Quality roach fail to disappoint at Jeanes Pond

October 2, 2017 at 11:07 pm

A day clearing the garden ready for winter had been planned for today, but a text from my friend Peter inviting me to join him for a few hours fishing at the Braybrooke club’s Jeanes Pond could not be ignored and I arrived to find him already tackling up in his favourite swim, peg 13. I had fished the peg on a stormy afternoon a few weeks ago, netting 10 lb of roach with a bonus 3 lb 8oz tench, all on the bread punch and was interested to see how Peter would get on with his maggot bait.

Winds from hurricane Maria had blown across the Atlantic to exhaust themselves on the English countryside, however set in a hollow, Jeanes pond is immune from all, but a howling south westerly and it was like a mild spring morning, when I set up in peg 18. This swim was new to me, and I set about plumbing the depth, finding 4 feet in the right hand corner and only 3 feet to my left, this old brick clay pit varying in depth from 2 to 6 feet depending on the peg.

Putting in a small ball of liquidised bread to my right on the 3 metre line, I followed with the float and watched it cock and sink slowly out of sight. A lift and a rudd was swinging to hand.

Many of the golden rudd have this tatty look about their scales, while the silver ones are pristine. I was not complaining, they all fight as well. With the pole at 3 metres, I was catching under my feet out to 4 metres, a 6 mm pellet of punch bread on a size 16 hook accounting for fish after fish, the occasional small ball of crumb, keeping them coming steadily, including this roach.

Peter’s maggots were also taking quality roach, along with small perch, but the maggots could not match the speed of the bread punch for hooking fish, the float cocking and sinking in one movement.


I even caught a small perch, that had seized the bread on the drop. It was pot luck, what size each fish was, the 6 mm pellet even being swallowed by 3 inch roach in a second. Below is the best roach of the morning.

Like a switch the bites stopped and I saw the culprit, a flash of green in my swim being a pike, as it chased a fish. A patch of bubbles suddenly erupted from the baited area, when it swooped on a roach I had hooked, the fish splashing on the surface in panic before I could lift it out.

I cast away from the baited area to my left, another small ball of bread bringing instant bites again, but the pike moved to the new area, snatching a small roach from the hook. The bites had slowed again and my final roach jumped clear of the water with the pike inches behind it.

This perfect roach survived a mauling and my decision to pack up coincided with Peter getting his float snagged in an overhanging branch, breaking the line. For us it had been a social event, catching up on our news, while also putting a few fish in the net, Peter finishing with 3 lb and 6 lb on the scales for myself.

The bread punch perch is visible top right.