Bread punch finds the sweet spot of roach at the weir

October 13, 2021 at 11:49 am

Unable to fish until mid afternoon and rain forecast after 4 pm, I headed for the prolific weir on my local River Cut this week for a short three hour session. With an outfall from the Thames Water treatment works pumping out aerated water into the slow running Cut, this is a guaranteed holding area for decent roach, and a stick float with the bread punch on the hook an efficient way to catch them.

The fish lie in the crease between the fast water and the slower main river, the flow creating an eddy that rotates back to my bank and I put a couple of balls of feed into the eddy in front of me. The feed was a mix of liquidised bread, ground carp pellets, ground hemp and the last of a bag Van Den Eynde strawberry additive, tipping in more than just a sprinkle, which made up sweet, sticky balls.

First cast, as the float edged toward the foam, it disappeared and I struck into a hard fighting little chub.

This chub was a good sign, as they have been missing since reports of poachers netting the pool, the next fish, a roach, was in perfect condition.

Another ball to the centre brought an instant bite, an even better roach, evidence that they had moved up into the eddy.

Bites were now coming thick and fast. Cast into the eddy, hold back, let the float run, hold back and strike, when the float sank. The roach were getting bigger, having to lean out to net them from the high bank.

Another ball of feed brought an instant response from a chub, the greedy fish spewing ground bait, when I removed the hook.

The roach were lined up in a small area over the feed and they were not the shy biting fish of legend, dragging the float under, when the hook bait settled.

These are just a few of the plump roach that were coming to my net, the size 14 hook, no deterrent when they sucked in the 6 mm punch of bread. Chub were still swooping in on the feed area.

These chub fight hard in the shallow water, making a rapid initial run back to the fast water each time, my finger over the open spool of my ABU 501 closed face reel lifting each time to allow free line.

The roach kept coming, all of them goers over eight inches, requiring the landing net.

This robin kept me entertained, flying down to peck up bits of spilt ground bait, darting back up into the branches to sing away, before returning for a refill.

Gudgeon had also begun to put in an appearance.

I scraped up the last of my feed and put in one last ball. The gudgeon were outnumbering the roach, but they were still clonkers.

The last fish, a perfect roach.

That was it, I had run out of holes to punch and the clouds were forming with a temperature drop already. I hadn’t quite reached my three hours time limit at 4:30, but who is complaining?

Averaging a fish every three minutes, this was quite a workout. I was pleased to see the chub were getting bigger and that the roach had not disappeared, putting over ten pounds on the scales.

I had timed the session just right, while loading the van, rain was spitting in the air and the roads were wet by the time that I reached home.