Jeanes Pond tench tackle test

June 7, 2024 at 10:47 pm

Following a successful visit to my local Jeanes Pond last week, I needed a repair session on my tackle before I went out again. Losing a 3 lb tench at the net had resulted in the elastic of my pole catapulting the float rig high into a tree behind me. An attempt to free the rig had seen the elastic snap at the Stonfo connector between the pole and float rig, sending the elastic back inside the pole.

This meant two jobs to be done, rethread the elastic down inside the pole from the PETFE bush at the tip, to the bung winder in the base of the second top pole section, then tying a new Stonfo line connector to the elastic at the tip. To get the elastic down inside the pole, I have a fine 1 mm dia soldering rod, to which I Super Glue one end of the elastic, laid on in parallel to the rod. Allowed ten minutes to set, the soldering rod is fed down through the PTFE bush, then a quick swish of the top section fires the rod and elastic through. The securing cover of the Stonfo should be threaded on first. Next the Stonfo connector is tied in tight with a double hitch knot. I leave a small tail of the elastic to protrude, once the cover is clicked in place for extra security, when playing a big fish.

With the float lost, I had to prepare a replacement float rig. Fortunately I had a spare 2 gram antenna float in my stock of floats. This was the most straight forward task. A 10 foot length of 5 lb line, was the base, which was passed through the top eye of the pole float, then through a fine 10 mm long piece of hollow neoprene. I have a large magnifier on a flexible stalk, which aids these fine jobs. The neoprene with the line, was then slid onto the fine carbon stem of the float. Pulling 150 mm of line through, allowed me to fit the weights to the line. To try the shotting of the float, I have a clear 2 litre Coke bottle filled with water to the neck, lowering the float in allows a clear view of the flotation point, in this case I prefer to leave the antenna 25 mm above the surface. Last of all two loops are tied in at either end of the line, the lower taking a loop to loop fixing of the hook link and the top to the stonfo clip.

With the pole and float ready for action, couldn’t wait to try them out and drove down to Braybrook Recreation Ground, where Jeanes Pond is and walked round to peg 5, which was vacant. By 3 pm I was ready to fish, making up some groundbait and putting in about ten baitdroppers full, 4 – 5 metres out, setting the depth for the bread punch bait to lie on the bottom.

Fine bubbles were soon rising across the fed area and I began catching small roach, despite using an 8.5 bread punch on a size 14 hook, some roach so small that that they were not hooked at all, just hanging onto the bread and falling off.

An hour into the session, bursts of larger bubbles began moving toward my float, the disturbance rocking the antenna before it slowly sank out of sight. I lifted into solid resistance and the elastic began stretching away from the pole. This would be a good test of my preparation a few hours before. I quickly added two lengths of pole as the fish made a bee line for a bush to my left, pulling the pole to the right it brushed the branches of a tree, that I had not been aware of until that moment. The fish turned and ran out toward the middle, while I kept the pole facing skyward. The Stonfo connector became visible, then the float, then the black, green back of a decent tench. Not for long though, it was away again. I was collecting an audience. Two young children, then Mum and Dad. A dog walker and a pair of school age sweethearts hand in hand. I could not relax, this was a very lively tench, almost netted twice, it zoomed off each time. On the third pass it was in the landing net.

The size 14 barbless was in the outside of the top lip and just lifted out, I was lucky to keep it on. At 17 inches long, this female weighed in at 3 lb 12oz. I think I can safely say that my tackle has been tested to the full. A similar bite ten minutes later turned out to be a 2 oz roach. I continued fishing until 5 pm. The wind had got up, the temperature had dropped and it looked like rain. More tench would have been nice, but I had proved the tackle.

Below are the roach and rudd that managed to get the 8.5 mm punched bread in their mouths.

Big surprises at Jeanes Pond

June 3, 2024 at 11:43 pm

The one month close season ended at Braybrook’s Jeanes Pond this week and I went down to try my luck. Since April the bankside vegitation has burst into life and the swim options were limited, although arriving at 10 am, I was the only angler present and walked round to “Lucky” peg 13 and set up my pole after mixing up a strawberry flavoured ground bait. Using a baitdropper, half a dozen fills, were deposited close to my side of the lily bed, this also giving me a good idea of the depth.

