Saturday, 14 November 2015

Upper crust fishing...

No, not all that posh stuff, no ghillie and cane baskets, no tweed jackets and funny hats. I am talking about bread. Just bread, bread for hook-bait and liquidised or crumb bread as groundbait.

We have been lucky so far this year with the temperatures holding up at night as well as during the day. This has given us a chance have a really good go at targeting F1s, on the flat-backed method feeder, for reasonable bags of fish. In a match situation, this is a great tactic when aiming at weight on rod and line. It will never out-fish the pole, but at least I can keep myself catching fish. Now I more or less have the hang of it, the tactic can get boring as a pleasure technique. Using my Two Dog groundbait mix and 9mm punched bacon grill will just produce fish after fish. I never thought I would say this, but it is just too easy on a well stocked lake, especially if it is familiar water.

Horseshoe pond is tucked away in a corner of the fishery. This is the pond in June this year The flora will have died back somewhat now. The central 'finger' has three swims - ideal for my next visit
Now the weather looks like it will at last start to produce cool nights as well as days, the fish will slow down and feed less, I need to look at honing some other techniques. I fancy having a go at targeting silvers in one of the other lakes at Beaver. There is a small pond, tucked away in a corner of the complex, that is listed as carp-free. According to the fishery's literature, it is stocked with bream to over 7lb, Tench and perch to 4lb as well as roach, rudd and gudgeon.

The 'vintage' bread punch is nicely made
This pond will give me a chance to target some other species. Initially, I am going to have a go at targeting the roach and rudd. Using small bread punch tactics. I have a rather nice vintage punch with brass inserts that looks as if it will be perfect.

This punch will cut and compress the bread if used on a hard surface such as this small cutting board
I want to try some larger punched bread and see what takes the larger bait. This will be a learning curve for me, never having fished using bread before. I acquired some time ago a neat punch with a plunger I use for punching meat, the plunger is used to eject the meat. I saw it being used to punch and compress bread, which, after giving it a quick go, I can say it seems to do this very well. A small cutting board that I bought in the local pound-shop makes an ideal surface on which to punch the bread on and is small enough to take to the bank.

Neat little Lesney Bread Press really compresses the bread
I was given a lot of 'vintage' fishing tackle during the summer that included a box full of bits and pieces. The bread punch with brass heads, mentioned above, was part of that lot. Sitting in one of the compartments of the box was a small cast metal press. Moulded into the side it proclaimed to be a "Lesney bread bait press". I know that name, they made 'Matchbox' toys (cars and other vehicles). An internet search revealed they also made this little thing and packaged it in a matchbox-style box too! I suspect a lot of you already know about this little tool but I had not seen one before. Further searching revealed the instructions...

 Peel off the crust from a sliced loaf, leaving three
eighths of an inch of bread on the crust. Place bread
in the Bait Press and screw down.
 This will give you two pellets of crust ready with a
hole for your hook.
 On entering the water this will quickly swell to the
size of a cube of sugar. If a larger piece of bait is
required fold the length of crust in two before placing
in press.


I have transcribed the instructors above verbatim. It is interesting to see how society has changed in fifty years. Back in the 1960s, sugar cubes were commonplace. I wonder how many kids today would know what size that is? Today, measured quantities are more commonly presented in paper or plastic sachets, contributing even further to the rubbish mountain, in the name of hygiene and/or convenience. Intrigued by this little tool, I followed the instructions and it produced two very flat, rectangular pieces of bread that when placed in water slowly expanded. It appears that if the crust is left on, the bait will be slightly buoyant. This could be interesting. I feel some experimentation coming on here while I am waiting to find a gap in my, now busy, work schedule when I can go fishing to try it out for real.