I was invited down to Walthamstow for a social session with a few people very recently by Will Barnard the fishery manager at Thames Waters Walthamstow Reservoirs.
My mission was to catch as many double figure bream as I could in the 24 hours I had available to me before I set off for a few days fishing in France.
I was fishing Pit 1 which is a good size bit of water. Having previously fished the water I knew that extreme bream fishing tactics would be required. For this I came armed with 3lb tc carp rods, 15lb line and 3oz distance leads. I was having to chuck my baits a good 90 yards with some strong cross winds. It sounds a bit beefy but you really do need it to hit your marks, deal with the cross winds and cope with the odd nuisance carp that are sure to show up.
I set up in the pouring rain determined to get sheltered and allow me to tie rigs up in under the cover of the bivvy. I am not the most organised of anglers so regularly make up rigs on arrival to a venue.
I intended on using a slight variation of a rig a friend of mine and fantastic all round angler Dan Gale had recently shown. Dan uses it successfully with fluorocarbon for his tench fishing. I decided to use some of the Gardner target range coated braid which I knew would be a great deal stronger if I did hook into any powerful carp over the fluro carbon. Hooks, anything around the size 8 – 12 is perfect and the use of a anti tangle sleeve essential due to the range I was fishing. The rig was made using a basic knotless knot to create a hair with the added small piece of shrink tube to increase the hooking potential of the rig. I then attached a dendrabena worm with a baiting needle passing it through the worm twice and then created a bait stop using an Enterprise buoyant with the loop of the hair pulled over the top.
To ensure no extra tangles during flight and also settling on the spots I would place a single bit of pva foam over hook.
I already knew the area I wanted to fish and that was as tight to island as possible, a good 6ft of water and known patrol route for the bream and carp. I bait heavily with Hinders Little Gemz Pellets in 2.3mm as well as plenty of maggot. The maggots had Scopex added to them and the pellet had Hemp and Salmon oil added to really boost the attraction.
Eventually I had everything set up and began my session. For the first few hours I got plagued by carp to mid teens, it wasn’t until 3am that I got my first bream and good one too. 13.7lb and the first of many to come.
I had a few more carp after that and decided to get up at 5am and top the swim up with more bait and hope that the bream really would get feeding in the morning. The bream had clearly heard my thinking and at 6.30am the swim went mental. It was a bream a chuck and the majority of the fish were all over the beautiful 10lb mark. It was difficult at some points to keep the swim topped up with bait and also get the rods back out on the spot whilst the fish were in a feeding frenzy.
At 11am I had to stop and reel in to get food and sort out the carnage of a swim and prepare some more rigs.
I had already had over 12 double figure bream including a 14.8lb male (my PB male bream, 15.12lb is my current PB female). I had also had 12 carp to 21.10lb which clearly loved the worm and maggot hook bait.
I got Gary Newman who was fishing Reservoir 2 to come over and get some pics of the larger bream I had caught before returning them safely. The fish I am holding is the 14.8lb male and the fish on the mat averaged 11.8lb.
The afternoon slowed up slightly but fish still kept slipping up. I finished my session with a double hook up of two 11lb bream and a huge smile across my face. 22 double figure bream as well as about 10 fish between 8.8lb and upper 9lb and 12 carp top 21.10lb. Not bad for a 24 hour session on a water I fish once or twice a year. I did get through 8kg of 3.5mm pellet and 8 pints of maggots very easily, bream are pretty hungry creatures and you need to keep your swim topped up with bait to hold them in front of you.
Reservoir 1 is a great place to catch your first double figure bream, however all of the Walthamstow waters hold good fish including specimens to over 17lb. Even the coppermill stream holds some good double figure bream.
For more information contact the fishery 07747641179 or go to the website http://www.thameswater.co.uk/about-us/16821.htm