Feeder fishing

Summer skimmers

Korum’s Chris Ponsford shows you how to fill your keepnet with glistening skimmer bream

Words Chris Ponsford Photography Lloyd Rogers

Very obliging, relaxing, and no rush fishing, except of course if you are in a match, the humble Bream will never fight like a Tarpon, or look as pretty as a pristine Rudd or Roach but will often bite on the coldest of days or the balmy days of summer, day or night .

Of course these days they grow massive, often feeding hard on carp anglers boilies, as will other species, in fact the current rod caught record is over 22lb, a weight only dreamed about in my younger years .

Many of these monster Bream get caught by Carp anglers and get put back, unceremoniously, without being weighed or photographed which is a shame .

However, in the company of Lloyd Rogers, cameraman extraordinaire I targeted much smaller ones at the pretty Jubilee lakes, run by the Leamington AA club, aiming for plenty of bites on standard quiver-tip tactics, and using more conventional, old school baits with a sprinkling of newer modern Ground bait and pellets.

Any small cage feeder, or open ender will work, rigged running onto 6lb Prestons sinking mono. No fancy rods are needed – I use a Korum 10ft quivertip rod with a 1oz top, with a Preston Centris 420 reel.

Feeder wise I picked a comfortable range to fish and allowed  for the wind potentially  picking up, this is important as I want to be able to hit a clipped up spot throughout the session, aiming to develop the area with accurate casting and regular amounts of feed. This day I cast out without feed and, counted  a half ounce  bomb down with a count of about 6 seconds at a range of approx. 40 meters .I slowly dragged the bomb across the bottom watching the quivertip revealing a smooth, gravel and slightly silty surface . ideal, so I clipped the line behind the line clip on the reel so it would hit the same spot on entry to the the water, as I feathered it in, pushing the rod to one side to slow to speed of the feeder into the swim I was using a 30 gm open ender to introduce the bait.

Happy with the distance, I then walked up the bank and placing the feeder on the grass ,securing it with a brolly spike, opened the bail arm and walked away till the line hit the clip ,where I marked it on the grass with my size 12s, just like when I was a young fast bowler. A further check on distance was made on retrieving the feeder which was 35 turns of the reel. A spot on the far bank was picked out, a tree in this case to aim at.

My favourite groundbait for skimmers is the Sonubaits sweet smelling F1 black ,with the addition of F1, 2mm pellets. To this I will add Banoffee sweetcorn, casters, chopped worms, dead reds as required, directly into the middle of the feeder, plugging it both ends with the Groundbait . 

Initially if I think a few fish are on the cards I will have half a dozen casts with mostly groundbait in the feeder and no bait on the hook watching for liners on the tip.

Then I will have a cast with a bait and see what happens, the day will unfold as the fish dictate how active and hungry they are. I never worry if it slow initially as it gives me a chance to get a bit of bait out there and let them get settled.

“Big strikes are never needed…
just gently lifting into fish is recommended”

Various set ups can work, method feeder, open ender, straight lead, cage feeder, short and long hooklinks, paternoster or running, small and large baits, big and small hooks, it just depends on the day and experience will dictate what I use.

However, a set up that works very well, is a free-running feeder on a quick change running-link, put on first, then a float stop and then tie in a six inch twisted link in the mono and attaching the hook link to the loop on the end of the mainline. This is usually at least 15 inches long, though shorten up if deep hooked fish are happening. 

I sometimes change to a paternoster set up with a three foot hook link if bigger bream start to show and let them slowly swim off pulling the rod tip right round. Never rush bream as you don’t want them swimming back alarming the shoal. Use rods with plenty of action. 

A modern trend is to use braided mainline and I will do if bites are super finicky as it is very direct and shy bites can be spotted easily. Big strikes are never needed and just gently lifting into fish is recommended.

Another modern trend is fishing pellets or wafters on the hook, often with a band or hair rig, deadly for sorting bigger fish or avoiding nuisance fish, the method is perfect for this, the fish usually hooking themselves . 

On this day, the bigger fish never showed and roach were more active, however I had a lovely days fishing with my great mate Kelvin Tallett who targeted the roach, but that’s his story to tell. (Click here to read Kelvin’s feature)

The bigger bream didn’t show, but I still ended up with a nice net of skimmers and roach and had a really enjoyable day’s fishing

Click play above to see more of Chris on the Korum Fishing show