Another staple bait for all canals, bread is cheap and highly versatile. Just about every Cut has locations where locals feed the ducks, and these can have a magnetic attraction for roach and bream That said, bread will work anywhere you find silver fish. It works throughout the year, but really comes into its own in the winter, when bread is highly visible in cold, clear water. The Christmas match on my local Cut is won virtually every year with bread.
Bread punches form a tidy hookbait, the best have metal heads.
Bread can be used in various forms, but sometimes the classic big pinch of flake and mashed bread feed are overkill on canals. A more refined way responsible for countless match wins is to use finely liquidised bread as feed and a piece of punched bread on the hook. This is artful, enjoyable fishing, and as well as roach, it produces bream A fine-tipped float and slow sinking bait are perfect, but perhaps the real skill is in feeding the swim correctly. A walnut sized ball of ‘lickie is ample to start off with, before judiciously topping up with a ball of feed every few fish which is typically little bigger than a twenty pence piece.
Gloucester Canal Fishing Photo Gallery
Liquidised Bread and Punch Preparation
Done correctly, liquidised bread is a superb way to draw in fish. Even a small ball of the stuff will explode into a cloud of thousands of tiny, attractive particles that hold the interest of nearby fish. Here’s how it’s done:
• Take a white sliced loaf and remove the crusts with a sharp knife. Do remember to keep a couple of slices aside for hook bait!
• Feed 2-3 slices at a time into a food processor, using the finest setting.
• Pass the lot through a riddle to remove any lumps.
• For extra fine crumb, you can freeze and blast the mix again. Otherwise, store in an airtight container.
• Wetted with just a sprinkling of water, this mixture is easily formed into small balls that can be thrown or, better still, deposited using a pole cup.
• Now for the hookbait: take your saved slices and microwave for 15 seconds.
• Now press with a rolling pin. Voila! You have tacky bread that will stay on the hook beautifully.
For your hookbait, the best solution is to invest in a set of special bread punches – which are tools that cut a perfect little disc of bread for the hook by pressing down on the slice over a hard surface. The hook is then carefully passed through so that plenty of point is showing. Winter anglers will go as small as a 2mm punch on a size 22 hook. Quite often though, a bigger fish or two will also crash the party – so it’s worth trying a bigger piece whenever you sense there are better fish in the area.