Friday, 25 May 2012

Silver Bream - Phew, what a...

Bummer! The weather, the weather, the flipping British weather! Just last Friday night I was sitting at a pit freezing my nads off dressed in full winter gear, seriously, the self-same apparel I wear when fishing in sub-zero temperatures, and this evening I'm going back to the same pit dressed in t-shirt and shorts. Crazy. 

Blogger has ground to a halt. Blogs are up and then they are down, and editing a post, like this one, is all but impossible. Perhaps the weather affects Blogger's plumbing too?

silver bream

It certainly has affected the canal fish, because they really don't like abrupt change. Just for a brief time I caught what I intended to, and had a lovely brace of silvers. The next day I went back and had one more, but only a small one of ten ounces, a hen really heavy in the chest but less so in the belly and not quite ready yet, so, I then thought that more would come along in the next week. I couldn't have been more wronger. None have come, not one, and no tench, roach or rudd either. AlI I've had is a few bream. A very few.

They finished spawning at the silver bream spot on Saturday last, and that has always been the word go as far as the silvers are concerned, because they spawn a little later, and two or three weeks seems about right. Last two years that period after the bream have done their thing has been my opening, because the bream go off the feed, and the silvers come on. Not so this year, the hot weather has put paid to that!

bream eggs
Bream eggs clinging to tree roots

I went over the other side of the canal to retrieve a float and whilst there had a look at the tree roots that the bream have been spawning upon. I was surprised that there were any eggs left to see, given the attention they have received from the hungry mouths of both fish and fowl, but plenty had survived to hatch out. 

More bronze bream then...

Shame they never grow interesting in this canal.

Canal silver bream
Hen Silver Bream. 

Oddly, the hot weather brought spawning on at other sites, sites that are ordinarily inactive and some that I'd never known about before. I've noted them, and will fish them in turn when the spawning stops in hope of catching silvers elsewhere. That would be nice...

The roach have been lolling about in the top foot of water soaking up the sun. I came across a small but very interesting cache of them that will gain my attention too in the coming months as some were rather large! They'll still be there, I'll guarantee it.

Off to Tusses Tackle then, for maggots and sunblock. 

Pit to go to, tench to catch...

Now, if I hit this button, will it publish...?



  1. The weather is pure bliss every day that I am in the office but turns terrible the day I hot the water. Love the B&W photo. Good save.

  2. Its taken a while but I have finally come round to it. Those silver bream - they look amazing.

    Good luck with the roach later

  3. Hi Jeff, thought you might enjoy this from Fishing by George Clifford published 1948 (illustrated by The Venerable Bede, sorry I mean Bernard Venables).

    "Inhabiting the same waters as bronze bream is the silver variety commonly called 'tinplates', an insipid, silly fish weighing about a pound for a fair specimen. They take the same baits as their better companions, are tame when hooked, useless to eat, and the most slimy fish in fresh water."

    Clearly not a fan. Mind you having explained how to cook "bronze bream" he says "The resulting dish will only be fair."

    Being unlikely to hook the first, or cook either, I have no idea whether he was right or wrong.



  4. Not much seems to have gone to plan for anyone this spring Jeff

    On a brighter note it appears the silver record might have gone again, think a 3lb 1 was caught recently but just seen pics of a 3lb 5

  5. I know. Twice this year, so far. Mill farm must be the only fishery in the country where records fall every year. It's increased, what six times over in the last few years? I think it will top out at three and a half, but could be wrong...

    I made a graph of weight/length relationships, and that new fish looks to have reached the maximum for its length. Its massive in the body, very round and plump. a longer fish could grow even larger though.

  6. Thanks for that Chris. Another angler mistaking skimmers for silvers! they have hardly any slime at all. They look good to eat though, unlike skimmers who probably would jelly up like cooked eels!

    They do look amazing, aninincorrigible, well I think so, and CC, I shouldn't make excuses for it should I?

  7. Hi Jeff
    Thank you for Idlers Quest, it's a very entertaining blog. I love your species spreadsheet, it's an excellent idea. And that Phil Smith, wow, different gravy... With regards to the silver bream record and Mill Farm, the previous best was set back in 2009, some 3 years ago - at that time the record was broken 3 times in a week and stood until May of this year. Not quite the mega easy pig pond that you describe it to be... But at the same time, I sincerely hope you achieve in your quest of banking a record from the canal. It would be awesome to see one come from somewhere other than Mill Farm.
    Best wishes, G

  8. G, I'll get down there one day to see for myself. No, it can't be easy, big fish never are.

    I think they can get as big elsewhere but only in the richest places. We'll see. They are growing fast though, and I've even found them in the River Avon now, and a good size too. But, they come and go, one day there around, next five they are gone. That can't help!

    At least with Mill farm they are there in front of you and you know it

  9. That's right mate, even at MF they seem to just disappear for days on end (I've had the odd dabble there...). It's almost impossible to single them out too - there is no particular bait or tactic that doesn't get picked up first by the resident carp, perch and eels. We ended up just fishing pellet and wading through the carp. They are few and far between (best day I've had up there is 4 SB's) but mostly over 1.5lb. Madness when you think about it. I think with the amount of carp bait that goes in on a daily basis, MF will always be head and shoulders above the rest. A shame in a way, but like you say - if you want a specimen silver, you know for a fact that you're within 100 yards of one at all times :-)
    All the best, G