Big Roach, rudd and crucian carp bonus on the bread punch at Allsmoor

January 30, 2024 at 3:03 pm

A sudden change plan left me with a few hours spare for an afternoon fishing on my doorstep at Allsmoor Pond this week, but unlike most days this year so far, the sky remained blue after a frosty start, although a strong icy wind from the north west would mean that only a couple of swims would be fishable. Walking to Allsmoor from home was a head down affair against the gusting blast and I hoped that no-one else would be crazy enough to fish today, six degrees Centigrade had been forecast, but so had a minus two wind chill!

It was obvious from the state of the paths, that the pond had been over the banks in recent days, but it was free of ice, while more importantly the high bank behind me, and the wood to my left was was giving me cover from the wind, although twigs continued to rain down on me all afternoon. As I had guessed, there were no other anglers prepared to take a chance today, even dog walkers were few and far between.

In my corner at 1 pm, it was quite cosy as I mxed up half a tray of  groundbait, putting three balls in a line 8 metres out, a metre apart. In summer a lily bed takes up half this swim and my aim was to fish along the edge of the died back bed and out into the open water. Fifteen years ago, there had been a small weir under my feet, where the water from the brook fed out into a culvert, but now this end was silted up, while at the far end, silt had encouraged the growth of bull rushes, that were slowly creating two ponds. Unfortunately, the maintenance of this pond was handed over to the local council by the EA, and like many UK councils, there is no money in the kitty for such projects.

The official purpose of this session was to test the setup of my new 16 – 20 pole elastic, but first I needed bites and I was beginning to think that size 16 barbless hook to 3 lb line under a 4 x 16 antenna  float was too heavy. After several minutes a bite developed, then stopped. Induce a bite? The float was moved slightly to the left against the drift. It dived and the first of several three ounce rudd was tumbling across the surface.

The hook was just in the top of the lip, a sign that the rudd was just pushing the 6 mm punch pellet around, moving the bait had forced a snatch and grab. The rudd and water were ice cold, but at least they were showing interest. I put in another small ball and cast over it, the float vanishing immediately and the elastic stretching out as a better fish erupted onto the surface. The pond is only 30 inches deep and the only instict for the fish is to run. The elastic was working well and a quality roach was soon on its side sliding into the landing net.

What a beaut.

This roach had obviously been awoken by the strawberry flavoured liquidised bread and ground hemp balls of feed, inducing the bites not necessary now, as all the bites were unmissable slide-aways.

Rudd were now taking freely, pristine quality fish taking the 7 mm punched bread. The elastic had been pulled down inside the pole and I tightened it up by one turn on the winder. A larger rudd was soon testing the new elastic setting, absorbing the shock of another snatch and grab take.

I continued to feed small balls of feed into the area and my keepnet was steadily filling.

Pinprick bubbles were appearing on the surface, a sure sign that crucian carp were now feeding on the groundbait. I added another three inches to the depth, but began dredging up small twigs and branches, although one snag made off across the pond. A hard fighting crucian!

The sun had gone below the trees and I have found that these crucians tend to avoid bright sunshine and so it was this afternoon, with only a few rudd now being taken, as the crucians took over.

This pale crucian buried itself in the old lily bed to my left and would not move, so I eased off the pressure and waited several minutes, until the line began to move off. After a firm pull, the crucian was off running again, dragging a branch behind it, that had tangled in the hook link. The size 16 barbless hook held on long enough for the landing net to do its job, before coming free.

These crucians give a very delicate bite, but go off like a train when hooked, then tumble and dive to the net. The light was now going and the cold creeping in and I was in the “just one more” mode.

That’ll do. I packed up.

Over 6 lb in under two hours.