Clonker roach and a bonus tench reward the bread punch at Jeanes Pond

July 11, 2023 at 2:10 pm

With thundery showers forecast for the rest of the week, I got the mower out and gave my lawns, front and back, a much needed haircut today, as they resembled a meadow of wild flowers, rather than a suburban garden. After emptying the grass cuttings onto the compost heap, the garden shed became the focus of my attention. The mower had been buried under boxes of logs and I could easily have wedged it back in, but my new found enthusiasm saw me in rearrangement mode, which actually ended up with me sweeping the floor. That was a first!

My wife was busy pruning roses in the front garden, when I asked her if there was anything else that I could do to help. She looked around; she had it all under control. Why don’t you go fishing? The thought of another big tench from my local Jeanes Pond did appeal. Time to channel that enthusiastic energy. In twenty minutes, a flask of tea had been made, punch bread prepared and I was queuing at the first set of roadworks.

Arriving at the pond, I had a choice of swims, although strong winds sweeping in from the west ruled out half of them, but peg 16 is protected by a high fence and trees. Ideal. The tench and carp tend to browse the margins here and I fed a few firm balls of ground bait close in along the shelf, only two to three metres out.

Getting a bait through the rafts of small rudd is a problem here and my 2 gram antenna pole rig was clipped on, with the shot bulked to within eight inches of the size 14 hook. Crude I know, but it works, keeping most of the kamikazi rudd at bay. I plumbed the depth and set the float overdepth, with the bulk shot just off bottom. By the time that I was ready to fish, the strawberry flavoured ground bait was already working, with the surface fizzing with tiny bubbles. The 7 mm pellet of punched bread was instantly attacked by fry, when I dropped the float straight down from the three metres of pole, but once down among the bubbles, the float lifted and I swung in a roach.

This fish showed signs of a predator attack, with half it’s tail missing, probably from one of the visiting cormorants, another reason why the fish stay close to the margins.

Some of the tiny rudd were still getting through, hanging onto the bread, but a lift of the float as I cast in, brought some bigger brothers, which fought well.

Roach, or rudd? I think there are plenty of hybrids in this pond, the one below was a definite rudd.

I kept a steady supply of ground bait balls going in and the bubbles continued rising, I’m convinced that this one was a true roach. Once the bigger fish move in the over the feed, the small stuff make for the exit.

The bites were now unmissable and the fish definite roach, the landing net in regular use.

It was creeping towards my cut off time, but it is difficult to call a halt, when the fish are so willing.

Not arguments about this rudd, although the bite came from the bottom along with the roach.

A bob and a lift said another rudd, but the bend in the pole and a straight line run back to the lily bed said carp. I put on another length of pole as the fish turned back to my bank, heading into the roots of the trees, pushing the pole out, steered the still unseen fish back out into the pond, where it broached. A dark green tench. I let the elastic do all the work, the hook held and the tench slid into the landing net.

The hook came out in the net and in this light, the tench was now golden. It looked heavier than it was, but just scraped 3lb 12oz. I returned it straight away and decided to pack up.

Many anglers think that the bread punch requires fine lines and tiny hooks, this brutal rig proves them wrong. Two and a half hours of constant feeding and catching had found a net of clonkers,