'My tactic for them will be to try next for chub and perch knowing there's a more realistic chance of finding such elusive fish by not trying for them at all...'
You may remember those prescient closing words from two blogs ago? I wasn't kidding. This is silver bream in canals we're talking of where in my locality finding them is simply a matter of pot luck. On occasion I'll catch one or two (but never yet three...) and then lose sight of them for the next week, month, or year. They are not rare, exactly. Not threatened. They are of least concern in that respect. But it seems impossible to angle for them specifically and do well at it anywhere but at certain still waters where you might easily take more in an hour than I have ever caught in 8 years fishing the Coventry Canal
So I began a campaign this morning for my first canal chub. Never seen one. Though they are known to live not so very far away from home at a place I have never fished except for zander. I took two rods for the job. I don't know what bait is best for them so for starters I thought I'd use what I would use for them on rivers. So I took a heavy meat rod just in case a carp came along instead — on rivers I would use the same outfit just in case of barbel. And a light bread rod because that might catch me the other smaller but just as desirable species too.
But the boat traffic was appalling despite foul weather so the meat rod saw very little use and got no bites when it was. The bread rod though, finally received attention in one particular place, so concentrating on that I retired the other for good.
It was a good decision. I don't mind fishing two rods if action is expected to be slow or there's a long wait for large fish but can't abide it when one rod is very active. I thought the bites far too twangy to be from proper chub — though they might be from chublets — but suspected yet more skimmer bream and when I hooked the first and saw a small grey fish coming in I thought of chucking the bloody rod after it...
But then it flipped over flashing its brilliant flank and showing a pearly underbelly with two pairs of nice pink fins attached. Oh yes! It may have been a small example but was exactly what I 'hadn't' come for — my first silver gong of the season.
Now I hoped for others. A brace or better. Hopefully twice the size or more. But two or three would do. Next fish was a small roach but next was another smaller silver. And then the swim just died. And it never recovered. A twelve ounce roach from a nearby spot rounded things off.
Once again silver bream had appeared from nowhere and vanished to somewhere in the blink of an eye. I suspect, but don't know, that they swim in very small shoals and are great travellers roaming here and there for feeding grounds. I couldn't feed to keep them. Too many boats passing by for that.
I dropped into the Marina entrance swim on the way home hoping for silver bream by sheer chance having caught four from the peg in the past. I got four for ten pounds in half an hour. Good fishing, but the medals were all bronze ones I'm afraid