Bread punch rudd make up for missing tench at Shawfields

August 27, 2021 at 12:43 pm

I paid a rare visit to Farnborough and District’s Shawfields Lake complex at Aldershot this week, hoping to repeat a late June visit last year, when I landed four decent tench fishing the bread punch with the pole on the small lake. The last fish on that afternoon tipped the scales at 4 lb 8 oz.

Letting myself into the fishery through the security gate, I had to walk the length of the main lake and was aware that I seemed to be the only angler there, finding the small lake unoccupied too. Was this going to be another one of those days, when the word had got out that the fish were off the feed? With a choice of swims, I returned to the same one as last year, at least it held some tench last year, so why not today? Expecting tench and a possible carp, I had brought my pole fitted with 12-18lb rated elastic through the top two sections, with a 2g antenna float rig to cope with an obvious surface drift.

Plumbing the depth I found an even four feet depth and made up a my usual mix of liquidised bread and ground carp pellets with a sprinkling of strawberry flavouring, which seems to work everywhere at the moment. First cast, the float sat for a few minutes before dipping and side slipping away. Lifting into the bite, the elastic had no effect on the small rudd bouncing on the end.

Fishing just off bottom with a 6 mm punched pellet of bread on the size 14 hook, the float was dropped in over the feed again, but this time the float kept going down and a better rudd was making it’s way to the surface.

An even better rudd this time, which was encouraging, a few like this would be appreciated, while I waited for a tench. In again and another rudd was drawn back to the net.

Getting into a catching rhythm, there was a swirl beneath the surface, as a pike chased one of my rudd, which I swung in to safety. I changed my fishing line, coming in closer to the lily bed and caught again, but after a few more rudd, the pike was back, this time grabbing a fish, before letting go. The swim went dead. The rudd had been scared off. I had some small red worms from my home compost heap, a tench favourite and switched baits, the result, an instant bite. This was a small perch that dived away pulling out elastic briefly, before coming to the surface. I fed my rudd line seven metres out with a few more balls of feed and concentrated on the perch close in.

I now began catching a perch a cast, often on the same worm, a bit of fun trying to hook them before they swallowed the worm, moving the bait getting instant results,  the disgorger otherwise soon retrieving the barbless hook.

While catching a succession of these small perch, the pike attacked my keepnet and I looked into the water to see a 2 – 3lb pike staring at the net, much like a cat studying a bird in a cage. I put my landing net in behind its tail in an attempt to scoop it in, but the pike was gone in a swirl!

A better sized rudd took the worm, fighting hard and I expected the pike to attack again as it struggled on the surface, but the landing net brought it to hand. This was a sign that the rudd had returned and switched back to bread punch and began filling my keepnet.

The pike was back again and had seized a rudd through the fine mesh net, shaking its head. I heaved the net up and the pike swirled away. I was still catching rudd, when Farnborough chairman Chris came round for a chat. He had finished work early and brought his rods down for a few hours of peace and quiet.

Chris was impressed that the rudd were putting on weight since being introduced a few years ago and with more family members joining the club, these rudd and perch are ideal for young and old anglers alike.

I had a surprise, when a hard fighting rudd turned out to be a perch, that had taken the punched bread.

The pike was still tugging at my keep net, but while it was there, it wasn’t chasing my rudd, so I was happy continuing to catch.

These were worth catching and next year will have put on even more weight.

My last rudd was panicked into the lilies, leaping out of the water as the pike hunted it down and I lifted it clear of the water to safety.

Another decent rudd, possibly the best of the afternoon, that would have been a mouthful for the juvenile pike. It was close to my deadline, wanting to beat the traffic home, my last cast bringing a surprise bread loving perch again.

There were no tench today, but I had been kept entertained, after all every bite was a potential tench.

Lifting out the net, there was evidence of a busy afternoon with well over 50 rudd and perch.

Arriving home I checked my keepnet and found several jagged tears from the pike.