Try a ‘punch’ for rudd and roach

I hope everyone witnessed the beautiful sunrise last Saturday morning and made the most of the late autumn sunshine to land a few fish.

Walking the bank, I chatted to a couple of anglers on my local ponds, the roach and rudd were still up in the water and taking baits on the drop. Both anglers were getting plenty of bites and enjoying themselves.

Unfortunately, I chose to fish Sunday morning and a cold grey, foggy morning greeted me as I drove into the fishery car park. It’s the first time I’ve felt the cold this year, a sign of things to come?

I’d decided to fish bread punch on the pole, a simple method that doesn’t require a trip to the tackle shop for fresh bait. Nowadays, thought to be old-fashioned, ‘punch’ fishing is still a very productive method, particularly if you take the trouble to liquidise half a loaf to make fresh crumb for groundbait.

Over the years I’ve acquired quite a few different sized punches, but generally use the three, four and five millimetre ones the most.

After five minutes with the plummet, I found a promising shelf, five sections out and potted in a couple of walnut sized balls of crumb. The fresh crumb left an enticing trail as it sank to the bottom. Not a lot of feed in there, just lots of fine particles to draw the fish to the bait.

A three millimetre punched disc of Warburton’s finest, on a 20 hook with a Team Daiwa wire-stemmed float was quickly shipped out and the float promptly disappeared! The culprit - a tiny rudd - was quickly unhooked and released.

Feeling pleased that I wouldn’t be ‘water-licked,’ the next disc of bread quickly followed. The fresh crumb groundbait had certainly done its job, as a succession of small rudd followed one after another. It’s great to get the bites, but something a little bigger would have been welcomed.

Changing to a soft hooker pellet slowed the bites down but resulted in slightly better fish. A decent sized bream livened things up a little with it head-banging fight, but was soon drawn over the net with little exertion from the six elastic.

When the bites slowed, an additional ball of crumb soon brought the fish back into the swim, making the session productive and very enjoyable.

Do you know, I never felt the cold until I was tackling up at the end of the day; it’s amazing how bites keep you warm!