1 April, 2021 |56 Comments
Paul Garner’s Bait Tips for a Bag of Spring Bream
Angling Times’ Bait Clinic specialist, Dr Paul Garner shares his bait tips and groundbait mix to help you put together a big bag of bream this spring.
If you are looking for a big weight this spring then my advice would be to leave the carp for a few more weeks and find a local venue that contains a big stock of bream. Slabs are much less affected by the weather conditions, and for consistent sport they take some beating while the water is still cold. Ideally, look for a venue with big shoals of fish in the 3lb to 6lb range. You don’t need many of these fish to make for a red-letter day. Before you know it triple-figures can be well on the cards, and all of just the minimum of bait.
As they become more active as the days lengthen bream are on the lookout for an easy meal and will often travel quite a distance to hunt down the scent of bait. They aren’t too fussy, but there are some additives that will definitely give you the edge. The first of these if Green Lipped Mussel powder. This expensive ingredient is often used in boilies meant for carp, but if anything, bream love it even more. It has to be my number one additive and fortunately many Method groundbaits already contain this smelly shellfish powder.
Bream are also known for their sweet tooth, although I think this applies more to skimmers than it does the bigger fish we are interested in catching. That said, fishmeal-based groundbait do benefit from being sweetened as it takes away the bitter undertones, encouraging fish to eat more.
With bream on the lookout for an easy meal there is no reason to use a lot of bait. I like to set my stall out with around ten feeder loads of groundbait, before swapping to a flat bed Method feeder and then relying on the small nugget of bait this introduces to attract fish to the hookbait. Regular small amounts of bait are much more effective than a big bed, as it is easy to overfeed in the still cold water.
Draw attention to the hookbait with a bright topper. I will normally use a pre-drilled 8mm pellet on the hair, and add a medium-sized piece of yellow or pink plastic corn to draw more attention. Don’t be tempted to bury the hookbait in the groundbait on the feeder as you would when after carp. You will get more bites, and often faster too, when the hookbait is left hanging and falls a little away from the feeder. I think this is because bream are a little more timid than carp and are less keen to approach the feeder.
Occasionally, if I suspect the bream are present but I am not getting as many bites as I think I should I will try switching to a chopped worm hookbait instead of a pellet. On the odd day this can make a big difference, a useful tactic when the fish aren’t playing ball.
I can think back to many busy sessions over the years where the bream have just kept coming through the day, and I have lost count of the number of fish that I have caught. This is great fun fishing, just what we all need right now, and won’t break the bank either.
For maximum accuracy when baiting up, use the line clip to set the distance and then tie on a large cage feeder. Make ten quick casts to lay down some feed to attract the bream.
PAUL’S TEN MINUTE MAKE: METHOD BREAM GROUNDBAIT
This is quite a simple groundbait mix, but each of the components is designed to attract and hold bream in your peg without overfeeding them. It is a great combination of fishmeal-based, and sweet additives, that really complement each other.