New River Season Q&A Bream – Tony Curd

Bream are an extremely popular species to target on our Rivers among running water enthusiasts. There is little denying that these slabs can pack a punch on flowing water and give you a real run for your money compared to their still water cousins! With huge catches possible in the right conditions we asked Tony Curd – Who has caught numerous 200lb+ catches of Bream – for his advice on how to get the most from your fishing!

Bait-Tech: You’ve had some fantastic results on rivers catching some huge bags of Bream what do you think are the Thames2 (2)important factors to look out for in choosing a swim to target River Bream?

Tony Curd: To be honest I don’t think there is one single swim that you could choose but like any other big fish on Rivers they tend to follow the same themes – river inlets where you have flow in the lowest conditions, wider sections of river and deep channels are all worth looking at! In a standard swim though the key is to find the deepest water and this is usually right down the middle of the river if I had to put all my money on bream being anywhere it’d be there!

Bait-Tech: So you’ve found your swim – how do you go about feeding and is prebaiting really necessary?

Tony Curd: If you’re on a lot of bream then you will never have to prebait and I do feel that this can sometimes do you more harm than good. What is important though is the time of the day you choose to fish it’s like any match fishing or specimen fishing the fish will feed at certain times and in certain places so a shorter amount of time during these spells is better than a full day on the bank – some of my biggest catches have come in less than 4 hours fishing. Early mornings and evenings are without a doubt the best times when boat traffic is at a minimum. To kick my swim off it depends on the conditions if there is flow then you’ll need more bait and my favourite mix is 50:50 Bait-Tech Omen and Kult Sweet Fishmeal I cannot rate this mix highly enough and use nothing else included in the mix is around 3 pints of 2mm Bait-Tech Carp and Coarse Pellets usually in these conditions 15 balls of groundbait made with a 40mm Nash Ball Maker is my opening gambit regularly casting the feeder and topping up with additional balls every burst of fish I catch when bites subside. If you’ve been catching well never assume the fish have gone – chances are they’ve eaten everything and moved out, a little more bait will get you another run of bites. In clear conditions where there isn’t a lot of flow then you need to calm things down a bit in these situations I simply cast a decent sized feeder into the swim 10 times and go from there. Hook bait wise I have caught more bream on three red maggots than any other bait on any venue! I have had some very big bream approaching double figures in darkness that have fallen to Bait-Tech Hi-Viz White and Yellow Boilies though…

Bait-Tech: What are the tackle requirements for bream fishing on rivers is it all about specialised kit and complicated 003 (2)rigs?

Tony Curd: Not at all! My standard set up for fishing on the River Thames is a 12ft MAP Parabolix Feeder Rod with a 3/4 oz carbon tip – carbon tips are very important for river fishing as they are stiffer and don’t get towed right round in the flow. A nice robust 8lb MAP Optimum reel line to deal with casting, snags and hopefully, big bream! The feeder itself is a large cage feeder that weighs anything from 25g to 2oz depending on the flow the feeder runs inside a loop with the hook length connected to the bottom of this – a really standard rig that enhances the drop backs you’re looking for. This comes down to an 0.16mm MAP Power Optex hook length which is anything between 2 and 3 feet long, very rarely longer and never shorter. Two foot seems to be the optimum length in most situations and my hook choice is the ever faithful Kamasan B560 in a size 16 ideal for treble maggot or worm.

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