Bread punch finds carp, crucians, rudd and big gudgeon at Allsmoor

November 20, 2021 at 5:12 pm

With my wife driving into town for an afternoon’s shopping, I scrounged a ride with her down to my nearest pond for a few hours fishing. I walked round to a swim with the remains of a lilly bed, that has been killed off by recent frosts, but could still hold a few decent fish. A typical dull autumn afternoon, it began to drizzle with rain as I set up.

Very shallow close in, the depth increases gradually to about 30 inches at the edge of the lilies and I started off by feeding two balls of liquidised bread, mixed with ground carp pellets, out to the edge. My usual rig for this pond is a small waggler, with a No 4 shot down the line to a size 14 hook, which can be fed out and cast underhand from the extended pole. Bait was a 6 mm punch of bread.

Casting into the fed area, the float tracked away as a half decent rudd took the bread on the drop.

My next cast produced an even better rudd, that dived back into the cover of  the lillies, before being pulled clear with the pole.

They got bigger, this golden rudd an example of the fish that tend to show once the water cools down.

I settled down into a rhythm with rudd after rudd sinking the float, but as the drizzle died down, a breeze started up from the west, blowing leaves onto the pond. This brought two problems, where to place the float between the leaves each cast and leaves drifting into the float once it was cast in. I could usually hook a couple of fish from a gap, before aiming for another and starting all over. Quality rudd were still in the swim and I wasn’t complaining.

Monster gudgeon had moved in on the feed and were outnumbering the rudd three to one.

Having been double jabbed the day before, Covid Booster in my left and Flu jab in my right, both arms were beginning to ache with the constant lifting and feeding of the 9.5 metres of pole onto the grass behind me, unshipping the top two sections, then leaning forward to net most of the rudd.

This pond is full of fish and the bread punch tends to find the better ones, even the smaller ones gave a good account of themselves.

I began to miss a few bites and went down on punch size to a 5 mm, hitting into a solid little crucian, that ran into the lily bed, doing me a favour, when it managed to shear off a few of the old lilies, giving me more space to cast to.

I had been getting big gudgeon regularly, the one below being the biggest.

The 5 mm punch had improved the bites and another hefty rudd came to the landing net. Most of these seem to be minus their top lip. Genetics, or poor handling by anglers?

By 3 pm the light was beginning to fade and my camera had not captured the full colour of the crucian below.

Two more crucians failed to photograph, while the camera flash dazzled the images. I decided to pack up at 3:30, but at 3;20 a slow sinking bite saw the elastic extend, as a plump common carp went off with the tiny 5 mm punch of bread. It was so plump that I thought that I had hooked a big crucian. Keeping the carp away from the lilies, the carp was soon out of danger and I broke the pole down to the top two sections, which proved interesting, when it fought round to the side of my keep net, but I got it back to the left side and the landing net. A beautifully conditioned common carp of 3 lb, although the camera again failed to do it justice, with glare from the flash reflecting back from the golden scales.

That was it. I called it a day. There seemed little point in continuing once this fat common was in the net.

The punch had worked well and only wish that I had swapped to the smaller 5 mm punch earlier.

It had been a busy four hours, ending with a bonus carp. The smaller punch may have brought more hard fighting crucians, but if fishing was predictable it would be boring, wouldn’t it?