I would like to say before going onto the main topic of this blog that my impromptu mid week session at a tranquil and deserted commercial fishery after a big sarge was a sobering experience!
About an hour into the fishing on this immaculate pool that is reputed to hold some staggering perch, I hooked and played a good fish which from the one glimpse I got of it, was somewhere in the big category. Just as I got to the 'grab the net' point in the fight, it made a twist which sent my hook and float flying out the water like a missile from a submarine and made me feel rather sick.
So, onto the main topic of this tale. I continued chasing after another giant perch from the same swim even though what was supposed to be a hazy spring day soon became a bright sunny one.
With the horrible thought that my one chance was wasted ringing in my head I persevered. When my float bobbed again just like a perch, then slipped off, I thought my luck was again in. This turned out to be a small skimmer, which was followed by another, then another, then another. It would seem my chopped worm had today not attracted carp but a shoal of slimy immature bream. The next one I caught seemed different to the rest for some reason, so rather than tossing it back I took a closer look.
Bigger than normal eyes and peachy pectoral fins. Could it be...?
Did this pool contain an unknown population of silver bream? When the bailiff came round for his money I asked all the right questions and confirmed that yes, they stocked some silver bream as well as bronze bream. I did check that we were on the same page, and he again confirmed that he meant silver bream not skimmer bream.
But rather than get myself all het up thinking I had just landed a silver bar of rocking horse doo dee, I took some suitable photos weighed it at 10oz and let it go. Then caught another of 1.10 oz and nearly pissed my pants.
It was hard not to get excited about a possible 55% of the record fish. But again I took the close up shots and released it.
The rest of the session passed without a any more possible silver bream and without anymore big perch encounters. I did however catch several smallish perch and noticed some of the male fish exuding milt all over my hands, meaning that they must be just about to spawn which will scupper the perch fishing soon. Also I was amazed at how small of a size perch seem to be able to breed at. One of the milting fish was under an ounce, which did seem rather odd.
The next step was to get the possible silver bream checked out by the man who knows. Some call him the man from Del Monte, others call him Gongoozler extraordinaire. I call him Jeff Hatt off of idlersquest
Yes folks, you can always trust a man who wears a carrier bag on his head and points at trees.
So the morning after I sent Jeff a full picture of each fish and a head shot as well and awaited his experienced verdict. For my own part I had gone back to the pictures repeatedly since taking them and once on my computer I had myself compared them to previous captures documented on line and had myself sown the seeds of doubt. Truthfully to me they looked like nether silver bream or skimmer bream.
The man from Del Montes email confirmed my already growing suspicions. They were not silver bream but some form of bastard hybrid of god only knows what.
The lake in question does contain roach, rudd, bream, supposedly silver bream as well as all possible connotations of hybrids within those true species. This is were the problem lies. Not only are we talking about telling the difference of a silver bream from a skimmer bream but also the possibly that it could be a hybrid of two thorough bred parents or even possibly the product of twenty years of cross breeding and contamination of gene pools. So I reckon trying to catch a pure fish from this pool would be an absolute waste of time.
Although I kind of knew in my heart they did not seem quite right I was still a little disappointed by the verdict. It would have been very nice to bag a PB silver bream twice in one session, but on the other hand I am happy I offered it up for confirmation, as I at least know for sure they were not silver bream rather than living with my own doubts should I have not.