Coarse Fishing Articles

Coarse fishing

Fishing for specimen bream

Anything over 50% of the current record for a species could conceivably be considered a specimen, such as a 35 lb carp or double figure bream.

But what does it take to catch one of these specimens? In this article we take a look at what you need to target a specimen sized bream, including baiting methods, location and venue choice.

Time of year

Undoubtedly the best time to fish for bream is April and May, as long as the weather has started to warm up. There are some years such as at the time of writing this article in 2013 where spring still seems to be a long way off, with snow still on the ground.

But as soon as the weather does start to warm up this is the best time to get on the bank and target a specimen bream, as they will still be at their top weights just before spawning.…

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Plan a successful bream session

Easily distinguished from other species of freshwater fish, bream have deep, flat bodies, protruding mouths, and rather smelly slime that adheres to keepnets and causes a tremendous stench if not washed away quickly.


Colouration varies with age and size, with younger fish being very thin and silver coloured, and older bream, usually those over the 2 to 3 pound mark, normally have dark brown backs, bronze flanks, and cream coloured undersides. Found all over Europe in deep rivers and stillwaters as well as clear, shallow rivers, bream are notorious for following wind, so locating a swim where the breeze hits you straight in the face can help you to find these fish.

Bait choice

Enthusiastic bottom feeders, bream consume lots of bloodworms, along with crustaceans, midge larvae, and fish eggs. They shoal together and when having a good feed, they can be easily spotted since once they get their heads down and begin rooting through the silt, the water clouds and gives away their location.…

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Plan a successful tench session

The tench is a member of the cyprinid or carp family and is well distributed throughout all of Europe, with the exception of the northern tips of Denmark, Scandinavia, and Scotland. It can be caught in virtually all kinds of water in the UK, from canals and small village ponds, to large rivers, to commercial fisheries.

This fish prefers slow-moving freshwater areas and likes the shelter of weed beds, but it can survive in nearly stagnant water and live on algae when other food sources are not available. Historically, the tench was a popular stewpond fish and was a significant part of the medieval diet. If you choose to retain and eat the tench you catch, you will find the best flavoured tench come from clear waters.

Bait choice

Knowing a bit about the tench’s eating habits will help you to plan a successful tench session. Like carp, these fish will hoover up just about anything from the bottom of the riverbed or lakebed, so using groundbaits is a very good way to get the attention of this species.…

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Plan a successful rudd session

Rudd are widely distributed throughout Europe and are very easy to find in most lakes. Preferring clear water, and enjoying the shelter provided by lily pads, weedy patches, and reedy areas, these fish have a yellowish to golden colour on their sides, olive coloured back, and deep orange to red coloured lower fins and tail fins.

Some of the largest rudd are completely golden-bronze coloured all over, and some have a pinkish hue. The colour variations are due to the fact that colourful rudd are bred for the pond fish trade, and many escape or are released into open waterways, where they interbreed with common rudd.


The rudd is not a finicky fish, so preparing baits is simple. In nature, these fish prefer to consume insect larvae and crustaceans, along with algae and plant matter. They love to forage along lake margins, where bugs and grubs are numerous. It is helpful to prebait with loose groundbait, crumbled up dog biscuits, or even simple bread crumbs, and it’s best to plan your rudd session for dusk or dawn as the fish prefer to feed in low light conditions.…

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Plan a successful roach session

The roach is native to most of Europe as well as to western Asia. Common fish found in all types of bodies of water across the UK, roach usually weigh in at between one to three pounds. Any roach weighing more than a pound is considered to be a specimen fish. While these fish do not put up much of a fight, they are fun to catch and will accept a variety of baits, plus they can be caught using different methods.

Bait choice

As you prepare for your roach session, ensure your bait selection includes plenty of smaller particle baits, as the roach has a small mouth and will ignore most larger baits such as boilies and chunks of luncheon meat. The best baits to use are simple ones – maggots, casters, sweetcorn, or worms work very well, as does cooked hempseed.

When fishing for roach, using small barbless hooks not larger than size 12, and using thin line no thicker than 0.12 mm will produce the best results, no matter which fishing method you prefer to use.…

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