Bread Punch roach bonanza on a flooded River Cut

September 22, 2023 at 10:34 am

A storm of biblical proportions had battered the UK for two days, with thunderstorms and winds of 45 miles per hour, but the morning dawned bright and clear with no sign of wind, so I made a last minute decision to fish my local River Cut, before afternoon thunderstorms were due to arrive. Walking over the bridge, I could see that the weir was flooding straight across with no drop, as the joining river was higher than the weir.

On view was the new blue sewage outlet. I was expecting signs of use, but this is connected to a multi gallon storage tank, which will only discharge when full and only after after the waste water has had all th solids filtered out, much more environmently friendly than the old outlet opposite.

I was looking for a swim on the inside of a bend, but they were all still flooded and continued downstream to one that showed signs of violent flooding, but apart from a layer of wet silt, was fishable.

There was a crease between the fast and slower water and I fed a few balls of heavy groundbait just upstream on the crease, expecting them to break up along the bottom in a line with a bush on the opposit bank. With feed mixed and introduced into the swim, I then setup my 14 foot Browning float rod with a 6 No 4 ali stemmed stick float to a size 14 barbless hook.

My keepnet can just be seen through the brown floodwater, swept downstream into what is usually a couple of inches of water. First cast the float sank just yards downstream and the first of many roach was on its way to the net.

Only small, but a welcome sight.

The following cast was a better roach.

Even bigger.

I had bulked three No 4 shot a foot from the hook and easing the float down the swim allowed the 7 mm pellet of punched bread to lift and flutter in the flow. Running the float through without slowing it, rarely produced a bite, probly because the water was so murky, that the bait was gone before it could be attacked.

Gudgeon and rudd were now taking their turn going into the net, and I stepped up the feed, dropping a small, but firm ball a yard upstream every trot, soon had the roach queuing up again.

The three No 4 bulk shot on view with this roach.

A couple of hours into the session, the sky darkened and a flash of lightning warned of a loud clap of thunder, that made me jump. It now tipped down with rain. This was a couple of hours earlier than forecast. Fishing in a thunder storm is dangerous, when waving a 14 foot lightning conductor about, but the lightning was a single event, although the rain continued and I pulled my hood over my cap.

The roach kept coming.

 I hit into a carp right under my rod top. It must have been first in line for the balls of feed. It was not happy with being hooked and zoomed off upsteam. I know that there is a sunken shopping trolley there and put a bend in the rod to turn it away, watching it take line still heading upstream to an overhanging tree. It slowed and rolled, showing its bronze flank and big scales. It was about two pounds, and still full of fight as it passed downstream. It turned again heading for the bush and I raised the rod, the line cutting leaves from the overhanging tree. It was now wallowing and I got the landing net ready as it slowly came toward me. Feet from the net, it turned again and headed for the opposite bank, pulling the rod down and the hook from its mouth. I had a tight line as I led the carp to the landing net. I had assumed that the hook link had broken, but at least I didn’t have to tie on another hook with wet hands.

I piled in more feed after losing the carp and a pair of chub paid me a visit, their mouths choked with groundbait. Small dace were also snatching at the punched bread.

The roach kept coming.

This was my last.

Rain had begun falling again and it was time to pack up. The sky was turning black again and I rushed around putting stuff away.

Over six pounds in under four hours, a busy afternoon on the bread punch.