Bread punch carp and crucians promise on winter pond

December 22, 2018 at 2:21 pm

Having suffered his third blank fishing session in a row on Monday, my friend Peter was keen to break his duck before the Christmas break. I suggested the pond ten minutes walk from my home, where I promised that it was impossible to not catch a fish, be it a crucian, or common carp, let alone a few dozen rudd.

We arrived in bright sunshine and set up, Peter with running line and waggler, while I got out my carp pole with a small 2 BB waggler, ready to fish the bread punch over damp, coarse bread crumb mixed with ground carp pellets. I squeezed up four balls and put them out in a square pattern 6 & 7 metres out, while getting ready to fish. Peter fed out a bed of pellets and fished over the top with maggot, then immediately began swinging in tiny rudd, after tiny rudd, happy to be catching fish at last, but I reminded him that he would soon get fed up with catching them. Which he did.

I too was having rudd trouble, but my 6 mm bread pellet seemed to be getting better sized rudd and going up to a 7 mm punch gave the larger fish a chance to take the bait.

The sunshine soon was masked by dark scudding clouds and the temperature dropped suddenly with the first shower of the morning, the fresh wind directly in my face making casting of the lightweight waggler difficult. The rudd did not mind and the float kept sinking, the elastic coming out with my first crucian.

Peter had tired of the tiny maggot caught rudd and switched to pellet on the hook. More rudd, although a couple of four inch crucians also managed to find the hook. My heavy elastic came out again, as a small common carp made a run for it, stirring up mud on the way to the landing net.

As I recast, Peter let out a call and I looked over to see his rod bending into a good fish, that ran round in front of him, then came off. This pond has been heavily poached for food fish this year and rod benders are in short supply, so I was as sorry as him to see it throw the hook. More rudd for me, then solid resistance as the elastic reached down into the pond, with a decent crucian pounding away, arcing round before popping up to the surface at my net.

Crucian carp like this were one a chuck here once, but today I was grateful for small mercies. Missing also were the tench that have been growing bigger every year, a rare lone gudgeon no compensation.

Peter was into another good fish, a pound plus common carp that fought hard against the rod, this time the size 14 hook staying put to the landing net.

At last Peter was happy, I had kept my promise of fish to break his blank period and this was the best of the day for both of us.

As if in answer to Peter’s carp, my elastic was out again with a larger crucian than the last, that doggedly stood its ground, rolling and diving all the way to the net.

A slow submerge of my yellow tipped waggler, was met by a firm lift of the pole and a run that took the elastic out toward Peter’s bank, as another common stormed off, then turned to my left against the pressure. Breaking down the pole to 4 metres I guided the rolling carp to my net.

I was amazed, when I saw how small this common carp was, its fight as strong as a fish twice the size.

Brief showers continued to sweep across the pond, Peter’s umbrella going up and down like a yoyo, while I sat through them without waterproofs, having believed the weather reports of a dry day. Each time I reached for my waxed jacket, the rain stopped.

I balled in the last of my groundbait to keep the bites coming, although rudd seemed to be the culprits pulling down the float, you never know what will turn up in this pond. A more solid strike brought a silvery fish to the surface, not another rudd, but an ornamental ghost carp.

This little carp looked like it was wearing dark rimmed glasses, a black V stretching back across the nose to encircle the eyes.

The rain began again, the sky an opaque grey to the horizon. This time I put on my jacket, while Peter called over to say that he was packing up. I agreed, there was no sign of a let up, our hands were already frozen, why add to the misery, when a hot cup of tea was waiting at my house a few hundred yards up the hill?

This cut down Billy Makin Canal Grey has served me well over the years.

Not the haul that I was hoping for from this once prolific pond, but a satisfying result on a cold wet morning.