Roach compensate for great expectations of carp and tench at Jeanes Pond

April 27, 2023 at 9:52 am

Following a day baking in the sunshine, while filling my keep net with carp and roach last week, I invited a friend to join me this week for a bit of social fishing at Braybrook’s Jeanes pond, now that the weather and fishing had improved. Meeting the bailiff in the car park, he spoke of big roach and tench being caught at the weekend, so we were keen to get going, despite heavy rain overnight and a frost that morning. Setting up in adjacent pegs gave us a chance to catch up on our news and to discuss tactics, John using a 5 metre elasticated whip, with a waggler rig to fish a variety of hook baits, red worm, sweet corn and maggots over a bed of hempseed. I would start at 3 metres on the pole with bread punch, having put in two palm sized balls of heavy ground bait to bypass the small rudd. As with last week, the feed mix of liquidised bread, ground hemp and pellets was liberally sprinkled with strawberry flavouring.

There was an immediate difference from last week, when the bottom of the pond fizzed with fish feeding on my ground bait, today nothing. Oh dear, it was going to be hard. With my float rig over the feed, a ring radiated from the antenna. A bite. The float indications of interest progressed to a slow sink and I lifted into a three ounce roach. Wow, this fish was cold, the water temp must be really low? The hook was just in the skin of the lip. They were just sucking at the bait.

The sun was shining on our arrival, but clouds soon blew a cold north wind in our faces. At least I was getting fish in my net, while John was suffering with sucked maggots. I decided to not put any more feed in as the roach were obliging, still fussy bites, but they were coming in at a steady rate.

All much of a muchness, these roach were hard fighters, taking a 6 mm punch of bread on a size 16 hook.

John was ringing the changes on his bait, taking a nice rudd on worm, along with a small perch, but most of his fish came to double maggot.

We had at least expected a tench, or two, but by 1 pm our enthusiasm had evaporated, having expected better things before the Braybrook season ends this weekend on the May bank holiday. Looking forward, the enforced one month close season on this pond will soon be over and I will be hoping for better fishing on June 1st.

Two hours was enough time to accumulate two dozen roach.