Follow the bream for predator action

Matt Rand

1st November 2014

Shimano’s Media Producer Matt Rand has had a couple of successful sessions targeting predators recently, with a cracking brace of pike and zander included. Targeting a Fenland river, Matt spent the evening before his first session walking it looking for signs of bream and it wasn’t long before he found them.

Matt takes up the story…

“I’ve been fishing the Fens for years now and if there is one thing I have learnt it’s not to expect a certain area to remain a hotspot for any species. Without a doubt there is a serious connection between bream and pretty much every other species I target so they are always the fish I try to locate.

On my first session this year I decided to take a walk with the dogs and a bucket of groundbait. With the polaroids on I slowly walked a long the overgrown banks of a local river until I saw what I was looking for… At first a larger fish breaking the surface was spotted further downstream and as I approached the area the water in front of me appeared a lot more coloured. As I sat back on the bucket small pin-prick bubbles could be seen amongst the ripple – the bream had been located!

As I was returning at first light the next morning, I introduced all of the groundbait in order to stop the bream moving away. I took note of exactly where I was and returned the following day. I waited until I could only just see my floats and then cast 3 rods baited with small roach deadbaits right into the thick of the bream shoal.


The rods hadn’t been out for 5-minutes when the first one was away with a big double figure pike. As I was admiring my first predator of the season in the net I noticed another float sailing away. This turned out to be a zander shy of double figures! At the exact same moment of netting that fish I looked to my other float almost expecting to it to be gone and it was slowly moving away from the margins. This turned out to be another decent double figure pike.

Luckily a mate was on hand to help net and photograph these fish for me. It certainly showed how 3-rods can sometimes be seriously hard work when the fish go on the munch!


I returned a few days later to find the bream about 500-yards away, but the predators were still surrounding them. This time my short 2-hour session produced a couple of jacks as well as another big double. It certainly went to show that if you find the bream the predators were never far away!”

Rather than fish heavy braided lines for this session, Matt opted to fish Shimano Tribal Carp in 15lb as zander were also on his hit list. He teamed this up with a 2.75lb Tribal Velocity carp rod and 8000 X-Aero Baitrunner reels.