Bread punch crucians and rudd defy the cold at Allsmoor

November 28, 2020 at 4:02 pm

A sudden cold snap had covered my garden bird bath with ice this week, but by lunchtime weak sunshine was filtering through the trees, as I set up my pole to fish Allsmoor pond close to my home. There was no surface movement of fish and the outlook seemed bleak, two other anglers confirming that they had not had a bite between them. I was pleased to see that someone had removed the Tesco trolley from the shallows in this swim and that the lilies had almost died back. Although a natural holding area for carp, the lily bed offers an instant escape route for the better fish in summer.

Setting up with my usual 3 No 4 short waggler rig, I was more concerned with the leaves coating the surface, than worries about getting a bite, the punch always produces fish at Allsmoor. Mixing up a near wet mix of liquidised bread and ground carp pellets with a dusting of 2 mm krill pellets, I was hoping for a few carp and crucians among the inevitable rudd.

Four decent balls of feed between eight and nine metres were just on the edge of the deeper water, spreading out to provide a wide area into which I could place the float with its size 16 barbless hook and 6 mm punch of bread. Leaves were still falling and being blown round from the east end of the pond, requiring accurate casting into the gaps, the lightweight rig often snagging up on sunken leaves.

Bites were instant, as rudd crowded in over the feed and I was soon working overtime hooking and stripping back the willing red fins.

After twenty minutes, the elastic made a brief appearance from the tip of the pole as a small common carp made a rush for the decaying lilies, but was dragged back to my landing net instead.

Almost as round as it was long, this mini carp packed a powerful punch on a cold day.

A few more rudd, then the elastic was out again as a crucian searched out the bottom for a snag. The hook can be seen barely holding in the skin of crucian’s top lip.

It was then back to bashing through the rudd, some nice ones among them.

The sun had long gone and a chill breeze was sweeping across the surface from the east, moving the leaves about and causing me to warm up with tea and a sandwich, while I put on my jacket to keep the cold from my bones. It was still only 2:30, but the temperature was dropping fast.

Some clonking gudgeon had now moved in, giving carp like bites, that dipped and the float, then slowly sank away, each bite getting me ready for something bigger.

These crucians played around with the bread for up to ten minutes before moving off and I dropped two or three being too enthusiastic and impatient in equal doses, bringing them to the surface, then watching them swim away off the hook.

Finding time for my last sandwich and a cup of tea had to be fitted in, the float constantly going under.

The light was going and I was having trouble seeing the float among the leaves and made the rudd below my last fish.

It had been a busy afternoon, but despite thermals and the fish catching work out, I was now chilled to the bone and ready for home, followed by a hot shower.


2 lb an hour on a late autumn afternoon.