Bronze or Common Bream (Abramis Brama)
19lb 10oz, James Rust, Cambridgeshire Water
14lb 0oz, S Harbottle, Castle Loch, Lochmaben, 2007
Bream are found in the majority of stillwaters throughout the UK and reach double figures in large lakes, pits and reservoirs. The best areas to try for bream on stillwaters are close to features such as gravel bars, islands, weed and lilly beds, rush lined bays and inlets.
In summer they tend to be found in shallow to medium depths close in to the margins and will feed up in the water in bright, warm conditions. In winter they tend to move further out into deeper, open water.
They are also abundant in many drains, fens and canals where they are often found in wide turning bays and where there are far bank features like rush beds, over hanging cover or moored boats.
Bream also inhabit many of our rivers but tend to remain in certain stretches often where natural or man made features allow them to remain in deeper water away from the main flow. Larger bream have a tendency to roll on the surface over feeding areas giving away their presence.
Fishing for Bream
Bream are predominantly bottom feeders and respond well to a groundbait approach laced with plenty of loose offerings such as squats, casters and worms. While they respond well to a good helping of feed, they are not voracious and can be fickle feeders taking their time to inspect a bait before taking it, particularly once one or two of the shoal have been caught.
It is therefore best to ring the changes with baits to keep bites coming. Red maggots, casters, worms, red and fluorescent pinkies, sweetcorn and bread all have their day. Single, double or even cocktails such as worm tipped with a caster, maggot or pinkie can bring dividends. The trick is to keep changing until you find what they want.
Bream can be caught on most methods. Due to the need to introduce large quantities of feed, often at distance, the feeder is usually the number one method. But it is not a simple case of throwing it out and waiting.
On days when the fishing is hard bites can be hard to come by, and difficult to see with the tip moving only fractionally as the fish feed almost without moving. On days like this you will often reel in to find a damaged bait having not seen any indication on the tip.
When this happens it can help to ‘twitch’ the bait. A half turn of the reel handle will move the bait a few inches along the bottom and will often result in an immediate, positive bite.
Another option that can prove deadly is to fish a waggler or slider over the top of the feeder line. The natural tow of the water will move the bait along the bottom and this will often help to induce bites when the feeder produces nothing.
On venues where the bream will come close in the pole is unbeatable. By balling in by hand or using a large pole cup, a bead of feed can be fed with extreme accuracy and the added control of the pole can allow minor lifts and drop of the bait to induce additional bites.
The added sensitivity of the pole float ensures that any movement of the bait is registered and hopefully results in a fish in the net.