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One of the first signs of summer on the U.K. fishing scene is the much-anticipated arrival of the bream. The inshore reefs can be devoid of fish over the spring, but then with one tide a few bream start to show and over the next few days they arrive in numbers.

The early fish seem to be the biggest, after a few weeks the reefs can be overrun with juveniles who act like piranhas, stripping baits so timing those first sessions to get the best sport is essential.

I’d been keeping an eye on the fishing reports and having regular updates from local contacts for the last few weeks, but all the information was that a few bream had being caught offshore, but that they hadn’t arrived on the reefs yet. This was certainly later than expected, but then the weather has been unusually cold and sea temperatures were still low. However last week saw a weather forecast that couldn’t be ignored – winds of 3mph as temperatures into the twenties. On that forecast I had to go fishing.

After a few messages it looked like half a dozen of us would be at the venue to take full advantage of the conditions. Launching onto a flat sea I headed out to those who were already fishing to see how they had got on – unfortunately the reports weren’t good.

Based on that I decided to head to deeper water to try for rays. A couple of hours resulted in two beautiful spotted rays as well as a dozen inevitable dogfish. At this point a fellow kayak angler came over the radio to day he was catching bream on the reef. Immediately I saw everyone up anchor and head in that direction and soon enough six of us were anchored over a small area.

Squid strips were dropped down on small hooks and the waiting game began. Wayne was soon into fish, followed by Roy but where were mine ? I decided to reposition and out went the baits again immediately to be found by the fish. My first bream of the year was onboard, a nice male of around 2lb. This was quickly despatched ready for dinner. For the next couple of hours the bites were constant and a steady stream of hard fighting fish came to the yak. The best was a cracker of 3lb 4oz.

These fish are in the area to spawn so the majority are returned, with just three males kept for the table.

After a few hours the bait was running low and it was time to call it a day.

It had been a glorious day afloat, the weather was fantastic, the company entertaining and the bream had finally arrived.

Summer is officially here.