Braybrooke Jeanes Pond fishing worth a soaking

September 13, 2017 at 4:02 pm

With my wife planning a visit to the recently revamped town centre for the afternoon, I had a few hours available for an impromptu visit to a local pond set in a wooded hollow amid a busy council run park. The forecast was for stormy conditions later in the day, but arriving in the car park at 1 pm, the sun was shining with just the occasional fluffy white cloud drifting by. No need for waterproofs and by the time I’d reached my chosen swim, I was stripping off my hooded jacket.

This peg was new to me, but I have seen others catch nets of quality roach and rudd from here and set up my pole to plumb the depth, a shallow margin dropping away to a hole 4 ft deep close to the edge of the lily bed. My last visit had been in early July for a Grenfell Fire charity match and this had been the winning peg with 10 lb of roach and rudd after 5 hours, taken with hemp and caster.

My only bait came straight from the freezer, a white slice of Warburtons and a third of a loaf of liquidised bread for feed, which were still solid as I tackled up, crumbling the liquidised into my bait tray to mix with some ground trout pellets, before adding enough water for a light ball to be formed. I put in two egg sized balls to start, one at the edge of the shelf 3 metres out toward the lilies, the other at the centre of the hole another metre on.

With only three lengths of pole out, I cast onto the drop off and watched the float dip and sink away. A lift and the elastic bounced out with a hand size rudd, putting the landing net out for the first time.

In the seconds that it took to set the size 18 hook, the fish had swallowed the 5 mm bread pellet, a pattern that repeated itself for most of the afternoon. They love the bread. No fussing, the float goes straight down. Every half dozen fish I flicked in a pinch of feed, 2 to 3 ounce roach and rudd coming like clockwork with the odd bonus roach, or rudd.

Bubbles were now appearing on the surface 4 metres out, where I had been dropping in the occasional ball of feed and I added another length of pole, increasing the depth slightly.  The bait was taken on the drop, the float heading toward the lily bed as the elastic stretched out with a good rudd.

Shortly after this fish, the wind began to pick up and I could smell rain in the air, as black clouds swept in over the sky.

In minutes I was struggling to get my jacket back on, as a sudden rain shower hissed across the surface, the natural bowl around the pond creating a mini whirlwind that whipped up waves and bent the pole round. The float was out of sight for most of the time, often the movement of line from a taking fish the first indication of a bite.

I considered packing up, but then the sun would come out again. The fish were still feeding, aided by the sparing introduction of small tight balls of crumb close to the lily bed. Another squall of wind and rain forced it’s way through my cotton jacket and it was cold too, but the warming sun soon returned. The float had gone again, the line stretching out, followed by the elastic that curved away in an arc. This was a very good roach that fought all the way to the net, the size 18 hook dropping out as I lifted it out.

Minutes later I was playing another big roach that ran off with the bait hooking itself. My first thought was that a pike had taken a small roach and run off, making for open water, the initial pull had been so strong.

The rudd seemed to have gone, but quality roach kept coming to the net, until a bite saw the elastic extending back to the safety of the lilies. This was a much heavier fish, that fought doggedly before running for open water. My guess was confirmed, when a black tail broke the surface to reveal a tench. I had been trying for tench here all year, plenty of roach and rudd, but this was the first. Breaking the pole down to the top two for the net, it went again taking out the elastic, but it came back, wallowing into the landing net.

The rules of this club are separate nets for carp and tench and I frantically got my spare net out with one hand, while the other held onto the landing net, which had been lowered into the water. This little fiasco lasted 15 minutes taking precious fishing time, but I felt that where there is one tench, there will be others on the feed. This proved not to be the case, unless the roach were getting to the bread first, one of my last fish being possibly the best roach of the day.

I had promised to be home by 6 pm and at 5 I netted my final roach. I was down to my last quarter of punch bread and would need to mix some more crumb.

It was time to pull in my nets for a weigh in. The tench was 3 lb 8 oz and the silvers didn’t quite make 10 lb. I had chucked back a couple of dozen smaller roach, so I reckon 14 lb in under 4 hours fishing time is about right. This was a noted tench water once and another one would have topped an enjoyable afternoon. Total cost of fishing about 20 pence.