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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


Big Bream from Wasing Fisheries Shalford Lake

Last week I invited Phil Chun of Cotswold Bait Creations to join me on the Wasing Syndicate fisheries to try for the big bream. This is Pil's story

After A phone call from my good friend Martin James I was invited to go and fish at the Wasing Syndicate near Woolhampton. The target was to be the large bream that Martin had previously had some success with, I was really looking forward to targeting another species. I have over the last few years predominantly been targeting large carp but this year set myself some other targets. I had a great start to the season bagging a cracking 37lb mirror and new U.K. P.B. from a very large and very tough gravel pit local to my home and breaking the lake record. Then Two weeks after I caught the big carp. l caught a fish that I have always dreamed of in the shape of a 10lb 2oz Tench. Again to the best of my knowledge another lake record!!. I continued on the pit for carp, catching the 37lb mirror a week later, however this time it had spawned and was exactly 32lb!! The same afternoon I went to deliver some of my bait at another local water and decide to have a quick go on the surface and yes you've guessed it I bagged another P.B. in the shape of a 28lb 9oz surface caught common and lake record!! Once more.

Anyway back to the story, early Thursday morning I arrived at Wasing, where upon arrival a nice cuppa was waiting for me, then after a quick chat we decided upon two swims Martin had fished before. My swim was a lovely looking area (as most are on this water), in a corner with reeds lining it on both sides. I spent quite a while plumbing around to find a couple of likely looking areas. The first was a nice little gravel patch at the bottom of the near side drop of in about 7ft of water, here I would bait with a mixture of bloodworm pellets, corn and hemp and fish one rod with a Cotswold Baits CreationTock special popup. The second area was a smooth silty gulley of 14ft with around 11ft and slight weed on either side where I would fish two other rods. I decided this spot would receive a fair bit of bait and I soon had around 8kg of my spod mix deposited on the spot. The mix contained hempseed, biosquid pellets, 3 kg of Cotswold Bait Creations Tock specials a can of corn and a good helping of salmon oil to create a nice slick through the water and hopefully draw the fish in. The Thursday for me was uneventful but Martin caught a 6lb 7oz bream and had another couple of runs. My first action was at around 2.30 am! The culprit was the smallest bream in the lake at around 3lb.

On the Friday morning I decided to top up the swim, as although I hadn't caught I thought I had seen a few fish roll over the bait in the early hours. Another 4kg was spodded over the area but this time I put in mostly Tock specials and just a small amount of biosquid pellets. The intention being to get any fish visiting the area really switched onto the boilies which were identical to my hook baits. The day soon passed with many cups of lovely tea and putting the world to rights between us. At 11pm I saw a couple of fish roll one after another over the baited area, so I sat on the rods waiting for the action, it was not long coming either with a typical slow take which saw me pulling into my first proper bream, a short fight saw me netting what I knew immediately was a double figure bream. Martin soon had it hoisted on the scales and I really couldn't believe it when he announced it was 14lb 8oz!! an absolutely huge lump and yet another new P.B. this season by 3lb!! Oh and yes you've guessed it ANOTHER lake record.

I was buzzing now and so set about firing out around 1kg of boilies and re positioning the rod. I soon received a few linears so thought I had better make up some more small PVA mesh bags ready for re-baiting should I get any more takes. The next hour was all a bit of a blur whilst tying up bags then getting two takes which I lost, then re-baiting some more I was pleased when I finally landed another bream which although not so big at 9lb 10oz was still a lovely fish. I continued baiting and fishing all night but managed to loose two more fish but to be honest I didn't really care as the 14lber was all I could think about.

I had to be off the water early Saturday morning to do some bait orders. After a couple more brews, then saying a big thank you to Martin for his help and inviting me to fish I was on my way home. Tired but overjoyed at a great session at a lovely water with cracking fish in, great company and best of all a monster fish to remember it all by. See picture of the 14-8-0 bream

Martin James Fishing