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Silver bream

It's easy to confuse the silver bream (Blicca bjoerkna) as a silvery juvenile of the bream. It can, however, be easily identified by its lack of slime - something which the common bream is well known for.

Silver Bream, courtesy of Jack Perks
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Silver bream are not overly common in our canals, so local knowledge and location are key.
Carl Nicholls, fisheries & angling manager

Appearance: the eyes of a silver bream are distinctively large in comparison to its head. It also has reddish pectoral fins with grey tips.

The silver bream is moderately deep bodied with a high dorsal fin. Although silvery in colour, its back is darker with a light brown to grey brown colouration. They are generally much smaller than their common bream counterparts and are usually found in small shallow lakes, very slow rivers and canals. Silver bream tend to feed more in mid-water than on the bottom.

British record: 3lb 4oz (British Record Fish Committee January 2015)

Lateral line scale count: 43-48 (this is the dark row of scales along the central length of the fish's body)

Lifespan: 10 years

We like silver bream because: they aren't normally shy feeders and mix well with other species found in the canal.

How to catch a silver bream

Silver bream are not overly common in our canals and local knowledge and location is key. Due to their very similar appearance to the juvenile common bream, they are often caught without the angler realising.

Tackle needs to be suitable for catching small fish, such as roach. Fine lines, small hooks and small baits are needed. Silver bream don't tend to be shy feeders and mix happily with the usual species of coarse fish found in canals.

Where to catch a silver bream

Identification is key. You may have already caught one and mistaken it for a common bream. Silver bream are happy in the turbid waters of boated canals and can be found on the North Oxford Canal and Coventry Canal around Hawksbury Junction.


Find a place to fish

Enter a town or postcode into our fishery search tool to find good local fishing spots

Last Edited: 24 December 2020

photo of a location on the canals
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