DAY – TICKET TACTICS
Specimen angler, Duncan Charman, visits a different day-ticket venue each month and explains how he gets the best out of his session. This month he explains the secrets behind one of the best roach bagging tactics in angling, one that’s sadly rarely seen but one every angler should practice and perfect as on the right water its simply the best.
Bread, often referred to as a simple bait, yet bread is far from a simple and involves a very complicated process to produce. Extremely versatile, most anglers use bread either on the surface for carp or as flake on a cold winter’s day whilst targeting chub on running water. But just how many of us have ever tried fishing bread punch, unfortunately nowadays very few.
What I love about angling is just how diverse it is, yes the pellet approach maybe the best option for roach on a cloudy carp infested pond, yet take this to a gin clear venue and it’s just not going to be as effective. These sorts of venues are rare these days but one that I stumbled on a few years back is the legendary Waggoners Wells in deepest Surrey. Set in a valley of beech trees this venue is as scenic as it gets and swimming around in the crystal clear waters of the two bigger lakes are some stunning and specimen roach. My first few trips were with more specialist tactic, helicopter rigs and maggot or mini boilies both of which worked to some degree but the clarity of the water just screamed bread punch. Having the perfect venue to learn a new trick or two I decided to leave the specialist kit at home and see if I could perfect a method that on its day is just unbeatable. Many mistakes were made along the way but this was the refreshing factor in the experiment and now I can safely say that I have a new skill to add to my angling armoury and one that I would like to share.
A cheap loaf of medium sliced white bread is best and instead of using this the day of purchase its best to leave for a few days before using. Preparation does take some time and is probably why many anglers fail to use the method or get it simply wrong from the start. For hookbait simply cut the crusts of eight slices before microwaving each slice for around 15 seconds. Get a rolling pin and roll each slice before cutting in half and either wrapping in cling film or placing with a plastic food bag.
As for the feed then once again take the remaining slices and remove all the crusts before placing in a food processor and blending. It best to blend a few times to get the mix as fine as possible before shaking through a riddle to remove all the big lumps. A tip in getting the crumb as fine as possible is to freeze and then run through a processor in a frozen state as this just creates a better finer mix. Place the crumb in a plastic bag as this like the slices will stop it drying out.
Feeding and hooking.
The mistake most commonly made is for an angler to introduce too much feed at the start of a session. Little and often is the key so a ball of liquidised bread around the size of a ten pence piece at the start then this again after every half a dozen roach is a good starting point. Make sure that this small ball isn’t compressed too much, just squeeze it together lightly as this needs to start breaking up and creating a cloud as soon as it hits the water. I always introduce this using a small pole cup, even if I’m using a running line which is rare as I tend to stick to the pole nowadays. Don’t make the mistake of feeding too far out either as the further out you fish the harder the bites are to hit. As for hookbait then I simply match the hook size with the size of punch used. I know this sounds obvious but I think bread punch fishing is associated with tiny hooks, size 22 and 24, which maybe the case on canals when tiny roach make up the bulk of the catch, however at Waggoner’s I find a size 18 or 16 fine wire hook, something like Kamasan B525 best with 6mm punch bread or Super Specialist if big roach are feeding.
Something that’s common when fishing punch bread is for the swim to have periods of high activity as well as low points. The start is usually good, often instant with a flurry of before slowing down. The key to constantly catching is to keep the feed going in on a little and often basis and resisting the temptation to feed more during quiet periods, if anything its best to reduce the feed during quiet periods but introduce it more often.
I always thought that rigs would have a strung out shotting pattern but how wrong was I. Fishing like this will only see loads of small roach intercepting the bait on the drop and the bait rarely getting down close to the bottom where the bigger fish are. Although floats are relatively light, I now place a bulk shotting made up of a number of size tens placed two thirds of the depth of the swim before placing a couple of smaller droppers below.
Plumbing the depth of the swim is also of huge importance and I find that a bait just off bottom best and when I say just I mean no more than an inch. The best way to get an accurate reading is to first use a heavy plummet then switch to a light one as this wont sink into any silt and allow for ultra fine tuning. If you want to get the best from punch fishing then a pole is the weapon just fish a very short line between elastic and float.
I prefer to use a slender bodied float and although bites can often be really fast and difficult to hit at times its worth on occasions to resist the temptation of striking at these and wait for the slower more positive bites as these can be from the better stamp of roach.
1 – Fishing too far out. A short line from rod/pole top is best.
2 – Feeding too heavily, especially during quiet periods.
4 – Using crumb that’s not fine enough and not feeding accurately.
5 – Stringing out shot as apposed to a bulk and 1 or 2 droppers.
Images and subtitles –
1 – A cracking brace of big roach taken from a day ticket water.
3 – Fishing the pole is by far the best option when fishing punched bread.
4 – Cut the crusts of the slices of bread.
5 – Place each slice in the microwave.
7 – Roll flat with a rolling pin.
8 – Cut in half and wrap in film or place in a bag.
9 – Remove crusts from slices and place in food blender.
10 – Liquidise numerous times to create a fine crumb.
11 – Place in plastic bag and seal.
12 – Meat punches are also good for punching bread.
13 – It’s possible to get over a hundred 6mm baits from one slice of bread!
14 – Always fish a short line from pole top to float.
15 – A pole cup is a must for feeding.
16 – Use a water spray to keep the liquidised bread damp.