Baz Smith, as seen in our Where to Fish section - follow it every week.

THE brilliant Where to Fish This Weekend section in Angler’s Mail is the place to look every week for hotspots near you.

Here in a special online report we take you to Ireland with a man who knows the waters exceptionally well.

Baz Smith is the star – and appears at the front of our latest (January 17) mag at the start of the Where to Fish section. Watch out for a special interview with him in the mag soon.

Here we join Baz In County Fermagh, Northern Ireland. He’s at Muckross Bay on Lower Lough Erne, a large shallow bay on the north shore near Kesh.

  • Our thanks to Anglers World Holidays for this special feature. For more on their holidays in Ireland and elsewhere in the world, tel 01246 221717 or visit www.anglersworld.tv

COLD WEATHER BREAM FISHING IN IRELAND

Another bream comes to the net on Lough Erne, Northern Ireland.

BAZ SMITH has fished throughout Ireland for almost 50 years. Top UK match angler, Baz likes nothing better than to fish and he now spends his retirement living in County Fermanagh where he fishes most days from spring to late autumn. When he is not match fishing Baz  is pleasure fishing and testing locations for Anglers World Holidays.

Baz had prebaited a swim on the Lower Lough in Muckross Bay. The lough is about 22 miles long, with lots of reefs, islands and bays. It is noted for excellent coarse fishing. Big pike and brown trout are resident here too.

He knows this area exceptionally well and knew he had to cast about 40 yards to reach the drop-off, a depression about 20 feet deep where the bream and roach migrate into as temperatures cool.

Fishing a modified medium size feeder. with a lead plug in the base, Baz cast the distance with ease and to ensure perfect accuracy he used a line clip. At this time of year frequent casting into the same area is critical. Baz filled his feeder with red maggots and caster, plugged with groundbait.

After about 20 minutes he had a bite, then steadily caught roach to 10 oz. After a few liners Baz was confident the bream would feed, and they did, pushing the roach out of the “hotspot” area of feed. Baz had about 50 lb of mint condition bream to 5 lb in the next 2.5 hours.

With short hours of daylight and dropping temperatures the bream only feed for short periods. The overcast day and mild temperatures ensured the bream were prepared to feed in the clear water conditions.

Bream to 5 lb fed well to make a 50 lb catch in just two and half hours.

Loaded and ready to cast!

BAZ’S TOP BREAM TIPS

  • Prebait with a modest amount (not as much as in summer).
  • Accurate casting with frequency. Use a line clip.
  • Feed little and often by using a medium feeder and casting frequently.
  • Use a fairly dry ground bait mix.. such as Van den Eynde Superfeed. You want it to empt quickly upon reaching the bottom.

BAZ’S END TACKLE…

At the business end was a 4 ft hooklength of 0.15 mm  6 lb Preston Powerline mono. Main line is Force original green mono.

‘In winter with cooler temperatures I prefer mono as bites are slower and you need to give bream time to take it,’ said Baz.

‘One of the main reasons for using strong main line and hook length is to combat break offs on zebra mussels. These fish are not really line shy and for some reason the zebra mussels are less of a problem in winter – maybe they are less active.

‘In summer I step up to 0.18 mm diameter hook lengths and 7 lb main line,’ he added.

Baz's tip rod is a 12 ft 6 in Normark soft action feeder rod. Reel is a Shimano 4000.


Baz's bait tray. Most fish came to a size 12 hook baited with two redworms tipped with red maggot.

Note: In Northern Ireland a rod licence/permit is required but it’s well worth the money. Excellent access and good car parking make things easy.