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Anderoo

Big bream

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That would be my natural inclination Budgie, but talking to someone far more qualified than me made me change my mind.

 

I think the way I'd try to overcome it is by using as many rods as necessary to fish different areas from the same swim. I couldn't bring myself to purposefully ignore the tench!

 

Same as mate! I think the only thing that would be different would be that bream being my prime target I would organise my feeding regime around that which isnt necesarily the best set up for tench or perch especially.

 

Bream will be my main target for most of the year and I would just look upon the tench and perch as bonus fish.


And thats my "non indicative opinion"!

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Same as mate! I think the only thing that would be different would be that bream being my prime target I would organise my feeding regime around that which isnt necesarily the best set up for tench or perch especially.

 

Bream will be my main target for most of the year and I would just look upon the tench and perch as bonus fish.

 

 

I'm going to target the perch, but only for a couple of hours at dawn if the conditions are right. The nice thing with most gravel pits is that you've got all afternoon to get your feeding done and everything ready and give the swim a good rest.


And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music

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The biggest problem with bream baits at Wingham is the sudden appearance of eels. As they’re big ones Budgie may not always mind them, but I do! I need my beauty sleep.

 

Prior to the eels making a nuisance of themselves I caught on cocktail baits of combinations of worm, maggot or corn, especially worm/corn. The latter had been very successful at Queenford, the former record bream water that’s very similar to Wingham. Match anglers have also long reported that cocktail baits are especially effective for bream.

 

The reason may be that the fish soon get used to the amount of suck needed to hoover up say a single grain of corn, but it takes more suck if the corn has a hook in it. The bait then either doesn’t go into the bream’s mouth or, on a more heavily fished water, is rejected as suspicious. Counterbalancing the bait with something buoyant helps, but doesn’t work every time.

 

By the way, flavourings have worked well for me, especially sweet ones, and I have most faith in those from Archie Braddock.

 

The obvious alternative is bread, and I started prebaiting with it last year so that the fish would start accepting it as food. This was because bread has rarely if ever been used at Wingham. Years ago bread was my favourite tench bait, but I’ve not used it myself at Wingham as I’m always on the look out for a big perch. Unfortunately poor health meant I didn’t get the chance to fish for many months last summer so I haven’t yet tried bread as a hookbait at Wingham. This year though I intend to.

 

The amount of feed to use is also a problem on waters like Wingham. At Queenford the syndicate members tried everything from big beds of groundbait to small amounts of loose feed. Unfortunately no pattern emerged. My own feeling is to err on the side of caution as you can always add more but you can’t take it out. It’s also a lot less hard work! However it would be useful if others tried heavy baiting so that we can compare notes. The bream haven’t got to almost 20lbs by not eating much!

 

The timing of baiting up is important as bream in particular don’t seem to like balls of groundbait crashing in. As the bream are mostly nocturnal at Wingham my baiting up is done in the quiet period of late afternoon when even the tench are largely inactive. However any prebaiting I do in the evening as I can be more certain that ducks haven’t eaten it.

 

One important point though is that I don’t bait up the second day unless I’ve either caught or had line bites. I don’t see the point of putting out more bait if the fish haven’t eaten what’s already there.

 

The pattern of baiting I’m very fussy about. I like to cover the whole of the narrowest part of a suspected route plus a little to either side, say up the end of a bar. That way I can be sure that the fish will come across the feed. Additionally it means I don’t need to put as much in and so there’s less chance of overfeeding the fish. For this reason I like my feed to be accurately placed, so if I can do so I put it in by boat – one of the perks of having my own water.

 

I’m much less certain of the best ingredients for the groundbait. I often use a mixture of brown crumb, sausage rusk, maggots, worm and corn, with one of Archie’s sweet flavourings. The Wingham tench are certainly attracted to a carpet of groundbait. They seem to swim in midwater and investigate anything that looks edible that’s on the bottom. At the moment they don’t spook off beds of bait, so the more visible the groundbait the better. On the other hand I haven’t found so far that the bream like a carpet of groundbait as much. Being night feeders I suspect though that they’d be attracted by something(s) that smells attractive.

 

As Steve pointed out bream don’t seem to like hemp. The Queenford lads also came to the same conclusion, and additionally found that maples weren’t attractive to the bream either. That’s a great shame as tench love them both!

 

Had it not been for the eels one of the obvious answers would be to use something like halibut pellets in a mixture of sizes so that the fish don’t get used to the amount of suck needed to take them.

 

As already mentioned, bread may be the answer as different size pieces can be used on the hook or in the groundbait.

 

However, does anyone know of any pellets that are eelproof?

Edited by Steve Burke

Wingham Specimen Coarse & Carp Syndicates www.winghamfisheries.co.uk Beautiful, peaceful, little fished gravel pit syndicates in Kent with very big fish. 2017 Forum Fish-In Sat May 6 to Mon May 8. Articles http://www.anglersnet.co.uk/steveburke.htm Index of all my articles on Angler's Net

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The amount of feed is difficult, the main problem being on rich waters like Wingham that all a fish has to do to get a nice big mouthful of natural food is to breathe in! I agree that visual groundbaits are the way to go for tench, I suspect that for bream it's best to get some attraction down there and fish with counterbalanced naturals where possible. If/when eels make that impossible maybe something like fake corn might help?

