Bread punch finds tench, roach and rudd at Braybrooke

July 30, 2019 at 12:25 pm

Afternoon football practice was in full swing as I walked from the carpark to Jeanes Pond at Braybrooke recreation ground this week, my mind set on catching some of the tench from the club water.

Intending to fish the bread punch, I was aware that I needed to avoid attracting the hungry shoals of tiny roach and rudd that are occupying the upper layers of the pond this year. What worked for me on my last visit in June, was to feed an area away from my swim with a light mix of liquidised bread to attract the small stuff, while feeding damp, small tight balls of my tench mix of bread crumb laced with ground fish pellets, 2 mm krill pellets, with a dusting of ground krill; this sticky concoction being dropped onto the shelf, one to two metres out.

My antenna float was set to fish an inch off bottom, with the shot bulked a foot from the hook, hopefully to pass quickly to the bottom. That was the plan, but after a dozen three inch rudd had swallowed the 6 mm pellet of bread in seconds of the float hitting the water, I reached for my set of larger bread punches, going straight to the 9 mm, wrapping the disc round the size 16 hook, leaving the point showing out of the slit. The float bobbed and lifted, then sank and a better sized rudd was swinging to hand.

I was still catching the occasional mini rudd, but better fish had moved in, bubbles bursting all over my feed area, regular boilie sized balls attracting in raiding parties of rudd, that would dash in, grab my bread, bury the float and dash out again. I dropped a few, no doubt due to some of them being lipless wonders, past victims of barbed hooks and impatient anglers.

A few bobs of the float and a slow sink indicated a different species that stripped out the No 6 elastic, putting a bend in the top three sections of my pole, the short runs confirming that I was into my first tench, after 30 minutes of fishing.

Solid muscle, tench never give up the fight, even in the net, holding this one still for a pic was an effort.

If the bait got past the rudd, there were some good roach waiting, a slower, more genteel sinking of the float belying the frantic fight once hooked.

Another tench, found the bait. I had gone up to the 11 mm punch in the set, dabbing the pellet in ground krill pellets to coat it with the fishy flavour.

Smaller, but still powerful.

Another good roach.

This tench took me into the roots to my left, snagging the line in a sunken branch. Pulling back, the branch surfaced, but would not come free, so I let the line go slack and prodded at the fish with my landing net, this having the desired effect as the line tightened with round two of the fight.

Quality rudd continued getting in on the act; I was not complaining, but tench bubbles were still rising and I hoped for more.

Tench number four was a bit of a tiddler, but hard fighting all the same.

Another lipless rudd, but a good conditioned fish.

I had already overstayed my 6:30 deadline by ten minutes, when I hooked the best tench of the afternoon, which ran off, much like a carp, but then stood and fought, before giving in to the elastic and coming to the landing net.

Next fish was another fine roach, which warranted a phone call to my wife, as she was trying out a new dish for our evening meal. I had said that I was going to fish until seven, while she thought that I had meant home by seven. The chicken was already in the oven, so that was it. I had my marching orders. I packed up.

I am certain that another hour would have doubled the tally of tench.