Bread punch beats the cold for rudd and carp

November 21, 2019 at 4:14 pm

The coldest night of the year so far had left the grass crunchy white, but by 11 am the low winter sun was out and warm on my back, as I took the 10 minute walk to a nearby pond for a few hours on the bread punch. Apart from ice in the margins, the rest of this shallow pond was clear and I walked round to the north west end, where the winter sun had a chance to warm the surface.

There was no surface movement, a sign that even the resident shoals of rudd were feeling the cold and I decided that a single ball of liquidised bread at 8 metres was enough to start. Dropping the waggler rig over the feed got no reaction after several minutes and I assumed that the 5 mm punched bread had fallen off the hook. Lifting out, the bait was still there and I tried again, more minutes passing, before a slight dip of the float indicated interest. When half the float tip sank, I lifted into a small rudd.

Putting the float back out over the feed, saw a speedier response and a better rudd swung to hand.

The rudd were waking up and I chanced another ball close to the first to create a bit of competition among the fish, putting the float in to the right of the second ball and to the left of the first, each time the float sinking away with another rudd. The elastic came out, when a good rudd made off with the float carp style, gradual submersion with the line following down a hole. The landing net had to come out for this one.

The condition of these fish was impressive, thick in the shoulder they fought all the way to the net.

Encouraged by the now free biting rudd, I put in another two balls of bread in the hope of attracting the local crucian and common carp population to feed, but after the first hour it had been rudd, rudd and more rudd, a lone quality roach breaking the trend.

This pond used to be balanced 50-50 between roach and rudd, but then with rudd like these, who is complaining? Not me.

My next fish was a gudgeon, a survivor from the brook that once flowed through this area, before the council covered the land with houses and culverted the stream underground, the pond used to balance the flow in times of flood.

The sun had now sunk behind the trees on the railway embankment, while the light and temperature were falling in unison, a chilling breeze ruffling the surface, blowing directly at me, making bite detection difficult and fishing uncomfortable. I had set my finishing time to 3 pm, but with five minutes to go, the float drifted beneath the waves and I struck into the solid resistance of a crucian carp.

This was followed by a small common carp that pulled out the elastic in a run worthy of a fish twice its size.

The reduced light seemed to have put down the rudd and brought on the carp, but it also encouraged more gudgeon to feed, getting them one a chuck, like fishing in a bucket.

I probably had about a dozen of these big gudgeon, before after a similar dithering bite, I hooked into another crucian.

The crucian bites were slow to develope, but worth the wait for these little battlers. Pin prick bubbles were now bursting in the swim as the feed was mopped up from the muddy bottom.

I had expected the crucians to come on sooner, but they were most welcome after my rudd bashing of earlier.

I did not see the bite of my last fish, only striking when I saw the line moving across the surface, a chunky common carp stirring up the mud in its efforts to escape.

I should have switched to flash on my camera, the result, a fuzzy picture, but it was time to go, not wishing to walk back in the dark.

This cut down canal waggler has served me well on this pond, as has the bread punch.

Never a dull moment left little time for drinking tea and eating sandwiches today, the scales showing close to 10 lbs for four hours work.