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Desmond Family Canoe Trail
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Bread is extremely bad for ducks so please do not let them eat your bread punch. After all - bread punch is certainly a favourite bait with fish!
Keeping the ducks quacking
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Apart from the punch, bread can be fished in a vary of ways and we have covered these in a separate article in the series. Bread punch fishing is perhaps most associated in the minds of many anglers with canals and the Fenland drains. However, especially for roach punched bread is a superb method on pretty much any venue. Confidence has a big part to play in angling with anglers having their own preferred brand of white bread.
Anglers use a tool called a bread punch to ‘punch out’ small discs of the bread to use on the hook, typically anything from a size 18 through to a size 22. Some anglers like roll the bread slice hard and flat to ensure it hold longer on the hook as the bread tends to easily fall off. Other anglers will steam the bread, placing it on rack over a pan of boiling water to make it stickier before quickly placing the steamed slice in a plastic bag, again with a view to increasing its ability to stay on the hook.
Bead punches come in a variety of sizes for different situations. Bread punch is often used in conjunction with sliced bread that has been put through a liquidiser. The liquidised bread groundbait is then squeezed together and thrown or more often accurately cupped into the peg as loose feed.
The bread slicer was invented in 1912 by American Otto Wohwedder but his prototype got burnt and his commercial version wasn’t finally launched until 1928. Sliced bread first appeared on the shelves in the UK in 1930 and it would not have been long before anglers started using it as bait. The canal anglers of the north west popularised the method, probably after the war for during the austerity years bread would be too scarce to feed to fish. The king of north-west canal fishing Benny Ashurst expressed the view that it was only possible to win small canal matches on punched bread but not big opens. Back then, Benny would have probably considered a 100 pegger a small match. One of the great modern exponents of canal punch fishing is Fred ‘the bread’ Cheetham who has had many triumphs on the punch.
To save time in the long run, use a food mixer to liquidise four or five fresh loaves (including the crusts) of Warburtons medium sliced bread although any brand should be OK.
It is important to use the same brand of bread on the hook as in the feed. Once liquidised, place the equivalent of one loaf’s worth into a freezer bag and then freeze it. When you need it, take out the frozen block of bread and grate it through a pinkie riddle. Repeat the process once or twice more and the bread gets finer and finer, hopefully proving irresistible to those finicky roach.
Last date edited: 30 November 2017