 

Must remember my inflatable dingy... :rolleyes::lol:

 

Steve, I don't know anything which is completely eelproof, but a 22mm pellet might be.

 

EDIT: I've been racking my brains and I can't think of a time when I've caught an eel on a hair-rigged bait. I'm sure there will be plenty of replies saying that other people have, but I don't think I have. Perhaps if eels are a problem using a longish hair might go some way to solve it.

 

By the way, a size 10 ESP raptor hook is just enough to just sink a single grain of fake corn on a hair. Add a small PVA bag of goodies and a fish sucking anywhere near it has a good chance of it ending up in their mouth...

Edited by Anderoo

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music

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Thinking about the way bream feed (tipping up and then righting themselves) I'm becoming more convinced that a short hooklength bolt rig (bait on a hair) is the way to go. That also means that you can afford to leave possible liners longer to be really sure - if it is a bite, the fish will already be hooked so there's no danger of missing it.

 

I don't doubt that carp which are regularly fished for have learned to use the weight to eject a bolt rig, but I don't think unpressured bream are likely to do the same. Or do you disagree?

 

Regarding hairs - for tench I like a short hair with the bait almost touching the hook and for carp I like it a bit longer, with about 1-2cm between bait and hook. I'd be inclined to use a carp-style longer hair for bream. Any thoughts?


And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music

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About the eels on hair rigs.

 

One of the waters I was carpfishing in the late 80's had an eel problem one year.You would get a screaming take with the reel handle "churning" away but when you struck there would be nothing! People watching this would look at you as though you were a total muppet for missing such a take!

 

On inspection the boillie would be missing and the hair broken (remember we used light mono hairs in those days and not the "knotless knot" method which uses the hook length material for the hair).Everyone was suffering from these missed "unmissable" runs.That year a couple of big eels (4lb+ fish eaters with broad heads) were caufght on boillies by mistake. After putting out side hooked boillies and getting screaming runs where we hooked eels it was obvious.The eels were simply hanging on to the boillie (being to small to take it into their mouth) running off with it and we were breaking the hair on the strike.The hook never having been in their mouth.

 

Incidently it was these screaming runs on bolt rigs from "resistance shy" eels that made me rethink my whole ideas about resistance issues.

 

So dont think hairs are going to help you avoid eel bites just landing them!


And thats my "non indicative opinion"!

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So dont think hairs are going to help you avoid eel bites just landing them!

 

Interesting, cheers Budgie. If I can minimise the number of times I have to play, land, unhook and release an eel at night I'd be well happy! Losing the bait and having to recast I don't mind, but dealing with eels at night is horrible. Plus everything is then covered in thick slime.


And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music

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My twopenneth worth, I've always used some Hemp in my feed at Wingham but I've always primarily been targeting the Tench.

 

A few have mentioned Hemp being no good for Bream as they've never seen it regurgitated by the fish but these Anglers must have been fishing over Hemp and catching big Bream to have come to this conclusion.

 

Quite possibly big Bream are attracted by other species feeding and in the case of Wingham probably Tench who we all know love Hemp!

 

I'm going to stick to what's worked for me so far which is beds of fishmeal groundbait laced with Hemp, Corn, Casters and dead Maggots as I'm confident this will cater for the tastes of any species that come across it.

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Thinking about the way bream feed (tipping up and then righting themselves) I'm becoming more convinced that a short hooklength bolt rig (bait on a hair) is the way to go. That also means that you can afford to leave possible liners longer to be really sure - if it is a bite, the fish will already be hooked so there's no danger of missing it.

 

I don't doubt that carp which are regularly fished for have learned to use the weight to eject a bolt rig, but I don't think unpressured bream are likely to do the same. Or do you disagree?

 

Regarding hairs - for tench I like a short hair with the bait almost touching the hook and for carp I like it a bit longer, with about 1-2cm between bait and hook. I'd be inclined to use a carp-style longer hair for bream. Any thoughts?

 

Im still unsure over whether bolt is best or free running will be watching carefully and may even try myself.Trouble is that bites will be at a premium (from bream) so its hard to tell and difficult not to stick to tried and tested.

 

As for the bream "learning" how to use the weight to eject the hook....Im not that convinced that carp do either! Bit of bedchair theorising me thinks!

 

As Ive allready said hairs for bream would really depend on what bait I was using as to whether they werte even useasble or not.No still cant see any need for them but in most cases cant see any harm either!

 

I really believe that no rig,no style,no bait or no indicator will greatly improve the chances of catching big bream.As they say location,location,location.....with lots of rod hours and a little luck thrown in as well!


And thats my "non indicative opinion"!

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Regarding hairs - for tench I like a short hair with the bait almost touching the hook and for carp I like it a bit longer, with about 1-2cm between bait and hook. I'd be inclined to use a carp-style longer hair for bream. Any thoughts?

 

I would keep my hair length sort as there isn't much room for movement with a short hook length of around 3" and i think if you lengthen your hook length to more like 6" you are just lessening the bolt rig effect.

 

What Budgie is saying about eel bites on hair rigs is very apparent when Ive hair rigged luncheon meat on the river for barbel. You get a good bite but miss it and when you look at your bait there is a bite mark in it (small eels). If you fish it on a sort hair you start to hook bigger ones (1lb+). I don't think any ledger rig is going to help you with that, you will just have to look at your bait type.


 

A tiger does not lose sleep over the opinion of sheep

 

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