Jeanes Pond roach queue up for the bread punch.

November 23, 2022 at 9:18 pm

Heavy rain gave way to a cloudless sky this week, a pattern that is becoming familiar as November comes to an end. With other commitments, a short afternoon session once again was my only option to fish and I decided to keep local with my choice of venue. Jeanes Pond is only two miles from home and I was pleased to see very few floating leaves on the surface, when I arrived after lunch, being set up by 2 pm.

I chose peg 5, which juts out into the pond, giving deep water in close, allowing just the top two sections of my pole to cover the drop-off down to four feet deep. The air temperature was 8 degrees C, but the autumn sun was strong enough bring added warmth as it shone across recreation ground, although I was sure that I would appreciate my thermals and extra layers later on.

The pond has been ignored by club anglers lately and with no local knowledge available, I started off causiously, dropping a single ball of plain white liquidised bread over the drop-off. On impact with the surface, a ring of bread spread out and slowly sank through the crystal clear water, casting my 14 x 4 fine antenna float through the cloud. Despite a 5 mm punch of bread on a size 18 barbless hook, I had to wait a few minutes before the first sign of a bite, a single ripple radiating out from the antenna. A gentle dip of the antenna and a slow sink into the depths was responded to by a firm strike, the flash of a roach clearly visible deep beneath the surface. A short fight and a scoop of the landing net put a decent sized roach in my hand.

The fish was freezing to the touch, but the following bite was instant, a few bobs of the float and a steady submerge resulting in another hard fighting roach.

I rationed the amount of feed that I put in, very aware that at this time of year, little and not very often is a good policy, it being too easy to feed them off.

Due to the clarity of the water, I moved my tackle box back from the edge; if I could see these fish the instant that the hook went in, they could certainly see me. Into a rhythm catching fish, this was demonstrated to me later, when a mother and young child approached to watch. Wearing a purple coat, she stood alongside. The bites stopped. With no fish biting, they walked away and the bites started again. Another exagerating fisherman, who had said of the dozen roach taken in the first half hour!

A heron flew down to wait for small roach hiding beneath the water aerator. Being so cold there was no surface activity and I think that I was the only one catching fish that day.

This old soldier of a roach showed evidence of a pike, or cormorant attack, with ragged fins and scale damage.

This was one of several rudd taken.

As the sun began to sink behind the houses, the temperature dropped along with it, and it was time for a cup of hot tea, although each cup took at least four fish to drink, due to the float constantly going down too.

The roach were like peas in a pod, sunset at 4 pm dictating my time to pack up, the light was too dim for more photos and the cold was beginning to creep into my body, despite hot tea and my thermals.


Just a few ounces of plain liquidised bread had been all I needed to keep the red fins feeding today. I dropped several roach, that were just hanging onto the bread, many hooks falling out once in the landing net. A 4 mm punch may have been the answer, but it was hard enough hooking the 5 mm pellets of bread with cold wet hands.

Over forty fish on a cold afternoon from a water often ignored by Braybrooke Fishing Club members.