Bread punch retaliation at Braybrooke pond

March 24, 2017 at 10:57 pm

A few weeks ago one of my old match teammates invited me down to fish the prolific Jeanes pond in Braybrooke recreation ground close to my home. We had not fished together since our competitive days, but I knew that he would be out to give me a thrashing on what is now his weekly fishing venue. Arriving at the agreed time, I had found John already set up with rod in hand waiting for the off. After 4 hours fishing our weights had been close, the waggler float and maggot technique of John netting 8 lb 12 oz to my 8 lb 4 oz on the pole and bread punch.

Fishing my swim for the first time, I felt that I had not got the best out of it, despite a very respectable weight, so when an email arrived inviting me to join John and another ex-teammate Frank at the pond, I was happy to oblige. Again with the intention of only fishing the bread punch, I arrived to find them already fishing!

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A chill east wind was blowing the length of the pond causing a drift from right to left, not too much of a problem for me being able to sink the tip of my pole, but the two waggler anglers were at a disadvantage. John was still casting and feeding maggots toward the middle, where he had found a better stamp of fish before, but Frank had come in closer, having seven roach to John’s one as I began to tackle up. Plumbing my swim, it dropped away rapidly from two metres deep at three metres, to three metres at four metres and opted to fish with three metres of pole just off bottom, burying the size 16 hook in a 6 mm bread pellet. A pigeon egg sized ball of liquidised bread brought a bite immediately, but missed the first few sailaways, before the first of many roach came to hand.

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Reducing the depth on the float brought more positive bites, although many fish were under an ounce, over forty fish in the first hour putting only a couple of pounds in the net, enough to match my previous weight, but not enough to reach my expected target of 10 lbs in four hours. Eighty fish had scaled over 8 lbs previously. Better fish were there, but few and far between as the quantity climbed.

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Frank was finding some nice roach and rudd close in and it wasn’t long before John moved his float in close to that of his old rival Frank. The banter between these two is better than any Morcambe  and Wise comedy sketch, with Frank calling me over to referee where John’s swim ended and Frank’s started. I was now hooking a better class of fish myself, but with most barely hooked in the skin of the lip, I was netting them all, to a chorus of “Swing it in!”

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A half time tea break was called just as I hooked a nice golden rudd and by this time felt that the deficit with Frank had been made up, while John was slipping behind both of us.

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Taking time out for a sandwich, I could see that spring was coming to this shady spot, wild flowers growing on the far bank. The three metre line was slowing and put a couple of balls of feed in at five metres, adding another joint to the pole, while increasing the depth on the float.

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The float sank away and I was playing a better roach, that suddenly jumped clear of the water with a pike chasing it, unceremoniously swinging it in away from the green spotted monster.

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The pike moved away, surfacing next to John’s float, 7 to 8 lb he estimated, killing their swim, so they decided to pack up early. Lifting into a bite before going down to weigh their fish, the elastic came out on my pole with a very good roach or rudd thumping slowly deep in the pond. Waiting to see the fish to net it, the hook came out. Probably tried to rush it?

John had some good fish in his net, the scales measuring just over 7 lbs, while Frank’s weight had been swelled by some clonking rudd.

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Frank was pleased to have easily surpassed John’s weight with 8 lb taken on the waggler and maggot only ten yards from the bank.

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With still 30 minutes to make up on the other two, I wanted to fish on, but we pulled my net out to weigh the haul of around 130 roach and rudd, which pushed the scales to 8 lb 8oz. I had beaten them both, the better sized fish swinging it. We had all caught well on a cold windy day, different baits and methods being rewarded.

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While John and Frank packed up, the last of my bread feed was scraped together in the tray to form two small balls, which were plopped in on a 4 to 5 metre line, followed by my float rig, which was allowed to drift down through the cloud. More bites followed, most two to three ounce silvers, with a few larger specimens.

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This roach had part of a gill cover missing, but was otherwise in perfect condition and fought well. I stopped short of the 30 minutes, as I had used up my punch bread, roach number 140 being my last of the day.

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 Once more the bread punch had more than held it’s own against skilled anglers on the maggot and pinkie.

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Weighing up my final catch I had missed my target  four hour 10 lb weight by a mere 4oz, but feel that the surface of this pond has just been scratched and look forward to the warmer months, when tench, crucians and the mythical koi carp show up.

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