Bread punch roach and bream worth the walk on the Leeds and Liverpool canal

August 20, 2020 at 4:34 pm

Following a report from Bingley angler Johnathan this week, he was out again a few days later, this time on his doorstep on the Leeds and Liverpool canal not far from his home. With no car parking near the canal due to the Bingley by-pass, he walked with his fishing trolley along the tow path to fish opposite a local landmark, the Damart factory, which is below the Three Rises Locks.

On furlough from his chef’s duties, cooking for the stars of Coronation Street among others, Johnathan used man power to reach his swim on the once vital trade route between Leeds and Liverpool. The canal is 127 miles long, crossing the Pennines, through tunnels and over viaducts and continued commercial trade with coal, limestone and industrial goods into the 1980’s. Looking at the image above, it is a good job that there is decent fishing fishing to be had the other end.

With a tackle layout like this, social distancing is guaranteed along the bank. Jon’s pole is a 13 Metre Daiwa Connoissuer XLS, with a No 5 Preston slip elastic, 0.40 gram Guru Pinger float with a spread bulk on a 2.6 lb (0.10 mm) Match Team line direct to a size 16 Kamasam barbless hook.

Known locally as the Ginger Breadman, Jon is a great exponent of the bread punch and started off by cupping in two balls of white liquidised bread mixed with a sprinkling of fenugreek powder at 9 metres. This was interesting to me, as I have used fenugreek powder purchased from my local Tescos for years, as an atractor for skimmers and bream on waters where they are present. The pic below was from a water I fished as a guest, the pellet fishing locals surprised by my catch on the bread punch.

Fishing just off bottom in four feet of water, Jon was into roach and small skimmers from the off, getting into a catching rhythm, but still giving way the local bird life.

Switching between a double punched 5 mm pellet of bread and a single 7 mm brought a lift bite, that slid away to the side, the No 5 Preston Slip elastic coming out on the strike, as a large bream made off across the canal. Eventually the steady pressure of the elastic brought the bream within netting range and taking his time, Jon slid the net under a 4 lb slab. Ten minutes later he was in again, this time a slightly smaller 3 lb bream, which he had to hurry to the net, as in the distance he could see a huge barge making its way toward him heading for the Three Rises Lock on his left.

A floating hotel! What a disaster, this monstrosity sucking all the water away into muddy whirlpools, then washing it back as it maneuvered over to his side to moor up for the lock. It was time to take stock, have a bite to eat and a cup Yorkshire Tea. The bream would soon settle down again further out and a cup of feed close in, soon saw roach taking on the top three joints of pole and even a perch taking the bread on the drop. Two more cups over the 9 metre line had roach and skimmers taking again, then another 4 lb lump cruised off with the bait putting the elastic to the test, followed by more roach, then another slab.

Switching back to the inside line, when the middle died, Jon continued to catch a few bits, before going out for a final hour on the 9 metre line, where he continued to catch better sized roach and skimmers.

The bream were too large for a landing net pic, a shot into the keepnet being enough at the end of a busy session.

All that was needed now was to return the fish, load up the trolley and head back down the towpath.

Thanks for the report Jonathan.