winter baits/ methods


James Swinford

what are good baits for tench and bream and methods in winter for both lakes,rivers and canals

Alf James

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Apr 7, 2004
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You'll find it very difficult to catch any tench during the winter - they are really a summer fish. The odd one will show up on rivers when they are flooded and in some lakes and canals when we have a few days of mild weather. During winter I've had tench on pinkie, maggot and small pieces of worm but, as I say, they've all come along unexpectedly and I wouldn't set my stall out to catch them. It would be better to wait for for the spring. They usually start feeding again in early March if the weather is mild and the above mentioned baits are as good as any.

Bream are a much more likely proposition. Again, generally small baits such as pinkie, caster, maggot and small worms on small hooks, size 16 - 20. Bread punch also works well on the canals. Fish your baits two or three inches over depth when floatfishing and use a little bit of groundbait.

However, if the river is in flood you wont find a better bait for a big bream than a whole lobworm ledgered on a size 8 or 10 hook.

If you fish lakes where a lot of fishmeal groundbait and pellet is used (in the summer)you will often find that a small soft pellet can catch the bream in the winter.

Finally, the best fishing in winter is generally very late in the day. Often the last hour before it gets dark and after the sun has been on the water all day warming it up a degree or two. I've lost count of the number of times I've sat on the bank all day for a handful of fish only to bag-up in the last hour or so.

Good luck.