Tench, rudd and roach on bread punch from the margins at Jeane’s Pond

July 22, 2022 at 5:23 pm

It being eight weeks since my knee replacement surgery, I decided to try going solo for my third outing since the operation. With more bend and strength in the new joint, it is now safe to drive, so the two mile drive to my local Jeane’s Pond was no problem, as was the flat walk from the car park with my loaded trolley to disabled peg 17. Following the recent heatwave with record temperatures, overnight rain had cooled the air and the pond looked in good condition, improved by a week of aeration pumps to disperse a thick layer of algae on the surface.

I stopped to chat with fellow Braybrooke Fishing Club member Bill in the next peg, who was happy to show me pictures of a 6lb 8oz common carp, that he had landed from the swim a few weeks ago. Quite an effort without specialist carp gear!

I settled down in my swim, with everything to hand for the short two hour session, just a few ounces of damp ground bait mixed up, including liquidised bread, ground carp pellets and ground hemp. There is a shallow shelf, that drops off into four feet of water in this swim and dropped a couple of tight balls along the line. With just one pole section into the top two and a 16 x 4 antenna float, the shot bulked within a foot of the size 14 barbless hook, a 7 mm punch of bread completed the simple rig.

First cast in was a pleasant surprise, the float sinking away and a palm sized rudd swinging to hand.

The surface layer of this pond is patrolled by thousands of small rudd, and the bulk shot punched its way through them to this better rudd.

A couple more small rudd were swung in, then a much better fish was pulling out the heavy elastic. As I reached for the landing net, the 8 oz roach rolled on the surface and came off. I had given it slack reaching round for the landing net, allowing the barbless hook to lose grip. My wife had been my net person on my previous couple of sessions, ready, while I steered the fish in. I had got fishing rusty during my recovery. Lesson learned, I moved the net close to the water’s edge.

Kicking myself for losing that roach, I was consoled by the next fish, a roach half the size, but netted successfully. Half of it’s tail was missing. Pike attack?

Fishing a few inches off the leaf covered bottom, the float sank slowly and I was into another good roach, that fought well, running deep before coming to the net.

A real clonker. A good sign that whatever was wrong with the pond this past winter, all seems to by ok now. As if to confirm my previous thought, on the next cast, the float bobbed and cruised under, the pole bending as the elastic streamed out from the tip following a rapid run. “This is definitely a carp”, I called to Bill, when the fish changed direction to rush by close to the bank, holding the pole out as it disappeared beneath the bankside bushes. It turned again and rolled on the surface. A decent tench! The net was out and the fish was in. With the hook removed from the tough top lip, I got out the scales for a quick weigh in. 3 lb 4 oz, a good average for this one time clay pit, supplying material for the town’s once thriving brick making past.

Once called the Doctor Dish, this was just what the doctor ordered for me, when he advised more exercise for my knee, going fishing can be hard work, especially when landing a tench with such a thick powerful tail.

I rebaited the swim with the last of my ground bait and connected with a good rudd, that had dived into the ball as it broke up, the float zooming off as the bread punched bait sank. It ran outward, then panicked across the surface, when a pike swirled behind it. With no time for the landing net, I swung the rudd away from the pike to my hand.

The pike was not interested in the small roach and rudd that I caught, but the next decent fish brought it to the surface again, these struggling fish an easier target and a worthwhile meal. Another quality roach, swung in without a net.

It now went dead as the pike began swirling and chasing through my swim, scattering fish in all directions. Fishing close to the bush to my right brought bites from small silvers, but over the baited area, the float registered only timid knocks.

I switched from the bush, then back over the bait, the slow sinking bite producing another quality roach. The pike had gone and the better fish were back on the feed, but it was now close to my home time and I made the next roach my last of the afternoon.

This had been well worth the effort, having run out of bread to punch.

My wife had accused me of being a fishing addict, when I went out to load up my tackle, but with a net of fish like this in a couple of hours, can you blame me?