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Over the past couple of years, feeder fishing has undergone a massive boom in the UK, as a results natural venues are seeing huge turn outs in open matches. But with a renewed interest in feeder fishing, more anglers are tapping into the bream fishing potential of carp venues. With the bream stocks growing large on the boilie and pellet based diet served by the carpers, there are huge match weights to be had.

One such venue is the stunning Albans lake, which recently has been hosting sell out open matches being won with near 100lb bags of bream. We joined Spotted Fin’s resident bream expert, Simon Willsmore to find out exactly how he has been getting the best on these sorts of venues…

“One of the styles of fishing I really enjoy is deep water feeder fishing for bream, it’s not something I get the opportunity to do that often, especially in the UK, but Albans is one of the exceptions and I’m lucky enough to have it almost on my doorstep.

Being up to 20ft deep and stuffed with big bream, this venue offers massive bream potential, but does require some thought to get the most from it. Contrary to popular belief, bream spend the majority of their time off bottom and although they maybe in your peg and you maybe getting liners they can be very difficult to catch.”

Mix It Up

I’ve played about with mixes for venues like this, due to the fact that they have seen a lot of boilies and pellets over the years I’ve tweaked a few things and finally settled on equal parts of the GO2 Sweet Super Blend and Carp Super Blend. This is a quite a fine, inert mix but at the same time quite pungent and packed full of fishmeals. To finish it off I like to add a good ‘dollop’ of the Catalyst Food Dip (from the carp side of the company), this really gives it an extra kick, which the bream on these ‘carpy’ venues are really tuned into.

Sweet and Carp Super Blend mixed 50/50…

I mix this with some softened micros and pinkies through the feeder, then couple this with bunches of pinkies or maggots on the hook.
I’ve always found that worms are a bit of a strange one early in the year, often they can be the kiss of death so it always pays to go cautiously if you are going to use them. If you do find that it slows up once you introduce some worms through the feeder then don’t be afraid to re-clip a couple of meters further out and cut them out all together.

Feeder Choices

It really pays to swap about with feeder choice during the session, especially when faced with a deeper water like we are today. Although I carry a few variations of each you can split them down into two distinct categories.

First up is the traditional cage feeder, which is generally my starting point, as it will release a cloud of bait as it falls which helps to draw bream into the area.

Next up is the solid plastic style which is great when you are looking to force the fish down to the deck and maximise bites. I will swap and change during the day, when I start getting bites I’ll switch to the solid feeder, once it slows down get back onto the cage to try and draw them back in.

With both creating a different feeding situation I tend to vary the length of hooklength. For the cage feeder I keep it relatively long as you will get fish following it down, then with the solid feeder by shortening it up you tend to get more bites as they are attacking the feeder.

It pays to change during the session…

Tackling Up

For bite indication, you can’t beat braid, but on venues where you are likely to come across the odd carp you do need to weigh up the pros and cons. With the lack of stretch it is all too easy to get snapped up, especially using relatively light gear like we are today, I’ve opted for a Guru Feeder Special tied to 0.128mm Flourocarbon.

In my mind it is essential to couple this with a nice forgiving rod to cushion any lunges, so the Rive F6 11ft Feeder with it’s lovely soft action is perfect as I proved earlier landing a rogue 6lb carp with no issues!

A soft rod reduces fish losses…

Simon Uses…