Bread punch roach inspire speedy recovery at Jeanes Pond

June 29, 2022 at 9:35 pm

In my fifth week of recovery, from life changing complete knee replacement surgery, I was encouraged to  get more ambitious with my physio therapy, with some real life exercises. What better than a couple of hours gentle fishing for roach on my local pond? First, I needed agreement from my wife, after all, she would be loading the car with my gear, driving to the pond, then loading the fishing trolley and pulling it to my chosen swim, while I looked on with loving words of encouragement! Now partial weight bearing, I was able to walk with the aid of sticks, from the carpark, to the disabled swim 200 yards away on the flat surface. We made it!

Although tench and carp have been coming out of the pond this month, my ambition today was just to get some fish in the net and watch the float going under, while getting back in the groove, co-ordinating my movements. The pond was a thick green colour, with no surface movement from topping fish, while a powerful wind was blowing at an angle from right to left creating a surface drift on my side, left to right.

Plumbing the depth revealed a shallow shelf, dropping a foot more, four metres out and I set my 16 x 4 antenna float to fish just off the bottom, with a 6 mm punch on a size 16 barbless hook. Keeping things simple, I fed two small balls of white liquidised bread a metre apart at 4 metres and cast in. Nothing happened, the float just sat there. Several cast later the bread was still on the hook, untouched. This was soft fresh bread. I did not want to feed anymore. This was rubbish. Then the antenna, dipped and sank. A lift and a small roach came to hand.

At last, proof that something was feeding! Another cast, the float settled and sank slowly away.

A better roach again. It was like a door had opened and roach had swum through. The float was under again and the best roach yet was in the landing net.

My wife was on my left, busy filling in a crossword. It was easier for her to net the fish, as I guided them in. I would call out “Net”, she would look up, push the net forward and another roach was in the keepnet.

These were all reasonable roach and the net was filling, but a swirl behind the roach below, ended the catching spree. A pike was in the swim. Small fish scattered and the bites stopped.

I fed further out and put on two more lengths of pole. After a wait, the float was dipping again, when a small rudd took the bread.

This was the only rudd, but the roach were back again. The bites were unmissable. A few gentle dips of the antenna, before it steadily sank from view.

I had only been fishing for an hour, with over twenty roach in the net, not big, but respectable. The pressure on my leg was beginning to tell, while my seat cushion was feeling harder than I remembered it. I would give it another hour. I took a break, handing the pole to my wife, instructing her through a bite. She hooked into another roach and I did the honours with the landing net.

More nice roach

This was my last fish of the session, another quality roach.

This pond was full of big roach and rudd five years ago, where did they go? Maybe they are still there, but uncatchable, who knows? The bread punch had filled my net again, while giving me some much needed R&R and physio combined.

We were packed up by 4:30 and ready for a cup of tea at home. I’ll give fishing a try in a couple of weeks, but I couldn’t wait to get my feet up and take some painkillers after this short session.