Bread punch roach and rudd shine at Braybrooke closer

May 1, 2019 at 3:30 pm

Having injured my ankle, I had been out of action for a couple of weeks, but was determined to get down to my local Jeane’s Pond at Braybrooke Park for a last chance at the roach and rudd, before its annual month long close season was imposed on May 1st. With the carpark only a 100 yards from the pond, I had reduced the tackle in my box to a minimum, needing to pull my trolley, while hobbling along using a walking stick in the other hand. This was a slow painful process and had never noticed before how uneven the path was, twisting my ankle at every step. A dog walker coming the other way gave me a smile “Don’t worry mate, you’ll get there”. Get there I eventually did, justifying my choice of peg 18, the nearest of the disabled, wheelchair friendly pegs.

The scene was welcoming, little breeze and bright sunshine, while the pond had a soft green tint, the only downside being branches and logs that had been dumped into the water at my feet, the disadvantage of a public park frequented by bored teenagers at night. I spent the next ten minutes removing these with my landing net, tipping them onto the bank, ready for tonight’s revellers.

Intending to fish my reliable bread punch method, I gathered everything I needed to within hands reach, selecting a light antenna rig to a size 18 barbless hook, choosing to begin with a 6 mm bread punch. Plumbing the swim, the ledge was 3 feet deep, sloping down to 4 feet, 5 yards out.

Ready to begin, I squeezed up a small ball of liquidised bread, dropping it in just over the shelf, intending to create an area of feed that would roll down the slope into the deeper water. With my pole at 3 metres, I cast in and pulled back to the shelf, the float skating away immediately as a small rudd took the bread on the drop.

Half a dozen of these made me think that I might have chosen the wrong method, but then the following rudd began to get bigger, as the feed attracted in better fish.

More better rudd took confidently, the bites sliding away, then a different bite, the antenna giving a few dips before slowly sinking out of sight. The No 6 elastic came out as a good roach flashed in the green water, following it with the pole as it ran from left to right, sliding the landing net out ready for it to give up on the surface.

At last, the first decent fish, the size 18 fine wire hook holding firmly in the top lip. At this stage I had not introduced any more feed for fear of encouraging the tiny roach and rudd that had plagued me earlier, but now I chanced another small ball to the top of the drop off, fishing to the left of the cloud.

Another nice roach sank the float and the landing net was out again, followed by the best rudd so far.

Good fish were now coming every cast, some from the top of the shelf, some half way down.

The midday sun was so bright, that I had to hold the fish in the shade of my body, the glare from the silver scales, whiting out the images. Fishing either side of the feed kept the bites coming steadily and the landing net in constant use.

These rudd would take the bread and run back out to the deeper water, but I was not tempted to fish further out, while I continued to catch these clonkers close in.

Another good roach followed a ball of feed, beginning a run of the hard fighting fish that were taking the bait close to the bottom.

Then it stopped. The water erupted as a pike chased a roach, that almost jumped into the landing net as it tried to escape, the pike grabbing the fish through the net, pulling it down. I dragged the net free and the water boiled. The fish were panicked and would not take, more forays causing good sized fish to scatter across the surface.

Time for a cup of tea and a sandwich, while I reflected on my efforts so far. I had been fishing for two hours and reckoned that I already had six, or seven pounds of fish in my net, but it was too early to pack up, the sun was out and the birds were singing in the trees, accompanied by the staccato hammering of a wood pecker. I would stick it out. Putting in another couple of balls of feed five metres out, took the pike further away, while I fished along the edges, picking up smaller roach and rudd, although rapid swinging in caused a few to drop off, when the pike came visiting.

There were still a few decent fish to be had, this rudd avoiding a mauling as I hussled it to to the net. By 3 pm the local school had begun disgorging its pupils, several deciding that throwing logs and branches into the pond was a good idea, and after landing yet another big roach I called it a day.

Pulling out the keep net, I knew that I had under estimated the weight before, the number and quality of the fish pushing the scales well beyond 9 lbs and considering all the small roach and rudd that I had thrown back, 10 lbs would have been in sight.