Hoping for a tench, or two, and wanting to avoid the tiny silver fish, that plague the pond, I selected an 8.5 mm bread punch, folding it over the size 14 barbless hook for extra security. Casting in the 2 gram float, with the weight bulked to within a foot of the hook, the bread sank quickly and a positive bite saw a rudd sliding toward the net.

With another rudd in the net, the float slowly sank away and the elastic was stretching away toward the middle. At this point I realised, that I had left my heavy pole in the van, this elastic had too much give and I had to keep the pole at 7 metres in an attempt exert enough pressure to control, what was a fish larger than expected today. It was like a tennis match out there, with the carp running hard to the left toward the roots of a bush, then turning and running for the lily pads. Back and forth, until the float came in sight, then the broad back of a carp, as it rolled on the surface, before making another run. At last it turned toward the landing net and it was lifted clear of the water. The size 14 barbless hook was just in the top lip, pushed out with a disgorger. A quick photo then weighed in the net at just over 6 lb and it was returned. My biggest Jeanes carp.

Time for a quick cupper, then I cast in again. I couldn’t believe it, I was into another whopper. A powerful run toward the middle stripped out elastic again, but this time the unseen fish decided to stop and fight, looping and diving against the taught elastic. I guessed that it was a big tench, playing it for several minutes, before it’s black green back broached on the surface. Once more a few ends of tennis were played out, before I was staring down into the landing net at a fat female tench. Once again the hook was in the skin of the top lip and detached itself in the net. Weighing in at 5 lb 4oz and 18 inches long, it was another Jeanes PB.

My next bite was so quick that I could barely lift the pole against the pull of the elastic disappearing across the pond. I thought that this running carp was going to wrap around the electric pond aerator, but it veered away, coming back in an arc, running just below the surface creating a bow wave. This is a known fish in the pond, a big white koy carp. It suddenly began zigzagging toward me at speed and I raised the pole to full height to stay in contact. It turned left heading for the pads. I forced the pole in the opposite direction. The pole bent with the strain and the hooklink parted. A trail of bubbles tracked through the lily bed. I had only been fishing for half a hour. Phew!

I filled the baitdropper a few more times and lowered the bread punch into the baited area. A slow dithering bite followed by a steady sink and I was ready for another battle, but the rattling fight produced a nice roach, which was soon netted.

After that anticlimax, I was in again, a powerful fish again, another tench, which was soon rolling on the surface in front of me. I hauled back on the pole and it sped toward the landing net. I don’t know exactly what happened next. Disaster no 1. The tench was in the net, but as I lifted the hook flew out, being cattapulted high into a tree behind me. Without the tension of the elastic, the landing net dropped back with the weight of a 3 lb tench into the water and the fish swam free. Disaster no 2. I could not see the float and pulled the elastic with my jacket wrapped around my arm. An angling friend had recently had his float ping back from a bush and had the float enter his thumb, causing painful bruising. The elastic snapped, the loose end flying back inside the pole, while the float was still high in the tree. The pole was now out of action and I did not have a relacement float made up with me. I began to pack up.

A couple had been watching me playing my fish and now walked around for a chat. I explained what had happened and asked them if they could watch my tackle, while I walked back to the van for my spare pole. They agreed and I set off back to the carpark. My problem also was that I had no replacement heavy float. Searching through my made up rigs, I found a 2 gram Bolo float. It had a size 14 barbless hook, bulked shot and an antenna, a bit thick, but it would have to do. A heavy river float for fishing deep water, it was not ideal, but with an additional No 4 shot close to the hook, it worked a treat.

The sun had come out and the tench and carp had faded away, but the roach and rudd were still feeding. Out in front of me, I fed the last of my ground bait, where I found free biting silvers, although they were very adept at bait removeal. Without a fine antenna, bites were either off, or on, but my keepnet was slowly filling with roach.

The local school had now turned out for the day and it was time to go. Using an 8.5 mm bread punch had kept the very small fish at bay. Having to go back to the van for my other pole has cost an hour of fishing time, when tench and carp were feeding in my swim. Oh well, better luck next time.


I had been kept busy all afternoon by better sized roach and rudd, although the pond is not a patch on its past glories. What happens to those fish? Surely the cormorants and pike haven’t eaten them all?