This week I’ve joined forces with Nottinghamshire match Ace Chris Line to bring you a master class on how to catch bream from commercials on feeder.
Pole fishing of course gives the commercial angler a massive advantage when it comes to feeding the swim accurately and presenting baits well but sometimes it’s just impossible to use the pole so you have to look at what other methods are at your disposal.
Feeder fishing comes in many forms but is a great alternative. Carp may still be the target species but when they’re not feeding or you’re in the right swim, it’s time to turn your attention to the bottom-feeding bream. Most commercials hold a massive head of bream. Tap into these resources and you can build massive weights very quickly.
Bream on commercials see a lot of fishmeal, either in groundbaits or pellet form. Often they’ll sit out in open water but a 20m cast with a 20g cage feeder loaded with fishmeal should get you into the shoals. Most commercials have banned fixed or elasticated ‘bolt-rig’ type set-ups so make sure your feeder rigs are free-running. This works just as efficiently but also reduces the risk of damage to the fish.
Basic tackle consists of a suitably strong 8 to 11ft feeder rod fitted with a 1oz tip and a reliable reel, preferably with a bait-runner and loaded with 6lb line. Hook links of 18 to 24 inches in 0.14mm dia are ideal. Banded hair-rigs will allow you to re-bait quickly and present pellets securely. If the fishing is good or the fish are a good average size, step the bottom up to a 0.16mm and sz 14 hook.
Any of the sweet fishmeal groundbaits are ideal. Dynamite Bait’s Swimstim Sweet Fishmeal is a very popular choice. Standard fishery or fishmeal-based hard sinking pellets are ideal. Feed in 4mm pellets, either directly in the feeder or mixed into the groundbait, fishing 6mm pellets on the hook. Groundbaits need to be mixed and riddled well to give the right consistency.
Most pellets do have a fishmeal content so don’t be afraid to change your pellet if you think this may entice the fickle-feeding bream to your bait. Basic ‘fishery’ pellets can also be made more attractive by adding an oil-based flavour or colour. Sweet Molasses oil can be added to any pellets to give it that sweet flavour than bream absolutely love.
Begin by getting yourself comfortable with everything you need around you and to-hand. If you get into a big shoal of bream you won’t have time to be rummaging around looking for your mixing bowl or disgorger. Have plenty of ready-mixed bait to hand.
Before attaching your hooklink, fill the feeder with your chosen bait and use it to cast out your initial feed bed of around 4-6 feeders full.
Start with the lighter hooklink, re-casting the feeder every 10 minutes or so to build up the swim. Bream need time to find your bait and settle in to feed. Patience is everything. Most bream sessions will start slow but build as the day goes on. Often ending in the ‘golden hour’ we hear so much about.
If you start to catch bigger ‘slabs’ or carp, step-up to the 0.16 hooklink and increase pellet and hook size to suit. On commercials it’s not uncommon for the carp to put in an appearance but stick to the sweet bait and baiting routine and you should keep the bream interested.
Top Tip: Clip your main line into the reel’s line clip at the distance you want to fish and target a marker on the far bank to make sure that your baits lands in the same spot every time. Reel sizes vary but as a general guide 20-25 turns of the reel will equate to 20-25m.
Tight Lines, Alan Dudhill
If you have angling stories or pictures, email our angling expert firstname.lastname@example.org or give him a call on 07815 308463. This column is sponsored by www.retfordangling.co.uk.