KEEPING a note of spots and past fishing experiences in a diary can be a massive edge. Which is just what Anthony Fitchie and Adam Monk found recently when they put together a huge haul of double-figure bream to 14lb.
They told Angling Times the story...
"As with all fishing, location is key, and the best rigs, baits and intentions in the world will most probably result in a blank if you’re in the wrong area.
“Over the past few seasons, we’ve been targeting bream in a northern stillwater and have used our time to learn about the routes and patterns the fish use to travel around the lake.
“There’s a certain area they go as the weather warms, and by using our notes from previous sessions, we were able to locate the fish during a mild spell and enjoy a session that’ll live long in the memory, landing 10 doubles topped by a prehistoric-looking 14lb male.
“The area of the lake in question can only be fished for a short window each year, when the fishing is excellent before the eel grass becomes too widespread to present a bait properly. On this session, a quick lead about revealed that the weed growth was only in its early stages, and with a moody sky overhead and a good chop on the water, we were feeling quietly confident!
“We set about baiting a couple of the notably clear areas at around 60 yards with a mixture of pellets, dead maggots, hemp, maize and homemade groundbait, to which we added molasses prior to mixing. Our approach is to fish the edges of the baited area, using critically balanced maggot and maize hookbaits tied to size 10 wide gape hooks on braided hooklinks.
“Having critically balanced baits ensures that they sit nicely over any light weed that remains in the swim, and the larger hooks deter the attention of smaller fish. Also, by feeding plenty of fine particles, we know that the bream will clear the spots further for us, making presentation even better.
“After casting out, it wasn’t long before we were getting indications on the rods, and shortly after we were slipping the net under the bronze flank of a mint-conditioned double-figure bream. This fish set the tone for the trip, and we soon realised we were in for a real red-letter session.
“Both the maggot and maize hookbaits produced, and in the end we managed numerous high single-figure fish, 10 ‘doubles’ of between 10lb 3oz and 12lb 11oz, and four fish over 13lb, topped by a 14-pounder that was as dark as mahogany and clad in impressive pre-spawning armour. It was a truly special trip, made possible by using the notes and experience from previous seasons to get on the fish.”