Winter bread punch endurance test

February 8, 2018 at 8:13 pm

In the week that the BBC brought online their latest all singing, all dancing weather forecasting software, they got it all wrong for friend Peter and I, when we fished our local Jeane’s Pond at Braybrooke Park today. They predicted a dry sunny start and warmer temperatures. What did we get? The pond covered by ice when we arrived, then rain as we tackled up, that was on and off until lunchtime, with a chill wind gusting across the water all day.

My original plan had been to fish the swim above, but found it iced over, so set up on the opposite side of the outcrop, where there was clear water, but the wind was blowing in my face. Peter had settled into a swim he had fished the week before, as it was in the lee of buildings, but he was also hoping for a few of the big rudd that helped him to a 6 lb finishing weight on that occasion.

Peter was snug under his brolley, while I faced the storm, trying to cope with the wind that was blowing my float about. I had fed a couple of balls of liquidised bread just beyond the drop off into the deeper water, but the wind was causing a drift that was bringing my rig back toward me, the shallow shelf littered with twigs and branches blown from the adjacent trees. Every cast in, the float dragged the hook into these underwater obstacles and I was soon building up a collection on the bank. When the wind dropped, the float stood still and I would get a bite.

Peter had already caught a small roach, but my first was a better than average size and I took advantage of the calmer conditions to swing a few in before the wind picked up again. A 4 mm bread punch was doing the damage, missing a few bites on the 5 mm to an 18 hook.

I was still picking off the occasional roach, but conditions continued to worsen and I considered moving round out of the wind next to Peter. Getting up to look at my preferred swim, I saw that the wind was breaking up the ice, blowing it into the far corner. With my jacket hood up, this peg would be easier to fish, as the wind would be on my back and the float rig downwind, being easier to control.

My float is in there somewhere! Holding the float back against the drift, a few small balls of bread concentrated the bites into a tight area and I was catching again.

By 2 pm Peter had had enough. Although out of the main force of the wind, he was freezing with cold hands and knocking knees. I went round to see what he had caught on the maggot, four nice rudd and a roach for just over a pound in total.

The bread punch was obviously doing better than the maggot today, having counted over 30 roach into my net already and I walked back to my peg determined to stick it out for another hour.


Topping up with some more bread crumb, I put in another couple of balls, allowing the bait to fall through the cloud and picking up a nice roach on the drop.

Fishing just off the bottom in four feet of water, the bites were slow to develope, with the odd dip of the float an indication that the tip was about to steadily sink beneath the surface.

The bites were still coming, when I pulled in for the last time at 3 pm, but a light drizzle of rain was threatening to prove the forecasters right at last and was keen to get away before the main downpour.

An all roach bag of over four pounds was my lot for the day, but not enough to keep the cold at bay.