Quality Bream and Tench

At the moment I’m fishing a very large, weedy water for tench and bream. I haven’t caught any real monsters at the moment, but that just shows how much in size bream and tench have grown since I started fishing in the mid 1980s

My best tench so far has been just under 8lbs while my biggest slab went well over 12lbs. These would have been major fish in the mid 80s when I think the bream record was just over 13lbs and the tench was just over 10lbs prior to Alan Wilsons 12lb monster. What is even more frustrating is that I have lost fish around those sizes at the net to hook pulls. Still, at least I know that fish are in the lake to up my PBs for both species.

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I’m keeping my tactics fairly simple. Method feeders with short braided hook links catch everything in there, but red maggots work best for tench and artificial popped up corn for bream. I’ve stopped using red maggots at the moment as they seem to be attracting a lot of sizeable eels. I still put plenty of dead red maggots into my spod mix though.

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I try to find a clear area of the lake bed then spod a few payloads of pellets, corn, dead maggots, hemp and groundbait into the swim. The method feeders are then cast into the swim and I wait for the fish to arrive.

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Most of my bream are well into double figures, but at first I was catching more of the warty rough males. These were slightly smaller than the females, but still averaging over 10lbs. The females tend to average a pound or so more in weight, but I’m now catching these regularly. The bream fishing is so good I don’t weigh a fish unless it looks around 12lbs or more. That was unthinkable for me a couple of years ago.

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I’m planning on fishing this water until late summer / early autumn when I’ll switch to barbel and roach, though I will be after the barbel if we get any floods on the rivers.