Friday, 17 June 2011

River Bream - Rosettes for Everything

Wasperton on the Avon has not been my favourite of river locations having suffered two royal blanks out of my only two sessions there to date. It's not as if those sessions were uninteresting as the scenery around those parts of the Avon is well lush, but I had no action at all in the hours fished and on the Avon, which the EA have pronounced the 'best stocked river in all Blighty',  I do want and expect, knocks, indications, liners, sail-aways, pick-ups, rip-offs, whack-arounds, drop-backs, dips, bobbles, nibbles, dibbles or what have you in the way of that all important evidence of fish being out front - a bite.

I had not a single of any of those nor any more you can think of, or imagine. A motionless ocean of tranquility perhaps, but that's really not what anglers want. Contrary to popular belief ... anglers are IMPATIENT, if they're any bloody good...

It could be 1966, 1782, 1066, 43 AD... 

Danny picked me up around half-four for a crack at a big barbel on this opening day of the new season. We met up with Andy and Keith on the bank: Keith after a barbel and Andy after a river carp. I had no plan to fish for carp or barbel myself (though a nuisance capture wouldn't be unwelcome) just a furious determination to catch just the one fish if I could and from what little I knew about the place and what others had told me it seemed the most reliable target there is a bream at dusk, and so that 's what I set out my stall for.

My approach was to ball into the water just off the far bank lilies a football sized chunk of groundbait of the half-frozen left-overs from my last bream trip broken down and formed into ten or twelve snow ball sized spheres. I hoped that if the bream found this amount of bait it would hold their attention for quite enough time to catch a couple or three.

I waited, and waited a while longer and then around the time that the sun had finally sunk to the tops of the trees on the top of the bluff across the meadow, I had my first bite ever at Waspo. It was more of a dibble than a nibble, I seem to remember. Amazingly, five minutes later I got not only a liner, but also a knock or two followed by a drop-back. Whatever next? A whack-around?

No, no, no...

Silly boy.

Bream don't do whack-arounds. They do a curious binky-bonky-bouncy thing when they are worth striking, and anything less will be probably missed though I have caught bream to no bite at all, it has to be said, just picked up the rod and the fish was on.

All this went on for some time whilst I awaited the inevitable binky-bonky-bounce of a proper bream bite, but it was a long time a'coming. Eventually though, it came and the fish was on. A bit of a fight back at first, which had me thinking that I might have a more powerful fish than a bream coming upstream toward me, but then the fish flopped on its side amidstream and then wallowed into the waiting net.

I was very pleased with this fish as it sets a new personal best for a river-caught bream at five pounds and twelve ounces. I like to have a lot of other angling targets besides the obvious one of percentage-of-the-British record and I find that dividing them into river, canal and stillwater categories certainly provides me with a lot of new PB 's in any season, each one an achievement in its own right.

It's a bit like Crufts, my fishing. Rosettes for everything, including taking part...

Anyway's. The various permutations of bite types kept coming into the dark but unfortunately no more bouncers and then they just tailed off to nothing and never returned, the bream probably having eaten all that free food I'd chucked in and high tailed into Danny's swim?

Next time it's gonna be a spacehopper sized ball of bait as a football sized one is clearly not nearly enough.

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