Common name: Bream
Latin name: Abramis Brama
Current UK Rod Caught Coarse Fish Record BREAM (Common or Bronze) (Abramis brama) 19lb 10oz - 2005 - James Rust, Cambridge Water
Description and habitat of Bream:
Adults are deep bodied and bronze in colour with darker, sometimes black fins. The Bream has a deep laterally compressed body with a prominent covering of protective slime. It has a long anal fin compared with the dorsal fin, a forked tail and a relatively small head and mouth with a protruding upper jaw. Young Bream up to approximately 8oz.are known as 'skimmers' and are more silvery in colour but turn a darker bronze colour as they mature. Often small Bream are mistaken for the Silver Bream (Abramis bjoerkna). The Silver Bream is smaller than the common, or bronze Bream, and is silver in colour with red anal and pectoral fins. An average Common Bream will be 12 - 14inches. Bream grow to 19+lb and a fish over 4lb considered a good fish. Well liked by match anglers because Bream are a shoal fish and therefore a good chance of catching more. Large Bream are nicknamed 'slabs' or 'dustbin lids'.
Found in lakes, ponds, rivers and canals but more often found in still waters. During spawning from May to June, the male Bream develops white tubercles covering the head and upper body. Bream often interbreed with other species, creating hybrids such as the roach-bream hybrid. Bream are predominantly bottom feeders, travelling in shoals, rooting around and feeding in the soft bottom of ponds, lakes and the lower reaches of rivers. They feed extensively on algae, plankton, insect larvae, pea mussels, crustaceans and molluscs, also grubbing around among the bottom debris for the many micro-organisms which live there. Once feeding, the shoal of Bream move across the bottom denuding the bottom of food. If the shoal is large and feeding in earnest it will stir up a great deal of mud and the gases released will carry the colour to the surface and discolour the water. For locating Bream this is worth noting. Early morning or dusk are good times to fish as the bream move in closer to the margins as the sunlight fades.
Fishing Methods for catching Bream:
Various methods including float, ledger or feeder but the feeder is considered the best method. Bream can be voracious feeders mainly feeding on the bottom. They respond well to groundbaiting so if you can, pre-bait the area you are going to fish. Lay a bed of groundbait using brown crumb or continental groundbait with sweetcorn, casters, chopped up worms and some of your hook bait mixed in. Don't start balling it in when you start catching Bream, this can scare them off. (it would you if someone started hitting you on the head with balls of groundbait). Large catches have resulted from laying down a carpet of groundbait which holds the shoal in the area.
Once a fish is hooked it needs to be pulled away from the shoal quickly otherwise the shoal will be spooked and will move on. As a guide a 4 lb main line with 2.5 lb hook length and size 16 hook is adequate. Accurate casting is essential to keep all your bait going into the same area. Laying on (fishing overdepth - i.e. in 6 foot of water set your float 8 foot from the hook) is a good tactic when fishing for Bream.
When feeder fishing use an open-end feeder filled with a groundbait mix with some of your hook bait mixed in and a hook length of 18 - 24 inches. When you cast in and the feeder has reached the bottom, wind up the slack in the line then wind in a bit more till there is a sleight bend on your rod tip. Bream bites are noticeable when float fishing by the slow disappearance of the float or when ledger / feeder fishing by the steady pull round of your rod tip. Bream are not known as a fighting fish and generally after a few 'nods' (tugs on the line as you reel in) come to the net with little resistance.
Baits for catching Bream:
Worms, lobworms, small red worm, brandlings, bloodworm, bread (either punch, flake or paste), casters, maggots, gozzers, pinkies and sweetcorn. Similar to the young Bream is the Silver Bream.
Silver Bream (Abramis bjoerkna): See here
Similar to a young common Bream and difficult to tell apart being fairly deep bodied and silvery coloured. Not as widespread the Silver Bream can be found in lakes, ponds, rivers, canals and still waters. Silver Bream are shoaling fish. Grows to approximately 1lb and a Silver Bream over 10oz considered a good fish.
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