figured with the unseasonably mild weather they might be on the munch. I sorted all my gear out and got some of Hilary Briss’ “Special Stuff” sorted for my groundbait.
As is usually the case the temperature dropped a bit for the day in question but on arrival at the water the conditions were actually bob-on. A lovely brisk south westerly wind, slight drizzle but still quite mild, perfect conditions i’d say. I put the marker float out at 50 yards and started to fire the balls of special stuff out. On the second pouchful the catapult broke. What a great start. I’d bought the catapult purposely for the job in hand and for it to break on the second go was just annoying. So now the Fox Rangemaster Power Catapult is going on the pile labelled “Shit tackle” along with the Korum umbrella. Now I was faced with the task of getting a ridiculous amount of groundbait out to my chosen spot somehow. Getting it all out with a feeder wasn’t an option and it was then I realised i’d got the “Gardner balls out” pouch in my bag. I’d never used it before but it looked like a good contraption. In fairness it was ok but not ideal and I really needed to practice to get the most out of it. Subsequently my bait ended up all over the bloody lake so I ended up using my spomb. Again not ideal to use with groundbait for obvious reasons.
Anyway, eventually I got enough bait out to the chosen area. I put two rods out there, one with double maggot and one with a dendra. I setup a 3rd rod close in fishing chopped worm and dendra to see if there was anything sniffing about.
It wasn’t long before the close in rod burst to life and the tip pulled round before springing back. I really in and the worm had been snatched.
It was a couple of hours before I started to get bites on the distance rod. The botes came to the maggot rod and I managed a couple of pristine roach around the 6 ounce mark. Not what I was after but it saved a blank. Then all was quiet for about the next 6 hours apart from another bite on the close in rod.
Late afternoon the maggot rod was away and I struck into a satisfying dead weight. At last I was into a Bream as it hang there like a dead weight with the occasional nod of the head. This fish was keeping deep though and normally they come to the surface pretty quickly. It was only when it was close to the net did I realise it was a Pike hooked fair and square in the scissors. In a lake that is stuffed with prey fish it decided to take my double maggot. I can’t tell you the disappointment.
After that I managed a couple more small Roach and stayed until dark but it was a fruitless attempt. Checking my diary from last year I didn’t start Bream fishing until April so maybe I’m a bit early. The water is deep and fairly cold so I think i may wait until the water warms up a bit. Besides I have a date with the Chew Pike on the fly in the meantime.