Thursday, 2 August 2012

Bream; a little dream...

Early this morning I set out in my kayak to explore a lagoon near Chislet which was created in the early 1950s during a tidal flood on the Kentish Stour. Before I continue I must state that this water is only available for members of Canterbury and District Angling Association to fish and permission must be obtained from the land owner before commencing. Although I am aware of the wide variety of coarse fish that inhabit the Stour I had no idea idea before arriving (after an hour of paddling upstream!) what I would find.
Chislet Lagoon is home to a wide variety of wild fowl including *hundreds* of Swans!
The first thing I couldn't help but notice was that the water was crystal clear and about a foot deep. My paddle could push down an additional foot into very soft silt. My first impression was that this lagoon was completely baron. However, I am told it is 48 acres and had by no means explored the whole thing. Moving further in I saw an amazing spectacle; a large shoal of big bream all feeding, noses down and tails out of the water! I wish my camera was good enough to capture this but alas I could not do it justice.
This is the life!
Before long a quiver rod was set up and out amongst the shoal sporting a small method feeder loaded with a ground bait made of bread crumb, hemp and maize, a couple of grains of maize on a simple hair rig and a size 10 hook. The first fish took a long time to come but I kept the feed going in little and often in the same place each time and sure enough...

Giving up after a surprisingly hard fight!
Under usual circumstances I am not a big fan of bream. I must admit that they always seem to be an unwelcome surprise when angling for other species but today, targeting them for the first time, I was really excited to have caught this. It went into the keepnet, a second rod was assembled but all the time the water level was rising...
An hour passed before my next decent bite and during this time both rods had met with the rising surface of the water so that the reels were submerged. I could not fish like this so gave up on the bank sticks and rested the rods on my kayak. To prevent the boat from moving around I had to stand in the water (as there is very little accessible bank) with bare feet in the silt- nice!
Then came the rain... and then 6 more good sized bream! 

Having fished from 8am and being soaked through, at 4:30pm I decided to call it a day - after all, I still had to paddle for an hour back to the car! The bag weighed in at 26lbs. I know this doesn't break any records but it had been a real joy to have got out on the boat, explored a new and fascinating water and fished outside my natural comfort zone, finding unexpected pleasure in this underrated species.