When fishing at Woodsetts for the big shoals of bream that reside there, your best attack is without doubt the feeder. Being a shoal fish they tend to move around the lake, grazing over areas before moving on. Personally I’d be looking to fish in the following swims at any time of year. First Point, Second Point, Secret, Bush or Sandbank Left. All of these swims give you access to deeper water, you want at least eight to 10 foot, allowing an area for them to settle on. The bream run big, up to and over 10lb, and in a session back in 2018 I landed nine bream in an afternoon session with all of them over 8lb. Therefore it doesn’t take many fish of this stamp to build a big weight. Tactics are as follows… they want food, so take plenty of groundbait with you. My mix tends to be Ringers Feeder crumb and Dynamite baits brown crumb. I introduce lose particle in the form of corn, casters and maggots and chopped worm…through the feeder with each cast, depending on how the bites are going. The more bites I get the more I put through the feeder to keep them there.
Before fishing I always find a distance and mark that I’m happy with. I use 13ft feeder specials, the Diamond range from Maver. I use these rods as they can punch a feeder a long way if needed and I do fish other venues where this is the case. For Woodsetts in say Bush Swim, I know that at 42yds out there’s a gravel mound that rises up off the bottom, so I target the left hand side of it in about 10ft of water. With the aid of a straight lead, and once I’ve found it, I clip up the line on the spool so I can cast back to the same spot. I prefer to use braid for my bream fishing, it has no stretch and deals with the slight undertow that you can get at Woodsetts. So, once clipped up I attach a feed feeder. This is slightly bigger than the feeder I’m going to use for fishing. When fishing I prefer something like the Guru Xsafe Cage with the interchangeable weight or the Nisa cage or a Rocket style feeder. I like to introduce at least 15 big feeders of free offerings before I start fishing. The mix is pushed into the feeder, a few particle bits are placed in the middle and then the bottom end is plugged with groundbait, before casting it out to the spot. Allow the feeder to settle before you wind back, emptying the contents into the swim.
With the swim fed, I can now concentrate on putting on a smaller feeder (35g) and can commence fishing. I like to use a long hook length, say 50cm minimum to start with, sometimes longer. I just want to get that first bite and see what’s about. Beside the big bream there’s a good head of smaller skimmers in the 1lb to 2lb bracket and if these move in you can have a busy session. Hook size, I start on an 18 or 16 and will move up to a 14 or 12 if bigger fish move in. Hook baits will vary and I usually start on double red maggot and will chop and change between worm and caster, corn and maggot or straight maggot. I’m looking for that first bigger fish and then I’ll go worm and red maggot on a 14 hook, a big bait for bigger fish. Keep timing your casts, I tend to cast at least every ten minutes to start with. This puts more food into the swim and builds it up to hold fish when they move in. Fishing for the bream in this way is what I call busy fishing, if they move in you’ll have a good session and be busy throughout.
Make sure you are ready, make sure everything is to hand. Bait wise you’ll want at least half a pint of red maggots, a pint of casters, half a kilo of worms and a tin of sweetcorn. Don’t put too many maggots through the feeder as lose offerings, you’ll just attract hordes of small roach. Be patient and stick to your plan, as they will turn up at some stage… you just need to keep them there!
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