I know bream aren’t everyone’s favourite species but I am lucky to have four lakes available to me where fish well in excess of double figures are the norm. Believe me, a twelve pound bream looks great, fights brilliantly and sets a real challenge.

Also, I have access to a few river swims where bream well in excess of double are to be found. In fact, my personal best bream of 15.6 came from the River Wensum itself.

The classic big bait-up approach

This is a traditional big bash bream campaign which can pay off handsomely. There is a lot more to it than meets the eye and, believe me, you work non-stop from dawn till dusk, or even beyond.

Group targeting

This is a fabulously exciting approach. The idea is to target select groups of bream in both stillwaters and, especially rivers. You are watching the fish, gauging their reaction and, hopefully, taking them to double figure weight.

Off the top

This isn’t a normal bream technique but there are times in sultry weather when big shoals of big fish will come to the surface, patrol lakes and for a short while be vulnerable to a slowly sinking worm or maggots fished in the surface film. It’s white-knuckle stuff.


This is a little like the group targeting approach, especially on rivers. It could involve fishing up to a dozen swims a day, all known, legendary bream haunts. It’s very effective and it is particularly thrilling because each first cast could produce a monster.