Roach and rudd wake up at Jeanes Pond

March 23, 2023 at 12:34 am

With an unexpected opportunity to fish this week, I set off in bright sunshine after lunch for a few hours at the Braybrook Fishing Club’s still water fishery, Jeanes Pond. After weeks of cold and wet weather, I was looking forward to getting some late March sun on my face, while watching a float go down.

In the time that it took for the short drive to the pond, the wind had got up, blowing dark clouds and a shower of rain in my direction. My intended swim was in the full force of the wind, so I set up in the least affected area, although the whipped up waves were causing a circular drift around the pond.

Not to worry, this was just a test to see what was biting, if at all; a fish or two would be a bonus. Too early for tench and crucians, I was hoping for some decent roach and rudd on the bread punch. I had intended to fish five to six metres out on the pole close to the bottom, but the swirling wind made it impossible to steady the pole and so reduced down to four metres in four feet of water. This was just over the shelf and I squeezed up a ball of plain white liquidised bread to feed into the deeper water. Fishing light with a fine antenna float and the shot bulked 15 inches from the size 18 hook, I punched a 5 mm pellet of bread, then cast the rig next to the sinking bait cloud.

The float settled, dipped and slowly sank with the line following it down. A sharp lift of the pole set the hook into a hard fighting roach that was soon in the landing net, where the hook dropped out.

This would do for a start. If they were all like this I would be happy. In again over the same area and the float slid sideways, definitely a rudd bite. The bait was taken on the drop and I struck on the first lift, just hooking the top lip.

These rudd were now in a solid layer of fish, intercepting every offering intended for the roach on the bottom. Most gorging the bread in seconds, as they lifted the float and skated away.

When the bait was able to avoid the rudd, a slow motion roach bite would follow, gradually submerging.

Little and often feed of nugget sized balls of bread kept the bites coming.

This roach had damage to both sides of it’s tail. Pike, or cormorant?

These roach were the best of a bunch, outnumbered by small rudd.

This was my last fish of the afternoon, a better sized rudd, but nowhere near my target size.

A month ago I had fifteen fish at Jeanes Pond, while this week put four times as many in the net over the same time period. All we need now is more quality fish.