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Living the Bream - Phil Spinks

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Living the Bream - Phil Spinks

Springtime can be a great time of the year for a variety of different species. In fact, I'm quite often spoilt for choice, I never have time to target everything on offer this time of year but I do try my best.

I appreciate bream aren’t everyone's cup of tea! For me, however, once they reach double figures in weight, they are very impressive. Add to that the attraction of the 100-acre pit close to my home that contains some very impressive bream and I suddenly become very interested.

Weather conditions can play a huge part in this type of fishing and the weather happened to fall just perfect the other week. The big south-westerly winds and low pressure happened to coincide with me filming a JRC Cocoon bivvy product spotlight.

Time to kill two birds with one stone! The plan was to arrive at the big pit the evening before, fish the night for the big bream and meet videographer, Chris at the lake early the next morning to film the bivvy.

Having fished the pit a fair bit for pike during previous winters I had a good knowledge of the lake's topography. I have also dabbled at a spot of carp fishing there too, so I know the venue pretty well.



While carp fishing previous sessions, I had consistently seen bream roll in one particular area in similar weather conditions. The only slight stumbling block was the bream would often roll around a shallow gravel bar at around 100 yards range.

Because of this I decided to use a bait boat to make life easier. Using the boat meant I could fish super accurately and use my Advanta RVS 1.75tc rods.

Simple lead clip rigs with 2.5oz grippa type leads was my rig choice, a 10mm CC Moore Pacific boilie tipped with a piece of fake corn was my bait. A small PVA mesh bag of pellet and boilie crumb was hooked on to the rig before dropping it on the bar via the boat.




My lines were marked up with marker elastic so that I could reposition the rods neatly even after dark.

Each rod had a generous hopper full of pellets, corn and 10mm boilies.

Top 5 big pit bream tips

  1. Location. Take time to walk the pit before your session as bream will often roll at dusk helping you choose the right are.

  2. Bait. A large shoal of big bream will soon clear up a bed of bait so take plenty of pellets. Corn and boilie.

  3. Accuracy. Fish as neatly as possible.

  4. Keep an eye of weather conditions as big warm winds and low pressure can trigger feeding spells.

  5. Talk to carp anglers, they usually hate bream and will happily tell you what areas of the lake to catch them, so they don’t have to!

With the rods positioned nicely about an hour before dark and me sitting comfortably in the cocoon bivvy, I felt confident. Unfortunately, the first take came from an unwelcome visitor. At prime bite time a had a sailing boat charge through my swim about 25 yards in front of me picking up the line on my middle rod. Lucky for me the line came free from the boat without breaking.

I decided to wait for the boats to go in before repositioning the middle rod again. At one point I had around a dozen sailing boats and as many kayaks in front of me.

The first bream bite came around 10.30pm. As I lifted into the take I felt a nice heavy weight plodding around at range. Then after about 30 seconds the hook pulled! I’d now hooked onto a boat and lost a big bream!

Feeling slightly grumpy I got my head down for a few hours as all seemed quiet. I must have dozed off for longer than I thought as I was woken by a drop back on my middle rod around 2.30am. Bream aren’t known for their fighting ability, but this fish gave a good account for itself in the deep margins and I was soon looking down at a 10lb 4oz bream. Feeling very pleased with a double figure bream I slipped it back, repositioned the rod and got back in the sleeping bag.

Between 3am and first light the bream bites came around every 30 minutes. By the time Chris arrived early that morning I had caught bream weighing:

-9lb 8oz

-10lb 4oz

-10lb 8oz

-11lb 4oz

-12lb 8oz

-12lb 12oz



Although I was absolutely knackered, I was very pleased to have caught 5 double figure bream.

While we filmed the bivvy the bites kept coming throughout the morning. Unfortunately, I suffered three more hook pulls for some reason, to be honest I’m still not completely sure how, but I did manage to land another three bream weighing; 10lb 12oz, 11lb 2oz and 10lb 13oz.

I was really pleased with a catch of 8 doubles and a 9lb 8oz, all on a school night too!

I must admit by the time we had filmed the bivvy and another product video I was struggling to keep my eyes open. I certainly slept well that night.


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