Waggler and maggot top pole and bread punch at Braybrooke needlematch

March 7, 2017 at 8:17 pm

An invite to join an ex team mate and match fishing rival John, for a pleasure fishing session at Jeanes pond in Braybrooke park, seemed like a good way to catch up, while catching a few fish. John usually arrives at about 10 am after a leisurely breakfast and I aimed to get there about then, but the tone of the day was set with a phone call at 8:45 to say that he was already at the pond. Gathering up liquidised bread from the freezer, with a slice of white for the hook, I mentioned to my wife that John was obviously very keen, being more competitive than me. ” I find that very hard to believe” she quipped.

I soon found out what sort of a session it was going to be, when I arrived to find him sitting rod in hand, waiting for the off. He was ready to dual, deciding to fish out toward the middle with maggot feed over a running line waggler rig, knowing that I would be trusting my day to the pole and bread punch.

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Overnight rain had passed through, revealing spring sunshine, although a sharp breeze was ruffling the surface. This was my third visit to the pond and chose to fish peg 5, which juts out into the water. Plumbing the depth, I found that the swim dropped away very steeply, being 6 ft deep at only 4 metres, and even deeper at 6 metres, leaving little line left between my float and the pole tip. Electing to fish up on the slope with the pole at 4 metres, John was swinging in his first roach, as I fed a small ball of crumb close to my float. The ball of feed did it’s job attracting fish to the area and I too was soon swinging in a small roach, followed by a clonking roach soon after.

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This was a welcome fish, as the majority were much smaller and I began counting them in. John was on 5 and I was on 15, but his were better fish. Going up from a 5 mm punch to a 6 mm just seemed to mean more missed bites and not bigger fish, so I switched back, the smaller punch proving a point with a nice rudd.

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I was still getting plenty of small roach, while my better fish seemed to equal John’s better fish at his lower catch rate.

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I was still ahead by more than twenty fish, when a trial cast with two more pole joints and an increase in depth, brought this rather scabby rudd, that was missing it’s top lip, evidence of rough handling and barbed hooks.

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More small roach followed and missed bites brought me back to the 4 metre line, where again  I was rewarded with a good roach.

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John hooked a pike, that snagged him close to the bank, then bit through the hookline. My score was climbing and I could tell that he was getting rattled, as I counted off the fish. With a hooklink to tie, he was even considering switching to the pole, but time and bait had been invested in the waggler line, so he soldiered on, soon hooking a big rudd, which I came round to net for him.

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That cheered him up, this fish cancelling out several of mine, although I countered with another good rudd.

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With the pike gone, John’s swim continued to build, with much better fish coming to his net, while mine were getting smaller. Time for a change back to the 6 metre line, dropping the float among two balls of crumb. All day the bites had been fussy, with a few dropped fish, most just hanging onto the skin of the lip The next bite said small roach to me, but the elastic came out and the fish stayed down, the dull flash of a good rudd, willing it to stay on.

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We had agreed to finish at 2 pm and the words from John “That’s it, all in” then “Fish on” made my heart sink, as too late I had switched to the deeper line and found better fish, my last, a 4 oz roach, being No 80 in my net.

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John came round to my swim, while I pulled the keepnet out, the sound of a good bag greeting him. On the scales my fish went just over 8 lb, not bad for four hours, the eighty fish averaging under 2 oz each.

We then walked back to John’s, where the sight of many fewer, but much better quality silver fish said it was going to be close. John’s expert arm lifted the net, and he grinned. “I think I’ve done you Kenny” He had too, by about 12 oz, the scales settling at 9 lb.

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It was a fair cop. Two opposite methods had put good bags on the scales, it could have gone either way, the real winners being the members of this prolific water.

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John with his winning smile and impressive net of quality roach and rudd.