FISHING THE PUNCH.

Bread is one of the cheapest baits that are available to the coarse angler. Even so, a lot of anglers seem to be frightened of using it. By following a few simple rules, it can be very productive bait.

Right, lets start the preparation. It all starts on a Tuesday if you want the bait for the Sunday. Go to your local shop and purchase a medium sliced loaf. Put it on a shelf and forget about it until the Saturday evening.

Take out 3 slices and remove the crusts. Place these on a plate and put them in the microwave for 10 seconds on full power. Place these on a hard surface and roll flat with a rolling pin. Place the prepared bread in a plastic bag and store them in the fridge. That is your hook baits sorted.

The first thing we need to do is sort out the feed. Remove the crust from about 10 to 15 slices of the bread. Put the slices through a liquidiser or blender. I find that I can put 3 slices at a time in the blender. Give it a whirl for about 1 minute. Once you have liquidised it all, run the finished product through a pinkie riddle. Do not try and push it through the riddle, just shake it through. What does not go through the riddle should be put through the blender again. The big bits that you have left are no good for the fish so throw them into the garden to feed the birds. The fine crumbs that you are left with should be placed into a plastic bag and stored in the fridge over night. The good thing about this is that if you have any left after your days fishing you can take it home and freeze it ready for the next time you need it. If the venue you are fishing is hard, to get finer crumb feed, freeze for about 8 hours, then put it through the blender again from frozen. This will make the crumb even finer.

Now you have sorted out the feed and hook baits all we need to do know is turn up at the right venue. One of the best venues to practice using the punch is a canal. If your canal has a reasonable head of roach and skimmers, it will fit the bill perfectly. One of the best methods with the punch is the long pole short line. This way every thing is kept quite tight.

On setting up, one of the first things to do is to select a suitable rig. Personally, I like to use either an Image Slim or Cane Cut in the 3 x 10 or 3 x 12 sizes. If the rig is too heavy, you will have difficulty getting proper bites. Your lines need to be balanced to the size of fish you are most likely to encounter. In my local canal, you can expect some big skimmers up to 31/2 lb. Therefore a main line of 08 mm balanced to a number 4 elastic is recommended. The shotting on the rig needs to be made up with small shot. All mine are done using No. 10 and 12 shot. Hooks are a very personal choice. I prefer the Kamasan B511 in size 22 and 24. I never fish the punch on anything bigger than a 22