Fishy Tales from the Emerald Isle –

Targeting Bream in a Storm……

Targeting Bream, featuring the Penn LTD 7000
Fishing? More like that Japanese Endurance show that used to be on the telly. I feel that I’m getting to old for it all, let me explain!

The new Penn Affinity 7000 LTD

I had acquired a set of Affinity LTD 7000’s, the new Live-liner reels from Penn, and an “Easy Rider” carp barrow from JRC. As usual, I wanted to do a wee write-up on the new gear. Obviously there is no use talking about an item of tackle without actually giving it a proper try out first, any excuse to wet a line I hear you say! We had a planned Bream trip looming, and this would be a great opportunity for their maiden voyage and see how they perform.

loaded with Berkley Nanofil

With a forecast of low pressure imminent, (normally a good sign for a “Bream bash”) we decided to go for it, and I met up with Andrew Wolsey and Simon Gibson at the chosen venue. Simon had some previous experience on this water and we were in his hands to put us in the vicinity of a few “slabs”.

plenty of chipped corn and boiled hempseed

Once settled in at our respective marks, I identified a well-defined ledge at distance and “spodded” in a reasonable amount of bait. When targeting Bream, there is little point in “pussy-footing” about. Get the carpet of feed in and let them find it. A decent sized shoal or a few larger specimens will hoover-up an amazing quantity of feed in a session. With summer temperatures creeping in, and plenty of small Roach about, there is rarely the risk of over-feeding. The risk, in my opinion, and a mistake many anglers tend to make, is under-feeding! Be brave. More often than not it will pay off.

spodding out the particles

With the un-avoidable disturbance of the spod bombardment finally over, and rods accurately cast over the bait and settled on the pod, alarmed and clipped to drop-offs, we could now concentrate on the customary tea and bacon sandwiches. The carpet of bait was out there, my rigs were up to standard, baits either carefully popped up or neutral buoyancy, all good, and it was now up to the fish!

spodding reel is line clipped for accuracy

By late afternoon, doubts of seeing a fish were now infiltrating the synapses of my numb brain, when the fishing gods finally stepped in. Deciding that I had suffered enough punishment it seems, the vibes from my alarm receiver let me know the left hand rod had some interest and I was soon playing a small Bream. At this stage, I didn’t care what size, it was a fish and I was extremely grateful. The Penn affinity was sweet by the way!
Could this be it? All that time and effort for one small fish? I suppose I should be thankful as the lads were also struggling to catch. At least this little bit of activity had the blood flowing again, and I began to get some feeling back into the fingers! It’s the beginning of June and I’m suffering from hyperthermia! This was the Japanese Endurance show I mentioned in the first paragraph.

hard work but found a few

Cry and you win, an old angling term used often. With all the whining going on, another alarm signalled and another Bream to the net. This one being a touch better at six and a half pounds. A dropped run on the boile rig next, possibly a Bream trying its luck but will never know, although I doubt it was a Carp. Two more small Bream followed, then a decent fish that pushed the scales round to just under the seven and a half pounds specimen barrier, a near miss but lovely to see all the same.


As rapidly as the fish appeared, they moved on again. This is when the personal analysis begins. Too much pre-bait introduced? I seriously doubt it. Not enough? Quite possibly. If I was staying longer, I certainly would have “spodded” in some more particles once the bites had stopped, in an attempt to kick-start the swim again. However, the cold rain and blustery wind had worked its magic and I’d had enough.

it looks rough

On a positive note, the Penn 7000 LTD’s were bloody brilliant. Smooth, perfect line lay, excellent casting abilities and look the dogs! Having used the previous 7000 model over the past three seasons with no issues whatsoever, I have full confidence in the new ones, and the added “live-liner” is a welcome touch. I’m loving them and now need to christen them on something a little larger.

nearly a specimen

I never thought I would ever buy a carp barrow, but on this occasion, I can see the full benefits. Any prolonged angling session for Carp, Bream, Tench, Roach or whatever involves so much equipment its mind boggling. I’ve thought about it a great deal, and despite cutting the gear down to an absolute minimum, you still require rods, rod-pod or rests of some description, something to sit on, something to keep out the elements, a spod rod for feeding distance, an un-hooking mat, end-tackle, bait, my god, and more bait, food and drink, weigh sling, weighing scales, camera, already I’m groaning under the weight! With the long walk to the peg, the barrow was a god-send. Already, Andrew and Simon are contemplating a purchase, and they are half my age, enough said!
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