The stillwater season has kicked off in fine style with massive bags of bream across the UK.
The action started at Starcarr Lakes in East Yorkshire, where fishery owner Shane Turrell landed 27 bream alongside a solitary carp and a tench for a bag close to a 100lb total.
The catch was no fluke, as Shane explains: “Between February and March I fished The Pit seven times and caught a 203 bream, which gives an average of 29 fish a session.
“When we consider that the bream weigh between 3lb and 5lb, with the odd fish of 6lb thrown in, I’m averaging more than 100lb of fish a session.”
Shane added that these weights can only improve in the coming months: “As the water warms the fish will feed even harder, and around September time we have had people catching over 100 bream in a session. Given their average size, catches over 300lb are a real possibility.”
When targeting the bream of Starcarr there is no need for complicated tactics, and Shane favours a flatbed Method feeder: “I use a 28g feeder and load this with 2mm micro pellets. At the moment, three white maggots are the best hookbait, but it’s always worth bringing a few other options to try on the day.”
The bream have also been feeding hard on Willows Lake in Hertfordshire, where match aces Graham West and Simon Willsmore both had catches topping 80lb in a recent contest.
Both anglers used the feeder to great effect, with Graham just pipping Simon for the win, with 83lb 8oz to Simon’s 83lb 2oz.
Graham caught a few fish early on a long line, before chucking short and really bagging up.
Wold Farm Fishery in Northamptonshire has seen some hectic silver fish sport, with some sensational catches of bream coming out of Moat Lake.
Chopped worm and caster is the bait combination to beat, and 100lb bags with some quality roach thrown in are not uncommon here.
Over in Wales the bream are also on the munch, and at Mathern Mill Fishery venue-expert Norman Sterry bagged 79lb 9oz of silver slabs.
Fishing maggot over groundbait on the long pole, Norman reckons that even bigger catches can be made: “I think 100lb could be possible, especially if you specifically target the bream all day,” he said.
It’s not just stillwater bream that have really switched on, as a cracking 31lb bag of slabs from the Loughborough Canal shows.
These were caught in a match, with the successful angler starting on bloodworm over joker before switching to lobworm later in the contest.