Bread punch nets quality roach and rudd

April 26, 2018 at 8:45 pm

With Braybrooke Park’s Jeane’s Pond closed for a month at the end of April, I took advantage of a dry weather forecast to fish it this week. Set up by 10 am, I was keen to find out if the warmer weather would mean more and better fish on the bread punch and set myself a target of at least ten pounds for the five hour session.

Conditions were perfect with a slight breeze ruffling the surface, the pond having a healthy green tinge. Being cold and wet overnight, I had overdressed and was feeling the warmth of the sun already. Considering taking off my hooded jacket, the float sank away and the No. 5 elastic on my pole stretched out as the first fish of the day came to the net.

I never got the chance to take off that hoody, as the bread punch worked its magic and I got into a catching rhythm. Targeting the better fish, I was using coarse ground bread crumbs, wetted down to sink quickly and spread out near the bottom. Starting off with a 5 mm punch to a size 14 hook, the bites were confident, usually sinking as the float cocked, the larger hook allowing the average 3 to 4 oz fish to be swung to hand with three metre length of pole.

The roach were outnumbering the rudd, more fish needing the net as the first hour progressed and I was confident that my 10 lb target would be reached. I had plumbed the depth before I had started and found a drop off 3 metres out, where I fed a pigeon egg ball of feed every 15 minutes, fishing to one side or the other of the feed. This was working well and quality roach and rudd were now the norm.

This was a fin perfect roach, while many of the rudd were quite tatty, having dropped scales, although their fighting qualities were not affected.

Other rudd were perfect, as the one below shows, having golden scales and bright red fins.

With little  warning the wind got up and the heavens opened. This was not part of the script. I was thankful that I had not taken off the jacket, pulling the hood over my cap, but it was not even shower proof, my bait apron acting as a temporary buffer between my jeans and the downpour. In seconds the bread punch slice was soft and useless, but all was not lost as I keep the spares in a polythene wallet. It was a case of, “batten down the hatches” and wait for the storm to pass, which it did after five minutes. My wife shopping only a mile away never saw a drop. April Showers?

The sun was soon out again and the quality fish kept coming. I topped up the bread feed and changed the feed pattern as small fish were now forming a barrier between the upper surface and the bottom. I now fed two lines over the drop off, two metres apart, still only a pigeon egg size ball every twenty minutes, but staggered between the two feed areas. I also went up to a 7 mm pellet of bread. The good fish were still down there, fishing away from the fed area, while the small fish were preoccupied over the feed.

This roach had a badly damaged lip. It is barbless hooks only on this pond. Somebody is not aware of the rules. The previous captor had ripped the hook out.

The bites were now slower, the bites steadily building until the float sank from sight followed by the line, each lift of the rig seeing the elastic come out as yet another good fish fought for freedom.

One such bite saw the elastic stretch away and I was convinced that I hooked a tench, the fish making long runs, until it surfaced like a submarine. It was a fan tale crucian carp, a rarity in this pond.

Another fine, hard fighting roach came to the net. Despite the slow bites, these were all just hooked in the upper lip, the hooks often transferring to the landing net.

This was the last of the day. The rig snagged on vegetation at my feet and pulled free, the float and line spun round the pole tip. Not the first time that a bird’s nest had cut short my fishing. I had lost my first rig up the tree to my left, when the hook had pinged out of a fish in the landing net. Now my spare was gone too. I had another rig with a slightly heavier float, but it was close to my 3 pm deadline and I called it a day.

It was obvious that I had easily topped my 10 lb target weight for five hours and when my 14 lb limit scales bottomed out, I reached for the 50 lb set. These swung round to 17 lb 8 oz. A foreign lady watched with her children as I weighed these up, she taking a picture on her phone for husband, who also fishes with bread she said. “Are you going to eat any of those?” she asked. “In our country we do, but in England you throw them back” Yes we do.