Lee Snow 17lb 1oz Bream

“Baiting accurately over each is crucial, so put the time into marking-up properly and casting accurately..”
Targeting a midlands stillwater with his 14 year old son Alfie, Lee Snow was rewarded for his efforts with this lovely 17lb 1oz bream.

He told us “I’ve been fishing a midlands stillwater with my 14-year-old son, Alfie, this spring, teaching him to fish for specimens, with bream our main target. Between us, we’ve had 25 fish, which is pretty good going on the venue! Our usual approach involves introducing around 20 spombs of feed in one area and fishing all the rods over the top. It’s been successful, but lately, it’s caused a slight problem. At this time of year, carp are on the feed, and whilst I don’t mind catching an odd one, it’s the big bream I’m after. I’ve found that if I introduce any volume of bait, they all home in on the area. My usual approach therefore wasn’t putting me in touch with my intended target. A rethink was in order.

I decided to spread my rods over different spots, introducing a small but compact amount of feed over each. On this pit, I fish four rods, so put them each on a different spot at ranges from 40 to 90 yards. Over the top, I spombed five balls of groundbait laced with casters, corn, and hemp, which I hoped wouldn’t attract the carp whilst still being enough to catch the eye of a passing bream. The approach paid off, as I landed a slab of 17lb 1oz – the one I was after – as well as a 13lb 8oz fish, both from the spot at 90 yards. There were four other anglers on the lake fishing in the conventional ‘bed of bait’ manner, and they’d all been catching carp. I only had one little one. Alfie, who put more bait over his rods, also caught carp. I’m therefore convinced my baiting strategy made the difference.

Rig wise, I kept things simple but strong, opting for a 12lb mainline, size 8 hooks to coated braid hookinks, fished on heli-rigs. Hookbaits were artificial corn and casters, and I used different ones on each rod. Some just had corn, others just casters, whilst the rod I caught on had a combination of both. When it comes to catching big fish on stillwaters, it’s crucial that you’re accurate. You want to be fishing over your bait, so using distance sticks properly and hitting the clip consistently is key. This lake is deep, down to 20ft in places, so you have to take into account how your rig will swing in slightly on a tight line before hitting bottom.

These are all things I’ve been teaching Alfie and watching him put them into practice has been fantastic. He’s managed bream to 13lb 5oz and carp to 25lb 12oz, so is doing amazingly well. Watching him fish has also been a bit of an eye-opener for me. I usually like to cast around 70 yards out, but he can’t cast that far, so instead fishes much closer in at 40 yards. But he still catches plenty! If you’ve got your sights set on a big bream this spring but, like me, are being pestered by carp, try spreading your rods out. Baiting accurately over each is crucial, so put the time into marking-up properly and casting accurately.”

Well done Lee!