Sunday, 9 May 2010

In Search of Silver

There are two species of bream in British freshwater, the common bream and the silver bream. To confuse things further the common bream is also known as the bronze bream and the silver bream also goes by the names white or pomeranian bream.

The bronze bream is bronze and the silver bream, silver? Well, no actually the immature bronze bream is silver and in coloured water the adults can be fairly pale in colour and yet almost black in the clear water of some gravel pits. The silver bream is a rare fish in british waters and can be distinguished from its larger relative by both lateral line counts and its large eye. The pelvic and ventral fins also carry a tinge of orange.

Having experienced a cold and drizzly night after the crucians I decided to try and catch my first silver bream. A twenty mile drive from surrey down into sussex saw me arrive at a day ticket fishery Mill Farm early in the afternoon. This complex which last season produced the british record silver bream does not contain the bronze bream so each bream is the real deal. An hour or so wandering round the complex, talking to the locals saw me settle into a swim on the far bank of the mill pond giving me access to open water. Divide and conquer was my approach, so on one rod I set up a feeder rig to fish maggot big roach style, whilst the other I float fished a rod length out crucian style offering pellet or corn on the hook and feeding a few free offerings every ten minutes or so.

The next six hours were frenetic as I was constantly in action catching silver bream in the 12oz class on both approaches, and loads of small carp which just wouldn't leave the maggots alone! The sensitive float tackle also brought me four pristine crucians to just under two pounds. I also missed loads of bites on the feeder rig. The overcast, drizzly weather was perfect for breaming and my final silver was also my biggest at 1lb 2oz. The sun also came out turning the lake surface silver, not bronze in the late evening light.