Wednesday, 8 April 2009

The Chromium Bream...

It seems a long time since my last post here, not much fishing got done in the meantime, what with this and that. Time has been so tight that I decided that short sessions to the nearest possible spots were in order, so, just a short walk to the end of the road, the canal basin and whatever that spot contained.

I put out two float rods, one in the boat track on double maggot and caster, the other up the shelf and against the hull of a narrowboat with worm, both spots baited with canal black and sprayed with maggots and caster. I got bites, and dropped a fish, a boat came through and that was that. Next session, same tactics, but this time I was battling the wind blowing straight down the cut which took all the blood out of my finger tips, a condition that I noticed way too late - my hand looked dead - I had to whirl my arms around to force the blood back in - heaven knows what passing onlookers might have thought!

I caught another silver bream on worm and a couple of small skimmers on maggot, but the going was slow, as usual. No complaints though, this was the greatest total of fish I'd ever had in the one session anywhere on the canal...

Silver bream with lateral line scale count = 48

Immature bronze bream with lateral line scale count = 59

The silver bream is an interesting fish, more beautiful than than its bronze cousin, and they fight hard! Every single specimen I've caught so far has been as splashy and determined as a trout, whereas the skimmers tug a bit then give up. There must be an awful lot of these little fish caught and mistaken for skimmer bream - the differences are subtle - less than forty eight scales along the lateral line, less than eleven from dorsal fin to lateral line and it's almost certainly a silver bream. The silver breams anal fin is short, that of the bronze bream is long, the silver bream has orange/pink pectoral, pelvic and anal fins, the bronze bream has a confusing range of colour equivalents for these fins, from black to silver - but the anal fin is rarely pinkish, as it is in the silver bream.

All this subtlety aside, the best way to tell the difference is that the silver bream is, as its name suggests, silver. Indeed silver isn't a good enough term for this fish - chromium would be more apposite. Each scale shimmers and gleams like the fender of an old Cadillac, not at all like the fly pitch Rolex scales of the juvenile bronze.

Chromium Bream - I love them. Want to catch a big one!

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