Winter in my home state is a frustrating time for anyone who is addicted to bream fishing. Finding fish is not usually the problem in some areas where in others they can be as scarce as rocking horse poo! The thing that makes them so frustrating for me at this time is the fact that they just wont eat!
One system I know of will be full of bream from juvenile to full blown bucks, but no mater what you throw at them or on what tackle, getting hits is as good as futile. Is it any wonder then, that with some changing fortunes in the weather I was keen to see if a once prolific producer of 40+cm fish was firing yet. I was still a little early based on last years results, but I was desperate.
I made my way up as far as possible and was encouraged early when I spied some fish, but none were takers & I didn’t see another fish after that. I began working my way downstream, casting under the overhangs & banks in the hope of finding some feeding fish but the Khamsin never got touched. I was flabbergasted! So much so that on a couple of occasions I had to physically go into the snags to double check if there were any fish in there. Nope, no one home! Perhaps I was still early and the fish were still up past the tree line, the water level suggested that this might be the case. Unfortunately, I couldn’t hang around to wait n see. I’d promised I’d be done by a certain time & that time was fast running out.
Making my way back down, I stopped at some previously untried snags that looked the goods, but again these were barren so I continued on my way. In desperation, I tried one last likely spot less than 100m from where the boat would be pulled out. It’s a pontoon that would normally see some traffic, but is currently inaccessible due to repairs. I switched the Khamsin for a Zipbaits SPM55. The SPM is stickbait measuring 55mm long, a little longer & narrower than the Raphael. Where it also differs from the Raphael is that it does not have a flutter, but more a slight tail down attitude as it sinks.
I cast the SPM, to all corners of that pontoon, both up tide & down for zip. As I had caught a smallish fish from this pontoon once before fishing the lure on a slight drop off, I decided that my next cast would be put there. “TICK”……$@*& I say as I was away in never never land. I hop the lure & wait, nothing! I wind in and start to feel weight. I drive the hooks home and the T-Spec loads up. It’s a bream alright judging from the headshakes & dogged fight. There is no drag from the reel however I begin to suspect a small fish. I was right, almost, it was indeed small, but in admiring & photographing it, I begin to think this might actually be a legal. I pull out the measure and sure enough it just stretches past the 29cm mark. Not by much mind you, perhaps only 3mm, but it was a legal regardless. Try as I might I could not repeat the scenario and despite seeing fleeting flashes of silver indicating the bream were there & feeding, I left them be and called it a day.
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