If you fish for Black Bream, then you’ll know that the winter months are the time to pursue them. Black bream will school up in large masses, and feed hard prior to making their annual spawning run. During these exiting times for the bream angler, it is possible to catch cricket score numbers of fish, with some blue-nosed bruisers well over the kilo’ mark! There is a catch though – although you may locate large numbers of fish, they can be tricky to temp and hard to hook!
Down-sizing your tackle and adopting the finesse approach is a common tactic employed by most successful winter bream anglers. Line classes as light as 1kg breaking strain fluorocarbon become the norm, as well as amended retrieve and presentation tactics in order to get the bite. Presenting small vibration baits and suspending jerk-baits, as well as curl-tails soft plastics will serve you well. I really fancy the Gekkabijin Vib 30S from daiwa, and i’ll often leave it motionless on the riverbed for up to 20 seconds before working the lure to life. It’s amazing how often a bream is hooked when i lift the tip to work the lure after the pause, and generally find the fish has been sitting on the lure for a while unkown to me. Winter black bream don’t mind a slow retrieve…or even no retrieve at all.
My latest weapon of choice for finesse fishing is a rather affordable stick that boasts great performance and stylish good looks. The Ballistic X Spin 702ULFS is a two-piece rod that conveys a line rating of 1-3kg, is 7 feet in length, and is tailor made for the light approach. This stick casts a light offering just as well as some of its more prestigious counterparts, and bends softly when fighting a wily black bream. The funky graphics constantly receive compliments from fellow fishos, and I love watching their astonished faces when I inform them of the rod’s budget price-tag. The fore grip is comfortable, as well as being quite durable. I’m really fond of this rod, and regularly use it over some of my more expensive rods that I have in the rack. I have married my BLX702ULFS to my Gekkabijin 2004 spin reel, which is spooled with 2lb Finesse Brave FC line. This light combo allows me to cast long distances, with a stealth approach. All of which is needed for finesse fishing for those wily black bream. Whilst there are some particular rods out there that will provide superior sensitivity as opposed the BLX, you just can’t argue the fact that the BLX rods are great bang for your buck!
I’m comfortable (and loooove) using Ballistic X spin rods, and I rate them highly…AB