Like a mini depth charge the stuffed feeder hits the water thirty meters out, a measured distance guaranteed by the main line locked to the reel spool and guided to its mark by the designated tree cast towards on the far bank. Crumb, casters, red maggot, corn, and various soaked grains filter through the cage settling on the muddy bottom, their scent and the rhythmic splash which preceded signaling interest from the resident bream shoal. Vanilla scent fills the damp chill morning air as the rod tip curves to the current, a slack line followed by a purposeful wrap around bite, fish on and it’s heavy, kiting in the rivers flow, bream or large hybrid for sure and a good one.
Taking his time while letting the fish have its head there is no need to hurry, the size 14 kamazan has a firm hold in the rubbery lips and with rod straining a bronze slab is guided safely into the net. Disgorger to hand, hook deftly removed, quick photo for posterity, deep, slimy, heavy scaled bronze coloured flank, a cracking fish the first of many, then into the keep net. Whoops echo around the valley, hands are shook, congratulations offered, all the planning and effort has been worth while, a first bream for Keith Marsella and what a way to break your duck.
Regularly throwing balls of ground bait into the swim fish homed in, hung about, and hoovered. It needs a lot of bait to keep a bream shoal interested and Keith along with his friend Graham Pepper had plenty and used it well. Things had been slow for an hour with only a roach showing then the big boys moved in to hold station. From then on for a period of two hours things got hectic with regular bites for both anglers, dream fishing, you couldn’t make it up. Having decided to target bream, the boys hit pay dirt first time out. Being at hand with a camera was a privilege, and to share the occasion, well that’s what angling is all about.
Spring has come early to Ireland and everything is out of kilter, rivers are flowing at summer levels, and fish are one month ahead of schedule. Word had filtered up from Carlow that the bream were in situe so Gary and I made plans, we couldn’t have chosen a better morning to make our first trip. Blue skies, a chilly start, then as the sun rose shirt sleeves and wide brim hats. On arrival at our chosen venue Keith and Graham were already pitched and working away. Exchanging introductions the camaraderie of angling took over, helped no end by the fabulous fishing we experienced. Equipment shared, advice, jokes, more congratulations as fish hit the bank, you would think we had known each other all our lives
To cap it all Carlow Coarse Angling Club stalwart Gerry McStraw arrived, bream having a magnetic pull which is hard to resist. Banter flowed and as the afternoon wore on bites eased, probably due to the heat as much as anything. Calling it a day at 17.00pm by lines up six species had been caught, bream, hybrids, roach, dace, trout, and smolts, what a prolific river the Barrow is. Graham and Keith’s bream haul bottomed out at 60 lbs. which was fantastic, while Gary and I had 6 bream between us with Gary catching the largest at 5 lb. 12 oz. It was a wonderful day made all the more by meeting with and sharing in the boys dream catch. Why do I fish…?
An Angler’s world