With 16th June fast approaching George and I can’t wait to get down on the River Lark at Prickwillow and get into some great bream and tench action. The countdown has started, but first we have to clear two swims on this wonderful river; so armed with strimmer, shears and weed rake, off we go to the river. As with all rivers these days the bank side vegetation is like a jungle at the start of the season with nettles and reeds up to your shoulders. Once we reach the water, which can take up to a couple of hours, in go the rakes and we start cutting, just clearing the blanket weed on the bottom.
You need to leave the marginal lilies to give you cover. That’s done, so now we can plan our trip. With three day to go the pre-baiting begins; each evening we go off with ten balls each; a mix of fish meal, pellets, sweet corn and brown crumb - a total of thirty balls in each swim. You may think this is a lot but you need plenty of bait down to keep the big Lark bream shoals in one place. The day comes, the cars are loaded and the alarms set for 2am. Ring ring up we get, and after a good hearty breakfast we set off. We reach the Lark just as the sun is rising and the wild life is beginning to stir and creep up over the bank, the swims are bubbling away, the fish are there and we know it's going to be a good morning. We tackle up. It's 7ft deep here and we set up our waggler rods with 4lb line, a size 14 hook and a 3AAA waggler to fish the lift method with 2AAA 12inches from the hook and two number 8 droppers. You need to fish this over depth with the 2AAA touching the bottom so that with any upward movement on the shot the float will lift. We never let the float sail away because this helps to prevent deep hooking the Bream. With the hook baited with red worm and corn in goes the float and settles. Now we wait. There are bubbles everywhere then suddenly the float lifts: strike yes; Bream on and the first of the Larks big Bream comes to the net. Now we are both into the Bream, Bream after Bream follow, and with the sun rising the Bream still keep on coming. Suddenly the line screams off, but this is not a Bream, and after a good battle a big Lark Tench slides into the landing net. It looks all of 7lbs and is 6lb 12oz on the scales. With the sun now high in the sky the action slows so its time for me to go to see what George has caught; he has done me again - not only has he got more Bream he's also got three lovely Tench. You old so-n-so you kept that quiet. Now for the weigh in, George first - 16 Bream and 3 sneaky Tench for a total of 68lb; now it’s my turn: 12 Bream and 1Tench for a total of 51lb. What a start to the season. We planned our next fishing trip over lunch on the way home; let’s hope it's as good as this one.

Ian Choppie Asplen