AFTER signing off the river season with the biggest brace of chub in history, Alan Stagg has started his spring stillwater campaign in a similar scintillating fashion by catching the biggest bream of the year.
The scale-perfect 18lb 4oz fish was taken on an overnight session at a large southern lake, and beats the 39-year-old’s previous best for the species by almost a pound.
Alan, from Basingstoke, used Method feeder tactics to ensure decent presentation over the light silkweed on the lakebed, and caught the hugely impressive fish at first light following a ‘typical bream bite.’
He said: “The bobbin pulled up tight to the alarm just after dawn, before dancing about at the top without taking any line off the reel – I knew instantly it was a big bream. My legs were like jelly when I was playing it!”
It was the first bite Alan had received in seven nights at the venue. The fish fell to a 12mm boilie hookbait on a short 5ins hooklink made from Gardner Ultra Skin coated braid, with a size 10 hook and 12lb mono mainline from the same company completing his set-up.
Traditional big bream tactics normally involve laying down a big bed of particles, chopped boilies and pellets, but Alan chose a different approach to make his catch.
“I Spombed out mainly groundbait, with just a few small pellets in the mix, as I wanted to put lots of attraction in the water but offer the bream very few large items to eat, aside from the hookbait,” he added.
“I’ll carry on fishing for them for a few more weeks, by which time they may have spawned and it’ll be time to switch my focus to tench and eels.”