Roach entertain on the bread punch through the storm

February 22, 2020 at 6:47 pm

Storm Dennis the Menace was still blowing itself out, when I arrived for an afternoon’s fishing at Braybrooke Community Club’s Jeanes Pond this week. Early morning rain had finished, but gusts of 40 mph were still blasting across the football pitch as I tried to tackle up. Choosing to fish with my back to the wind seemed a good idea at the time and with full thermal clothing and a wax cotton jacket, topped by a fleece lined hat, that pulled down over my ears, I was comfortable enough, but the wind produced vortexes, that twice had my pole rig snagged in the bush to my left, before I managed to get a line in the water.

There was no sign of fish activity on the surface of the pond and I assumed that it was going to be HARD, but then I like a challenge and set up with a 4 x14 antenna float to a size 18 barbless hook to fish for bites.

I could see that the heavy rain had increased the depth of the pond by at least six inches and found four feet at 3 metres over the shelf, when I plumbed up, setting the float to fish a few inches off bottom. With wind whipping around the surface, I opted to fish with no more than the top three sections of pole, two metres out from the high bank, dropping a golf ball sized ball of liquidised bread around my float. The float sat motionless for five minutes, before a slight dip showed interest in the 4 mm pellet of rolled bread. It sank slowly and I lifted into small roach, that the wind blew out horizontal to the bank and a game of catch me if you can followed, until I was able to grasp the ice cold fish.

In the keep net it went, another 4 mm punch of bread was on the hook and I swung out again, this time the float settling and sinking immediately with another lolipop of a roach. They kept coming, some smaller, others slightly bigger, but nothing decent, but at least I was catching something. Every ten fish I dropped in another small ball of bread, watching the crumb spread into a slowly sinking cloud, then casting across it to allow the bait to follow through.

After an hour and over twenty roach, the swim went dead in front of me and I guessed that a pike had been attracted to the feeding fish. I stopped feeding and cast to my left. The float went under and I was catching again. Ten minutes later there was a green flash as the pike took a hooked roach, the pole elastic steadily extending, following the pike as it sank into the depths. I have been in this position too many times now, especially on this pond, but never have got one on the bank and this was no different, the razor sharp teeth of this successful predator slicing through the hooklink when it turned.

Hoping that the pike was satisfied with its catch for the moment, I tied on another size 18, put in another ball of feed in front of me and waited for a bite. A few more minutes and it was business as usual, as roach began to queue up for the punch again.

The wind was still causing problems. Laying my pole down to grab a hot cup of tea and a sandwich, the wind lifted it clear of the rest and into the water, just managing to catch hold of the line before the lot sank out of sight. Another time I had played a 4 oz roach to the surface, but the wind was blowing my landing net in the opposite direction, so I attempted to swing the fish in, the same gust spinning the roach away and off the hook.

“What’s up, you must be really bored at home to come here today?” It was a friend and fellow angler Kieth, a council worker at the site, who had come out to question my sanity. The rivers are all in flood and I’d rather watch a float going under any day, than watch TV. That’s my excuse any way. I continued to catch as we chatted, the wind drying out my bread bait, too hard and the bites dither, so every fifteen minutes I needed to tear of another fresh piece to punch. The wind blew one piece into the pond, which the ducks were pleased to receive. This was becoming a test of endurance, but the roach were still there and it was easier to continue fishing than to pack up.

At last some better roach were finding the feed and the landing net was back in use.

Another decent roach was fighting hard, then the next instant it was skating across the surface in panic with the pike in pursuit. I lifted too late, the pike rolling on its side as it snatched the roach away. If I needed an excuse to pack up this was it. The hook was still there, but it was time to go. I had hoped to make it to three hours fishing time, but two and a half was enough on a day like this. At least it hadn’t rained.

The bread punch had shown what it could do again and the bites had kept coming with over 50 fish in the net.