We often think that the bream only feed on the bottom, this is a big mistake.
When water temperatures are high whatever the time of year or simply when bream are a dominant species in a water, it is possible to generate significant competition for food by feeding correctly for these species, and some huge nets of fish can easily be caught. On several occasions Darren has had weights well in excess of 100lb's of skimmers and bream! When fishing on the bottom as we usually do for bream, once we have them feeding correctly they become pre-occupied with feeding and have little regard for how we present the hook-bait. On commercial fisheries where there are large stocks of these skimmers and bream they have become well used to the noise of pellets going in as anglers constantly feed pellets on the pellet waggler or pole to catch carp shallow. A skimmer or bream is often the first fish you catch before the carp move in as they react instantly to the noise and start competing frantically to get to the loosefeed. Stay on the bottom with your pole rig and you can be sure you will get too may liners and most probably a lot of foul hooked fish. Darren has a solution to address this phenomenon which will force the bream to come towards the surface much quicker and by using the correct amounts and type of feed, keep them there for as long as they want to feed. For sure pellets are probably now the number 1 bait for skimmers, they simply love them. They eat hard pellets and are attracted to the noise but they prefer softer versions. Darren partially soaks 4mm and 6mm pellets so that they are just spongy and will feed these liberally to make the fish come shallow. By feeding 10-15 pellets at a time at regular intervals of 30 seconds the swim should start to build.
This is a method which excels on deeper venues and Darren is demonstarting his tactics at Meadowlands Lakes near Coventry today, a prolific commercial carp water which also has an incredible head of bream.
The pellets and are very easy to prepare. soaked in water for a few minutes and then drained of so that they stay as whole pellets rather than going mushy. They are thus slightly softer and emit a nice "milky" cloud through the water which the skimmers love!
A real interesting point is that Darren never puts his catapult down, regularly feeding pellets around a decent area of his float to encourage the skimmers to search for the feed as soon as they hear them hit the surface. Stopping breifly only to land fish, his feeding rejime is regimental! Often as soon as he feeds, a casual lift of the rig to bring the hook bait to the surface so that it falls with the loose feed is all that is needed to get an instant positive bite resulting in a fish every time!
To determine the fishing depth, there is no specific rule, and it is often down to the day. Generally the more fish are feeding and competeing for food the higher they will come in the water. The key is to vary your depth until you find the best on the day, then you can plunder them.
Hook size is very important and Darren stresses this point. "by using a big Kamasan B911 F1 hook I can bury it in 6mm Bait Tech Expanda which will blow up to a very big pellet when pumped. the big hook prevents the smaller skimmers from pinching it off the hook and makes hitting bites much more efficient".
This is a fantastic way to catch a bag of beautiful fish and you will be amazed at just how big a bag you can catch if you get it right. Try it at a venue near you!