Bread punch roach and skimmer bream action at Kingsley Pond

August 5, 2017 at 9:21 am

An invite to fish Kingsley Pond in Hampshire, as a guest of the Oakhanger club chairman David, was not to be turned down, despite a weather forecast of blustery winds and showers. I’d cancelled a visit last year due to the weather and missed out on a good day’s fishing at this prolific two acre pond, so turned up prepared for the worst complete with all my wet weather gear. David was already fishing when I arrived and sat me down in a swim close to his. He was fishing with cubes of luncheon meat on a size 14 hair rig, fished under a waggler float cast to a lily bed 10 yards out. All very new to me, but just the rig for the specimen fish inhabiting these waters. I was sticking to my tried and tested bread punch method to target the often ignored roach and skimmer bream, with the chance of a tench, or crucian carp thrown in for good measure.

No sooner had I set out my stall to fish, the heavens opened with the first of many squally showers, which saw me struggling into leggings and a waterproof jacket, preferring these to sitting under the restriction of an umbrella. Plumbing the swim, I found that the maximum depth out to six metres was no more that two feet, with less than a foot close in, not even enough to cover a keepnet.

Feeding an area four metres out in front of me and another beyond the edge of the small lily bed to my right, I was ready to reacquaint myself with Kingsley, where I had last fished 30 years ago. Then I had fished the pole with hemp and caster for the quality roach it held, taking a lucky tench to boost my match weight. Today I was using the same Shakespeare carbon pole over a bed of liquidised bread, laced with ground carp and micro krill pellets, with a smattering of sweetcorn for good measure. That would do.

The first ten minutes saw me bashing out small roach, most of which I considered too small for the net, chucking them straight back, so switched from bread punch to a piece of sweet corn. Missed bites and more small roach. Then the first skimmer. I had rebaited with the corn and dropped the rig in at my feet ready to add two joints to my top two sections, when there was a swirl and the elastic zoomed out, almost pulling the top sections from my hand. A second later the whole lot pinged back minus the hook, tangling the pole rig in the process. I was fortunate to have been holding the pole at the time, or it may not have been only a carp that I had just lost. After unraveling the tangle, I was searching for another size 16 to 2.5 lb hook link in my box, when David walked over to show me the 5 lb tench that he had just landed on the meat.

This small rudd was followed by a stonker of 8 oz, which flipped from my hands as I stretched out my fingers to show its red fins ready for a photo. Literally gone in a blur.

I had gone back to the bread punch, going from 6 mm to 7 mm bringing better fish, including some nice roach.

The rain was on and off, while the gusting wind often made it difficult to hold the pole, sinking the tip and waiting for the float to reappear from the waves. When it didn’t there was a fish on. Occasionally the wind would drop to be bathed in sunshine. The fish had no preference, they just kept biting.

David was catching well too, splashes from his bed of lilies indicating a satisfying session. A 2 lb crucian was carried over for me to see, with reports of a pound roach and one and a half pound bream, all on the the luncheon meat. He came back with a great chunk of the stuff. With only a size 16 hook, I cut the meat into small cubes and tried it out and got a good running bite. A signal crayfish had taken it.

A few missed bites and another big crayfish saw me back on the bread. Stick with what you know is my motto. I was not really set up for bigger fish as the earlier lost carp had shown. It takes time to get your hook back from a signal. After you have trodden on it, making sure it is dead, you have to cut the hooked limb off, then cut away to the hook. The luncheon meat was not wasted, it was very tasty.

Mixing up more feed, I was happy in my little fish catching zone, when a call from David got my attention. He was playing a carp, which had run in a semi circle close to the bank, before heading out again. It was eventually netted by the seasoned carp angler, the 10 lb common failing to break the 4 lb hook link.

This carp had taken a worm intended for a tench, providing me with a little interlude, the break giving me a chance for a quick sandwich, while David posed for a photo.

Getting back to my peg, the skimmer bream had done a disappearing act, the regular small balls of feed had held them in a tight area, but I was not complaining when the first cast back in brought a hard fighting roach.

More roach were in the swim, instead of the slow sink of the skimmers, the roach were just running off with the bait in the shallow water. The one below being my best of the day,

A roach bream hybrid, saw the start of another run of skimmers, this time a better stamp of fish.

We had agreed to fish until 3 pm and with five minutes to go, the elastic on my pole pulled out as I lifted into another fish, the dull thudding fight and a golden flank below the surface indicated a real bream this time, which slowly approached the net, it’s back out of the water in the shallow margin. Inches from safety, I pressured the pole to lift the bream over the rim of the net. It turned it’s head and the hook came out. Curses. It would have been nice to have ended the day with a fish that matched some of those that David had caught.

I am never happier than when watching a float go down, this haul in under five hours, proof of a happy day. Roll on the next invite.